Remembering Farah Lungay: A Life of Joy and Compassion

Farah Lungay, Deputy Director, 1981-2021

It is with great sadness that we make this announcement. On Friday 20th August 2021, Farah Lungay, Sufra’s Deputy Director, passed away in hospital after contracting Covid-19.

Farah joined the charity in 2019 as a Fundraising Manager. She rose to become the Deputy Director and was pivotal to how we responded to the pandemic, as well as our growth and development as a charity over the last two years. She was incredibly excited about helping shape the future of Sufra in the years ahead.

Farah was much loved by everyone at Sufra and utterly dedicated to supporting our guests. She was far more than a work colleague – she was a partner, a friend, an inspiration. She will be greatly missed by us all, but her memory will live on through her amazing work and the countless people she enabled us to support.

Her passing leaves a hole in all our hearts. This is an unbearable loss to her family, and our thoughts and prayers are with them all – especially her three beautiful children, loving husband and devoted parents.

Tributes

Farah touched many lives, so we wanted to offer an opportunity for people to share their thoughts about her. If you would like us to publish something on this page please send your message to frankie@sufra-nwlondon.org.uk

“Farah was far more than a co-worker: she was a kindred spirit. We shared a vision for the future of Sufra, and we supported each other through the trauma of the pandemic. She was always full of joy and laughter, and her sense of compassion for others was ever palpable. Farah was the lifeblood of Sufra – the charity would not be what it is today without her dedication over the past two years. Her loss is a huge set-back for me personally and for the charity – and an utter tragedy for the loving family she leaves behind. I hope that Sufra continues to develop and grow in a way that achieves her vision and makes her proud. Farah, you will always live on in our hearts, our memories, and in the work that we do. May your soul rest in peace.” Rajesh Makwana, Executive Director, Sufra NW London.

“Farah had the amazing gift of making a person feel that they were good. Good at their work yes, but more importantly, good in who they are as a person. She was a brilliant people person, funny and engaging, her focus always positive. I have never had a manager support me in such a natural way. Her drive to work hard for the people we support was infectious. Every meeting was a shot of happiness and drive which helped me. Missed but never forgotten.”- Frankie Galvin, Communications Officer, Sufra NW London.

“Dearest Farah, I had only known you for 6 months but in all that time I have been constantly impressed by your willingness to improve people’s lives, endless energy in making sure everybody was supported, your true and honest commitment to make this a better world. I will not forget you, especially the lovely chats about life we had during one our gatherings.” – Fabio Di Donato, Advice Services Manager, Sufra NW London.

“I’m in disbelief at this sad sad news. Farah was a strong, focused, and decisive Manager. She was also emotionally tuned into people; she knew how to listen and never took things too seriously – ever ready with a smile. She gave me guidance on my work of course, but she also gave sage advice on motherhood (especially through the home-schooling period where our children would often feature in our meetings), and her leadership was to be admired. I cannot fathom the gap she leaves in her family. I pray they find peace and draw on her legacy to see them through this most painful time.  Farah, I miss you already and I will continue to miss you. Until we meet again, God bless.” – Laura York, Finance and Administration Manager, Sufra NW London (and friend).

“Farah you quietly tiptoed into Sufra’s family, but only a moment you stayed. But what an imprint you left on our hearts. I will miss the calm and friendly smile you always had. God bless and Rest in Peace.” – Ros Baptiste, Advice worker, Sufra NW London.

“When Farah stepped in to host staff meetings, I enjoyed her spirited energy and bright enthusiasm. I didn’t know Farah well, but I do know she did her job with Sufra very well indeed. Hopefully we’ll soon install a permanent memorial in the community garden as a legacy and tribute to her spirit.” – Nicholas Smith, Grower, Sufra NW London.

“In my last conversation with Farah, we ended the call with laughter and talks of meeting in person soon. I never expected for that possibility to be taken away so suddenly. We started our journey at Sufra around the same time two years ago and from the outset her passion, humour, courage, and uncompromising compassion shone through. Very few people are both visionary and practical whilst also being genuinely kind, generous and great company. This tragedy is an unbearable loss for Sufra and more so for the beautiful family she leaves behind whom she often mentioned with so much love. I pray that strength and peace surround them during this painful time. Farah, I will miss your thoughtful, timely messages, and will forever treasure our conversation last year where you shared so much wisdom and gave me hope during a difficult time. Your legacy will live on in the many lives you transformed through your work. Although your loss is devastating, I am so honoured to have known you during your brief time here. Rest in peace.” – Zena Kazeme, Refugee Resettlement Officer, Sufra NW London

“Farah interviewed me in November 2020 and as a Senior Manager she exemplified leadership. As a colleague Farah, in a few words, was funny, sharp, witty and highly intelligent! She always generously shared her knowledge, skills and expertise and it was a privilege to work alongside her. It saddens me to think Sufra will never feel the same without what I like to now think of as ‘Farah’s Fire’, but I just know my wonderful colleagues and I will do our very best to make her proud! I will forever be grateful to Farah for giving me the opportunity to join the Sufra NW London Team and I’ll never forget the feeling of power and independence she awoke in me every time we spoke. Rest in eternal peace Farah, you will always be a part of the Sufra Team!” – An’aam, Administrative OfficerSufra NW London.

