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Paisano (Habib Hajara)
by Short on 05/30/08 07:52 PM

An other person who is difficult to forget.

Originally Posted by San Pedro Sun 12 January 2006
Although at times he seemed a bundle of trouble, “Paisano”, Habib Hajara, will always be remembered as an icon of Ambergris Caye. Tourists and locals alike where very fond of him and would often lend a helping hand to the man who always had an anecdote to tell. However, little is known of the life of this jovial man, but what is known is that he did live a very full life and to some extent was quite an entrepreneur on the island.

Paisano was 73-years-old when he passed away on December 30th, due to a heart attack. He was found on the street leading up to his house. He was born in Palestine (exact location – unknown) and from stories Paisano told his children, he ran away from his homeland because of problems in the country. From various accounts, it is estimated that Paisano first arrived in the Belize when he was in his mid-30’s.

Teresa Lopez Tzul, who shared several years with Paisano, first met him when she was 17-years-old in Stann Creek. The couple fell in love and she helped Paisano with his clothing business. Teresa and her new mate traveled around the country and got to know all the districts of Belize. “I remember that he would go house to house selling clothes and I would go with him. He loved to cook for me, he would grill meats and absolutely loved the black Spanish olives. Paisano was a fantastic cook,” Teresa commented.

The couple’s travels eventually led them to San Pedro Town where Paisano and Teresa decided to make their life together. The couple had three children, Yasmin, Niamath and Abdunasser. While living in San Pedro, Teresa discovered that the residents rarely, if ever, ventured off the island. Teresa found this offered a lucrative opportunity, so she traveled to Belize to buy clothes and brought them back to the island to sell. After some time personal problems forced Teresa to leave Paisano and return to Guatemala for a couple of years, but in the short amount of time she was there, she realized that she could no longer live in her home country. Teresa returned to Ambergris Caye and met Jesus Tzul, the man with whom she would make her life anew.

Paisano, on the other hand, met his second wife. The couple adopted a child who took his name, Habib Hajara. The couple stayed together for a few years when again personal problems caused him to lose his family.

In an interview with his children, The Sun found out that Paisano truly adored children. “The one thing that he hated was to see children walking around the island and not going to school. He honestly believed that all children should receive an education,” commented Yasmin, his daughter. Teresa remembers fondly that Paisano loved to sing, “He would still come visit me at times and you would hear him from the corner, coming. He was singing his favorite song, always the same one, except that I would not understand it. It was in Arab, so I could not tell what he was singing about.” She continues, “He loved cooking and had a passion for fishing which he would do on most days from the docks around the island. He was a very jealous man, and had his temper, but at the same time he was very reserved. We did not know that he was sick. When he would visit his children, even on the last days, he never gave that indication.”

The family of the late Habib “Paisano” Hajara would like to extend their most heartfelt thank you to everyone who helped them in their time of need, especially Honorable Manuel Heredia Jr., Kelly McDermott, Eduardo Aguilar, Zobie Ayuso, Jan Brown, Iraida Gonzalez, Ramon Nuñez, Tropic Air and everybody who helped in any way in their time of bereavement.

Paisano will be greatly missed; he leaves behind four children, and several relatives and friends. The San Pedro Sun and the community take the time to extend our deepest sympathies to the family. May his soul rest in peace!
Last edited by belizeonthebeach; 07/27/08 02:30 PM.

#282070 - 05/30/08 08:00 PM Re: Paisano (Habib Hajara) [Re: Short]  
Joined: Mar 2001
Posts: 11,010
klcman Offline
klcman  Offline
That lead pic is mine. Taken at BC's the last time I saw him, just a few months before his demise....sent him off from BC's with a Fanta and burger.

Pic was later used by a local artist to make a (posthumous) oil portrait sold for library fundraiser (which I bought and have yet to take possession)

_ _ _ _ _ _ _________________ _ _ _ _ _ _
But then what do I know, I am but a mere caveman
#282073 - 05/30/08 08:07 PM Re: Paisano (Habib Hajara) [Re: klcman]  
Joined: Nov 2002
Posts: 2,443
Short Offline
Short  Offline
Yep, I collected these pics from the internet. Your picture and the 5th one are the most recent ones; I think Mervino took that 5th picture when he and Marty stayed at Lilly's in November 2005.

#282074 - 05/30/08 08:16 PM Re: Paisano (Habib Hajara) [Re: Short]  
Joined: Mar 2001
Posts: 11,010
klcman Offline
klcman  Offline
Correct, Mervino did shoot that on the trip with the big guy.

#282113 - 05/31/08 10:09 AM Re: Paisano (Habib Hajara) [Re: klcman]  
Joined: Nov 2000
Posts: 5,459
ScubaLdy Offline
ScubaLdy  Offline
Does anyone know any stories about how his nose got its shape?

Take only pictures leave only bubbles
#282114 - 05/31/08 10:19 AM Re: Paisano (Habib Hajara) [Re: ScubaLdy]  
Joined: Dec 2006
Posts: 12,133
elbert Offline
elbert  Offline
Looks like a very bad break.
is there a story behind it?

The Dive Shops Daily Blog
#282212 - 05/31/08 05:27 PM Re: Paisano (Habib Hajara) [Re: elbert]  
Joined: Mar 2007
Posts: 121
CB Belize Offline
CB Belize  Offline
all i know is he had one heck of a life....some good times and bad times.

#282312 - 06/01/08 02:01 PM Re: Paisano (Habib Hajara) [Re: klcman]  
Joined: Aug 2007
Posts: 2,781
Leah-Ann Offline
Leah-Ann  Offline
Originally Posted by klcman
That lead pic is mine. Taken at BC's the last time I saw him, just a few months before his demise....sent him off from BC's with a Fanta and burger.

Pic was later used by a local artist to make a (posthumous) oil portrait sold for library fundraiser (which I bought and have yet to take possession)

It's well-cared for! Pick up/delivery to be discussed! laugh

I can never remember which is better . . . safe? . . . or sorry?
#282331 - 06/01/08 09:02 PM Re: Paisano (Habib Hajara) [Re: Leah-Ann]  
Joined: Oct 1999
Posts: 56,993
Marty Offline
Marty  Offline
so me and mervino had rooms at lilies for a few weeks. when we wandered about and the rooms were empty, richie and paisano took turns sleeping in them and using the showers etc. man they were NOT getting along either. what fun. i'd try to get them to simmer down, and they would for awhile, then rev up again.

the passing of the guard each day was fun, we'd move in in the evening and they would move out. first thing in the morning they got the rooms. worked great actually once we got our rhythms down.....

one of them did drink the one pepsi i brought for dan at the san pedro sun, he waited a long time for it (back before pepsi was available, coke and coke products were all that was available) and i saw it empty on the floor and could only chuckle. someone got to it before i could get it to dan....

#282332 - 06/01/08 09:05 PM Re: Paisano (Habib Hajara) [Re: Marty]  
Joined: Oct 1999
Posts: 56,993
Marty Offline
Marty  Offline
hey klc i have a watercolor of it by susan lala. cool you took the pic.... it watches over my office all the time...

some great stories about how he would be ok with folks waking him in the middle of the night to help them party. he had quite the ride....

susan's work is tremendous. i can remember way back when she was just starting. whew she's got major skills.

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