Al-Ahram Weekly Online   18 - 24 November 2004
Issue No. 717
People
 
Published in Cairo by AL-AHRAM established in 1875

Pack of cards


For those of you who were there, what I write will appear to be news that comes late. The wedding of Yasmeen Guindy, the daughter of our late founding Editor-in-Chief Hosny Guindy, to Rowais Abdel-Shahid took place on 5 October -- almost six weeks ago.

But my dears, they say that it takes time to translate deep emotion -- of any extreme -- into words, action, or expression of any sorts.

The wedding of Yasmeen -- a whimsical night that took place at the JW Marriott in the presence of hundreds of guests -- was an event that indeed represented the depth and conflict of human emotion. I believe that for everyone there, emotion was extreme.

I speak, my dears, on behalf of the Al- Ahram Weekly family, for whom our beloved late Ustaz Hosny was far more than a boss, far more than a mentor, far more even than a father, a brother and a friend. What he represented extends far beyond a realm describable in words, and the loss only intensifies with time.

To Ustaz Hosny, his daughter meant the world, and he spoke of her often, sharing with us little anecdotes and news of her academic accomplishments and professional moves. To those of us who had met her just once or twice, or even never at all, we felt we knew her well, and indeed many of us did. The wedding, on that level, meant much.

It was a day of intense joy and pride, a day for which Ustaz Hosny lived. To watch his daughter share her wedding vows, with a young man who I heard him speak of often with both pride and satisfaction, evoked sheer elation. It was a day that I know would have seen him glow. But it was this reality, as well, that made the night so hard; knowing, also, that despite all the joy, his daughter and wife together dreaded facing this moment without him.

Over the years Ustaz Hosny 's first family -- Moushira his wife, and Yasmeen -- became like family to his own second family, we at the Weekly. For us, we wished more than anything that night that he was there, to watch his daughter, to meet the guests, to share with us anecdotes of Yasmeen growing up. While we danced and chatted and observed the guests, we could not help but reminisce about a man we cherished so much. And we could not, as well, help but feel much sadness. We collectively exchanged few words with Moushira that night, but we knew she understood us well.

Yasmeen looked exceptionally beautiful that night, and it was the first time that many of us had seen Moushira beam since the great loss just over one year ago. But as we watched them dance, pose for pictures, and embrace, we as well witnessed a sight as a writer I cannot find a more eloquent way of describing aside from mere heart- wrenching.

Within those tears of joy we as well saw, and shared, much sorrow.

But my dears there is one thing I must note. Egyptian weddings have a tendency to be rowdy and raucous -- events that while great fun send one home needing much quiet.

This night was different. Despite the noise, the music, the seeming masses of people and commotion, there was as well much peace. I would like to think that there was a special presence there -- the energy of a father who is proud, who is happy, and who has given his full blessings to a night that was described by many as nothing less than heavenly.

Amidst a glorious evening shared with friends, family, and distinguished guests, Yasmeen and Rowais exchanged their vows

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