June 21st was Fathers’ Day in Lebanon: sharing what Bambi’s sister Roula (Dr. Azar-Douglas) wrote on Facebook to honour her/their dad

First of all, thanks to Nayla from Montreal who kindly told her friend: “Bambi, do not forget to wish your dad a Happy Fathers’ Day tomorrow!“. Indeed, Bambi celebrated her dad Antoine (and with him, all the dads) on this blog on the Canadian Father’s Day, as shown further below. Without her friend’s warning, she would have forgotten that this special day is highlighted in their birth country on June 21st. The latter coincides with the start of the summer whereas Mothers’ day is celebrated with the start of the spring. How clever, even if every day is worth celebrating parental love.

Bearing the above in mind, only a few days following the past June 21st, Bambi is devoting a post to share with you all a moving and uplifting text written by Roula to honour her/their dad. Roula posted her tribute on Facebook and kindly shared it with sister abroad because she is not on social media.

The first text in bold is the English translation of Roula’s original French piece, which will follow it. If you happen to be able to read the French language, please check Roula’s beautiful writing [there is a reason she is an inspiring author and journalist :)]. In all languages, including Arabic, this is our father Antoine indeed. Roula described him so well in just a few words. What a dad! Bambi will add: What a daughter too! Much love to both of you, Antonio (or baba/papy) and Roula as well as Rania (Bambi’s other wonderful sister)… et al. ❤️.

“How can one talk about him without falling in the trap of repeating empty words, which could lose their meaning after being expressed here and there? How to do it without risking to transmit an image that falls short of reality?

One possibility would be to try to do this by recalling three of the countless actions he took over the years to protect my mother, my sisters, and myself.

It was he who pretended to have a stomach ache to secretly mourn the death of my maternal aunt during the siege of Ashrafieh [= Beirut] during the civil war, in order to obtain more details before announcing her death to my mother and spare her uncertainty.

He was the one who, despite having an impending heart attack, didn’t say anything because I had an exam at the university the next day and he didn’t want to worry me.

It was he who, last year, on the eve of Mike’s wedding, waited four long days before telling us that my mother had disappeared so as not to spoil the wedding, which was taking place outside the country.

He is generous in the noblest sense of the word. He is intelligent. He is fair. He is ambitious. He’s courageous. He is altruistic. He is friendly. He is human.

To say I love him is an understatement. In fact, we tacitly understand each other. He knows, without me having to say it, everything he means to me.

Happy Father’s Day, Dad”.

«Comment parler de lui sans tomber dans le piège de répéter des mots creux qui, à force d’être utilisés à tort et à travers, ont perdu de leur sens ? Comment le faire sans risquer de transmettre une image en deçà de la réalité ?

Une possibilité serait de tenter de le faire en évoquant trois des innombrables actions qu’il a entreprises tout au long des années pour nous protéger, ma mère, mes sœurs et moi.

C’est lui qui a prétexté un mal de ventre pour pleurer en cachette la mort de ma tante maternelle durant le siège d’Achrafieh pendant la guerre civile, afin d’obtenir plus de détails avant de l’annoncer à ma mère et de lui épargner l’incertitude.

C’est lui qui, malgré une crise cardiaque imminente, n’a rien dit parce que j’avais un examen à la fac le lendemain et il ne voulait pas m’inquiéter.

C’est lui qui, l’année passée, à la veille du mariage de Mike, a attendu quatre longs jours avant de nous annoncer la disparition de ma mère pour ne pas gâcher le mariage qui avait lieu à l’extérieur du pays.

Il est généreux au sens le plus noble du terme. Il est intelligent. Il est juste. Il est ambitieux. Il est courageux. Il est altruiste. Il est aimable. Il est humain.

Dire que je l’aime est un euphémisme. En fait, on se comprend à demi-mot et il sait, sans que j’aie à le prononcer, tout ce qu’il représente pour moi.

Bonne fête des pères, papa”.

4 thoughts on “June 21st was Fathers’ Day in Lebanon: sharing what Bambi’s sister Roula (Dr. Azar-Douglas) wrote on Facebook to honour her/their dad”

  1. Your sister’s tribute to your Dad is absolutely amazing and so thoughtful and honest!! You are very lucky to have a wonderful, kind ,generous and a perfect gentleman as your Dad!! I wish him happiness, health and all the goodness that can be bestowed upon him !!

  2. One of the realizations I had upon meeting and interacting with Antoine is that he’s a part of the very small number of people without whom any semblance of civilization would not exist.

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