It has been one month since my close friend, business partner and E-Nor co-founder, Shiraz Asif, passed. It’s been difficult for me to sit down to write this note.
It all happened too quickly. On Sunday Feb 21 4:50am, I received a text from Amina (Shiraz’s wife) that he had been admitted to the emergency room. By the time I got there, he was sedated. He battled flu and pneumonia-related complications in the ICU for several weeks, with support from his family and friends, and the medical staff.
While Shiraz was in the ICU, I visited him regularly. I would speak with him, pray for him and share all the positive thoughts that his industry friends and E-Nor family shared. I knew that comforted him. He remained sedated most of the time, but on the days when he was not sedated, he responded with movements in his eyes and head. In the last few days, I managed to get him to show a small smile when I was next to him and joked to Amina that what was really bothering him was that he was away from work and email and that we should bring him his phone back. Previously he laughed at my corny jokes and he still showed signs of amusement even in the ICU.
But then his conditions deteriorated. 9:45AM on the morning of Friday, March 18th was his time to leave us. We pray that he is now in peace, in a better place.
Shiraz, we miss you and we will always remember you.
Those who knew Shiraz personally and professionally understand that he was among the hardest-working colleagues, most generous mentors, and kindest friends. Shiraz, E-Nor wouldn’t have been where it is today without your dedication, loyalty, and long, late hours.
I had known Shiraz for 16 years. We first worked together in a start-up. Over the years, we founded two companies, and went through tough times and great times together. We built E-Nor from the ground up and while, for the most part, I was the public face of the company, he was the one doing all the hard work behind the scenes.
But above all, he was the best business partner one could have ever asked for.
We would disagree on many things, and at times, go at each other’s throat, but once we reached a decision, we would focus on execution and move forward. Even when I pushed for decisions that later proved to be wrong, he never came back and said “I told you so,” rather “it is what it is; let’s focus on what we can do now to fix it.”
Shiraz was always a catalyst for development and change, and his thirst for knowledge benefitted everyone around him. He would research topics deeply, share findings, special insights, and guide his teammates whenever they were stuck.
And he tirelessly supported and served others. Not only was he so willing to help his colleagues and provide specific recommendations in work-related areas, he was very resourceful and also willing to spend time and efforts to help solve a problem outside of work. He also helped many non-profits with pro bono consulting and guidance.
Shiraz is survived by his parents, siblings, in-laws, a loving wife and four young children. We request to keep his family in your thoughts and prayers. If you’d like to make a donation in his honor, all proceeds will go to the American Lung Association. Shiraz’s family and everyone at E-Nor deeply appreciate the support we have received from our business associates and the analytics community.
To quote one of my colleagues, may Shiraz’s honorable character, kindheartedness and ever-giving spirit inspire us to live daily in gratitude for the gift of life we are given.
Feras Alhlou & the entire E-Nor Family