From Joe Lahoud

DAD, WHO WERE YOU..?

Five days of condolences we couldn't sit down. The entire district of Marjeyoun from all religions paid their tribute to you. Who couldn't show their tears, did cry within.

Many said you're one of the core pillars of our beloved region. They described You with countless words; Respectful, Compassionate, Honest, Honorable, Courageous, Generous, Warrior, Survivor, Patriotic, Loving, Giving, Father to all, Kind, Loving Life, Sociable, Fun, Smart, always smiling ..... One of a very rare breed of Good Men.

They told stories about you that no one ever knew, that explained why they all loved u and paid tribute to your farewell. The Priests and The Sheikhs described you and spoke about your virtues. They told about many of your secrets and reminded me of a major advice you always gave me: Don't let ur right hand know what your left hand does!

For me, you were and will always be my Mentor, Leader, Trainer, Manager, and Inspirational Loving Father. You shaped my personality, engraved my values, and taught me all I know about Life, people and trade through leading by example.

Your life track record is a true story of the survivor who never surrendered and never lost faith in the love of his life, our Mother Marry and of course in himself. A real giver who always found a way to create and add value to all those around him despite the tough circumstances. When I was a kid, I remember times when I used to barely see you as you used to leave home so early before I woke up and return so late after I slept.

Your passion was to see us and other people happy. Throughout last week, I was told many stories about how you guided many and mediated between your fellow countrymen. They listened to you as an advisor and sincere father. You never had a single enemy and lived with high dignity, modesty as well as content throughout your entire life.

Many people come to this life and go without anyone noticing. However, you left a color, a taste, a smell and a mark with ur absence. The Marjeyoun market place won't be the same after you. I kept hearing this sentence over and over.

Dad, till we meet again, rest assured that we all believe you were an angel among us on earth and now God granted us an angel in heaven. The strong faith you have instilled in our life is helping us overcome your sudden departure.

Finally, knowing that you fell down without pain at exactly the same spot, under our Mother Marry's picture where you pray every morning before leaving home, strengthens my belief that your Soul is resting in peace.

I always knew who you were. However, now I know that I wasn't alone!

Allah Yerhamak ya Aadami ya Habib el Alb