A Tribute to my Favorite Teta

By Julia Assaad

Teta, you have had an incredible life filled with faith, love, success, and joy. You had such a joe de vivre, loved life to the fullest and brought that joy to others around you.You had an overwhelming positive energy, you often said «think positive» and would seek solutions to complicated problems. Your presence would make even the most unhappy find comfort. You always had a comforting word, listened carefully, were empathetic, gave wise advise, yet you gave it on our heads if you felt it was necessary (might I add you were often right to do so). A petite woman but what a force of nature.

You had a wonderful sense of humour, sometimes even naughty but always very proper, a true lady. I will truly miss our chats and laughs.

You always thought of others and dedicated your career to help people have a better, dignified and healthier life.

Your accomplishments are many. A truly celebrated woman, a leader, one of a kind yet no matter how accomplished you became, you remained humble. I know you would not want me to list your achievements, in fact you would frown at us when we would compliment your successes, and awards. You did what you did because you felt it was the right thing to do and because you believed in helping people, not wanting anything in return.

The Zabaleen and the FGM task force were like your children and you fought for what you believed in till the end. You have created a true legacy for women, Egyptians, and never did it for your personal ego. If you knew how grateful we all are to you...
Teta, we won’t forget your mottos in life, what you called your 3C’s, Community of love, Communication, and Collective wisdom and prayer. Anyone who knew Teta will know the 3Cs like the back of their hand. She believed that her strengths came from her social capital and working collectively sharing wisdom to finding solutions. She always said her social capital made her the richest person.

Teta taught me to work hard and play hard, to never think we are limited by anything if it’s for the right reasons. Among many other learnings, she also taught me how to play scrabble and more often than not, she would beat me (she was really good at Scrabble, like in most things) but then would say “you did great, I was just lucky with my letters”. Humble in everything she did and always encouraged us in such a beautiful way.
Teta you have and will continue to make the world a better place. We will certainly always remember your smile, wise words and wonderful spirit. I think I speak for many when I say, it has been a great privilege to have you in our lives. The world is a better place because you existed and your legacy will continue, even if you are no longer physically with us.

Teta, you will be greatly missed but you will always remain in our hearts. I quote a message received for Teta from Celine, which I feel very fitting “Teta will be greatly missed but she is gone to be what she was always meant to be, a free soul that knows no limitations”.

Teta, we honour your wonderful life (which was lived to the fullest), we are very proud of you and we thank you for being in our lives and for everything you have given us. Finally, I would like to say that I am extremely honored to be your granddaughter.May you always look after us and enjoy being with Geddo, your siblings, your daughter Leila and all your loved ones that left before you.