One of my dear friends, Masoud Awartani, passed away this afternoon. He was a lovely man.
Masoud was one of those people who emanated peace, worked for justice and was just plain fun to be around. I’m going to miss him.
As a foodie I was a frequent visitor of his organic restaurant, Zaytoon’s, where he served up great Middle Eastern fare with a smile and often a good story.
Last year Masoud surprised me with a special batch of roasted wheatberry lamb stew (his mother’s recipe) for my birthday. It wasn’t on the menu – he just knew it was my favorite. That’s just the kind of guy he was.
His legacy is spreading the joy that’s found in the little things; a good bowl of stew, a helping hand, or reaching out across ethnic or national borders to connect with someone who’s both different and the same.
So Greensboro is a little less sparkly with the loss of one of her most cherished citizens; but it is my hope that we keep Masoud’s light alive by dealing with one another with compassion, love and a splash of laughter.
Good bye friend, we loved you and we miss you.