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DR. REDWAN MOQBEL

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DR. REDWAN MOQBEL With grieved hearts we announce the passing of our dearly loved Redwan (Ridvan) Moqbel on 9 October 2013 in Winnipeg after a protracted battle with cancer. Born in a border town on the Iraq/Iran border (14 August 1947), Redwan's family history is linked with the earliest days of the Baha'i Faith. Redwan served the Baha'i community in the UK and Canada in volunteer capacities, including as a member of the national governing council of the Baha'i community of the United Kingdom for 13 years. Redwan was a speaker of rare eloquence, clarity and depth whose spiritual beliefs were firmly anchored in Baha'u'llah's writings and whose abundant humour was never at the expense of others. His life-long focus was on creating unity. He loved everyone but particularly youth, whom he mentored on three continents. In confirmation of his efforts, Redwan received the Lieutenant Governor of Manitoba's Award for the Advancement of Interreligous Understanding in January 2013. In 1976, Redwan obtained his PhD at the University of London, UK (LSH & TM). He became a faculty member there at the National Heart and Lung Institute in 1980. He was among the first to identify the immunological cell types that regulate asthma and allergy. Recruited to the Department of Medicine, University of Alberta as a Professor in 1995, he served as the Director of the Pulmonary Research Group. There he received such prestigious awards as Alberta Heritage Medical Senior Scholar, Heritage Scientist and Heritage Senior Investigator. In 2008, Redwan became Professor and Head of the Department of Immunology at the University of Manitoba, and Professor Emeritus at the University of Alberta. He was well recognized for his mentorship of young biomedical scientists, whom he encouraged to adopt "a noble goal." An international authority on the immuno¬molecular basis of asthmatic inflammation, in particular the role of eosinophils, Redwan's research garnered him numerous distinctions and awards. The International Eosinophil Society, of which he was a founding member, awarded him their highest honour, The Paul Ehrlich Award, named a mentoring award after him, and further honoured him with the prestigious Service Award in recognition of his "cardinal leadership" and innovative research. A recent example of his work as a champion reconciler was his role in organizing a scientific conference in which protagonists in the controversy over Lyme Disease came together in an atmosphere of mutual respect. Aggressive treatment for sinus cancer in 2006 resulted in a cure for Redwan, but from 2009 he suffered recurrences with metastatic lung and chest wall cancer. He accepted his ordeals with gratitude, grace and fortitude. Left to cherish his memory are his wife, Shar Mitchell, Redwan's son, Sam Moqbel, (Amy and grandsons, Thomas and Evan), Redwan's daughter, Marianne Greenhowe, (Gordon and grandson, Oliver), Shar's father, Jack Mitchell, Shar's children, Gabriel Lenz, (Erica Carlisle), Colby Lenz, Asher Lenz, (Emily Dragoman), Redwan's brother, Sarmad, his sister, Sharaf, their families in Iraq, and hundreds of friends worldwide. Interment will take place at St. Vital Parish at 826 Crescent Drive on 15 October at 2:00 p.m. A celebration of Redwan Moqbel's life will be held the same day at 7:30 p.m. in the Provencher Room at the Fort Garry Hotel, 222 Broadway Avenue. In lieu of flowers, contributions can be made to The Canadian Lyme Disease Foundation, (www.canlyme.com), 9131 - 118th St., Edmonton, AB T6G 1T6 or CancerCare Manitoba Foundation, (www.cancercarefdn.mb.ca), 1160 - 675 McDermot Ave., Winnipeg, MB R3E 0V9. Riverview Health Centre Foundation (3E) Palliative Unit (http://www.riverviewhealthcentre.com), 1 Morley Ave., Winnipeg, MB R3L 2P4

As published in the Winnipeg Free Press on Oct 12, 2013

Condolences & Memories (33 entries)

  • I googled Ridvan Moqbel because I am at a "low" and in need of inspiration. Ridvan mean't a great deal to me. I was greatly influenced by him as he was a truly genuine and inspiring human being. I miss him greatly. I was once at a party on his house in Glasgow. There were approx 50 people there that night. I knew most of them but I was very young (19) and had not a great deal of confidence. I went upstairs to the bathroom. I came down and all were gone. The house was empty! I momentarily panicked , was it the end of the world? Where had all my friends gone? Only to see his big smile on the outside of the window looking in and the fifty people troop in laughing and saying gotcha. I felt at home. I will never forget the love that I felt at that time. God bless Ridvan I will never forget you. Stay strong shar, Marianne, Sam, ann and all his loved ones x Philip Cassidy - Posted by: Philip Cassidy (Friend) on: Dec 02, 2015

