By Nimet Habashy
Like so many, I was touched by the remarkable and galvanizing Marie in so many ways and today, having watched the funeral on close circuit TV, it's hard to believe she won't be there the next time I come to Egypt. How very lucky so many of us were to have come under Marie's sway. She seemed to be involved with everything that truly mattered. Her efforts to ameliorate the plight of her less fortunate fellow Egyptians never faltered. Her enthusiasm for her work was infectious. She had so much to give and she did it with such generosity of spirit and love. Marie brought my sister and I into the life of the Mokattam and we've been involved now for 25 years or so. Because of Marie, another sale of Zabbaleen products will take place in New York in December. We hope the monies earned will help the school for young women in the Mokattam continue to flourish.
I can honestly say that Marie has been in my life since I was 5 years old -- she led a sing along around a campfire at Mandara as part of a YWCA event which I absolutely loved and never forgot. And it was music that was a link for us till the end. Ragui and Hany hooked up a computer so Marie could listen to my radio station in New York -- as I was on at night, the broadcast reached Marie at about 11 AM Cairo time.
I feel so fortunate to have had Marie in my life -- and I hope and pray she knew how much she meant to me.
Even as we mourn Marie, hers is truly a life to celebrate and hold dear as an example of a life well lived.
I'm so glad we shared the Daughters project with Marie. Samia, thank you for the concept, Suheir, thank you for keeping up the enthusiasm and Christine, thank you for the honor of being invited to be in a book with your wonderful grandmother.