On Tuesday 13th October, 2015, at 11:30am a service of celebration for the life and work of Ammar Al Shahbander, IWPR Iraq Director, was held at St Bride’s Church, Fleet Street.
Download Order of Service (pdf)
The Revd Canon Dr Alison Joyce delivered the opening:
We are here to honour the memory and to celebrate the life of a man of extraordinary vision, dedication, and courage. Ammar al Shahbander was a great-hearted man of immense kindness and generosity of spirit, who was much loved and will be deeply missed by all who knew him: his family, his friends, his colleagues, and all whose lives he touched.
His devastating loss, at a time when he still had so much to live for, and so much to give, is hard to bear.
But we are here today to give thanks. To give thanks for his greatness and his goodness; to give thanks for all that he has meant to us and for all that he was. For the world was a richer place for Ammar’s presence within it; and our lives the richer for having known him.
Sir David Bell
Iman Fadel Al Milane
Duncan Furey read Ecclesiastes 3: 1-13
3 To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven:
2 A time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted;
3 A time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up;
4 A time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance;
5 A time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing;
6 A time to get, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to cast away;
7 A time to rend, and a time to sew; a time to keep silence, and a time to speak;
8 A time to love, and a time to hate; a time of war, and a time of peace.
9 What profit hath he that worketh in that wherein he laboureth?
10 I have seen the travail, which God hath given to the sons of men to be exercised in it.
11 He hath made every thing beautiful in his time: also he hath set the world in their heart, so that no man can find out the work that God maketh from the beginning to the end.
12 I know that there is no good in them, but for a man to rejoice, and to do good in his life.
13 And also that every man should eat and drink, and enjoy the good of all his labour, it is the gift of God.
Susanne Fischer read Ammar’s Vision
The choir & organist of St Bride’s performed the following anthems and songs:
Canon in D – Pachelbel
Lord, who may dwell in your sanctuary? – Morley
In Paradisum from Requiem – Fauré
Gaelic Blessing – Rutter
Every Breath You Take – Sting arr. Jones
Hotel California – Felder/Henley/Frey (played by Hugh Poulton – guitar solo)
Make me a channel of your peace
Obituaries & Comment
The longstanding Chief of Mission in Iraq for the Institute for War & Peace Reporting, Ammar Al Shahbander, was killed in Baghdad on May 2, the eve of World Press Freedom Day.
Ammar devoted his life to strengthening independent journalism, and the voices of women and youth, to build a peaceful and democratic Iraq.
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