Rabat - In a time when the value of an immigrant is being questioned in the West, Moroccan-born, San Francisco firefighter, Jalal Aineb, proved his value everyday, at home and on the job. On Thursday friends and comrades laid him to rest after a hard-fought battle with cancer.
Rabat – In a time when the value of an immigrant is being questioned in the West, Moroccan-born, San Francisco firefighter, Jalal Aineb, proved his value everyday, at home and on the job. On Thursday friends and comrades laid him to rest after a hard-fought battle with cancer.
Every first responder is a member of a rare breed and yet, every now and then, one of their ranks distinguishes him/herself in a way that makes them rarer still. Jalal Aineb was such an individual. A San Francisco firefighter for twelve years, Moroccan-born Aineb’s brothers and sister-in-arms said their final good-byes to a comrade who had touched many.
It was a difficult farewell. Facebook pages are overflowing with messages of heartbreak but also gratitude and praise for a man who seems to have cast a very large shadow. For his comrades in the San Francisco Firefighters Local 798 it is a heavy loss; “… your smile, humor, work ethic and desire to help others will live among us forever.”
Close family friend, Mansoor Ismael, from the Consul General of Yemen, described Aineb as a man who helped many families. “He was a good Muslim and I know he helped a lot of families. And he always go to different mosques and tried to help also the people in the mosques.”
For Aineb’s boss, Lieutenant Lesavoy, the loss proved more personal. In a moving tribute to a lost friend, Lesavoy spoke of Aineb as “an amazing man, a father, husband, brother, son, firefighter, world traveler and black belt in martial arts among other things.” He recalled accompanying Aineb and his family to Morocco and being welcomed like family.
He concluded his tribute with these words; “The word “Islam” means the ‘achievement of peace with Allah [god] and man, and complete resignation to Allah in thoughts, words, beliefs, and deeds.’ Jalal was a good example of this. I know you are now at peace with God. Rest easy my brother!”
In December, Aineb had been diagnosed with Stage 4 stomach cancer and prepared himself for his greatest battle. Ultimately it was a battle he would lose. Aineb’s fellow firefighters have started a crowd funding page to help his wife and two children.