Mission and Vision

Amman Imman's is dedicated to empowering and preserving Africa's most vulnerable indigenous peoples and engaging school children worldwide as socially conscious leaders.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

A tribute to Dennis Hamilton, Amman Imman’s Associate Director

Dearest Friends of the Azawak,

On September 16th, Amman Imman lost one of its dearest and most devoted friends, Dennis Hamilton.

Dennis was not only Amman Imman's Associate Director, and one of the organization's greatest assets, he was also my mentor and best friend. In many ways, it is largely thanks to his love, encouragement and help that I discovered the Azawak and that the organization was created. Amman Imman's success can also greatly be attributed to Dennis' undying dedication and "contagious enthusiasm" -- as described by Julie Snorek. Dennis emanated love, peace, hope, and passion as a vector of positive change in everyone's lives. Although his person has moved on, his spirit will continue to shine and guide, and give hope and light to all of us, including the children of the Azawak.

The best way I have to tribute Dennis for bringing hope and water to his children in the Azawak, is to write to him, so that he can hear directly my undying gratitude from where his spirit lies today:

Dennis, you were whole in every possible way, from your amazing capacity to love and cherish, to your incredible intuitiveness reading into people's hearts and find good in everyone, to your extensive eccentricities and contagious enthusiasm that drew everyone that met you to you (first out of curiosity and then out of love), to your ability to BELIEVE… really believe that anything and everything is possible. To you, no fear was undefeatable or challenge too big, as life was one big adventure to live in love and hope. Dennis, my dear amazing friend, your life was a success because you knew how to LIVE and have tons of fun doing the most generous deeds while never holding back when kindness and love was concerned. You gave fully. Thank you.

As soon as you heard of the plight of the people of the Azawak, nothing could stop you as you set out to bring them hope and water and change hearts and lives with your fire. I remember your excitement after stepping out of Hull's and Kinkos, telling me that "magic" had happened. You had gone in to buy a few articles for Amman Imman, but with your fiery passion recounting the beauty and trials of the Azawak children, you came out with donated mattes, free photo prints, and 80% to 90% discounts on marketing materials. This magic happened time and time again, as your excitement and love touched the hearts of everyone that met you.

For instance, this fire burned straight to the heart of your dentist that thanks to your passion contacted his patient, the CEO of Cadbury Schweppes, which led to a $10,000 grant for Amman Imman. This same fire moved Arlo Guthrie to donate to you his Indian motorcycle in the name of the people of Niger. And most recently, thanks to your zeal, you obtained for us the website domain name "waterislife". For months I had been trying to reach the owner to no avail. I'd all but given up, when I told Debbie, "ok, we have one last option. Let's get Dennis to give this guy a call. His fire will surely move the owner to giving us the domain." Low and behold, a few days and phone calls later (made in between two hospital stays getting surgery done on your lungs – even there in the hospital, your fire burned with the most brilliant intensity) we obtained the page to redirect to our website. Dennis, your love and magic moved mountains until your very last breath.

Dennis, not only did your contagious enthusiasm move others into action, but you also worked tirelessly organizing, creating, and living for the children of the Azawak. You couldn't wait to tell me when you obtained space at the New Haven Public Library to exhibit my photos. And a friend had donated a dry mount press, that you learned how to use to reduce our costs and mount the photos yourself. This exhibit was the first of many that have all helped spread the word and garner funds. Before you passed, you were working your magic to get us space at the Yale University Art Gallery… Dennis, let's work together now to follow through and make this happen!

My dear Dennis, the list goes on, from using your magic to get Amman Imman interviewed and publicized by various media outlets (and even making numerous attempts to get us onto the Amy Goodman show), to leading the Yale Unicef students in their fundraising campaigns, to organizing major fundraiser events. Dennis, it was your dedication and tireless work for your adopted children around the world that motivated everyone to give and share in LOVE.

And true to yourself, on the tragic day leading to your departure from this world, you were working tirelessly taking down an Amman Imman exhibit when suddenly your overwhelmingly huge and generous heart was attacked. Your loved ones that sat by your side as your breathe slipped away recount how your heart burned with fiery passion and love until its very last beat.

Rest in peace, beautiful light of love. May your fiery passion and contagious enthusiasm live on as hope to the world, and may your magic continue to save and improve the lives of all your children.

Your friend, colleague, and surrogate daughter.


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