“The sad news about Farah came as a shock – a young life so cruelly taken from us. Sufra as an organisation has lost a very committed member in Farah.  For me personally, in the short time that I worked with Farah, I was always impressed and glad that she had such positive energy and enthusiasm for Sufra and its work and always encouraged and supported me. Farah, you will be very much missed. Rest in Peace.” – Anju Bhatt, Bid Writer, Sufra NW London.

“Farah, you left us too soon, but this must have been your time. I always felt your warmth whenever you entered a room. You possessed a depth of wisdom which you wore lightly. You always seemed to say the right thing. I was aware you had a vision and human understanding beyond the norm. Please look after us. May you be close to whoever thinks of you and a support to those who need inspiration through the memory of your work.” – Jim Sheeran, Community Garden Learning and Outreach Officer, Sufra NW London.

“Farah – your straight talking, no nonsense vibe was exactly what Sufra needed – you really were an exemplar girlboss. Your Sufra legacy will live on it so many ways –  I for sure plan on channeling my inner-Farah on a regular basis! You will be so so missed.” – Nina Parmar, Food Aid & Volunteer Coordinator, Sufra NW London.

“Farah had been with Sufra for almost 2 years but I can’t ever remember what we did without her. She was the missing piece we had always been looking for and took Sufra to new heights over this time and embodied everything the organisation is about with her dedication, work ethic and passion. It was exciting working alongside her knowing her skills and experience would help us achieve our goals and help all the people we always envisaged. However she was not only an amazing colleague but a friend as well, her warmth, humour and positive attitude made her a pleasure to be around. The way she juggled her work and family life balance was inspiring, she had such an amazing relationship with her children and was always talking about them. Seeing her with her family you could see how close knit and happy they all were together and my heart goes out to them because they could not have wished for a better wife and mother in their lives. It is very difficult to do justice to Farah with words, she will be sorely missed by all who knew her but achieved so much during her life that many could only dream off and she leaves a legacy that will benefit so many people.”- Fahim Dahya, Logistics & Facilities Manager, Sufra NW London.

Farah, the first female manager I’ve had who was ready to guide, lift and support me both in a professional capacity and as a friend in my personal life. We never got to meet face to face, but I felt like I had known Farah for a lifetime. A gentle soul, who cherished her family, friends and colleagues. Farah you will be missed by so many, my heartfelt condolences to Farah’s beautiful family who she spoke about so often with such love and joy. – Rashdah Saghir, Communications Officer, Sufra NW London

“I interviewed Farah and worked closely with her. I greatly appreciated the dedication, experience and energy that she brought to her role. She worked incredibly hard and was always positive about the next challenge she had to tackle. She was absolutely committed to Sufra’s work and adapted so well to the pressures of working from home. My thoughts and prayers are with her family at this hugely painful time. I know the whole Sufra family is grieving her now; she will be sadly missed. With love.” – Susan Crane, Chair, Sufra NW London.

“Words will never be enough to replace Farah’s beautiful soul, but her legacy and inspiration will live on through the lives she touched. Farah really stood out from the team at Sufra; she was a natural leader, dedicated and committed to propelling Sufra to new heights and has given countless vulnerable families from all backgrounds hope, relief and ultimately happiness in the most challenging of times. Rest in Peace Farah, your children and family will be proud.” – Asad Abdulla, Trustee, Sufra NW London.

“The news of Farah’s passing was heartbreaking. She will be sorely missed by all who knew her at Sufra and beyond. I offer my sincere condolences to her husband and children.” –  Rose Heaney, Trustee, Sufra NW London.

“From the touch points I had with Farah, it was evident that she brought so much more to Sufra than just knowledge and experience. She was selfless, compassionate and hugely committed to the cause. Her passing is a devastating loss for both the charity and her family. May her legacy live on through Sufra’s work.” – Krysia Kozniewska, Trustee, Sufra NW London.

“To Andrew and Farah’s Family,  I am so very sorry for your loss. I wish could offer you more than words to console you and your family.  I lost my father when I was 10, and I genuinely understand the pain. These are testing times for you. But It’s ok to feel the pain and sorrow. This is a deep wound that will take a while to heal and the scars will never disappear.However, for what it’s worth, those scars remind us every day of the words from a 12th Century poet Rumi, who wisely said “Death has nothing to do with going away. The sun sets, the moon sets, but they are not gone”. Farah will always live in our minds and in our memories. She achieved so much good for Sufra and our guests in the 2 years than many of us can even dream to achieve in our lifetime. We are so proud of her and I hope your children know that. She IS an amazing person and this will be my lasting memory of her. God bless you all and may Farah rest in peace. Always treasured, remembered, never forgotten.” – Aaseem Mulji, Trustee, Sufra NW London.

