For many at AUB and in Lebanon, Sunday, September 21, was a sad day marked by the loss of an exceptional young man, a friend, and a family member. Alumnus Majed Zahr left us silently and suddenly, with feelings of grief and fond memories in the hearts of all those who knew him.
Majed, who graduated from AUB’s Olayan School of Business in 2013, passed away at the age of 23. Among his friends, Majed was known for the smile that never left his face. “We will never forget your smile, our beloved cousin,” says his relative Linda.
Tamara Jurdi, a business student who met Majed at AUB and became close friends with him over the years, knew him as a man of honor and respect. “Majed was the type of guy who would stay up all night at camps,” she told Outlook. “He had this way of always making you feel comfortable around him . . . You instantly had this respect and trust for him, and he would always understand you and make you feel better when you were down.”
“Many people forget all the bad things about a person when they’re gone,” Jurdi added,
“but in all honesty Majed’s flaws were few and insignificant. He was a gentleman with a brave heart and a rational mind.”
At Majed’s funeral, a large group of people came to mourn with his parents. Offering their heartfelt condolences, his friends from AUB were all deeply moved by the tragedy.
Firas Malaeb, an AUB student, praised Majed during the service in a speech that highlighted the good traits of his late friend. He described how Majed was a caring, optimistic and energetic person. Malaeb vowed, in the name of his friend, to always walk the route they started together and stick to each other’s sides.
Majed was a popular young man who left a mark in all his friends’ lives. “Majed was the friend, the clown, the brother, the elder, the realist, the optimist and I can go on and on,” said his close friend Mazen Assi. “He was the person that everyone needed in their lives. He would never leave our side, always had our back and made an adventure out of everything. We may have lost his beautiful smile and possibly the loudest laugh we’ve ever heard but have not lost Majed in spirit and memories.”
Kareem el Chammas expressed his feelings by saying that Majed was not only a friend; he was his partner in everything he did. “We were like twins doing everything together 24/7. We joked the whole time. We were never serious about anything except when it came to food. He was one of a kind . . . May his soul rest in peace.”
Another friend, Elie Haddad, added, “I just want to say that the phrase ‘one of a kind’ defines Majed. Every now and then a person comes along and plays a major role in your life . . . Majed was that type of friend to me, he was family.”
Georgia Stauffer voiced her disbelief over the loss of her friend by saying, “Death leaves a heartache no one can heal. Love leaves a memory no one can steal. I can’t believe you’re gone. I miss you!”
Majed’s optimistic way of looking at life will clearly remain in his friends’ minds and has influenced their way of living as well.
Leen Adnan, Majed’s close friend, plans on continuing her life the way Majed would want her to. In a recent post on Facebook, she said, “At 23 years old, Majed was winning at life. Let’s not make his early exit be in vain. Let’s win at life, Majed-style. Smile. Make best friends out of your family and family out of your friends. Be there for others. Spread love. Brighten up other people’s days and laugh. May your soul rest in peace, Majed. I hope that seeing the impact you’ve had on your friends and the love they so intensely return will lessen your family’s heartbreak, if only by a bit.”
Majed’s close cousins, Samer and Basel Zahr, shared some heartfelt words about their kin as well. “Majoud was known to everyone as a happy and loving person,” they asserted. “He is definitely an example to follow in that aspect, but not many people know that he had to sacrifice so much in his life for people around him. He never put himself first, and he always covered the stress with a smile so everyone can feel good.”
“We feel privileged to hold the same last name as Majed; he is a martyr of our family, the greatest role model anyone can have. Rest in peace brother, your legacy will live until the end of time.”
Hundreds of other people have expressed their sorrow on social media, and many created Facebook pages in his memory. AUB and Lebanon have certainly lost a lot with Majed’s passing, as he has truly made his friends and family proud of his legacy.