Martha Issa Araj-Ay­oub

San Francisco Chronicle (Sunday) - - LIFE TRIBUTES -

June 14th, 1936 – Oc­to­ber 29th, 2018

With hearts con­soled in the Res­ur­rec­tion of Our Lord, we an­nounce the pass­ing into eter­nal life my Aunt(Khalti) Martha Ara­jAy­oub. Aunt Martha was born in Ra­mal­lah, Pales­tine on June 14th, 1936. A de­vout Catholic, she was a beau­ti­ful soul who was filled with com­pas­sion and kind­ness. She im­mi­grated to the United States in the late 50’s even­tu­ally set­tling in San Fran­cisco as a sin­gle mom liv­ing in the Sun­set Dis­trict. She be­came a parish­ioner at St. John of God where she be­came an in­te­gral part of the church com­mu­nity. She also at­tended mass at St. Anne’s of the Sun­set and St. Thomas More. She worked as a cashier at Park and Shop now An­dron­ico’s near Golden Gate Park for over 3 decades and made many friends along the way. I re­call the many sweet mem­o­ries of vis­it­ing her at work which was only steps from St. Anne’s, the gram­mar school I at­tended in the early 70’s. She al­ways had a smile on her face and her cus­tomers loved her and knew her on a first name ba­sis. She was full of pride yet lived sim­ply and never su­gar-coated her words. Her pri­mary aim was to make sure she could pro­vide the very best for her son Joseph Fredrick­Ay­oub who was a grad­u­ate of St. Anne’s and Rior­dan High School and who cur­rently lives in the state of Wash­ing­ton with his wife Tammy. Martha was a kind and com­pas­sion­ate soul who al­ways tried to bring out the best in peo­ple. She was the con­sum­mate aunt who never missed a niece’s or nephew’s birth­day, bap­tism, Holy Com­mu­nion, con­fir­ma­tion or mar­riage. She loved chil­dren and al­ways en­gaged in gen­uine con­ver­sa­tion with them, not small talk or cliché. She trav­eled sev­eral times to Pales­tine and vis­ited Haifa, Yafa, Nazareth, and Jerusalem. She loved the small Pales­tinian vil­lages in the West Bank es­pe­cially dur­ing the olive har­vest sea­son. Since the early 70’s, she cham­pi­oned hard to bring to the fore­front the plight of the Pales­tinian peo­ple. She tire­lessly high­lighted the Pales­tinian cause and le­git­i­mate strug­gle for free­dom and self-de­ter­mi­na­tion by or­ga­niz­ing aware­ness events and fundrais­ers at her church. She did this dur­ing a time when it was con­sid­ered taboo to en­gage in any con­ver­sa­tion that por­trayed the Pales­tini­ans in a pos­i­tive light but that never de­terred her. She even­tu­ally es­tab­lished with the help of St. John of God a foun­da­tion called “Voices From The West”. This was a non-profit foun­da­tion cre­ated to raise money to help im­pov­er­ished Pales­tini­ans liv­ing in the Holy Land. This was her crown­ing achieve­ment and she qui­etly rel­ished in the joy of know­ing that her tenac­ity and hard work ma­te­ri­al­ized into some­thing very tan­gi­ble for peo­ple half way across the world. She loved dearly all her sib­lings, nieces and neph­ews and be­came God mother to many, in­clud­ing my­self. She was an avid Arch­bishop Rior­dan High School sup­porter who proudly and fre­quently wore the “RIOR­DAN” em­bla­zoned pur­ple and gold scarf. She was quite trusted in the Bay Area ArabAmer­i­can com­mu­nity and as a re­sult was of­ten asked to step in as an hon­est ar­biter to set­tle dis­putes. She was a fighter, al­ways pro­vok­ing the best out of peo­ple, al­ways keep­ing things real, al­ways look­ing for ways to help oth­ers who were less for­tu­nate than her re­gard­less of what­ever set­backs she might have had in her own per­sonal life……..she was a Saint! She touched many peo­ple from all walks of life and she treated ev­ery­one with dig­nity and re­spect. She taught me a lot about life and how peo­ple can bat­tle for good­ness de­spite the ob­sta­cles they may face .... she had heart. Martha was the daugh­ter of Issa Jiries Araj and Mariam (To­tah) Araj from Ra­mal­lah, Pales­tine. Her sib­lings were the late Nahiel Naz­zal(Elias) of San Fran­cisco, the late Ge­orge Issa Araj(Norma, Louisa) of Ra­mal­lah, Pales­tine, the late Alice Za’rour(Hanna) of San Fran­cisco, Fadwa Ajluni(Sabri) of San Jose, Michael Alaraj(Suhaila) of Cas­tro Val­ley, and Vic­to­ria Naser(Ibrahim) of San Fran­cisco. Aunt Martha died peace­fully in her sun­set dis­trict home of over 40 years sur­rounded by lov­ing fam­ily.

Khalti, I love you be­yond words. Thank you for al­ways be­ing there for me. I’ll never for­get you! Rest in Power.

“Al­lah Yer­hamik Khalti Martha”

Eter­nal Rest Grant Unto her, O Lord. And Let per­pet­ual light Shine Upon Her. May she rest in peace, Amen!

Friends may visit on Mon­day, Novem­ber 5th from 6pm and are in­vited to at­tend the Vigil Ser­vice at 7pm. The Fu­neral Mass will be cel­e­brated on Tues­day, Novem­ber 6th at 11am all at St Thomas More Church, 1300 Ju­nipero Serra Blvd, SF. Burial to fol­low at Holy Cross Ceme­tery, Colma

Food of Mercy will fol­low the burial at the Basque Cul­tural Cen­ter, 599 Rail­road Av­enue, South San Fran­cisco.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.