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Goodbye to an Old Friend: NOVA-GMU Student Loses Life at 23

9 September 2013 One Comment

Jalal Bashiruddin (right) stands with President Barack Obama in 2012. Photo courtesy of Stephanie Tipple

By: Stephanie Tipple

Today I lost a friend.

Jalal Bashiruddin was the kind of friend that radiated energy and happiness, someone who could light up the entire room without even trying.

When you’re in your early twenties, you feel invincible. You know that people die, but somehow you push that to the back of your mind and think, “No that couldn’t happen to my friends and loved ones.” But today was not one of those days.

If you were in the hallway on campus, chances are that you saw him – pep in his step, humming a tune, laughing, joking with friends. As a recent Northern Virginia Community College graduate and a new transfer to George Mason University, he had so much in his life to look forward to.

Jalal had already accomplished a great deal, serving as treasurer alongside me for the NOVA Young Democrats, campaigned hard to re-elect President Obama as an Obama For America Fellow and working as an intern at the Embassy of Pakistan. He was a dedicated friend, son, and a loving brother to Sadia Bashiruddin, also a recent NOVA graduate and transfer student at Virginia Commonwealth University.

If he could see all of the wonderful photos and messages that people were leaving on his Facebook page, he would be grinning from ear to ear. I can just see that smile now.

And when we gather for his funeral service, I hope that he’ll be watching us with that grin, as we grieve his loss and try to learn from him how to be a better friend, a better brother and a better person.

A man named Thomas Campbell once said, “To live in hearts we leave behind is not to die.”

And I know that the many people he has touched in his short life will carry him in their hearts so that he will never be forgotten.

Editor’s note: Jalal Tasawar Bashiruddin, 23, of Woodbridge died Sept. 8, 2013.

Stephanie Tipple, a former NOVA student, currently attends the University of Mary Washington, where she writes about local political news for The Bullet. She also writes for Potomac Local News.

By: Stephanie Tipple

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One Comment »

  • Renee Brown said:

    Sorry to hear about your loss.

    I pray that you find comfort in the memories of your loved one.

    My deepest Condolences.

    “To live in hearts we leave behind is not to die.”

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