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