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Yasmine Assaf Hassan

October 5, 1959 — May 14, 2024

Toronto

It is with profound sadness that we announce the death of Yasmine Assaf Hassan in Toronto, Ontario on Tuesday, May 14, 2024. Yasmine was the mother of Reem, Raif, Sharif and Renna, who were by her side as she struggled for 18 months against the nefarious disease that finally took her life. Yasmine loved her children fiercely alongside their father, Ghassan Wehbe.

Born on October 5, 1959, in London, Ontario, Yasmine was the tenth child of the late Alex and Ayshi Hassan. The youngest of five Hassan daughters, she will be remembered fondly by her surviving three older sisters (Jessie Amery, Freida Malone, and Jamelie Hassan), her six brothers (Hanny, Sammy, Fred, Marwan, Hamoody, and Salah), her uncles and aunts, and her many nieces, nephews, cousins, and friends. She is predeceased by her father, mother, and sister Helen.


A multi-talented intellectual, she had a remarkable ability to learn languages and musical instruments. Yasmine spoke French, Russian, and Spanish and understood Arabic and Korean. She obtained a BA in Russian from the University of Windsor and pursued graduate degrees in French and Education at York University. She played the piano, French horn, flute, and guitar, and studied with great passion many different genres of musical performance. As a child, she was an accomplished classical dancer, later took lessons in ballroom and disco, and taught herself other social dance styles. From a young age, Yasmine demonstrated a precocious engagement with literature. When she was seven or eight years old, she read her way through major works of British fiction and at the age of 12 had moved to 19th century French and Russian novels in translation. Dostoevsky and Gogol were among her early favorite authors. Later she would read widely in Latin American, Francophone African, and Asian literatures. Public libraries were one of her favorite places.


Yasmine had an ever-expanding knowledge of global film and popular culture. Her critical interest in film was apparent in her youthful enthusiasm for Elwy Yost’s Saturday Night at the Movies, which Yasmine enjoyed with her mother and youngest brother beginning with the first season in 1974. She generously shared her awareness and cultural discoveries with family and friends, circulating YouTube videos of K-pop hits, links to avant-garde experiments in world music, and references to obscure twenty-first century novels. Yasmine was an advocate for many causes, and was especially committed to children’s rights, health care and women’s empowerment. Swimming was her preferred sport, pizza was her comfort food, and Ellie the dog, was her ever-faithful companion.


Yasmine’s beautiful smile, joyful spirit, and affectionate heart moved all who were fortunate to know her. Her feminist values, extraordinary creativity, and limitless generosity will live on in the memories of her children, siblings, and many friends.


Funeral arrangements were made by London Muslim Mosque/Islamic Centre of Southwest Ontario with assistance of O'Neil Funeral Home. A private funeral service, for family and friends, and interment were at Forest Lawn Cemetery (London, Ontario) on May 16, 2024, a beautiful sunny day.


 In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to:
 Hennick Bridgepoint Foundation ( www.hennickbridgepointhospital.ca/en/foundation/foundation.asp )
Wellspring Cancer Support ( www.wellspring.ca ) ,
Doctors Without Borders ( www.doctorswithoutborders.ca )
or UNICEF ( www.unicef.org ).


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