It is with great sadness that we announce the passing of Bassim Abbas Hilmi, on June 25, 2019. Bassim was born in 1947 in Nasiriyah, Iraq, to Abbas Hilmi and Hasiba Hamdan. He was a cherished brother to Awatif (Aziz), Ibtesam (Raed), Najla (Weshah), Susan (Nabil), Mustafa (Fatin) along with both Azhar and Mohamed who passed before him. He became a guiding force in their lives early on, when he was still a child himself, following the premature death of their father. Throughout his life, Bassim was a wise confidante to them and arbiter for life’s most important decisions. Bassim was married to Hana Sekouti in 1975 and they had two children, Zaid (Anna) and Marwan. Together they enjoyed all that life has to offer, and especially remember his affection and expectation that the family would continue to thrive. He was exceptionally proud of his sons, and was blessed with two grandchildren, Laila and Emil, whom he openly and unabashedly adored. Also mourning Bassim are many members of the extended family, lifelong friends and colleagues from Iraq, The Emirates, Canada and around the world.
Bassim received his bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering from the University of Baghdad in 1969. He worked for many years in a variety of sectors in the Middle East, and was a pioneer in bringing computer technology to Iraq. His young family moved to Montreal in 1987 to enjoy the freedom and safety that life in Canada affords. In 2003 he had the opportunity to return to Iraq as part of the IRDC. The subsequent years in Iraq forever changed him and his outlook on life and people. He followed politics closely and remained a passionate advocate of Iraq, in particular its history, art and culture, and the plight of Iraqi refugees and displaced peoples. Bassim loved music, a nice glass of whiskey, soccer, and poker nights.
The family would like to thank the many care providers who assisted Bassim throughout his illness. In particular, we are grateful to the critical care and thoracic surgery teams at the Montreal General Hospital and the oncology and cardiology teams at the Lakeshore Hospital.
A memorial celebrating Bassim’s life will be held on Friday, June 28th from 4:00 to 8:00pm at the Belvedere Cemetery located at 22025 Trans-Canada Highway, Senneville, QC H9X 0B2.
In lieu of flowers we ask to please make a donation to the International Rescue Committee: https://www.rescue.org/country/iraq