Robine Fiani-Azar: her memory will be eternal in so many hearts…

Ce n’est qu’un au revoir” Mama Habibi: Bambi did not expect to tell you “may your memory be eternal” now… but life and death always seem to know how to surprise us with their apparently mysterious timing. In the end, despite our DEEP sorrow, it is simply your time to leave our world now.

This post is the toughest EVER, but Bambi insists on trying to pay a tribute to her mom to the best of her capacity, even if she is speechless now. Indeed, her jet lagged brain has been confused by wonderful celebrations of love (Mabrouk again Michael and Stéphanie ❤️; Robine’s pride and joy), which went hand in hand with a bitter process of acceptance of an imminent death. Not any end of life since it is her own mom’s death… Yes, the finality of the one who has given life to the groom’s mother and to her two sisters, including Bambi.

May the memory of Robine Eliah Fiani be eternal…

Robine Fiani-Azar, Bambi’s mom gave her, and her sisters, roots and wings. If Bambi loves personal freedom, it is because of her mom. If Bambi is grounded, as much as possible, it is because of her mom. If Bambi followed her dreams in her personal and professional life, it is due to the agency fostered by her mom (and dad). If Bambi believes in romantic love, it is because of her mom and dad with their 64 years together as a couple, including a 57-year-long married life. If Bambi (and her spouse) adjusted to three recurrent miscarriages, while growing through this life journey, it is because of her mother’s wise advice and outlook in life. Same for her censorship saga, thanks to her mom and dad’s continuous love and support. Last but not least, Bambi’s biggest source of inspiration in life, especially her reproductive one, was again her mother, Robine. The latter unfairly lost her first newborn (who would have been Bambi’s brother). Earlier in her childhood, she went through adversity, especially at age 10 with the loss of her own mom (with her baby-fetus). Yet, Robine never complained, never saw herself or forced others to see her as a victim. Instead, she preferred to live her life with dignity and agency, in addition to love.

Talking about love, here is how Mr. Georges Abou Araj, Robine’s 50-year-old dear neighbour (owner of L’Objet, the store across from her balcony) described her. His original French follows the quick English translation:

“An angel has left us. Yes, an angel left us. Robine was my neighbour for more than half a century and, day by day, I had the privilege of her friendship. Never during all this period did I see her revolt even when the situation had become intolerable. I got to know her in the hard days, she was always the same lovely, decent, helpful, and always selfless human being.  In life I have met many people but Robine has always known how to rise above the little things. A true “lady”. Robine has always been an angel, and today she is an angel among angels, she has regained her place in a better world. Everyone who knew her, I’m sure will miss her. My sincere condolences to Tony to his daughters and their families and to all who knew and loved her”.


Un ange nous a quitté. Oui un ange nous a quitté Robine a été ma voisine pendant plus d’un demi-siècle et de jour en jour j’ai eu le privilège de son amitié. Jamais durant toute cette période je ne l’ai vu se révolter même quand la situation était devenue intolérable.
je l’ai connu dans les jours difficiles, elle a toujours été la même personne adorable décente et toujours serviable altruiste et désintéressée. Dans la vie j’ai connu beaucoup de personnes mais Robine a toujours été la personne au-dessus des petitesses. Une vraie ” lady”. Robine a toujours été un ange, et aujourd’hui elle est un ange parmi les anges, elle a retrouvé sa place dans un monde meilleur. Tous ceux qui l’ ont connue, j’en suis certain vont la regretter. Mes sincères condoléances à Tony à ses filles et leurs familles et à tous ceux qui l’ont connu et aimé
“. GAA

Many thanks to Georges for his deeply moving public words (on social media), which moved the heart of Antoine who is grieving his beloved wife. In turn, Bambi allowed herself to share them with her readers, as a tribute to her mom.

