Shiraz was born in Tanzania. His parents were born in Gujarat, India. He grew up with four languages: Swahili, Hindi, Gujarati and English. He did his elementary, secondary and post-secondary education in Tanzania. He studied education, mathematics and physics at the University of Dar-es Salaam and graduated in 1971. He taught mathematics at Mkwawa High School. In 1980, he went to Europe to do post-graduate studies in medical statistics and epidemiology at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. On his return to Africa, he taught at medical schools and worked for ministries of health in Tanzania, Zimbabwe and Mozambique. During this period he developed interests in health promotion with Grandparents Grandchildren Friendship. He came to Canada in 1994, studied gerontology and worked at Simon Fraser University. At present, at age 67, he is working on promoting Grandparents Film Festival and celebrating Grandparents' Day in schools.
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