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Where would I start? Rami my baby or Rami my young child? Rami my teenager or Rami my young man?
He left me with abundance of memories in every stage of his life… Rami was born in Riyadh Saudi Arabia, he opened his eyes and was surrounded by loving family members who were excited about his arrival… There a budding friendship started with Karim Farra, my cousin and kept nourishing till he parted. He was such a lovely happy baby, gurgling like a canary, I still have his recording!!! I even said if I have 40 babies like him I would not mind. I enjoyed his company and talked with him all the time, my mum used to ask me what do you say to him? He is listening to you, but does he pick up??? Frankly I don’t know, but he always looked at me with interest, holding my hand —- Whatever it was we bonded strongly and this bond grew stronger with time, we were very close , he grew up to be my best friend, he grew wiser with years , experience and education refined his views…his judgment with family issues was always sought after.
When we moved to London he was only 3 years old… joined Hill House International School, where his personality was molded, mixing with people from many nationalities, learning music, joining the choir, sports teams and travelling to Switzerland to study and have a feel of boarding life with his classmates…there he grew up to respect people from different faiths and learned about all religions.. Most important thing about Hill House is the friendships that started there and grew with him. His best man and closest friend Saif Alwan and later work colleague, Mustapha Al Rawi and many others that I don’t want to miss any… at 12-13 years many parted ways to different schools, Rami and 12 others went to Dulwich, Saif ,Mustapha and others went to St Paul’s… but their friendship was not affected but it grew stronger… I have endless stories, of the boys staying over in London, their first day camps, first sports day, first X-mass choir and most fun their first Ball, where they all got their suits and were well groomed ready for the adventure… Many weekend at the country house in Kent. Spaghetti, Tacos, fish fingers, hamburgers, were some of their favorites. Swimming, playing basket ball, tennis, football, riding bikes it was an enjoyment to watch them and spend time with the gang… When they became teenagers, they started going alone not wanting adult supervision, cooking for themselves and leaving the kitchen a bombshell of tomato sauce everywhere…!!! Rami’s birthdays were fun, as it was Halloween and the themes were quiet challenging every year but who will forget his 21st birthday when he had the Scottish kilt!! …. Well the boys grew up, but I still saw them, for Rami they were his brothers, and he was generous with his time, games and clothes, the boys will know!!!
So many adventures in those teen years, and Rami wanted to discover everything, he was not very happy with me being strict or trying to monitor him, there were times of course school did not mean much, but he sailed through and got his A levels and went to Buckingham University and got his BA with honor in two years…
At his 18th birthday he wrote me a note to thank me for bringing him up and looking after him in the way I did, though at times he thought that I & his dad are trying to be very domineering, but now he realized it was to his benefit and he was grateful that we are his parent.
He left Buckingham a mature man, though he decided to go wild before starting work, as he told me (mum I will not be able to do any crazy stuff once I start work), so he came home having a zebra design hairstyle!!! I am sure the boys remember the leopard style too!!
Time was due for Rami to leave to Dubai to start working… I missed him terribly, but at that time, internet and web cam were out, so we could communicate, see each other and he would show me his office and what changes he did in the house… He wanted to indulge in all aspect related to the pipe business from factory upward… First thing he did when he got his first salary was buy me a gold necklace with Allah carved with diamante and same but smaller size for his sisters… He thought of us, that meant a lot… work took him away from us, but we kept in touch… and he found a refuge in religion, he began to learn more about Islam, go to the mosque, fast Ramadan and became a different man, he was still cracking jokes and enjoying life, but was committed to his rituals… I was blessed that he asked permission from his father to take me to Hajj in 2000. It was such a great experience, at the time he told me “we are going to go in a normal group, we need to be down to earth and struggle in Hajj as we will have more Ajer”,… and we did… it was such a lovely experience, to be with him in Makah, to be with him in Arafah repenting for all past deeds, to be with him in Madinah visiting the prophet’s resting place, I could not have asked for more… I cherished every moment and I still do…
Later in 2001 we celebrated our 25th anniversary, and Rami surprised us with a film production about us and he went into the trouble of going to three countries to take interviews with family members and friends… He left us with a beautiful memory and made us cry as we watched.
He married, became a father, and what a great father he was, three girls that were his treasure, he loved them to bits, they were his life, and they meant everything to him. He had dreams for their future, he wanted them to be disciplined, and wanted them to be responsible and proud to be Makhzoumi’… His father few years back, had assigned a historian to write about the origin of the family and its history and the prominent people along the years.. Rami took this to a different level, and he again produced a great documentary which includes history with maps and old films, interviews with family members and he even included the children, history of the FPI and how Fouad started it, and part about the Foundation.
He even requested all our albums, and scanned all pictures we had so we could have a digital recording of them, so a later we can produce a family book… I promise you Rami we will do that!
For every trip his family took; he printed a book with all the photos from that trip, keeping the memories alive… It is somehow as if he knew he was leaving us soon!!!! for he did for us what nobody thought of doing before. He did for his kids a lot, guided them along, got them into the modern technology in all aspects, took them to faraway places , showed them the world, always telling me I want to spend time as much time as I can with them.. I want to have balance in my life, give priorities to my family and give it as much time as I give work …..