  • I remember Redwan as a joyful, articulate person--someone who uplifted others in even the most casual of conversations. He was an arts enthusiast and often expressed encouragement and affirmation re. the arts I was engaged with when I would see him at ABS. As the Persians say, his place is now empty. He was unique as a scholar, person, mentor, Bahá'í. I hope that Char and others of his family are solaced by the incredible impact he has made on so many of us. I will never forget him! - Posted by: Anne Perry (ABS Colleague) on: Jul 14, 2014

  • I was saddened, earlier this week, to learn of Redwan's passing, when I happened (providentially) to bump into Shar at a talk being given at the not-yet-officially-unveiled Canadian Museum for Human Rights. The tenor of John Borrows's talk seemed to me to resonate strongly with the Redwan I had got to know first of all in connection with the World Religious Leaders' Summit here in Winnipeg in 2010. Both he and Shar labored diligently in organizing that event, but it is the graciousness and the grace with which they did it that most sticks in my memory. Redwan has been gathered into God's infinite goodness; of that I am sure. - Posted by: James Read (Friend) on: Feb 21, 2014

  • I just heard about the passing of Dr. Moqbel. I remember attending a forum about his research and recent findings regarding asthma, allergies, immunology etc. when he was here at the University of Alberta. That was several years ago now and at the time I thought he was making great strides in research and he gave an outstanding talk! I am so sorry for your loss. God Bless your family - Posted by: Sheri Thompson (University employee) on: Feb 12, 2014

  • Oh my God! I just found out Redwan Moqbel passed away. I loved this super arrogant super narcissist Arab. God bless him. He totally destroyed Ruhi Classes everywhere he went! Was supposed to do that to Lyme disease virus! - Posted by: David Smith (Victim) on: Jan 28, 2014

  • With utmost grief I received this heart-breaking news. I met Redwan in 1968 where we were class mates at Baghdad university. Then both of us joined London University for the Ph. D. degree. We kept in touch every now and then, and the last time we met was in 2009 in Qatar, where he told me about his battle with cancer. Redwan was more than a friend to me, he will remain in my memory for all future years to come. My wife, Masaa and on Usama, daughters, Rasha and Riman join me to extend our cordial condolences to Redwan's family on the loss of an forgettable great man - Posted by: Abdulkarim Nasher (Friend) on: Jan 07, 2014

  • It saddens me to hear of Redwan's passing. He was a passionate individual and a great mentor while I worked with him at the University of Alberta. He will be sorely missed. - Posted by: Rattanjeet Vig (Former student) on: Oct 16, 2013

  • We learned from Redwan. We were moved by Redwan. We were inspired by him, his gentle ways and sense of humour. But mostly, we were all touched by him. Redwan was a man filled with G-d. Being touched by him meant we all felt that much closer to peace. - Posted by: Shelley Faintuch (Friend) on: Oct 16, 2013

  • God bless him. - Posted by: Unknown (Friends) on: Oct 16, 2013

  • Deepest sympathy to the whole family . Years ago he used to live Brighton UK. One evening we were all invited to dr Noushin farhoumand and Brighton mayor was there too , and as a duty , mayor was wearing a heavy chain , and mayor said I have been wearing this chain for hours , then Rezwan straight away said , but Baha'u'llah was wearing ten times heavier than your chain while he was in prison . Forouzandeh Taheri-ford October 15th 2013 - Posted by: Forouzandeh Taheri-Ford (Baha'i friend) on: Oct 15, 2013

  • Redwan was a great man. The world is a poorer place for his loss. - Posted by: Bruce Ritchie () on: Oct 15, 2013

  • I'm so saddened by this news! I first met Redwan in Scotland back in December 1992. My first encounter with Redwan was that of a yearning friend longing for an embrace. And it was both, a physical and a spiritual embrace enshrouded with love, truth and purity. The last time I did see Redwan was in Montreal, 2012 during the national convention. I made it a point to go to him and say hello. He again embraced me and held me tight to his chest just as he did when we first met. That was the Redwan that I will always remember - a caring and compassionate man. Despite all the physical pain he had endured, he never actually made mention of it. We exchanged emails then we kept in touch for sometime but the distance and fast pace of life that had occupied our times with personal and professional matters made it increasingly difficult to meet again. A man of such monumental spiritual values, high integrity and towering nobility had to exit this physical realm so unexpectedly. Redwan meant so much to me, personally but above all he lived up to his name to the fullest. He was content, in agreement, satisfied, appreciative and on occasions compliant. Redwan was the source of joy and was gratifying, too. But one virtue that he carried with him at all times, was true happiness. - Posted by: Adam Alatif (Friend) on: Oct 14, 2013

