Hello, my name is Shujaat, I am Mursaleena’s cousin. My father, Rizwanul Islam, sent some words to be shared as he was unable to join us today. Here is an excerpt:
For all of us, Omar’s family and friends, this is a time of grief. And yet, we can try to look beyond that, especially if we remember Rabindranath Tagore’s words:
“There is grief, there is death; pangs of separation hurts.
And yet, there is peace, there is joy; the eternal prevails.
And yet, life is goes on; the sun shines and the moon smiles.
Spring comes to the garden with a hue of colours,
Waves disappear and emerge again
Flowers wither and fall, and bloom again.
There is no decay, no end, and not even an iota of misery;
For that completeness my heart yearns.”
Even as we express our grief and sorrow, a better way to pay tribute to Omar would be to look at the legacy that he has left. And in that regard we would just mention one of the many qualities that he possessed: his desire to give and to leave behind things for posterity _ and often giving with his thoughts and intellect. Even when he was fighting his illness, we saw him working on his laptop _ preparing lectures, and writing papers (indeed, one of his papers was published in a top journal of Development Economics only recently). This is the type of quality that should encourage us and keep us going.