[In Loving Memory of (El Hajj) Selmi Abu Musaed … please say a prayer for him after reading this]: I’ve been scripting in my head the words to describe such an incredible man, mentor, caregiver, and father. We 1st met ~3 years ago at his residence. As I sat on the couch near him, I attempted to avoid making eye contact or engaging in a conversation as I feared he may dislike me for attempting to marry his youngest of daughters. My strategy was to minimize interaction with him to ensure success.
As time passed, my well constructed strategy failed miserably but for the better. We soon became great friends and he randomly nicknamed me the “Fox” … his reasoning was that I was crafty and sly and I quickly reacted by nicknaming him “Big Fox”. The assigning of nicknames was a big step forward in our relationship. Soon after, while in different parts of the apartment, he would make fox sounds as a calling of foxes to huddle up for a discussion. I recall the sound as if it were just happening now “aaaaaaaooooooooooo aoooooooooo aoooooooo” – we truly perfected the Fox calling and these callings would happen daily as a means to express our love and respect for one another.
The “Fox” nickname grew in popularity and before I knew it, most of the family were calling us “Fox” and “Big Fox”. As time passed, Big Fox became a true true friend; I no longer feared him and I was fortunate to create a laundry list of loving memories with him. Amongst my favorite memories: (1) he would sit me down and tell me stories of the bedioun people, stories of our people and how he traveled great distances in the desert to seek refuge and opportunity. He had migrated to Dubai when it was absolutely nothing and starting building a future (2) our hiking trip to Friday prayer together. We walked, hand in hand, prayed side by side and had a true sense of bonding along the way (3) funny faces – constantly, daily, he would from across the room make faces at me … mostly raising his eyebrows (4) Telling me to “deer ballak 3 gershak” – take care of your finances (5) Teaching Big Fox how to fist pump (6) Big Fox waking up at the wee hours of the morning to accompany us to the airport and holding Rola super tight and not letting go of her while in tears (7) The 3 or 4 wallets he has given me as gifts (they all look the same I swear) but he would approach me and present it to me as if its the 1st time he had given me a wallet; absolutely genuine and real … and the list goes on and on.
There are not enough words to describe this man and the amount of respect I have for him. He never never NEVER spoke negatively about anyone and simply lived his life to serve his family and their well being. He was a soldier, a warrior, a winner, and a man that everyone respected as he cared for all people and the common good. As I look back at these last 3 years, my only regret is not spending more time with you Big Fox. I love you Big Fox and writing this has been so easy yet so painful – I have learned so much from you and its mostly been by the life examples you have set. I assure you, you will never be forgotten and your memories are deeply rooted in our hearts and minds.
As Rola and I traveled 16 hours to be with you, we prayed that you are resting in peace and in heaven. We were in and out of tears recalling memories of your wonderful life. God bless you, may you rest in peace, and inshAllah to heaven.
“aaaaaaaooooooooooo aoooooooooo aoooooooo”