Nadim Hanna Zarour
Palestinian pioneer and champion of Dialogue
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September 25, 1950 - Ramallah September 10, 2000 - San Francisco

          "Nadim Zarour died Sunday morning, September 10, 2000 of a heart attack.
          We have lost a dear member of our San Mateo Dialogue Group.
          He was in Grace Cathedral on a sunny Sunday morning, sitting with a rabbi and a priest in front of an attentive audience, speaking eloquently about the identity and history of his Palestinian people, and the future of Jerusalem.
          Nadim was doing that which meant so much to him. He was intelligent, eloquent, and in the best spirit of goodwill like Nadim until he simply stopped speaking, and his head tipped downward onto his chest. His hands never moved, and it appeared as if he never knew what happened and experienced not a moment of discomfort.
          Henriette and her daughter Sawson were there,first terribly proud then so in grief. It was not easy.
          Nadim meant so much to so many of us. He was "an important man" in the best sense of the words. He brought people together and made things happen. He built bridges. He loved. And he and his family members were so looking forward to his 50th birday in two weeks.
          Whenever there was a need, a question, or a doubt, we have been so used to saying, "Let's call Nadim. See what he thinks. He'll know what to do." He was like a brother. He was always there. Life is going to be so much less without him. We already miss him so much."
San Mateo Jewish-Palestinian Living Room Dialogue Group

"I send my prayers to you, the family of Nadim Zarour and his many friends.
As we have lost a champion of Peace, we will have to redouble our efforts
in his honor and his memory. Our new dialogue group is moving towards our first gathering
in the home of a Palestinian. I will remember the name and tell the story of Nadim Zarour."
Larry Snider, New Hope, PA
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"I did not know the man but only through your newsletters over the past few years.
Your eulogy struck home at this time when peace talks seem to be all about
who will twist the other's arm,when they're supposed to be how to walk arm in arm."

Robert Rosenberg, Tel Aviv
"We think of all who have been touched by the wisdom and courage of Nadim Zarour.
We feel profound thanks for the beautiful contribution Nadim made to this community.
May all of us carry on with some measure of Nadim's faithfulness
in dedication to peace and human understanding."
Wolf and Arlene Homburger, Bay Area Representatives, Neve Shalom/Wahat al-Salam Village
"I had great respect and appreciation for Nadim fully committed to his people, peace and reconciliation.
Nadim was one of the first Palestinians I met . He was always willing to help and advise. He was always
speaking up for his people. This was the way he lived and this was the way he died. I would like to share
one small example of who Nadim was, which made a big difference for me. Almost three years ago
I had my first 'dialogue' experience with the San Mateo group at the Salems'. I was sitting next to Nadim
describing my experience back home, mentioning Israel again and again. Nadim said with a smile:
'You want dialogue? You need to learn how to say "Palestine."'
Since then I have learned a lot more than saying Palestine,
but I will never forget Nadim and his small first lesson. Nadim knew that to make a difference,
Palestinians have to speak up, and directly to the Jewish and Israeli people.
His death is a big loss to his family, to the Palestinian community, and to peace."

Dr. Yehuda "Dudy" Tzfati, Israeli medical researcher
"It is wonderful to know that such people as Nadim have lived and used their lives well.
You do well to share his story with those of us who continue to do the same kind of work."
Richard Schwartz, Syracuse Area Middle East Dialogue pioneer, New York
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"I would like to convey my sorrow and love at the loss of such a cherished companion.
Although I have never met any of you, I participate in your loss. Your work is so valuable,
I don't see how you can even realize how valuable it really is."

