SAFEYA AHMED ZAKY ABUSHADY 1923 - 2013
Age 90, of Alexandria, VA, passed away on November 8, 2013 after a long and extraordinary life. Born on October 5, 1923 in Helwan, Egypt, Safeya was the eldest child of an Englishwoman, Annie (nee Bamford), and Dr. Ahmed Zaky Abushady, the influential poet, publisher, bee scientist and former Dean of Medicine at the University of Alexandria, Egypt. Safeya was a poet in her own right, encouraged by her father. Her first volume of poetry was published in Cairo in 1954. Safeya was among the first students and one of the few women to matriculate at the newly established Farouk University (now University of Alexandria), where she majored in English Literature. Safeya excelled at languages, literature and music (violin and piano). As a young adult, even before their mother succumbed after a long illness, Safeya took on the role of the eldest, tutoring her two younger siblings, Ramzy and Hoda. Soon after emigrating from Egypt to the US in 1946, Safeya began working as a translator and personal assistant to then-Prince Faisal of Saudi Arabia. The Abushady family settled first in New York City and Springfield Gardens, Jamaica, Queens; Safeya, as well as her father, eventually settled in Washington, DC. Safeya went on to serve in the media divisions of the United States Information Agency (USIA), including the Voice of America, and abroad with the United States Information Service (USIS) for 25 and a half years, retiring in January of 1985. Surviving Safeya are her five nieces and nephews: Andrea Randa Abushady Garvey of Huntington, NY; Mark Amin Abushady of Sunnyside, NY; Ramsey Rowland Abushady of Seminole, FL; Joy Amina Garnett of Brooklyn, NY; and Wade Ahmed Garnett of East Islip, NY. Also, surviving her are her sister-in-law Madge Abushady of Meshoppen, PA and her brother-in-law Merrill Garnett of East Islip, NY; her cousins Ashraf and Lesley Younes of Annapolis MD; five grandnieces and nephews; and many friends, family and former colleagues in the US, England, Canada and Egypt who will miss her dearly. By her request, Safeya was laid to rest in accordance with Islamic tradition and is interred at King David Memorial Gardens, Falls Church, VA. Arrangements were made by the family through the funeral home. Further memorial services will be at the discretion of the family.
Published in The Washington Post on Nov. 26, 2013.