Dr Nayef Aqel obituary

Dr Nayef Aqel passed away last month, read his obituary, which was written by one of his many friends, Dr Mohammad Qadiri. We all mourn him and give our condolences to his wife and 4 children.

“Sadness overwhelms me as I write on the passing of my friend and long-time colleague, Dr Nayef M Aqel on the 13th of October 2019. After a short illness. Nayef passed away peacefully at Addenbrooke’s Hospital, Cambridge surrounded by his beloved family and friends, aged 65 years.

He is survived by his wife Dr Lama Zakarneh, and 4 children; Ameera, Nader, Hiba and Lujane.

It is ironic, but fitting, that he should spend his last days in the same hospital he loved and studied at as a PhD student.

Nayef was born in Jericho, Palestine and brought up in Amman, Jordan. He studied at Jordan University and qualified as a medical doctor in 1979. His ambition was endless. He worked at Irbid medical school, Yarmouk University, before pursuing further education and a PhD at Cambridge University. That was followed by a 5-year postgraduate training programme in histopathology and the award of the FRCPath diploma. 

Nayef worked as a consultant pathologist in several UK hospitals; Basildon Hospital, London North West University/ Northwick Park and Northampton Hospitals. He had a special interest in haematopathology and breast pathology. His career extended to almost 40 years.

Nayef is highly regarded for his professionalism. He devoted much of his time to teaching and supporting medical education with emphasis on Palestinian medical schools and training. He was a trustee of FQMS (Al-Quds Foundation for Medical Schools in Palestine) and supported the training of the under and postgraduate students both at professional and personal levels. Nayef also supported the development of pathology standards and services in many Arab countries. He participated in and ran many educational symposia voluntarily, often on his own, in Jordan, Palestine, Egypt, Bahrain, Libya and Sudan.

Nayef was also a family man. Supremely calm and thoughtful, rarely did he display anger. Even during his last days he was one who many turned to for wise counsel and considered advice and help.

Nayef loved to bring people together. He ran the Palestinian doctors’ dinner meetings for more than 20 years and successfully organised the latter himself 3 monthly. These were not only wonderful social gatherings but also intellectual and academic occasions.

Lama describes him as a great scholar, generous giver, amazing mentor and a man of honour. Nayef Aqel was indeed a wonderful man.

I would like to extend special thanks to the doctors and nurses at Northampton and Addenbrooke’s Hospitals for their loving care and support during Nayef’s final days.

‘May God accept his soul and grant him the highest place in Paradise’.”

Dr Mohammad R Qadiri
Consultant Physician