Archive for the ‘blogging’ Category

A Loving Arab Woman of Hope

In blogging, Lebanon on March 12, 2010 at 2:57 pm

While researching amazon.com reviews of The Yacoubian Building, I discovered Leila’s review of it.  I decided to reply to it, but noticed she’d done nothing new for a while, so I checked on her profile only to learn of the passing of this beautiful, sensitive, creative and loving Arab woman of hope.  I cannot really explain all the emotions that went through me as I read about your wife and mother, and I felt sad as I realized I shall not see her in this life.

I’ve sent her webpage to all my friends.  I am a student in Muslim/Christian Relations/Islamic Studies at Hartford Seminary in Hartford, CT.  I lived and worked as a Registered Nurse in Saudi and Egypt during the ’80s.  More importantly, I grew up in New Orleans where my parents best friends were from Lebanon, had five children, and when my father died when I was twelve the father, Najib Aoun, promised my father that always I would have a home and a father.

My love for this family and for Lebanese culture and customs is beyond anything that can be measured.  I am certain that Leila will always be remembered by me and by my four Lebanese-American sisters as we enjoy Leila’s work and her recipes.

Thank you so much for allowing her legacy to live on the internet.  As one of my “sisters” said to me when I was grieving my mother’s death, “You must remember, love never dies.”

May God bless all of you with Leila’s memory.  May the remembrance of her inspire you with energy, love and commitment to carry on the work she began.

Salaam for now,

Martha Fahima Graham


From Greenpa

In blogging on February 26, 2010 at 9:19 pm

I am greatly saddened to hear that Leila has left us.

I knew her only from her comments on my blog, and on the other blogs in my neighborhood.

Everything she had to say was worth paying attention to. Every time.

She was a wise woman. And a warm human being.

Those may be the two greatest compliments I can give.

I miss her.

Greenpa (Little Blog In The Big Woods)

A Heart for Lebanon

In blogging, family life, Lebanon on October 19, 2009 at 5:41 pm

I just received an email about Leila’s passing from someone who went to the American Community School in Beirut. I did not know her first hand but we had corresponded back in 2005 and a few occasions after that, most recently in early 2008. When we first corresponded I learned that her father had been a student of my father in Sidon at Gerard when dad taught there in the late 40s. She gave her dad my dad’s phone number and they spoke on the phone.

Leila also told me that when she was eight and living in Mieh Mieh, after I had left Sidon she would go to our house and read our books. In particular she remembers The Three Musketeers. I read her blogs from time to time.

My condolences on her passing to her family. She was a special person with a heart for Lebanon, the Middle East and its many peoples.

Phil Hanna
Columbia, Kentucky

An Occasional Crossing of Ways

In blogging, food on October 15, 2009 at 8:35 pm

Words, pictures, stories, recipes and hyperlinks were our connection. No human touch. No sounds or voice recordings. No emails but for a few comments. No non-verbal gestures or body language. And no clues to secret places. But I was pleased to be numbered her buddies.

This new universe, this Internet, this Cyber Highway through history and the stars provided an occasional crossing of ways. And like a memory of the touch of a butterfly, or distant sound of a whippoorwill (in this case, a Dove) or frisson of a fresh insight, something we shared survives her passing. And someday we will meet again. Eventually will get to know one another better, sharing the immortalities we left behind by blogging, building in eternity a project we began years before.

Leila’s Love for Life Was Not a Gift She Held But Rather a Gesture She Made

In blogging, Brooklyn days, family life, politics on October 15, 2009 at 5:52 pm

I am Leila’s friend from her Brooklyn days in the 1980’s. Her first husband was my husband’s childhood friend. Through that acquaintance, Leila and I forged a friendship based on a certain tendency towards emotional heat, a similar quest to define ourselves as young artists (she, a writer and me, an actress), and a shared vision that life itself was a confusing, astonishing, magnificent journey. We lost contact when I became a young mother and moved to Connecticut and Leila moved west to seek a new life and study in her chosen field.

When I knew her then, Leila was (as you may imagine) all she was in recent years – beautiful, exuberant, vibrant, inquisitive, generous, engaged, and intelligent – but she navigated her days with an edge of anger and confusion that she assiduously worked to shed as she matured into her marriage to David and her motherhood of Joseph and Jacob.

She and I reconnected two years ago when she saw a comment I’d written on DailyKos, a political website, and she contacted me. We picked up our relationship where we’d left off. I was delighted to have Leila back in my life again. Her friendship with me made me feel like a rich woman! I was moved to read of her life with her family and how happy, secure, and privileged she felt to be where she was now, notwithstanding her cancer and all the vicissitudes of her treatment. Simply, she exuded love in what she wrote to me.

Leila’s love for life was not a gift she held but rather a gesture she made, an action she took; a home she built for herself, her family, and her friends – for all of us. She embraced us all, and carried us with her into the face of whatever storm or joy life might fling up for us. Whatever it was, we were there in it, together. Leila embraced even her illness, facing it as she did everything – by looking it squarely in the face, holding it close, and standing tall. She was so strong, with her open heart and hungry mind.

I will miss her lion’s heart.

My deep condolences to David and their sons, Jacob and Joseph. She was proudest of the life and love that she shared with you. It was her greatest achievement. You are her deepest love.

A Second-Hand Admirer

In blogging, politics on October 13, 2009 at 9:08 pm

I am a friend of Leila’s Mom, Mary Edith, and I knew Leila almost entirely second-hand through the sort of conversations that Moms engage in, sharing thoughts and feelings about their grown kids.

Only in the past few days, since I learned of her passing, have I had a more direct emotional connection with Leila by reading her blogs. I have been so deeply moved by them that I found myself forwarding some excerpts to a dear friend of mine, a writer named Kenneth Ring, who is working on a book called Letters From Palestine, which presents the heartrending but often inspiring stories of Palestinians as they confront the challenges they must face in a world where being a Palestinian is a challenge in itself.

I sensed his heart would resonate particularly with Leila’s story about her father’s life. That was entirely accurate, so I am writing now to pass along his comments about Leila after reading it:

What a bright star this woman was — she must have lit up so many lives with her courage and beauty of soul. The story of her family’s life — its tragedies and horror, and the eventual hard-won success of her relatives — was also very inspiring. What an estimable and wonderful man her father was, and what an exemplary life he led. Leila’s homage to him was extremely moving — she was blessed to have such a father (and mother!), and to have so much of him inside her.

What a shame that such a woman had to die so young, leaving behind her children and her husband and no doubt a bereft mother, but it’s clear that she lived well until she died, that she knew how to live and how to die, and I have no doubt her life will continue to be celebrated even as her death is mourned. Thank you again for sharing this with me.

The Dove Has Flown

In blogging, politics on October 13, 2009 at 9:03 pm

I can’t even remember when Leila introduced herself to me through my blog, but the sense of her personality and life was such that we immediately connected. Over the years we’ve commiserated over political woes and personal setbacks, she’s introduced me to other friends who I will also likely never meet in person. But the feeling that there was someone important in the Bay area never failed. I still feel that she is here with us, just not so localised.

I will miss you greatly, Leila, and I’ll be looking for your books.

Maryanne Stroud Gabbani

Egypt Face to Face
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