Saturday, 16 January 2016


Omar is a friend of mine, though we've not actually spoken in far too long.

Omar has an infectiously positive personality; his big smile and cheeky chappy attitude make him someone you want to hang round with, someone who brightens your day just by saying hello and makes you feel good about yourself on even your worst days. His almost encyclopedic knowledge of Simpson's quotes kept us laughing for ages.

I first met Omar in 2005; we were both working for Pertemps People Development Group (or PPDG for short) as Employment Consultants; he'd been there a while and knew the lay of the land. It was my first 'proper' job, fresh out of uni, so he took me under his wing and helped me learn the ropes. He taught me many, many valuable things: to never judge people at first glance; to always treat them with respect, no matter their background; to always believe in yourself, even when your path was beset by challenges. Omar used to put pictures of Muhammad Ali around his training room, featuring  inspirational quotes like 'he who is not courageous enough to take risks will accomplish nothing in life' and 'I hated every minute of training, but I said 'don't quit; suffer now and live the rest of your life as a champion'. I used to think they were cheesy, but I can't deny they were effective.

It was Omar that helped me get into training and helped me find a passion for helping others through my work - something that I still need to feel job satisfaction even now. I need to know that, no matter how remotely, what I do matters and is having a positive effect on the world and the people in it. Omar had a profound impact on my life and I've never thanked him for that.

I left PPDG in August 2008 and I've not seen Omar since, though we've spoken via Facebook a few times. We'd always make plans to meet and have a proper catch up, but life often got in the way and plans fell through.

Omar died on January 1st, 2016.


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