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To see: In Memeory Of...1;   In Memory Of...2

A Dear friend passed away in April 2014.  He saved a beautiful poem that he wanted to share with his family and friends after he died. 
It was so touching and uplifting, I wish to share with those I love as well.  Here it goes: 

Close your eyes and imagine that your loved one who passed away sent you this message:

To Those I Love

When I am gone, just release me, let me go - so I can move into my afterglow.
You must not tie me down with your tears; let's be happy that we had so many years. 
I gave you my love, you can only guess how much you gave me in happiness.

I thank you for the love you each have shown, but now it's time I traveled on alone.
So grieve for me awhile, if grieve you must, then let your grief be comforted with trust. 
Its only for a while that we must part, so bless the memories within your heart.
And then, when you must come this way alone, I'll greet you with a smile and a "Welcome Home."

Author Unknown



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Joseph Adib Touma Sawaya
 Apr 18, 1946 Shweir   -   Feb 25, 2015 San Jose, CA 

Message from James Sawaya on February 28 at 11:05pm · San Jose, CA · 

Dear friends and family,

We are saddened to share the news of the passing of our beloved Dr. Joseph A. Thomas Sawaya.

Visitation/Viewing will be Thursday March 5th at 5pm, Vigil/Rosary at 7pm at the Chapel of the Roses at Oak Hill Funeral Home & Memorial Park, 300 Curtner Ave, San Jose, CA 95125 | 408-297-2447. There will be an opportunity to speak and share your memories at the Vigil.

A Mass will be held on Friday, March 6th at 10am in St. Frances Cabrini Church, 15333 Woodard Rd, San Jose. Burial will follow at Oak Hill Memorial Park.

Flowers may be sent in Joseph’s name care of Oak Hill Funeral Home & Memorial Park, San Jose, CA. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the following causes dear to Joseph’s life’s passions- assisting those with mental illness, finding a cure for Mesothelioma, and preserving and communing with nature:

The National Alliance on Mental Illness;
The Mesothelioma Applied Research Foundation;
The Yosemite Conservancy;
Shouf Biosphere Reserve;


Shouf Biosphere Reserve  The largest of Lebanon nature reserves, Al-Shouf Cedar Nature Reserve stretches from Dahr Al-Baidar in the north to Niha Mountain in the south. blanketed with oak forests on its northeastern slopes and juniper and oak forests on its southeastern slopes the reserve's most famous attractions are its t…

A copy of handwritten sharing by Joe's nephew Daniel is at right >>>

Eulogy by Joe's sister Laila:

There are things that we don’t want to happen, but have to accept Things we don’t want to know but have to learn, And people we cant live without but have to let go. Thank you all for being here with us today to remember Joe. This is a sad day for everyone. It is my hope that sharing a few fond memories and personal attributes about my brother may alleviate your grief and help us focus on what a wonderful person he was.

Joe and I had a very close relationship and he was very protective over me. He loved me, wanted what was best for me and he was always there when I needed him. Ever since I was a little girl I knew I could talk to him about any problem. We were able to share secrets and, of course, make fun of each other. Joe adored his children and grandchildren and always wanted to help every one of them. Our immediate families were always bonded because of Joe. My children considered him not only an uncle, but a dad and a friend they could confide in. Joe was the center and the host of every holiday meal and family gathering, Nothing was the same without Joe’s wine, famous gourmet turkey, and his ongoing horsdeuvres. Some of his favorite things besides his friends (especialy the lady friends) were gardens, flowers, wine by the fire in fall, the beach in Gualala and Yosemite. Joe gave nicknames to everyone- even himself. He was Joe Po Po, Max was Maxy Waxy, Christina his TiTi, Ruba his Rubeye, Daniel Daniel Boon, and the list goes on and on.