From this superb tribute, Bambi now wants to share a beautiful video at the very end of this post. The latter shows what Robine’s most caring daughter AND friend, Roula Azar-Douglas, did to honour her parents in Athens, 2-3 days ago, as the mother of the groom (in addition to taking care of Robine until her last breath across the miles…). She read a meaningful and powerful text to Michael and Stéphanie, which was carefully chosen by his grand-parents. Through her excellent reading (and pronunciation) in standard Arabic, Roula reminded the bride and groom, along with their guests, of the meaning of love. Those deep words, by Gibran Khalil Gibran (1883-1931), were taken from The Prophet (available publicly at; English is followed by Arabic; just like Fairuz’ song, which Robine was very fond of).

In conclusion, as Father Joe (the wedding’s priest) said: love is about creativity, sacrifice, word/act, as well as resurrection (or hope of life). He was talking about romantic love (+ Christ’s love). Well, today, it is Robine’s and Antoine’s love to us all and to each other. It is also our love and gratitude back to them. Antoine’s incredible sacrifice to allow his daughter to keep enjoying her son’s wedding. Roula who did the same with her own son. Robine who has been the ultimate example of a reserved (or private) yet most powerful love… to us all. Bambi thanks her family and especially her mom. She loves you beyond words and death. Fly in peace mom. Your memory will be eternal … in all our hearts.

Then said Almitra, Speak to us of Love.
And he raised his head and looked upon the people, and there fell a stillness upon them. And with a great voice he said:
When love beckons to you, follow him,
Though his ways are hard and steep.
And when his wings enfold you yield to him,
Though the sword hidden among his pinions may wound you.
And when he speaks to you believe in him,
Though his voice may shatter your dreams as the north wind lays waste the garden.

For even as love crowns you so shall he crucify you. Even as he is for your growth so is he for your pruning.

Even as he ascends to your height and caresses your tenderest branches that quiver in the sun,

So shall he descend to your roots and shake them in their clinging to the earth.
Like sheaves of corn he gathers you unto himself
He threshes you to make your naked.
He sifts you to free you from your husks.
He grinds you to whiteness.
He kneads you until you are pliant;
And then he assigns you to his sacred fire, that you may become sacred bread for God’s sacred feast.

All these things shall love do unto you that you may know the secrets of your heart, and in that knowledge become a fragment of Life’s heart.

But if in your heart you would seek only love’s peace and love’s pleasure,
Then it is better for you that you cover your nakedness and pass out of love’s threshing-floor,

Into the seasonless world where you shall laugh, but not all of your laughter, and weep, but not all of your tears.
Love gives naught but itself and takes naught but from itself.
Love possesses not nor would it be possessed;
For love is sufficient unto love.

When you love you should not say, “God is in my heart,” but rather, “I am in the heart of God.”

And think not you can direct the course of love, for love, if it finds you worthy, directs your course.

 Love has no other desire but to fulfill itself.
 But if you love and must needs have desires, let these be your desires:
 To melt and be like a running brook that sings its melody to the night.
 To know the pain of too much tenderness.
 To be wounded by your own understanding of love;
 And to bleed willingly and joyfully.
 To wake at dawn with a winged heart and give thanks for another day of loving;
 To rest at the noon hour and meditate love’s ecstasy;
 To return home at eventide with gratitude;
 And then to sleep with a prayer for the beloved in your heart and a song of praise upon your lips.”

Arabic lyrics now…

2. المحبة…

حينئذٍ قالت المترا: حدثنا عن المحبة.


إذا المحبة أومت إليكم فاتبعوها,

وإن كانت مسالكها صعبة متحدرة.

إذا ضمتكم بجناحيها فأطيعوها,

وإن جرحكم السييف المستور بين ريشها.

إذا المحبة خاطبتكم فصدقوها,

وإن عطل صوتها أحلامكم وبددها كما تجعل الريح الشمالية البستان قاعاً صفصفاً.


لأنه كما أن المحبة تكللكم, فهي أيضا تصلبكم.

وكما تعمل على نموكم, هكذا تعلمكم وتستأصل الفاسد منكم.