He was a special person, everything about him was unique, his taste in clothes, in furniture, in music, in art work, he had a special look at life, enjoy it to the best but live it with faith & respect…. Everybody who met him even once felt something different, people respected him, admired him, simply loved him…family, friends, colleagues, employees he touched their hearts. He was a good man and will be remembered too for his good deeds…
Finally he moved his family to live in Beirut, finally all the family was reunited, us, our daughters and him… Finally the siblings were able to do things together, they all matured and began understanding each other better than any other time… couple of year’s back he told me I regret that I did not spend time with my sisters as they were growing, I was at university, then work, we lived apart, but I want to compensate for that…. well he did this year and was looking forward for days to come to spend it all together. Me too I was looking forward to such times, but Alas he left us too soon. Yes we are all together but he is over looking at us , joining us in everything we do, he is living with every breath , with every tear, with every smile, he is living in our hearts in our mind, he will be present always…..
Love you Rami, will always do…
Over 3 months passed after Rami left us to the after life….where he is living his ideal life that he wished for at the age of 24….
Not a day has passed with out thinking of him.. I wake up to his name, I sleep praying for him ….
No tears will bring him back, but one can not but cry at every moment , you look at his photos , or hear his voice, or think of what he did….
I do not know how much time it will take to heal, but the presence of his girls in our life, has helped us to greive peacefully, patientley, lovingly, strengthened with strong faith, knowing that God his ways of showing us the right way to accept fate, and do what is required.
Life will never be the same without your smile , your laughter, your warmth, your love… I miss you more & more , but you live in our hearts , in our minds and through all those who has known you..
What can I say… Words can not describe my grief, but reading all the messages posted, receiving touching emails, taking calls of family and friends who are devastated as much as we are by Rami’s loss.
His father says: Rami was my son, my friend and my soul mate. He was our mentor who only saw the good nature of human beings and he dealt with people accordingly. He had a vision and forward-looking strategy to build a better and a more efficient world.
Almighty God has blessed us by keeping Rami with us for 33 years where he achieved all what he has planned to do which more than the majority of people can achieve in a lifetime. God Almighty has decided to take him to his side on 23 April 2011. Rami was an Angel and he is in a better place looking at us. May God bless his soul and let’s all pray for him.
Rami has left us a lot of memories to live by. He will be living with us through his achievements, through his friends and most of all through his lovely daughters who will grow to know what a great man their father was.
Few days ago I lost my most precious treasure, I lost my son. I still cannot believe he has departed , I still cannot comprehend this tragedy… My heart , my soul grieve deeply… My only consolation other than hugging his kids, was having all his close friends with us, the family , the friends and people travelling from all over to be with us and bid farewell to Rami.. For those who could not make it called, e mailed , sent messages… This flow of affection, of attention , of sharing helped in the healing process…. It was not only our loss, it was the loss of everyone who knew him and it’s a loss for the world. He achieved a lot in his short life, and left a legacy behind him…. We will all carry on with his ideas, whether in business ,in philanthropy , in family issues, in everything he talked about. We will carry on his vision and his dreams… He always looked for ways to make the world a better place to be , and I as his mother is very proud to have had a son like him who enlightened our lives and those around him.
In honoring my promise to carry the torch, I am sending the news letter that I was supposed to send over the Week end… for I know from high above he looking at me smiling and saying , I have always been proud of you mum and I will always be….
Mrs. May Makzhoumi
Rami was my son, my friend and my soul mate. He was our mentor who only saw the good nature of human beings and he dealt with people accordingly. He had a vision and forward looking strategy to build a better and a more efficient world. Rami received his Bachelors of Science in Business Studies from the University of Buckingham in 1998 and in 2003, achieved the Young Professional Program Executive Diploma from the London Business School. In January 1999 he assumed the role of Group Vice-President, Business Development for Future Pipe Industries. In 2001, he became the Chief Operating Officer of the company until October 2003 when he was appointed President and Chief Executive Officer. Rami led the drive to change the organization from within by launching a group-wide restructuring effort known as “The Evolution and Revolution” Strategic Initiatives. As leader, he managed to expand the business into new segments and territories, and more than tripled the sales of the group, whilst growing the bottom line at even higher rates, by virtue of his migration of the Group into a Global Operating Model, and the application of innovative management techniques. He was awarded in April 2011 the Master class CEO of the Year award.
He held a lifetime membership to the Institute of Directors UK and was a member of the Arab-Deutsche Chamber of Commerce, the International Desalination Association, and the Council on Foreign Relations. In addition, Rami served as a Regional Board Member of the Young Arab Leaders and was also a member of the Young Presidents’ Organization. Rami was a featured speaker at numerous Family Business Forums, Regional Leadership conferences, as well as on Socio-Economic based programs. In addition to his business posts he was also the Vice-President of the Makhzoumi Foundation, a philanthropic organization, based in Lebanon, which through its vocational, micro-credit, health and awareness programs has seen over 300’000 beneficiaries.
Almighty God has blessed us by keeping Rami with us for 33 years where he achieved all what he has planned to do which more than the majority of people can achieve in a lifetime. God Almighty has decided to take him to his side at 14:30 on 23 April 2011. Rami was an Angel and he is in a better place looking at us. May God bless his soul and let’s all pray for him.
Fouad Makhzoumi, father of Rami