Joe illuminated every room that he was in. He was so fun loving and could lift your spirits at your lowest moments. He had a very keen intuition and could see through people and know how they felt (so becoming of a therapist). Friends, patients, doctors, nurses, caregivers, and neighbors- they all admired him. My brother was a hero. He overcame numerous obstacles in life and fought cancer courageously, honorably, and with dignity. Even when he was sick, and then bed-ridden his presence filled the house and was a comfort to me. Although he worried about me taking care of him, and asked others to care for me, it was my honor to be at his side the last few years of his life.

I am thankful for his time here on earth, even though it was much shorter than expected. I will miss him more than words can say. I can’t imagine my life without Joe! I sit at home and think that any minute Joe will call or surprise me and walk in. Coping with grief is a great challenge but I hope that everyone here can focus on the fond memories you shared with Joe and that his spirit will continue to live on in our hearts and minds. In the words of Gibran Khalil Gibran:

"When you are sorrowful, look again in your heart, and you will see
that in truth you are weeping for that which has been your delight."

On behalf of the family we offer our deepest condolences to immediate and related families.



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Antoinette Shaya Khnaisser
7-20-1927 Shweir -  12-24-2014 Belmont, CA

It is with great sadness to inform you of the passing of our mom, Antoinette Khnaisser, widow to the late George Shaya Khnaisser. Antoinette passed away peacefully of pneumonia and natural causes at the age of 87 years young on Christmas Eve, December 24, 2014 at 10:11 p.m. at Kaiser Hospital in Redwood City, CA USA. She was surrounded by her family. 

Antoinette is survived by son Anwar George Kenicer; son and daughter-in-law, Souheil and Mimi Khonaysser; son and daughter-in-law, Andre and Pia Khonaysser; and daughter and son-in-law, Lisa (Khnaisser) and Robert Walsh; grandsons Alexander, Anthony, Nicolas and Christopher. 

She is also survived by her sister Violette Oke and brothers Joseph, John and Malak and predeceased by sister Mary Laham and brothers Elias, Antone and Samir . 

 Celebration of Life, Rosary and Funeral Services are as follows:

 Tuesday, December 30, 2014 Viewing 4 - 7 p.m.:  Rosary & Sharing 5:30 p.m.

Wednesday, December 31, 2014     Funeral Service 11:00 a.m.
Mausoleum Internment 12:00 Noon Thereafter
Luncheon / Repas
t at Vista Room

 ALL Services will be held at: Skylawn Funeral Home and Memorial Park 
Highway 92 at Skyline Blvd., San Mateo, CA 94402 USA 650-349-4411

In lieu of flowers, we recommend a donation to your charity or to Our Lady of Lebanon Church in Millbrae, CA

For those family and friends in Shweir, please contribute to the local Shweiry Charities.

We acknowledge with deep appreciation the many expressions of love, concern, and kindness shown to us during this difficult time. Thank you so much.  

Anwar, Souheil, Andre and Lisa

There will also be a Family Memorial Service in New York on Sunday January 4 and
Prayers & Memorial Service in Dhour Shweir on Saturday January 3, 2015, 3:30 p.m. at the Mukhalliss Catholic Church 

Celebration of Antoinette’s Life   

Beloved mother, grandmother, sister and aunt to many, our mom, Antoinette, was born in Shweir, Lebanon on July 20, 1927 to a family of five brothers and two sisters. Mom was married to our late father, George Shaya Khnaisser.

In 1959, we lost our father transforming Mom to a young widow with 4 kids, the oldest was 10 years young.   We had no alternate source of income and endured many challenges.  At times we had no diesel to put in the “sobia” to fire the one room heater to ease the chill of up to a meter of snow outside.  We are grateful to those community and family members who helped us in times of need.  She instilled in us real life values and we learned not to take things for granted.

Mom taught herself how to sew and became an accomplished seamstress.  Often, neighbors would bring pictures of fashionable outfits from magazines and request Mom to create such garments or combine styles from several photos.  Mom was also a great cook and knew how to stretch a meal to feed the family for a fraction of the cost.  She made the best baba ghanouge, kibbeh, tabouleh, stuffed grape leaves & zucchini, holy bread, mjadra and lentil soup to name a few.