Bracha Yanoov, Rosh Pina, Israel
"With deep sorrow and regret we received the news of the death of our late brother, Nadim Zarour.
His blessed soul must have gone up to the garden of God. His life was full of great achievements and
much unselfish giving to his beloved country, Palestine, and its beloved people. He was an example whose
decency, life, work, and conduct we all should emulate. He occupied a distinguished position in the
leadership of the Palestinian community in San Francisco, where he was the president of the
Palestinian American Congress. He was a leader among leaders of the Ramallah Federation in America,
and was a contributor to the Palestine Arab Fund in California. We share your pain with your great loss,
and also offer our heartfelt condolences and our sincere brotherly support."
Yasser Arafat, President, Executive Committee of the P.N.A. anf of the PLO, Gaza
"I began participating in Palestinian-Jewish dialogue groups in 1973, after the Yom Kippur War.
In those days, it was a 'no-no' to join. Almost nobody got involved. I was an outcast
in the Palestinian community. When we found Jews who would listen to us,
they were called names by their community as well."

Nadim Zarour, San Francisco
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Grace Cathedral, Nob Hill, San Francisco Sunday, Sept. 10. 2000
Nadim Zarour's last moments of life, with a rabbi and priest, talking about the future of Jerusalem

"He was so energetic and effective. We'll never know why God called him at the prime of his life.
We are reminded of the suddenness of the death of a soldier in action, which Nadim truly was. He was a
brave and high ranking officer in the cause of peace. Our kind of Army doesn't give out battle ribbons, but
Nadim was truly a hero. More than that, he was our good friend. It was a privilege to have known him.
We will miss the strength and confidence he brought to the dialogue group; it won't be the same without him.
We will all just have to try harder to see that Nadim's sacrifice will not have been in vain.
We know, that you, dear Henriette, will find the courage to get through this tragedy."
Carl and Doris Landman, Palo Alto
"I helped prepare with Nadim his talk at Grace Cathedral. He was one of my dearest friends.
We lost a wonderful man. I am so proud of his Dialogue, so honored that Nadim had such wonderful people.
We will continue our work for justice, peace and Truth. We will continue to build bridges. This the only way
to create a new mentality of love, cooperation, sharing between brothers and sisiters of the same Father Abraham."

Abuna Labib, Catholic priest for the Arab community, San Francisco
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"His contributions to the Palestinian community along with the San Francisco community at large
will be greatly missed. As a member to the Human Rights Commission and the
Department of Parking and Traffic Commission he ably represented San Franciscans.
His commitment to building unity among all people is renown."

John L. Burton, President pro Tempore, California State Senate
"Nadim was ahead of his time, as he saw the supreme value of Arabs and Jews meeting face to face
to begin changing the nature of their relationships for the good of all. He was just like Abraham,
leading his family, his Palestinian community, all of us toward one another and into the future together."
Len Traubman, San Mateo
"The news about Nadim and has shattered our hearts.
What a beautiful soul Nadim had and how we will miss him. Nadim had an Outstanding spirit,
he inspired everyone that knew him and we feel fortunate to have known him. He was the first personal link
that we had to the struggle of the Palestinian people. When we think of how long he had been working for peace
we can only admire his braveness, boldness and intense compromise with peace. Nadim was a visionary,
a man ahead of his time, a leader with the gift to communicate and transmit his ideas to others.
He has left a hole in our hearts that we will never be able to fill."

Sandra Kahn and David Leventhal, San Mateo
"I will never forget receiving one last big bear hug before he spoke at Grace Cathedral.
Over and over I saw Nadim move beyond the comfort and safety of his own community to
meet with Jews and others, even years ago when it was far less common. He always answered
"who is a Palestinian?" with dignity, knowledge, passion, and affection. And he listened well.
Nadim was proof that one person can make a huge difference. I hope we will all continue
building a larger more inclusive community together. I will miss Nadim very much. I already do."
Libby Traubman, San Mateo
"It's ironic the way the world is set up. In one part of the world
Jews and Arabs are killing one another, and on the other side
an Arab girl became a woman in a Cathedral amongst Jews."

Sawson Nadim Zarour, Nadim's daughter
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Nadim Zarour is the only Arab to be honored with a full obituary in j. the Jewish new weekly of Northern California

Spoken tributes at Nadim's funeral

Reflections two years later
by Sawson Nadim Zarour, his daughter
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Add your own thoughts about Nadim and what he meant to you
by sending a few lines to LTraubman@igc.org.