وكما ترتفع إلى أعلى شجرة حياتكم فتعانق أغصانها اللطيفة المرتعشة أمام وجه الشمس,

هكذا تنحدر إلى جذورها الملتصقة بالتراب وتهزها في سكينة الليل.


المحبة تضمكم إلى قلبها كأغمار حنطة.

المحبة على بيادرها تدرسكم لتظهر عريكم.

المحبة تغربلكم لتحرركم من قشوركم.

المحبة تطحنكم فتجعلكم كالثلج أنقياء.

المحبة تعجنكم بدموعها حتى تلينوا,

ثم تعدكم لنارها المقدسة, لكي تصيروا خبزاً مقدساً يقرّب على مائدة الرب المقدسة.

كل هذا تصنعه بكم لكي تدركوا أسرار قلوبكم, فتصبحوا بهذا الإدراك جزءاً من قلب الحياة.

غير أنكم إذا خفتم, وقصرتم سعيكم على الطمأنبنة واللذة في المحبة.

فالأجدر بكم أن تستروا عريكم وتخرجوا من بيدر المحبة إلى العالم البعيد حيثما تضحكون, ولكن ليس كل ضحككم; وتبكون, ولكن ليس كل ما في ماقيكم من الدموع.

المحبة لا تعطي إلا ذاتها, المحبة لا تأخذ إلا من ذاتها.

لا تملك المحبة شيئاً, ولا تريد أن أحد يملكها.

لأن المحبة مكتفية بالمحبة.


أما أنت إذا أحببت فلا تقل: “أن الله في قلبي”, بل قل بالأحرى: “أنا في قلب الله”.

ولا يخطر لك البتة أنك تستطيع أن تتسلط على مسالك المحبة, لأن المحبة إن رأت فيك استحقاقاً لنعمتها, تتسلط هي على مسالكك.

والمحبة لا رغبة لها إلا في أن تكمل نفسها.

ولكن, إذا أحببت, وكان لا بد من أن تكون لك رغبات خاصة بك, فلتكن هذه رغباتك:

أن تذوب وتكون كجدول متدفق يشنف آذان الليل بأنغامه.

أن تخبر الآلام التي في العطف المتناهي.

أن يجرحك إدراكك الحقيقي للمحبة في حبة قلبك, وأن تنزف دماؤك وأنت راض مغتبط.

أن تنهض عند الفجر بقلب مجنح خفوق, قتؤدي واجب الشكر ملتمساً يوم محبة آخر.

أن تستريح عند الظهيرة وتناخي نفسك بوجد المحبة.

أن تعود إلى منزلك عند المساء شاكراً: فتنام حينئذ والصلاة لأجل من أحببت تتردد في قلبك, وأنشودة الحمد والثناء مرتمسة على شفتيك.

Roula reading Gibran Khalil Gibran’s text on love (chosen by Robine and Antoine for the bride and groom, our dear Michael & Stéphanie)

24 thoughts on “Robine Fiani-Azar: her memory will be eternal in so many hearts…”

  1. Our sincerest condolences to the Azar family, our dearest neighbours, on the loss of our most beloved Tante Robine.
    May you have strength and comfort from the love and support of family and friends at this time of great sorrow.
    Tante Robine will be deeply missed by all.
    There are no words to describe her beautiful soul and the amazing person that she was. Lucky are those who were privileged to have had her in their lives and we are one of them.
    We thank God for her gift. May the treasure of memories we shared with her always warm our hearts and bring us joy. She was very special.
    Rest In Peace and watch over us, our angel in heaven.
    Much love,
    George, Zeina, Zara, Natasja and Kian Diab

    1. Zeina– Bambi is DEEPLY touched by your comment. She thanks you so much for your lovely words about her mom who loved you too so much. Bambi and all the family send you their heartfelt condolences too. May Robine watch over us all, as you ended your note. MUCH love to you and to your beautiful family (our DEAR George, Zeina, Zara, Natasja and Kian Diab).