In the 1980’s, Mom spent half of each year in Lebanon and the other half in California.  Her pots and pans, seasonings and her sewing machine always accompanied her on those trips. Our Mom is fondly remembered as a caring and loving mother, grandmother, and homemaker who enjoyed spending time with her children and grandchildren.  At home, Mom loved spending time gardening in her yard. 

Mom never stopped being Mom and was always there taking care of us. We will always remember her reminding us to dress warm, eat well, and take care of ourselves.  Mom’s story would not be complete without mention of her constant companion until a few years ago, her Argileh, or water pipe.

Mom can always be seen smiling gracefully in her pictures, happy to be with her family and happy to be enjoying life.  We know that now, she is with us in spirit watching over us. 
Mom, thank you for your love, dedication, sacrifices and guidance.

       May God bless your soul and may you Rest In Peace. 

Anwar, Souheil (Tom), Sami Andre and Lisa

On behalf of the family we offer our deepest condolences to immediate and related families.


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Helena Corban Ataya

Helena Jameli ATAYA

ATAYA, Helena Jameli. In her 104th year, dearly loved wife of the late George Elias Ataya, youngest daughter of the late Assid Abraham and Najibie Tanyus Corban, passed peacefully into the presence of Jesus, her Lord and Saviour, 6 December 2014.

Beloved mother and mother-in-law of Miriam and John Downey; Karena and Murray Woodfield; Michael and Heather; Janice, Paul and Shulamit. Cherished Sitty of Sarah; Paul, Jeremy, David, Melita; Naomi, Gabriel, Ben; and loved great-grandmother of Thomas and James; Caitlyn and Ezra; Kourtney and Chelsea.

"Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of His saints." Ps.116:6.

A funeral service will be held on Tuesday, 16 December 2014, 11:00am at Church Unlimited, Cnr Te Atatu and Great North Roads, Glendene (behind Glendene Village Shops).
Communications to Box 69094, Glendene,

Published in The New Zealand Herald from Dec. 10 to Dec. 15, 2014

to see more go to New Zealand Web page

On behalf of the family we offer our deepest condolences to immediate and related families.






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In Memory of Rania Shafic Bou Kheir

July 31, 1974 - May 29, 2014

Click here for Information about Dr. Rania's Achievements and Rania's Biography

Visit FaceBook Group & scroll down to see the info about Rania and interact accordingly


Poem By Omar Nasr Khneisser
as posted on FB page

قد تسقط أجسادنا أما نفوسنا فقد فرضت حقيقتها على هذا الوجود.
رانيا أبي خير.
اسم نقش بحروف من ذهب في سجل الشوير ألذهبي.
علم من أعلامها.
صنوبرة من صنوبراتها.
كتاب مليء بالعلم والمعرفة و الثقافة أغنى مكتبتها المليئة بالمبدعين والمفكرين واﻷدباء ورجال العلم.
أيتها العالمة، الباحثة، الدكتورة، البروفسورة، المرشدة ، المربية.
أيتها اﻻبنة الحنونة الوفية المشبعة بالرحمة والبر.
أيتها التقية المؤمنة الصادقة في صلواتها وتضرعاتها.
أيتها العلمانية المرحبة بكل الطوائف والمذاهب.
أيتها المتواضعة المترفعة عن كل غرور و مباهاة.... أيتها العصامية المتعالية على كل ضعف في النفس البشرية.
أيتها الملكة المتربعة على عرش كل عارفيك
تلامذة وأساتذة و اصدقاء و أقرباء وجيران 
مسؤولين واداريين سفراء ونواب وزراء وحتى رؤساء.
كيف لك أن ترحلي هكذا في لحظة، ﻻ نعرف إن هي اختارتك أم أنت اخترتها.
وأمك وأبوك، أختك وأخوك!!كيف تتركيهم فجأة في العتمة وكنت نور حياتهم!
ألهذه الدرجة باتت الدنيا صغيرة على طموحاتك، فالتحقت بالفضا لتحلقي مع النسور في عليائهم.
أيتها الغالية!!!
ﻻ!! أنت ﻻ تتخلين عن أحبابك مهما كان السبب.
هو القدر أخذك منا وأنت في بلاد الغربة حيث كنت تزدادين علما وايمانا.
ولكنك ستعودين الى مسقط رأسك وستزفك الشوير عروسا متوجة على عرش العلم واﻻدراك والمعرفة.
سيزفك أهلك وأحبابك مليكة على قلوبهم وسيرقصون على وقع تساقط العبرات والصراخ والنواح.
الفراق صعب!! ويحه كم هو أليم ولئيم.
الى جنات الخلد يا رانيا، يا ربيبة العز والعلم
يا جارة صنين ومنحدراته،
يا أليفة دروب الكنيسة واﻷتقياء، 
يا شمعة أذابت نفسها عمرا بأكمله بحثا عن العلم حتى ولو في الصين.
لن ننساك.
ستبقين في قلوبنا وعقولنا نبراساً للعلم والمعرفة
ونورا مضيئا في ظلامة الجهل.
ستبقين ذكرى مفعمة بالحب والنبل والتواضع
ووردة عطرة وان ذبلت فأريجها أبدا فواح...

