I just saw on FaceBook that Basel Sara, formerly a frequent poster here, died last week. No details are available yet other than that he had been in poor health recently. My sympathies and condolences to all who knew and cared for him.
This is shocking, and incredibly sad. Years ago, when Basel started posting here, I realized that he was a well trained harpist who didn’t own a harp. I managed to find a lovely Venus harp that the owner was willing to give to Basel. It needed some work, so I overhauled the action and Wally Krasicki very generously put a new soundboard on at no cost. I put out word here that I was going to be sending Basel a harp, and I wanted to send him extra strings, sheet music, CD’s, etc. Many of you sent me used but still good strings, sheet music, CD’s, to put in the shipping crate. I got a very good price for shipping it and told him he’d have to pay that in advance to get that rate. His whole family thought I was scamming them and his uncle said he would pay the transportation bill, but only once the harp arrived. So they had to make the transport arrangements themselves. When the harp arrived, the whole family was dumbfounded. Basel said he cried on the whole 2 hour trip from Damascus to Homs. He called me when he got home and his mother got on the phone and just said over and over again “Thank you,Thank you, Thank you…” Basel was very soon playing every day in a resort hotel in Homs and for the first time in his life earning a living playing the harp. After 2 or 3 years, he had saved enough money to buy another harp, and I found a second Venus that the owner was willing to sell to him for a few thousand dollars. So then he had 2 good harps and was a real working harpist in Syria.
Then the troubles started. Syria fell apart, and his family, who were Christian in an overwhelmingly muslim country, had to go into hiding. By the time he and his family got out, they had to abandon everything, including the harps. I don’t think Basel ever recovered emotionally from that. I don’t know why he died, but I’m very saddened by it.
Basel had a bicycle accident last winter when his bike hit a patch of ice and he fell, hurting his shoulder. He had surgery on it and then rehab but he did not think that he received adequate care and was not recovering well. Basel was a talented musician but what made him special was his tender heart for others. I am so terribly saddened by this news.
He posted often over the years on harpcolumn.com under the name “Mr-S”. His kindness and compassion showed through many of his posts. I will miss him so much!
Oh, I am so very sad to hear this. I’ve only spoken with him on this forum, but his kindness & gentility shown from his words.
I don’t remember where he found refuge, somewhere in Scandinavia?, but I will have a Mass offered for the repose of his soul.
Does anyone know if he was of the Roman or Greek Church? Or, possibly, one of the lesser known churches from Palestine, et al?
I just heard from a close friend of Basel’s in Scandanavia who told me that he died from a sudden brain hemorrhage. He had been suffering from severe migraines prior to that.
Jennifer–He lived in Sweden. I don’t know what branch of Catholicism he belonged to, but he had a very strong faith in Jesus and was an inspiration to myself and others.
To those of you on this website who befriended him over the years, I just want to send my heartfelt thanks to you for your kindness to him!
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