Tributes from Colleagues

    I knew Rami for almost 13 years , and I was impressed , for a man of his age , with the way he use to communicate his new ideas and visions ; specially the simplicity and clearness of his message , this type of skills normally need years of education ,training , and practicing , or in case of Rami , it’s is a gift he has .

    Although it is obvious that the most affected by his departure ; are his mother , father , wife , daughters , and the rest of his family , however , we ; the FPI family , are going to miss a young, and an inspired leader , with whom ; we belived and we remain believing that his vision could be and should be realized .

    Ahmad Rafei - Colleague

    I met Rami in the winter of 2005 in London. He had long hair at that time and told me later on about the harsh chemicals he had to use to straighten his hair just so that he could grow it. A year later, he shocked us by getting a crew cut and shaving an ornamental Polynesian design into the side of his head. Rami was avant-garde and he had a zest for life.

    Rami had a way; a way of making you feel important; a way of making you a special part of his life. I remember getting random phone calls in the morning as Rami was driving into work. The only purpose of the phone call was to sing along at the top of our lungs to his favourite pop songs like “World, Hold On”, as he sped down Beach Road in Dubai trying to navigate random construction detours that had popped up suddenly overnight.

    Rami and I clicked. It was like we had known each other for many years. We used to spend hours on the phone talking about life, politics, family and how to make FPI great. There was one night where we talked for so long that both of our mobile phones died. We used to joked about how committed we were. He once told my wife in jest that she was actually my mistress because I was married to his company!

    How can I say good-bye to Rami? He opened his heart and home to me and my family, he treated me like a brother. Rami gave me opportunities, believed in me and counted on me to make his vision a reality. Rami was more than my CEO, he was my mentor and my friend. There really is no way to say good-bye; Rami will be with me always, in my heart.

    Hafiz Ladha - Colleague

    Rami was a dear son and my boss since he managed the business at his early youth. He was a leader when I and many others greatly admired his visions that strongly influenced our decisions and performance. He left behind very sad days, but we never felt of his absence. He is with us in every move and his thoughts, generosity , gesture, leadership and guidance shall not be forgotten. Indeed, his support and contribution to each individual’s success and the group are un-measurable.

    May Almighty God keeping him in a better place and bless his soul. We shall always pray for him.

    Ghassan Ajam - Colleague

    I met Rami on the 5th of November, 2008. It became evident from the very beginning that he was highly respected throughout his community and profession. His good works changed the lives of many; Rami had great kindness and compassion towards those less fortunate than him. He was one of the most generous and caring men I have ever known.

    He taught me that life has new lessons for us every day; I don’t know what I would have done without his help and guidance. I was truly fortunate to have such a man as a role model in my life. Rami communicated with me as his colleague and not simply his assistant; not too long ago, he wrote me an e-mail saying “Thank you for being there, for everything you have done for me, my Family, for FPi and for being My Rock “.

    I particularly remember the time when we had a board meeting over the weekend and after a very busy 2 day event, Rami took the time to send me a note saying “Thank you for taking care of everything, and never letting me feel that you do. I am forever grateful”. Not one day went by without making me feel appreciated and when you read his thoughtful notes, the hard work and the long hours all paid off.

    As I started working at FPi, it became obvious to me that Rami was not a morning person. Day after day I realized that he would walk in the office every morning without saying hello or good morning. At first I was too shy to express my thoughts but then I included it in my anonymous feedback and when he discovered it was me who wrote that comment he burst into laughter. Ever since that day, he would walk into the office and shout out loud “GOOD MORNING RONA, ARE YOU HAPPY NOW?”. That’s how my day started with a huge smile on my face!

    I was so impressed by Rami’s writing skills and touched by how he would motivate all of us through his words. It’s hard not to be impressed when listening to the very charming President give a presentation.
    Rami believed that a “leaders’ job is to know where we must go, NOT how to get there”. He went on to say “The critical path is the destination; the journey must be left to others” . He believed that this is how you inspire, influence, integrate and improve as a leader and that if you always listen to your people, you shall always prevail as a great Leader.

    Rami was not just the president of Future Group, he was a father …. a great father to three wonderful girls: May, Nour and Yasmeena. Rami adored his three little girls and always created time to be with them. When they performed in plays and dance recitals, he would be there, in the front seat, sitting with so much pride in his eyes. When they received an award, he would be there at the school assembly. He taught his girls what they needed to learn in life by setting an example through his own life. His goodness cannot and need not be expressed by words. He was a man of action. He acted out what he needed them to learn.

    Rami was also a man of faith. He was a firm believer in God. He never preached about his faith; he never gave us lessons on religion and morality. He simply lived by example. When he was faced with difficulty, he would pray and deep down he knew that God was testing him. It was one of the great things I found remarkable about Rami.

    Examples are indeed countless…… Rami’s passing will not only leave a void in my life, but in the hearts of all those who knew him.

    Rami ….. you will always remain within my heart. My heart is sad right now, but my eyes are filled with sweet tears as I remember you, your smile, and the delight you brought to my life.

