Born in a farming village in Egypt, Dr. Taman lived on his own from the age of 12 when he left his parents' home, and moved to a neighboring village to attend the school there. As a young man he became a medical student at the University of Alexandria.
After graduating in Egypt he went on to study psychiatry in England before immigrating to the United States with his family as part of the influx of international medical graduates who came to fulfill the needs of America’s rural communities. Dr. Taman worked to overcome the stigma and fear associated with mental illness through his visionary contributions to the community.
Dr. Taman moved his family to the Chippewa Valley in 1973 where he worked as a psychiatrist for more than 43 years; until he passed away in 2016. During his lifetime he traveled the world, from places as far as the southernmost point of South America, to the Great Wall of China, and kept his connections to his village in Egypt, only to return each time back to his home in Chippewa Falls, Wisconsin.
Mahmoud S. Taman was a pillar of his local community in his roles as both a physician and leader of the local Muslim community. In 1991, he was a co-founder of the Islamic Society of Northern Wisconsin, known as the Altoona Mosque. He was an active member of the Chippewa Valley interfaith community and believed in the values of tolerance, compassion, and respect. His untiring generosity and sense of responsibility towards others allowed him to cross superficial barriers to touch the hearts of many.