  • The first time we met dear Redwan was in Manitoba Baha'i Summer School a few years ago. We enjoyed his friendly & warm conversation. Right away we noticed his love & care for the youth as he engaged himself talking to our kids (Carmel & Kayvon). He was the source of encouragement for the youth. whenever we attended the Baha'i summer school or any Baha'i function in Winnipeg, and if ever Kayvon and Carmel were not with us, he always inquired about them. His love & care affected my children to a degree that today my kids who are in UK right now contacted us to share their sad feelings about dear Redwan passing away. For sure the Baha'i community at large has lost a precious soul. With our deepest sympathy & love to Shar & his family Ali, Maureen, Kayvon, Carmel & Sam Brandon, Manitoba - Posted by: Ali , Maureen, Kayvon , Carmel & Sam Razzaghi (friend) on: Oct 14, 2013

  • I had the pleasure of meeting Redwan on numerous occasions in the context of scientific meetings and collaborations. He was a true gentleman and scholar who will be deeply missed. My sincere condolences to his family and many friends around the world. - Posted by: David Eidelman (Colleague) on: Oct 14, 2013

  • Just heard about the sad news of the passing of our childhood friend, God bless his soul! I'm writing on behalf of Milook and my family to offer our deepest and sincere sympathy at this difficult time for all of you especially Shar. May the Holy Spirit surround his soul with showers of bounties and blessings at the highest levels of God heavenly realm. Please convey to our thoughts and prayers to the family! Kindest regards, Dergham, Milook and Family - Posted by: Milook & Dergham Aqiqi (Childhood Friends) on: Oct 14, 2013

  • As a member of the UK Bahá'í Community I remember Redwan as one the very most beautiful speakers of the English language I have ever heard. Hearing him read the Writings or say a prayer was most moving. I will treasure that always. - Posted by: Ian Digby (Fellow Baha'i) on: Oct 14, 2013

  • Many thank yous for the tremendous contribution and sacrifice Dr. Moqbel has made for all of us who are fighting Lyme disease in this country and around the world. - Posted by: Dave Cottrell () on: Oct 14, 2013

  • My deepest condolences to Shar, and the family. There are no suitable words at these times, and as I sit here looking at Redwan's U of M card on my desk, that he passed to me when I met him several years ago to discuss Lyme disease, I feel most blessed to have had the opportunity to know this amazing man. On the back of the card, in Redwan's handwriting is "Shar Mitchell (wife), 3E...414 home and cell numbers..." and his words were please visit us anytime. Redwan's work and efforts with Lyme disease, and his willingness to share his expertise as a mentor to my students will always be cherished. He was a great, great doctor and scientist, but I will remember him most as a great man, and for his warm eyes and kind smile when he showed me a picture of Shar in his office the first day I met him, and said "this is my wife...she is the absolute love of my life, and I feel so incredibly blessed". - Posted by: Kathleen Crang (Admirer) on: Oct 14, 2013

  • Redwan has always been very dear to me ever since I met him as a youth over 20 years ago. He appointed me as his assistant to help open up new towns to the message of unity and the Revelation of Baha'u'llah. He was inspiring, encouraging and a true friend. As I entered medical school he gave me this advice and asked not to forget it: that as I train, develop and advance in my professional career that I should never become arrogant. I thank him for his example and loving friendship. My thoughts and prayers are with him and his family. - Posted by: Mahsa Javid (Friend) on: Oct 14, 2013

  • I've known Ridván since the early 70s, when I worked with his first wife, Ann, at the Bahá'í National Office in Knightsbridge. He was a radiant soul, humorous, charming, loving, funny but never unkind... He served on our National Spiritual Assembly, and then as an Auxiliary Board member to the European Baha'í Board of Councellors, was an inspirational speaker and a constant presence in the community. He lived in our neighbouring community prior to leaving for Canada, and each of us felt personally bereft by his departure, deprived of his warmth and energy. As others have said, the world was a better place for having him in it... - Posted by: Carolyn Neogi (old friend!) on: Oct 14, 2013

  • God bless you unendingly dear Ridvan. - Posted by: David Vincent (A Baha'i youth mentored by Ridvan many years ago in Scotland.) on: Oct 14, 2013

  • Many experiences of his kindness and intelligence were enjoyed by my family and me. The one that stands out for me was when my wife had been told that I was terminally ill, Ridvan was the one who chatted with me on the phone explaining in clear terms my situation. As it is my nature to prefer the best information I can, the fact that my wife Audrey, and Ridvan told me the truth in their different ways, was I believe, largely responsible for the original diagnosis turning out to be wrong. Twenty three years later I continue to benefit from knowing him, may his soul rest. - Posted by: Keith Mellard (Friend) on: Oct 14, 2013

