Rest in peace, Abdel Halim El-Aassar

He taught me how to swim, and how to whistle.

He taught me how to put things together and how to take them apart.  His motto: Do things gently.

He was the most gentle man I’ve ever known.

He shot down Nazi planes.

He kicked out, with dozens of other men, King Farouk from Egypt.

When the foreigners left Alexandria and he was offered villas there, he refused, and rented his downtown apartment for almost fifty years,

He loved his children and his grandchildren and saw them every single day of his life.

We all loved being with him.

He read a stack of newspapers every day.

He prayed and ate white cheese.

He loved his country.

He went for daily walks in a fisherman’s cap.

He took his teeth out in the summer to scare us and make us laugh.

He had the gentlest laugh.

He was my grandfather.

He died in Alexandria earlier this morning, and is currently on his way to el-Sharqiya to be  buried.  I will miss his voice, his strength, and his wisdom.

He will always be in my thoughts, and he will emerge in every book I write. I am heartbroken.

I love you, Geddo.

5 thoughts on “Rest in peace, Abdel Halim El-Aassar

  1. Deepest condolences for your loss, Randa.

    And wonderful novel too, btw. I recommend it to anyone I talk about books to.

  2. Oh dear Randa…I send you positive and comforting thoughts. To you and to your mother (who is so very awesome I cannot bear to think of her in tears).

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