See Translation


On behalf of the family we offer our deepest condolences to immediate and related families.


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“Nora” Najat Matar Moujaes
Port Arthur, TX  USA


“Nora” Najat Matar Moujaes was a loving wife, mother, sister, sister-in-law, grandmother, and an ingenuous poet/writer who embodied through her writings and her essence the true meaning of love, dignity, tenderness, kindness, and thoughtfulness. She embraced life and its adventures with an open heart and true wisdom while facing all challenges with her strong Christian unwavering faith. She was an active community contributor and a devout member of St. Michael’s Orthodox Church, Beaumont, Texas. She immigrated to Texas thirty years ago from Shweir, Lebanon and considered Port Arthur her home. She will be dearly missed by her family, friends, and community and her beautiful, creative, and unwavering spirit will live on forever. 

Church Visitation Date: June 2nd, 2014 Time: 5-8pm 
Trisagion Service Date: June 2nd, 2014 Time: 7 pm
Place: St Michael Orthodox Church
690 North 15th Street; Beaumont, TX 77702
Funeral Date: June 3rd, 2014 Time: 10 am 
Place: St Michael Orthodox Church. Interment will be at St Michael Cemetery, Beaumont Texas, and a
Mercy Meal will immediately follow
at St Michael Orthodox Church Hall, 690 North 15th Street, Beaumont, TX 77702.

By Victoria Moujaes Mapar 

My Mom A Symphony of love

"Nora and Me"
These past twelve months were epic! They were wonderful, and I thank God for every moment...every special moment that I spent with my beautiful sister Nora. The picture you see of Nora and me speaks volumes. It was taken in our mother's garden in front of the house that I was born in in Shweir, Lebanon. This was last May when Nora and I went to spend a glorious Easter in our beloved hometown. I don't remember seeing her as happy as during there three weeks we spent there. As good as these short days were, they pale in comparison to the gift of the marvellous past seven months that my older sister gave me. I had a front seat view on how life should be lived... a vibrant life that overflows with love, tenderness, unwavering deep faith, ridiculous humor, laughter, song, joy, poetry--yes Nora was a good poet-- and above all courage, tenacity and hope in spite of all the harrowing moments that she bravely faced without complaint. She never gave up! The thought never occurred to her. Yesterday this journey with my beautiful sister abruptly and peacefully ended. But Nora left me with an new reality and that reality is that this, our journey, is never going to end.
Christ is Risen Noor!

On behalf of the family we offer our deepest condolences to immediate and related families.


To see: In Memeory Of...1;   In Memory Of...2












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On behalf of the family we offer our deepest condolences to immediate and related families.