    Yours forever,

    Your Personal Assistant,
    Rona Serhan

    Rona Serhan - Colleague

    Rami was my Boss, my Mentor, my Friend, and my Brother…

    When I first met Rami… it was in the factory, in Dubai summer times, among the employees in the production; he was on the field listening to everyone and feeling with the hard workers behind this pipe industry….

    Yes, Rami was a Great Listener and Inspirer of the young and Leaders.

    Rami made things happen! Together we completed developing new plants, re-organized the group’s technology and know-how structure and achieved many strategy initiatives.

    I worked with Rami directly for over 12 years and I have only kept learning from this never-ending flow of motivation and energy for pushing achievements to higher plateaus; We always felt that best is not enough, we had to over-perform to keep up to the dream standards of a futuristic code of ethics that rests on the grounds of mutual respect and the sense of family and self-realization.

    I can always remember and repeat his comment in emails after midnights:

    “Go to sleep!” he says, … How can we go to sleep Rami when you are still awake in nights with zillion things on your mind? We must be all with you to support you step by step! Hence, we were all on alert 24 hours a day, living it to the max!

    Rami was a fun person to be around, we travelled together, got stuck in airports, took dangerous private flights in bad weathers just to be able to link the nights with daylights; we worked closely together, we played squash after tedious schedules; we even went crazy and joined the martial arts classes for some time … You have to be around him to understand the ever-dream he wanted to build and wanted to share with everyone; He wanted every single person in this organization to be happy and successful performing individual, he cared for all!

    Lately, every minute that passed by and spent away from Rami… was a loss!

    Let’s hope, pray and commit to be up to the leadership responsibility bestowed upon us!

    Hadi Jaroudi - Colleague

    Rami was an inspiration, both on a personal and professional level. He was a joy to be around with his positive outlook on life and his infectious smile. He was extremely well mannered and generous, but most importantly he had the remarkable ability to make everyone feel at ease in every situation filling you with energy and motivation. Rami was a great friend and I will treasure every moment we spent together for the rest of my life. Rami will be sorely missed and I will definitely never forget him.

    Claudio Villa - Colleague

    The loss of our great leader who had already marked his place in this world and people’s hearts at a very young age was a big blow to me as a person and as an employee of FPI Group. As much as an excellent leader and business man that he was, he was a wonderful human being. The imprints that he left on many with the shade of compassion and kindness that he gave is deep. In the brief period he has been with us, his achievements were immense and his success inspirational. Being the son of a great man, Mr. Fouad Makhzoumi and living by his teachings Mr. Rami Makhzoumi had grown into a man with much depth to his thoughts and actions. My heart goes out to his grieving 3 beautiful children, his loving wife and his wonderful parents.

    The 23 years that I have spent with the FPI Group I had grown very close to Mr. Rami personally and developed much affection and respect for the great man. The brilliance of his thought and the intensity in his views has always left remarkable impression on me. Though it would take a long time for all of us to uplift ourselves from the grief of loss that we have fallen into; I pray for the strength to lead by his example and fulfillment of all his expectations from us. I cannot really say much except for how much I appreciated Rami Makhzoumi for his generosity and kind heartedness. He has always been there to listen and lend a hand, and never failed to give a word of encouragement.

    God has taken him to be in a better place and he is watching over us. He will live in us through the memories that he left and give us the strength to strive for the best through his vision for the FPI Group and all his employees.

    Joseph J. Ghannoum - Colleague

    Being the technical engineer at GEI site, I had dealt very closely with Mr. Rami Makhzoumi. I knew him as a very humble person. I saw in his face, the smile that knows no limits to the range. I saw the intelligence and patience until the end. I played football with him several times. I did not see him raising his voice like others usually do. I didn’t see him blaming or admonish others when they do mistakes. I never felt that I was dealing with the CEO of the group, I saw him the brother who loves everyone around him and works hard to see them happy. I will never forget the day when I went to him asking to go for Hajj. He was smiling when he told me: “consider it done”. And I went (Al Hamdu Lellah) and I prayed for him then and still do.

    Thanks Rami. May Allah mercy your soul and forgive you.

    Ahmed Ghanem - Colleague

    It has been more than 6 years since I left FPI, but memories are almost like yesterday, I could still remember the time I was not happy and facing some issues at my department , planning to resign from GEI and it was a surprise to know that first action taken is to transfer me to the president office were Rami ( may his soul RIP) and Mr. Fouad’s, I was so happy but at the same afraid as I knew from many colleagues that working for the CEO and the president is not going to be easy!…So I moved , and every moment I used to expect an issue or a problem to happen due to the new responsibilities ….Well….this moment never came!

