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< Back to current issue of Immigration Daily < Back to current issue of Immigrant's Weekly

Immigrants Of The Week: Bijan, Jerry Yang, David Ho, Jacqueline Murekatete, And Janusz Kaminski

by Greg Siskind

Editor's note: Here are some entries from Greg Siskind's blog.

BIJAN - FASHION/FRAGRANCE DESIGNER

Iranian-born Bijan Pakzad, who immigrated in 1973, dresses some of the world's most powerful men including President Bush and Senator John Kerry (as well as Vladimir Putin, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Tom Cruise and Jay Leno). His store on Rodeo Drive in Beverly Hills is said to be the most expensive in the world. One of his fragrance bottles is on display in the Smithsonian Museum and a few years back he was on Vanity Fair's world's best dressed men list. Not too shabby.

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JERRY YANG - YAHOO! FOUNDER

Jerry Yang was born Yng Zhyuan in Taiwan and immigrated to the US at the age of ten in 1978. Yang was like many immigrant kids who arrive speaking no English and in a remarkably short period of time not only master the language but go on to remarkable achievement. Yang came to America knowing just a single English word and within three years was enrolled in college-leve AP English.

Yang went on to Stanford where he co-created with fellow student David Filo what was to become Yahoo!, a directory of web sites. I remember what he was up to because at the beginning of Yahoo! in 1995, my visalaw.com web site was one of only a few law firms linked in the directory.

Of course Yahoo! has gone on to become one of the mega-web companies and is a force to be reckoned with in the online world. And Yang has gone on to become a billionaire and one of the richest men in the United States.

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DAVID HO - AIDS RESEARCHER AND TIME MAN OF THE YEAR

Millions of people around the world could very possibly owe their lives to David Ho, a Taiwanese-born researcher who early on realized that HIV was a virus. He pioneered the use of protease prohibitors and led the development of the "cocktails" of drug treatments taken by HIV positive individuals. Ho is one of the few medical researchers ever to receive the Time's Person of the Year honor. He shares the title with Popes, Presidents, business magnates and Kings (and a few villains since the designation is given to the person deemed to have the greatest impact on the world in the prior year). My quick study of the list indicates that Ho is the only individual medical researcher ever to be selected.