  2. Chère Bambi,

    J’ai appris la mort de ta mama avec une peine infinie et c’est avec beaucoup de tristesse je t’écris ces mots 💔. Que son âme repose en paix éternellement et en l’accueillant dans son vaste paradis. Du courage ma chère amie!

    Mes sincères condoléances à toi et toute la famille!

    1. Cher Smith, merci du fond du coeur pour ces mots remplis de douceur et d’amour. Merci pour tes voeux ou ta prière de la part de tout le monde. Que Dieu te protège, toi et ta belle famille. Quelle bénédiction pour Bambi de t’avoir dans sa vie. Vive l’amour, vive la foi aussi et surtout vive notre amitié si enrichissante. Bambi t’aime tant!

  3. Oh my dearest Bambi … Ramroum hbb…😢😢😢 such beautiful words about such a dear, loving, pure soul! My heart is aching… really… I was looking forward to seeing her during my next visit… 😔 tante Robine will forever live through you, Roula & Rania… and in our hearts… may God give you, And your family strength during these difficult times 🙏🏻🙏🏻🙏🏻 May she rest in Eternal peace… love you so much hbb… May God bless & protect your dad…❤️❤️❤️❤️love you so much habibi

    1. Ohhhhh Ralda (Ralloud habibi)! Bambi thanks you so much for your moving and beautiful words (what a tribute to mom!). Her heart goes to you 🙁 ❤️. We are not just old friends. We are family. Robine loved you and everyone does, especially Bambi ❤️❤️. You take good care, please.

  4. Les mots m’échappent et je n’ai que
    Dire a Ramroum BANBIN et toute la famille :

    Mes sincères condoléances
    Que des bons souvenirs au Canada
    Gravés dans ma memoire
    Elle repose en Paix 🙏❤️😘

    1. Oh Roula, merci de Bambi et al. Nous sommes une famille, un coeur endeuillé, une memoire. Bambi t’aime tant. Robine aussi. Qui sait? Elle a peut-être rencontré tante Joséphine et Nada (habibetna)? Porte-toi bien STP.

  5. Ma belle [Bambi], Je suis attristée par cette nouvelle. Je me souviens de ta maman comme une femme gentille, généreuse et bienveillante. Toute ma petite famille se joint à moi pour exprimer, à toi et à ta famille, nos plus sincères condoléances.

    1. Mais que Bambi est émue de te lire, chère et BELLE Jacinthe. Merci pour tes mots si doux. Robine t’aimait tant. Tous à Beyrouth et au Canada aussi. Tout notre amour et gratitude à toi et ton adorable famille.

  6. My dear Bambi, my Ramroum, your mum will always live through you and your lovely sisters. I already see a full reflection of her in you 😊❤ Robine is not gone … She has simply preceded us to a place where we’ll all meet some day … Her memory will be eternal 🙏❤

    1. Ooooh Hala, your precious words mean the world to Bambi and will comfort her dad, sisters, and all those who will read your comment who knew and loved Robine. Many thanks dear childhood (and forever) friend, across the milestones of life. Take good care. Merci. Bambi t’aime tant!

  7. Our heartfelt condolences to you Bambi, Antoine and the family on the passing of Dear Robine. Robine was a very wonderful Lady inside out and a caring and loving friend. She will be missed by all who knew her. Our prayers with you and Tony at this difficult time. May her soul rest in Peace. Anis and Leila

    1. Bambi’s heart, and everyone’s hearts, go to you Leila and Anis (et al.). Many thanks for your moving words and for everything, especially the prayers and continuous love. You take good care, please.

  8. My sincere condolences on the loss of your beloved mother. May her memory be a blessing. Never forget the happiest of times together.

  9. Mes condoléances à toute la famille pour cette perte.

    Je n’ai que de bons souvenirs du trop peu de temps que nous avons eu ensemble, Robine.

    Bonjour, tous les jours!

    1. Mes condoléances à toi aussi Luigi! Robine t’aimait tant et tes mots vont directement à elle… au ciel, Bambi en est certaine.

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