Remembering Ayman Taha

This blog is dedicated to Ayman Abdel-Rahman Ali Taha, who died a soldier in Iraq on December 30, 2005. He was a loving father, husband, and son, beloved brother, nephew, cousin and friend whose loss we are heartbroken over. Rest in Peace, until we meet again. Please send comments for the blog to:

Thursday, January 05, 2006


What can I say? The guy was like a brother to me.

I met Ayman during his sophomore year at UC Berkeley through a mutual friend, Mauro Tanikawa. Soon thereafter I found out that Ayman also lived with my good friend from my high school, Chadi Depelchin. Something deeper than pure coincidence brought him into my life. We then became inseparable during his time at Berkeley.

Man, the guy was cool. He spoke Portuguese with his Sudanese and international laid-back style, accentuating commas and not stopping at the periods. He talked forever about any subject to anyone. He never showed his strengths. The subtle samurai warrior spoke softly and consolidated peace instead of dividing and conquering through war. An elegantly rugged statesman who constantly searched for new situations and stimuli to immerse himself into.

We took a couple of historic trips. The first to Seattle during the first Thanksgiving after meeting one another. Never had I laughed for five days straight. Next was Los Angeles to scalp sixteen tickets at a Mexico-US soccer final. Being Brazilian, I bet that Brazil was going to make it to the final of that competition, so I handed Ayman all of the money to buy tickets for a bus-load of compatriots that wanted to go to the final. Fortunately, Brazil lost to the United States for the first time in 40 years. Although his money was not at stake, he went with me to sell the tickets. F'in Ayman left my car's window completely open when we parked at East LA's hoody Coliseum; however, during three hours no one touched the leather jackets, backpacks, and laptops that were left at the auto! Nothing was gone thanks to Ayman's strong saint or luck, whatever explanation you prefer. Finally, I took the Brazo-Sudanese to see his homeland from a past life -- Brazil. The trip started with a bang and never ended. He then understood why he studied Portuguese as a Minor at Cal and it turned out that he knew more about Brazil than most of the people he met on the trip! Luckily for us, we went during the World Cup so we celebrated Brazil's victories and lamented its defeat in the final. He returned to California traumatized. When I came out of my room, the samurai quickly gathered himself as he was on the verge of crying to my mother as he remembered the love he felt while he was there.

Ayman is the perfect integration of mind, body, and spirit that I have ever seen in an individual. How often do you meet a PhD. student that can out run and out dribble you on the soccer field, kick your ass in a fight with Bruce Lee-style Kung-Fu punches and kicks, conquer anyone?s love, analyze and clearly discuss the most complex theoretical concepts, and do everything better than most people do one single thing. The living multiplicity of life. He always has and always will serve as an example to all of us.

The other day I saw something and automatically thought, just like I had in the past, "I have to show this to Ayman!" Only then did I realize that Ayman is now more than ever a part of me as well as to each one of you. My deepest condolences go out to the family and to all who knew him. We all need to support each other and celebrate Ayman's life. He has given us so much and would expect us to continue pushing forward, honestly searching for the truth. Never settling for anything less.

I love you very much Ayman. You are the brother that I always wanted to have, and God/Allah/life/chance/destiny made us cross paths.

Only Ayman to have me write my first blog.



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