    I often used to talk to myself and say ..” he is so polite … I could notice his presence only from the smell of his cigar as he used to enter from the back side door…..and whenever he enter from the main door..I could never forget turning his face to my window with a smile and continue walking to his office……. so different he is!!” ….Rather than calling me to his office when ever is needed… Rami simply used to pass by my door and ask for it with great respect!!…. even when he had a broken foot …having difficulties to walk….he still walk in to talk and discuss business related issues! However, this did not stop me from going to his office , greet and ask him how he is for the day !! … never felt him as a boss more than a young brother whom I really care of

    From my small window facing Rami’s office , I could see a him passing with his folded trouser ..wearing the flipflop…preparing himself for the prayers…I was impressed !! busy life did not take this young man from his relationship with god!!life did not take him away from his responsibilities as a father , who used to stop anything could affect his beautiful girls’ life…. I remember the moments he used to be very upset when his wife requested a baby sitter for the newborn baby Yasmina ..believing in the fact that this baby should be taken care with only her mom….I remember the moments when he used to be pleased to receive candies from me to the little girls or when I used to take them to play with my daughter some times during the travel of their mother or even his travels…… I remember the time he reject as he was upset when I receive a request for a cook to his home…due to the strong believes of the duty of the mother or a father at home..regardless of wealth or available means or even luxurious life a person can have!! I remember his understanding and compassion when I asked him for a help to one of the employees at GEI who used to face cancer and needed financial support …Rami did not hesitate to take action ..he was very open and happy to support …I remember the moments I saw him playing football with his employees in the afternoon..I remember the time and stories under the rain about his trip to Mekka for Pilgrimage with a group of employees … I always wondered …what does he think about ..with his cigar and quite hours at his office…..most probably a lot……and many more ….The last time I saw Mr. Fouad and Rami during my farewell and goodbye moments ..he wished me all the best and said “Norma our door is always open for you whenever you wish to come back” this meant a lot for me and will always do!!

    …..There is a lot about Rami and those might only give a flash back of what I used to see in Rami every day I come to work…I think I should not say” I remember” because I never forgotten!!

    May his soul rest in heaven and his beautiful image always stay in our hearts

    Nourma - Colleague

    I still remember the day I first met Rami at his office, it was my interview to join his creative team. Never expected a person in his position to be that friendly and jovial, and that too with someone he’s meeting for the first time. I was straight out of the university and didn’t have much industry experience, still he made me present my ideas, concepts and portfolio. He didn’t even ask a single question in between and let me do all the talking. I’ve always admired Rami for his ability to listen; he was a perfect example of how a leader should be. After my presentation, he came up to me and told me that I am the perfect fit for that position and gave me a whole lot of confidence From that point till now, if I’ve achieved anything in life as a human being or as a creative person, it’s only because of him. He was my mentor, my friend and more over my inspiration. If I can be at least 10% of what Rami was as a human being, I’ll consider myself successful in life. He always tells me that a good leader should be a good human being first. I was fortunate enough to meet Rami two days before his demise and had a very friendly conversation about his future projects and things he specifically wanted me to work on. I am not accepting the fact that he’s left us all alone. He is still with us, looking at us from a better place, leading us like never before and wanting us to do our best.

    My heart goes out to his three little angels, who he loved the most in his life and keep asking me to design different stuffs for them. May God give his parents and family with full strength and support to help them achieve his vision. May Allah bless his soul to rest in peace and let us all include him in our prayers.

    Zanjeer Salam - Colleague

    I clearly remember when I first met Rami. It was for my job interview in his office in Dubai, a meeting I will never forget. Driving home that same afternoon I was excited and inspired and hopeful of being able to join his team.

    As the ‘Supreme Poet’ (Il Sommo Poeta), the Italian Dante Alighieri, said: “A great flame follows a tiny spark.” This quote to me symbolizes Rami in every way.

    Rami led through others, his sparks of excitement, joy and passion ignited everyone around him. After a meeting with Rami I would come away feeling invigorated by his spark; ready to take one whatever task or project, however large or complex. From small ideas, discussions and conversations came big visions, projects and results.

    That’s what Rami was all about and what in my view makes a great leader.

    Not just a great boss but a wonderful human being, Rami touched many people in his short life with his kindheartedness, generosity and ambition. I will never forget his analogy of ‘paying it forward’ as a concept in business and in life. If we all give our spark, great flames will follow and he proved this in so many ways.

    Rami said: “My approach to Leadership is fundamentally centered on the core principles of Listening, Selfishness for Selflessness, and Clarity of Goals” and this is exactly how I experienced working with him.

    He was a great listener, one of the best I have ever met, and he taught us the importance of taking notes. I have not used as many notebooks as I have during the time I worked with Rami and I now know why: “He listens well who takes notes”, Dante Alighieri.

    I miss Rami. Coming to work doesn’t feel the same and I don’t think it ever will, but I am grateful for the time I did get to work with him and his spark will live on in all of us. I will continue to apply what I have learned from him and will make sure to pay this forward in any way I can. I know Rami is watching over us and his spark will continue to kindle us to do what he would have wanted us to.

    Anne Bleeker - Colleague

    To me and to all of us at FPi, Rami was our inspirational leader, wise mentor and above all our great friend. He was our beacon and in his presence we knew exactly were to go and what to do as he gave us energy and hope and assurance that the future will be bright. He selflessly touched our hearts and minds with his kindness and wisdom and forever we will work to instil his vision and what he believed in.

    Jihad Khoury - Colleague