Dearest Khalil Smeira, beloved friend & Professor of French Literature: “Ce n’est qu’un au revoir cher ami de Bambi, ami de son papa… et papa de ses quatre amis”!

Is there a life conspiracy against French literature teachers?

Yesterday, our world lost Professor Nadia Jammal (she died in Beirut).

Today, we lost you Professor Khalil Smeira (you died in Montreal).

Of course, that was meant to make you both smile from heaven… The SAD reality is we are in the middle of a Covid-19 pandemic. Bambi is still speechless as this tiny yet mean coronavirus took your life too early :(. We are ALL mourning your loss DEAREST Khalil (Mr. Smeira)… from as far as Beirut, Lebanon and all the way to Montreal, Québec and Sackville, New Brunswick.

It is unbelievable how your survived wars, Montreal winters, surrealistic port explosions, pandemics in broken countries…. and recently managed to make it safely back to your beloved Canada to be with and take care of the rest of your family. You literally gave your last breath caring for your beloved spouse (and indirectly/directly for your children and grand-children…).

You recently became a grand-father to your/our cutest Baby Lucas. Welcome to him and good-bye to you… you are now his angel, watching over him and all your loved ones!

Bambi’s heart is heavy with sadness yet light with gratitude and love toward you and your family. This love that transcends incredible war-memories together. This love that transcends geographic distance… and even death!

Bambi’s dad and mom are deeply sad today. Yet grateful to life for decades of friendship. Same for Bambi’s sisters. Same for Bambi’s spouse who had the chance to meet you/your family. We celebrated weddings, summers, and beautiful memories.

Dearest Mona, Chady, Ralda, Rayan, and Rawad (+ families) as well as your uncles, cousins, aunts, those still with us, those who left us too early too…. To your friends, colleagues, students, and former trainees, living in Lebanon or in Canada. All of us in Québec and in Atlantic Canada, we are one heart, one tear, one prayer with you…

May you rest in peace Khalil. May this pandemic know how to end. May we all collectively contribute and keep contributing to making it end.

For those who do not read Arabic, Bambi will translate this beautiful sentence at the very start under the cross sign. It reads: “Those who believe in me, even if/when they die, they will live“. It may not mean much to those who do not believe or share this faith…. but for Bambi this piece of wisdom actually transcends humanity as it is simply about hope… Hope of something larger than our own little egos. This thing (or this so-called God, G-d, Gods, Creator, or whatever you wish to call it) is all about love that has the potential to overwhelm our hearts and we simply melt in it, if only we want to be open to it or welcoming. Love is selfless. Love is all about forgiveness. Love is kind. If we believe in love, we will be eternally remembered… and thus, we will live even when it is the time to die.

Bambi loves you Khalil and Mona et al. She was blessed to have the chance to tell you so to both of you a few weeks/months ago. She is grateful to life and also proud of herself to have taken time to jump to see you whilst on a 2-day trip. We laughed. We took pictures. She even had the chance to meet your adorable grand-daughter :).

To conclude this post meant to pay tribute to Mr. Khalil Smeira, Bambi will end with two stories. One dramatic and one too funny :).

First the dramatic memory: Bambi and one of her sisters got stuck in your elevator in the darkness under the sudden and heavy shelling. The incident was scary, especially for two young girls. It is your voice Khalil and your tenderness that kept us hanging on. Thank you!

And now the funny moment is related to the French language. Professor Smeira asked one student who was being disturbing in the classroom to leave to go see the school Director. He ordered him the following: “Assez maintenant. Prenez la porte SVP“. This means: Enough is enough. Get out and see the school director, please. However, “prendre la porte” literally means “take the door” 🙂 (although the true meaning is: “Get out of the classroom”). Well, it was a historic school with those old doors that could be removed easily (especially after shelling and sadly casualties…). The student was a large guy with a big sense of humour. He stood up, managed to remove the door, and carry it on his shoulders whilst walking in the hall to go see the director. Everyone laughed… including Mr. Smeira (who had an elegant sense of humour in life) and Bambi’s brother-in-law who was his student. Bambi sends her condolences to him, hoping this funny memory will comfort him too.

Rest in peace our Dear Khalil Smeira. Your memory will surely be eternal!

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