BEIRUT — Several Lebanese personalities paid tribute over the weekend to Chadia el-Khazen Tueini — widow of politician and journalist Ghassan Tueini — who died on Christmas Eve, the day after her birthday, from cancer.
Chadia el-Khazen Tueini was a member of several foundations and cultural associations, including the committee of the Sursock Museum. She had married Ghassan Tueni, former director of the Arabic-language daily An-Nahar, in 1996. She was the sister of former minister Wadih el-Khazen. She had three sons from her previous marriage to Nicolas Nini: Wahib, Emile and Karim.
"It is a great loss," Michel Choueiri, who managed the Al-Bourj Bookstore with Chadia Tueini from 2003 to 2016, told to L'Orient-Le Jour. "She was passionate about literature. She loved not only reading, but meeting authors and sharing her literary favorites. This had led her to found this bookstore," he said. "She also had in common with Ghassan Tueini the taste for beautiful books," he added.
"Despite her limited time, she liked to participate in the life of the bookstore. She was close to the people she loved to advise, close to her team, warm, caring. Always listening to everyone, she maintained with her employees an affectionate relationship, an almost family relationship," Choueiri continued. "With Chadia, it was always love and feelings that came first," he said.
'The most beautiful expression of human warmth'
The former minister and diplomat Tarek Mitri paid tribute to Chadia el-Khazen Tueini in a tweet. "She loved culture, was generous, loyal and faced her health condition with patience," he said, describing her as the "companion of Ghassan Tueini, in good times and bad."
"Many of us have lost a loving friend," he added.
For his part, Nassif Hitti, former ambassador and former foreign minister, hailed in Chadia el-Khazen Tueini as "the most beautiful expression of human warmth, gentleness, generosity, delicacy and much more."
"An exceptional lady leaves us, leaving behind an infinite sadness but so many sweet memories," Hitti added.
An-Nahar devoted a large article to Chadia el-Khazen Tueini online, including excerpts from an interview given in 2014 on the occasion of the second commemoration of the death of Ghassan Tueni. In the article, she is notably described as "gentle and humble."
"Everyone who knew her loved her, with her constant laughter, her generous hospitality, she who was interested in everyone, the small and the large," the article continues.
The funeral of Ghassan Tueni's widow took place on Monday afternoon at the Greek Orthodox Church of St. George in Mina, North Lebanon.