Mt. Lebanon mourns the death of general Ahmad Abu Zaki

ahmad ab zaki  2Thousands of Lebanese headed to the village of Ainbal in the Shouf region of Mt Lebanon to bid farewell to retired Internal Security Forces General Ahmad Abu Zaki , aka Abu Firas who passed away Sunday after a long battle with cancer.

One retired ISD officer who knew Abu Zaki told Ya Libnan on Monday:
This man should go in history as Mr Clean. While many officers were corrupt and robbed the state during the Syrian occupation, this man who served in many high level posts was always known to be the most honest and dignified within the whole organization.

Another retired ISD officer told Ya Libnan.

“Abu Firas should go in history as Mr Courage. He headed up the fight in the Shouf region against the Syrian army when it attacked Mount Lebanon in 1976 and despite the fact that his forces were outnumbered and outgunned he was able to prevent the occupation of the Shouf. He added ” and throughout the nearly 30 years of occupation the Syrians were never able to corrupt him and he remained a cut above everyone else.”

A third retired ISD officer told Ya Liban

“Abu Firas should go in history as Mr reconciler. Every where he served in Lebanon people came to him to reconcile their difference … they knew he was honest and impartial and could be trusted”

ahmad - suleiman--
Retired General Ahmad Abu Zaki is shown here with former president Michel Suleimam at the Beiteddine presidential palace . Photo courtesy Dalat- Nohra

Several Lebanese dignitaries spoke extremely highly of Abu Firas . Each one  talked about a particular incident in which  he or she outlined the courage and high dignity of this man who passed away  Sunday morning at Hospital  Hotel-Dieu in downtown Beirut.

“I wanted to be here… to be in a moment of history,” said one of the dignitaries who came from Tripoli to bid farewell to Abu Zaki.

Abu Zaki 72, graduated as an officer the same year as former Lebanese president Michel Suleiman and they remained friends ever since.

Abu Zaki is survived by his wife  Rahija  Youssef Hassan,  their  son Firas (and   wife Sahar al Masri  and two children), Son Maan (and his wife Layal al Masri), daughter Khuloud( and her husband Nabil Basha and daughter). He is also survived by one brother and  four  sisters and their families.

He will be laid to rest on Tuesday  in his hometown Ainbal, about 30 km ( 20 miles ) east of the capital Beirut.

Condolences will be accepted on Wednesday and Thursday, June 4th and 5th  at the home of the deceased in Ainbal  between 2 and 7 pm

Condolences  will also be accepted on Saturday June 7th  at the   Druze  Center  in Verdun  district of West Beirut between 11 am and 7 pm

According to  observers the village of Ainball never witnessed such outpouring of grief. People were seen crying everywhere inside the Abu Zaki family center where the funeral is being held and outside on the streets.

One analyst told Ya Libnan : The outpouring of grief over his death had shown how connected the people who knew Abu Firas felt to him , may he rest in peace”

Update June 3 : The village of Ainbal witnessed today its largest peaceful gathering ever of people who came to bid farewell to General Ahmad Abu Zaki. People had to go to nearby villages and towns, to find a place to sit or stand to witness history in the making according to reports coming from the Shouf region of Mt. Lebanon.

Ya Libnan was overwhelmed with testimonies about Abu Zaki.

Ramzi who had to emigrate to the US during the civil war and who knew the deceased wrote :

“Words fall short to describe a great man such as our beloved Ahmad. Our mother found great comfort in him how he stayed close to her in the middle of the civil war while she was alone. She never forgot how he kept her protected and supplied her with bread and food when bombing was heavy and no one dared to leave the shelters. I, personally have many testimonies how Ahmad carefully looked after our interests as his own while we were away from Lebanon. It is a sad day indeed, we will miss Ahmad a lot. It is a great loss for all, but his memories will stay with us forever, death can not take them away.”

Pics from the funeral

abu zaki Funeral 1

 

  • master09

    An honest person in politics in Lebanon, well one out of 10,000 Lebanon should be proud. Lol

    • 961

      How sad yet how true – do we have any good leaders left in Lebanon?

