Rifaat Khalil Dagher, M.D. (1934 - 2005)

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Nicknames: "Abu Saleh", "Rafoah", "Hakim (Wise one)"
Place of Burial: Majdalouna, Lebanon
Birthplace: Majdalouna, Chouf, Lebanon
Death: Died in Boston, MA, United States
Cause of death: Cancer
Occupation: Physician
Managed by: John William Cochrane, III
Last Updated:
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Immediate Family

About Rifaat Khalil Dagher, M.D.

I met Rifaat at Harvard Medical School. He was working on a Fellowship in Transplantation. He won a national award in immunology. His work with Antilymphocytic Serum was ground-breaking.

Grandma Lyons thought he was a prince. He was staying with Dr. Jean Rebeiz and I was working with Jean as his histologist studying muscle. I also worked on the genetic mapping of the mouse gene HY2 hydrocephalus.

For a year we were all just good friends visiting with Father George in Lawrence, going fishing and playing basketball. Off Rifaat went to the University of Michigan to get his degree in Urology. Then he invited me to meet him in Lebanon. My whole world changed, I was soooo happy, we were married there in a heavenly summer. During our long separation I realized that he was the only man I would ever marry.

I married Rifaat in Lebanon and there is a sad story that my Grandmother Anna Gertrude Lyons came to Lebanon for the wedding and died in the ancient setting of Byblos. I will try to add it to her profile. 

We lived in Ann Arbor, where Fauz was born. After Rifaat finished his residency in Urology, we moved to Lebanon. I was to live in the Middle East for 14 years, Lebanon, Saudi Arabia and Greece. I loved my extended family, Teta set the tone by learning English in a little yellow book, and teaching me how to prepare Lebanese dishes. She was a great cook and had a fabulous memory. She always knew exactly where everything was. I certainly do not.

The Lebanese were so gracious. and I enjoyed every minute of life in Lebanon. My husband was wonderful doctor and a wealth of information about history and the Bible. I learned to appreciate life and enjoy the simple things, like stepping back about 100 years in time. We together studied nature and gardening, science and the Bible, especially Bible history and the Middle East experience. He had a special gift of healing and saved lives sometimes in a miraculous way. His standing was very high in any community and we enjoyed a privileged life unlike any other. He was active in student affairs.

I have just edited his profile, just after baby Lily was born. He died of prostate cancer, in the very field in which he had so successfully worked all his life. And we are all suffering from the loss and coping in our own ways. I feel I have lost more than just my beloved husband but his family as well.

http://picasaweb.google.com/brahim.dagher

He was a prince, devoted to country and family and his own children. he was a doctor by profession and most knowledgeable in surgery and healing. He loved dancing and was in a folk dancing group in Lebanon. His dog was Arbeed, a fierce, one man dog. Arbeed would not eat when his master left Lebanon to seek his education in Boston. His mom sent him cookies, phenikiye, while there. He also met me and my family.

he spun stories of the bees in the almond trees, i just had to see those trees. he loved Majdalouna always and to this day we are so happy to have buried him there near the almond trees, the green, misty valley. The kids will remember his animal stories, the lion and the baboon etc. Now my own bee infested almond tree waits for me in Majdalouna.
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Dr. Rifaat Dagher's Timeline

1934
April 23, 1934
Majdalouna, Chouf, Lebanon
1956
1956
- 1962
Age 21
Beirut, Lebanon
1968
July 23, 1968
Age 34
Beirut, Lebanon
1970
1970
- March 15, 1977
Age 35
Beirut, Lebanon