Saturday, March 31, 2007

In Memory of...

The last two months marked the departure of some dear ones I have grown up around and known for almost all my life.

Houston, Texas, June 14, 2001
Abdelmajid Bugazia
On March 28, we lost 3amo Abdelmajid Bugazia, an old and dear friend of the family and my father. Although I didn't remember him personally before coming to the US, I've known and heard a lot about him. Apparently, he left Libya when I was very young to remember him. He was very dear to Baba. In June, 2001, I flew to Texas specifically to spend the weekend with him and abla Nazeeha. It was a pleasant time and worth the visit. He kept recalling the times when he knew me as a very little girl.

Houston, Texas, June 14, 2001
Incidentally, he was a friend of Elio, the Benghazino-Greek, and that brought on my meeting with Elio and my stay in Greece. He has a daughter, Najla, whom he was very proud of, and didn't hide it. He was telling me all the time that I am like his daughter Najla, intelligent, determined, and successful. I was so touched. My heart goes out to his family, in the US and Libya, and specifically to abla Nazeeha who had spent with him 56 years.

This is the email message I received from Baba:

"الأخ الكريم السيد عبد المجيد بو جازية انتقل الى رحمة الله تعالى يوم 28 الجارى رحمه الله رحمة واسعة وانا لله وانا البه راجعون والفاتحة على روحه الطاهرة"

Sadaina Staita

On March, my maternal grandaunt Sadaina Staita passed away. Khalty Sadaina was a very interesting, very intellectual lady despite her limited literacy. She was a poet, and a thinker, among many other things. She had a special place in my heart, and I know I did in hers. I felt closer to her than to my grandmother. Maybe because she lived in Banghazi while my grandmother lived in Derna and I didn't get to see her much. We used to visit Khalty Sadaina and spend lovely evenings with her and her daughters abla Nagiba and abla Soad Staita. I always adored and admired her daughters Nagiba, Soad, and Fathia for their sophistication, intellectuality and manners.

There's a funny story behind khalty Sadaina's name. She was the fourth daughter. The first one, was named Zainab (she is the mother of Mustafa el-Bteir of Angham al-Shalal band); the second, Hamida, which means thanked for; the third (my grandmother), Magboola, which means "accepted"; and the fourth, Sadaina, which means "we've had enough!"

Last year, I started the process of approaching khalty Sadaina to feature her in Tibra. Abla Nagiba told me it was not going to be easy to convince her to accept, but she will try her best. I never got to following up on that and pursuing it seriously... while she was still with us. I still hope to feature her someday.

Badi'a al-Hesadi
On February, an old family friend, Abla Badi'a al-Hesadi passed away. Abla Badi'a, was the wife of 3amo Yousef, and mother of Nisreen, Narjes, and Ryad al-Hesadi. We kind of grew up toghether. I have a lot of memories visiting them and spending times with the girls, who were about Fairouz's and my age, on their balcony while our parents visited in the living room inside. We grew away through the years, after moving out of Libya and marriage. However, Baba and 3amo Yousef never lost contact. I believe their friendship goes back to their college days in Egypt, if not to before then in Derna. I don't think one day passes by without them getting together. Abla Badi'a was relatively young--a victim of cancer.

People leave, but their memories remain. Those people were part of my life at some point or the other, and the three of them left an impression somehow. I wanted to write about them, to document their memory and make sure it remains. Hope they are all resting in peace and their memories are cherished by their loved ones!


  1. great people don't leave forever, they breath and live in us, and I am sure as these great men and women left a great impression in your life that they will continue to live with you... Ghazi

  2. انا لله وانا البه راجعون
    This is life, it is even more difficult for people like us that live abroad as we keep loosing relatives and loved ones that are far away from us.

  3. I was sorry to hear of the passing of Mr. Bugazia. I knew Najla well, but have lost contact with her since she left San Antonio years ago. Does anyone know how I may get in touch with her?
    Thank you.