  • Dear Shar, Sam, Marianne and family, sorry to hear about your loss, my condolences to your family, and may he rest in peace....our thoughts and prayers r with you... Edmonton, Alberta - Posted by: samireh Roohipour (friend) on: Oct 14, 2013

  • Dr. Moqbel was a gentle, kind mentor to myself and many others. He shared the wisdom of his faith, and his eyes emanated great kindness. One time, I was invited to Dr. Moqbel's and his dear wife, Shar's home in Winnipeg, Manitoba. Even though they had only lived in Winnipeg for a short time, they established themselves in the community and automatically integrated with the youth in the community; amongst these youth, was myself. I will never forget the warmth and generosity of Dr. Moqbel. God has been blessed with another angel. - Posted by: Mahalia Lokhorst (Mentor ) on: Oct 13, 2013

  • Dr Ridvan Moqbel visited Isle of Lewis, Scotland, many times ,We all have wonderful memories of him. - Posted by: Dr Ridvan Moqbel visited Isle of Lewis, Scotland, many times,We all have wonderful memories of him. (Bahai friends) on: Oct 13, 2013

  • We have seen Dr. Moqbel only once in August 1979, in Nottingham, UK. The occasion was a Baha'i Summer School, and he came to address the participants who came from various parts of the world (we came then from our home-country, Egypt and soon afterwards "pioneered" to a series of Sub-Saharan countries, ending with Uganda where we live now). He was then a member of the National Spiritual Assembly of the Baha'is of the United Kingdom, and was accompanied by the remaining eight members. Each member of the Assembly gave a brief talk, and each addressed a different subject. From among those talks, Redwan's was quite unique in its simplicity. It was as if he was giving out a piece of his heart to his listeners. The topic was on dedication and readiness to action. We cannot forget every word that he spoke, even after the lapse of those 35 years. Ever since, we remained to be inspired by that brief and simple, yet stupendous speech. We were not to see each other anymore in this physical realm, we did not even keep any mail contact. Now we are happy that from his new vantage point he could "see" us, and know our feelings towards his noble person. May his soul continue to progress in all the realms of God. - Posted by: Gamal & Somaya Hassan (Admirers and fellow-Baha'is) on: Oct 13, 2013

  • My dearest Redwan, you have touched many hearts with your kindness and love, and inspired so many with your courage and strength. You will be deeply missed - Posted by: parvaneh Masruri (friend) on: Oct 13, 2013

  • Dear Shar and family our prayers and thoughts are with you all. Redwan will be missed in all our lives. His joyous nature has had such an effect on my children at the summer schools. I am so happy that they were able to enjoy his talks. They were their favorite sessions. Our prayers for the progress of his sweet soul. - Posted by: Seema Roberts (Friend) on: Oct 13, 2013

  • My love and heart go out to Shar and family. - Posted by: Judith Roe (friend) on: Oct 13, 2013

  • I am grateful to have known Redwan and to have had the opportunity to be present for the final part of his life. There were many, many deeply spiritual/meaningful times together. I thank Redwan's families for including me in their personal grieving and celebrations of his accomplishments/faith-filled life. Redwan has truly blessed us all. Love Susan - Posted by: Susan Edmond (Friend) on: Oct 12, 2013

  • A few years ago I heard that that Dr. Moqbel had attended one of our Lyme meetings which I had not attended, I contacted him and talked to him about the issue of Lyme Disease in Manitoba. Over the years since that meeting he was very instrumental on changing the face of Lyme Disease and gave me much comfort knowing he was working in the background. Thank you my dear friend. I will continue to to pray for Shar and family to be able to continue their struggle with Lyme. Just know that we knew all you were doing and were and are deeply grateful for your sacrifices. - Posted by: Elizabeth Wood (Friend and sufferer of Lyme) on: Oct 12, 2013

  • Redwan, in so many ways you have touched everyone you have met throughout your extrodunary life. The eloquence in which you carried yourself was something to be truly admired. When you spoke of your family, your whole being lit up, and you could not only see but feel how proud you are of your family. I was truly honored to have had wonderful conversations with you, you always warmed my heart and left me with so much inspiration. A beautiful soul that will continue to guide so many. My deepest condolences to the Moqbel family and may you find comfort and peace during this time. - Posted by: Sarah lourenco (Friend) on: Oct 12, 2013

  • Dearest Shar - Such a Gift Ridvan was to our life here on earth - and - how enriched your own life has been with him - May you carry on his good work in whatever way possible - I shall always remember Ridvan as a kind and respectful man - happy to be trailing in your wake !! Love to you especially now - from Fernie BC - Posted by: Anne Dowling (friend) on: Oct 12, 2013

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