Ameena Nadeem Ashfaq was born in Metairie, Louisiana on December 19, 1981 and passed away at age 33 on March 31, 2015.
Ameena attended Stephen F. Austin High School in Sugar Land before enrolling at the University of Texas at Austin and graduating with a major in Plan II Honors. There, she was appointed as the University Ombudsman in 2003, in which she served as liaison between the entire student body and administration. In addition, Ameena excelled at advanced classes in expository writing and fiction.
While a senior in high school and researching colleges, she met Rehan Ahmed. A friendship and romance developed, and despite attending colleges in different states, they married after graduating in 2004. The couple moved to Nashville, Tennessee, where Ameena completed law school at Vanderbilt University. Their favorite activities including walking the beautiful campus, swimming at the rec center (where Ameena would beat her husband in races), and enjoying sushi at Ameena's favorite restaurant, conveniently located just a block from their apartment.
Upon graduating law school, Ameena returned to Houston to join the Baker and Hostetler law firm as an attorney focused on health care issues. She was beloved by her colleagues for her intelligence, meticulous work, and caring, positive attitude. She also worked on several pro bono cases for those requiring legal assistance.
Although a lawyer by trade, Ameena had a passion for art. She was surrounded by art her entire life; Ameena's mother and great-grandfather are renowned artists. Her primary and favorite medium was fused glass, and she cultivated this craft for more than ten years. Her contemporary style focused on religious themes and abstract forms. Her work has been featured in the John Natsoulas Gallery in Davis, California and is part of the permanent collection of the Islamic Art Exhibit in San Francisco.
God was kind to let Ameena and Rehan travel all over the world, and their favorite destinations were Hawaii, Maldives, Malaysia, Turkey, and Egypt. She was passionate about water and they were fortunate to swim, scuba dive, and snorkel in many waters of the world. She loved quietly sitting outside contemplating and reading, finding new restaurants with her mother, playing word games with her father, and gently guiding her younger brother.
Although taken young, God allowed Ameena to live, love, and experience much in the past 33 years. She exhibited grace, gratitude, and patience in her near two-year battle with cancer, and developed lasting bonds with her care team at MD Anderson. She had an exceptionally loving family and experienced a deep and astonishing love with her husband for nearly half of her life. She constantly felt blessed to be surrounded by friends and family that were inspiring, caring, and genuine. She had few regrets in life and passed away while reciting scripture from the Quran.
She is survived by her husband, Rehan Ahmed, her parents, Nadeem and Seema Ashfaq, her brother Sameer, and her sister-in-law Noor.
Published in Houston Chronicle on Apr. 7, 2015.