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September 29, 2006


Thank you, Leila, for this beautiful story of your father's life. You have honored him well.

My love goes out to you and your family.

I got to know him and his town, family and friends, when I went to Lebanon a few years ago. He assisted me in contacting an elderly Palestinian historian who had been a student and colleague of my father's. Then he took me to visit him.

Elias took on the role of brother and shepherd to me, arranging accomodations, showing me where to bank, shop, eat, and all the things you should know when visiting a strange place. I will always treasure the time I spent with him there, and am so thankful that I went when I did, in his kind company.

I look forward to your continuing blogs. Thanks for doing this.

With love,

That's a lovely tribute, more appropriate than what you could get a newspaper to print. Truly, this kind of heartfelt outpouring is the best use of blogs.

I hope you'll post more of Elias' poems.

So much about the Tabbouli King's life I never knew. It all gives me the oddest sense of hope. Thank you.

Ron - well thank you. It's why I posted this particular story here, in this way. My father is complicated (as all humans are) so there are many other aspects to his story - I didn't include a sense of what a hambone, hilarious guy he was. He loved women, specifically my mother, he loved the pleasures of the flesh, he loved children and cavorted and told stories with his grandchildren and the children of all of his nieces and nephews. He loved to cook grape leaves and tabbouli etc. for crowds. He loved gardens, and he carved wood staffs by the dozen. Etc., etc.

a fine family history and a noble biography. I am grateful for the few but memorable times I have spent with Elias, at his home and at Middle East peace meetings. Thanks for being a fine reporter of his wonderful life.

I never knew yr father. I hardly know you except via blogging. And yet the reminiscence you've written is extraordinarily touching.

It is so enriching to have parents who provide one with such a proud legacy. It gives you so much to live for and to give back to the rest of humanity.

My father was in some ways like yours though he didn't live as rich & varied an existence as yours did. He gave me values to live by which I still try to honor though he's been dead for 11 yrs.

May God comfort you.

Writing from Ramallah, Palestine, seems so far away. But I have a dear memory of your father.

I had met your mother during a visit she paid to the Holy Land (so full of holes). She was contributing gracefully to efforts with The Rebuilding Alliance, for helping Palestinians rebuild their homes, destryed by the Israel's occupation army.

I met your father in Southern California during a TRA event, and we stayed together at the house of the generous hosts of the event, Nabhan Simaan and his charming wife.

We exchanged views and experiences, and I admired Elias' tolerance and his support for the Palestinian cause, in spite of bad things committed by some Palestinian fighters in Lebanon during the civil war.

In reply to my question about identity between Lebanon and the USA, he recited to us a lovely poem he wrote about that, which I still circulate to people in the same dilemna. He talks passionately about his love and longing for the homeland, with all its shortcomings, and contrasts that with wanting to be with his grandchildren, and about the better roads and rule of law in the US.

Special greetings to Mary with nice memories, and you must be lucky to have known Elias closely.

Thank you for that lovely bio of your dad. We loved him--and your mother. The earth is a poorer place for his absence.

Both of us are grateful that last spring we were able to have a lovely few hours with your parents in our home in High Point. We also were able to visit with them about a year ago in their home. Memories of those visits comfort us. We will send you a picture or 2.

With love, Lennie & Pearl

We met Mary and Elias in 2002, when they, fresh from Lebanon, attended a house party and Mary said yes, she would like to be the Outreach Director for what would eventually become The Rebuilding Alliance. Donna and Mary worked together for years, and Elias and Martin helped them keep a sense of perspective and humor.

We all grew nearer in these past three months: Being part of the oasis of their home. Learning to make tabouli and stuffed grape leaves. Introducing Elias to mochi ice cream ("Mary Edith, you must buy me more of this!"). Making home-made stir fry noodles, fried rice, and brussels sprouts. Knowing about but setting aside the prolonged bombing of Lebanon and Israel. Recognizing Mary and Elias's commitment to fighting the cancer. Smoothing the rough edges of recalcitrant computer systems, bumps in the road to poetry. Holding hands and giving thanks for friendship.

In a quiet moment, Elias told me how much he appreciated us, our decisions. By saying this, he gave us heart and made us brave ... a ripple effect that reaches beyond the moment and strengthens us.

We miss you Elias and celebrate your spirit.

Peace is a state of mind.
It reaches those who believe
That the planet is for us to share,
Not holding it as mine
And you to exclude.

Peace is a heart full of hope
Caring for the little and the great,
For the white and the black,
Christian, Muslim or a Jew,
Or whatever a belief one does dare.

Peace, a candle shedding a flicker,
Turns the ocean of darkness into light.
Yea! Its work never stops or wanes
In the hearts of men and women
Seeking to speak and act as human.

Nay, I will say to the warrior.
Enough of your ways across the centuries.
Now let us begin in peace to say
"Con Arvore" bear fruit and sway.

Elias Abu-Saba

in : poemspedia.com
More than Love Poems in a very user friendly interface with little ads

I have no doubt that Leila's parents were very decent people like Leila herself.
The contradictions are frequent.
The enlightened people are trying to shed all prejudices.
Leila is not there yet.
Let us see an end of generalizations, and I will like her more.

The less she listens to the propaganda of the misguided but also rather decent Silversteins, Weisses, the better person she will be.

Dear Leila

I hope all well with you.

I was touched with your writings and what you wrote of your father.

I was at Gerald Institute and Elias use to teach my elder brother Samir. I was a small kid then and remember him, Mr. Awdi and Mr Abu Chaar...and others

I feel so close to you and to every word of your article on your village and that area. Well I have spent the best years of my life there. We were living about 2 KM west of Gerarld, where I grew up among the green fields and orange groves...so I know very well Mieh Mieh and have lots of friends there..

I am now living and working in Abu Dhabi in an engineering consulting firm.

Every time I read your writings and visit your web site, is like visiting our home there and the years of my youth. It’s so sad, but it’s surely heart filling.

Wish you good health and happiness

Mounir Philip Boustany

Farewell our sweet dove. Fly, fly, fly away.

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