      • Russ

        May his precious Soul RIP. He was a father for many, great man of Honor. He was God Angel on Earth In goodness. Stood aside the Poor helped the ones in need. We will miss him so much with tears in our eyes. A sad day losing a hero a Knight of peace

        • Eagle1212

          So many greeted today a great man a great Hero so much loving to his family. So many stood beside him and his family on this sad day. We were there with many many others, calling his name honoring his name. So many shouted his name with agony for a clean leader, a leader of giving to the world around him. They all praise him with so much tears. You should see his children, his Sisters, his great wife. You should picture the tears flowing, a river of sadness, a river of love. We are all still in shock despite him fighting Cancer since 2 years. We are still unable to believe that he will no longer be with us and around us. May his Soul RIP, as Heaven has open arms to the Knight from Lebanon. We will forever remember you

          • Beiruty

            This great man studied on his own Grades 11 12 and 13. He studied on his own with a dream to be an Officer of Peace. In the Line of Duty, he was shot several times, and survived each and every one till Cancer with death did him apart of his family. I am honored to have known him. Honored to have stood with his family on his funeral day, repaying some love and support he has given us and many others. Gen Ahmad Abu Zaki will remain to be a benchmark in humanity. Benchmark for so many that he impacted their lives. So much sadness in Shouf. So much pain, broken hearts. All praised him, the President called and praised him. He will not be forgotten. His body is gone but his Soul will live forever through the memories of the people he loved and loved him back. We love you General, we will miss you as a Great Man. No words could describe the many whom paid their respect.

          • AkhouManUki

            I visited the Shouf area a few times and was quickly reminded what a beautiful country we have across Lebanon. I’ve never been surrounded by that much genuine warmth. I’ll need to venture up to Ainbal next time!

  • nagy_michael2

    Bless his Soul.. R.I.P

  • Leborigine

    Lebanon needs more people like this guy. Allah yirhamak. The good die young!

  • Lebanese Eagle

    I knew Abu Firas. While anyone in his position would have looked for an opportunity to take advantage of others to gain personal wealth, this man never did that. In fact, he even endured punishment for not succumbing to the corruption that surrounded him, and yet he never let it change his morals or who he is as a person. General Ahmad Abu Zaki had such a deep level of care for helping others, that he always put others interests ahead of his own, and the gift he received in turn was being surrounded by people that love him. God bless him!

    • arzatna1

      I also knew Abu Firas when he was in charge of security at Beirut International airport in the nineties . You are absolutely right about him. You know how Lebanon works ….he could have amassed tens of millions of Dollars like all others before and after him in that same sensitive post , but he was way above that . In fact he had to borrow funds from local banks to be able to send his 3 kids to College and when he retired he was heavily indebted , but that did not bother him a bit because deep inside he felt that he did what his conscious told him to do. Luckily all his kids are very successful and greatly admire their dad’s high integrity which makes them extremely proud.

      I have so many testimonies about this man that could fill many books …never in my life have I known such a giant and down to earth man at the same time. He was always himself whether he was talking to the head of the state or his personal driver .

      The question I have on my mind: Will any of the politicians that attended the funeral today follow Abu Zaki’s lead?

      Ahmad lived and died as a very proud man…he made his family , friends and all who knew him very proud of him .May he rest in peace

    • AkhouManUki

      Thank you for sharing your stories – I only wish that Lebanon had more leaders like this man. What we have instead are politicians that do nothing to help Lebanon but everything to hurt our nation. Reading about Gebran Bassil’s racist remarks today reminded me of this.

  • sweetvirgo

    May he rest in peace!!

  • Choufi

    Abu Firas was a real hero. His devotion to his family, country and his ethics is incomparable. This is why God saved his life when the Lebanese Forces tried to kill him during the civil war. He was hit by several bullets but still survived miraculously. Abu Firas you will never be forgotten and all the chouf will long remember you and your heroism. RIP

  • Shoufcitizen

    General Ahmed Abou Ziki was a very principled man, he will be deeply missed, a big loss to our community may he rest in peace