Sunday, July 26, 2020



CENK KADIR UYGUR was born and raised in a Muslim family in Istanbul, Turkey, and emigrated with his family when he was eight years old. He spent his adolescence in East Brunswick, New Jersey, and graduated from East Brunswick High School. Uygur was raised in a secular Muslim household, but became more religious during college before becoming agnostic. He graduated from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania in 1992, where he majored in management and was on the Student Activities Council representing the Turkish Students Association. Uygur co-founded the Justice Democrats. The group seeks to steer the Democratic Party in the strongly progressive, “democratic socialist” direction.

SAIKAT CHAKRABARTI recently resigned as chief of staff to Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, the U.S. Representative from New York's 14th congressional district. Chakrabarti was born and raised in a Bengali family in Fort Worth, Texas He attended Harvard University, graduating in 2007 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in computer science. On Jun 1, 2009 Saikat Chakrabarti and Sheena Pakanati founded Mockingbird. Mockingbird offers a wireframe mockup tool that enables individuals to collaborate and interact in real time. Mockingbird has $10 Million dollars in estimated revenue annually. (Ironically, Mockingbirds are best known for the habit of some species mimicking the songs of other birds and the sounds of insects and amphibians). Why would a millionaire want to be a freshman congressperson’s chief of staff?  

WALEED SHASID is 27 years old, from Arlington, Virginia. Shahid’s father moved to the US from Pakistan four decades ago. “He’s literally been working in the same parking garage since 1973.” There were four books in his home growing up: the Qur’an, a collection of Punjabi poetry and two biographies: one of ex-Pakistani Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto, the other of Hillary Clinton. Strangely, despite his having written so many opinion pieces in many prestigious papers and magazines you cannot find a biography or a Wikipedia page on Waleed Shasid. That is a remarkable accomplishment in itself. Search and you will find his articles but no personal biographical data.

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