Farah was a sweet and thoughtful person, who had a caring eye over everyone around her. In my short time volunteering with her, she had a contagious energy, bringing positivity and encouragement each week, even under challenging circumstances at Sufra. She led the Ramadan Appeal of 2021 with enormous success. She always spoke lovingly of her husband and children, and I could see she had that badass mum spirit, ready to protect her loved ones at any cost. Sending love to the family, may you treasure the good times and beautiful memories, and stay strong. We will miss dear Farah. Zainab Rahim, Communications Volunteer

“Farah, you will be missed so dearly. It’s easier to believe that you’re on leave and will walk into the building any minute with your contagious energy, bright smile and super healthy prepacked meals. You made everyone who worked with you feel like family, and that will be hard to replace. I really looked up to you and wish we had more time to work together. May your soul rest in peace.” – Nirmean Sawi, Programs and Services Manager.

Farah’s death brings deep sadness and huge loss to Sufra. I have an abiding memory of chatting with her while she waited to be interviewed. Wow, I thought, this must surely be the one. She had such a presence, and came across as positive, bright, and kind. We were fortunate to know her, and my thoughts are with her family.Christine MacLeod, Signposting and Deaf Support Volunteer

I’m not sure how I can put into words how shocked and saddened I have felt by your passing. We spoke only a few times but your energy, commitment and humanity were always apparent the few times we did speak. Your contribution to Sufra has been pivotal in so many ways, you have been and will remain a much loved member of the Sufra family. You will be much missed. My thoughts and prayers are with your family who have lost a wife, a mother and a daughter. You will live on in your children. Rest in Peace dear Farah.Abida Khan Trustee, Sufra NW London. 

“It was a pleasure to work with Farah and to hear the care and compassion in everything she said and to witness it all she did. Farah was all you would expect, efficient, knowledgeable and practical but above all she was a lovely person and I feel privileged to have had the opportunity to know her.” – Liza Dresner, Community Outreach Officer, 4in10 London’s child poverty campaign network.

“We are deeply saddened to hear about Farah’s death. As a community building a relationship with Sufra, we have always appreciated Farah’s responsiveness, graciousness, and approachability. She juggled her liaison with us whilst home schooling her children and was professional and interested throughout. Interested in us as individuals, and as a community. We offer enormous strength and courage to her husband and three young children. We also offer condolences to Farah’s colleagues at Sufra. May her memory be a blessing to you and us always.” – Rabbi Daniel Lichman, on behalf of the Makor Hayim Community

“I’m still trying to compute this devastating loss of life. As a volunteer for Sufra, I had brief but wonderful chats with Farah. We had hoped she would come to our synagogue when in person services resumed and we could talk about food (obviously!). I only want to envelop Farah’s children, husband, loved ones, colleagues and friends in buckets of love at this very shocking time. Your pain and sadness is just one reminder of the depth of your love for her. I’m so truly sorry for your loss. May her memory be a blessing to you always.” – Tarryn Klotnick, Sufra volunteer from Makor Hayim.

“Farah was such a lovely, pretty lady. Always warm and helpful. I  remember first meeting Farah in the little office at the back of the Sufra building which she shared with the rest of the colleagues and she greeted me with such a warm smile. And the smile was always there whenever I met her. Farah was always so gracious. She is going to be terribly missed. Even though her life was short, Farah made a big impact. My thoughts are with the family.” – Ferhana R, Sufra Food Bank Volunteer

“I am deeply saddened by the news of your loss. I pray that God will grant you the strength. My most sincere condolences. I remember I meet her as smiling, friendly lady.” – Shahab R, Sufra Food Bank Volunteer.

“I’m so sorry to hear about Farah’s passing. I first heard her speak at a webinar on poverty and child health for London Challenge Poverty Week 2020. She spoke with such passion and love for the guests attending Sufra that I just had to know more about the work and this set in motion a wonderful partnership between Sufra and Northwick Park Hospital which impacts on children and families every day. Much love to the team who must be heartbroken at the loss such an inspiring colleague and friend.” – Dr Emma Sunderland, Whittington Health NHS Trust

“As a volunteer I only had a few dealings with Farah, but in every one of them she was consummately gracious and professional. May her memory be a blessing for her family, friends, and coworkers, knowing that the values she embodied have helped (and will help) make the world a better place.” – Kate Lebow, Volunteer

“Our staff and I are deeply saddened by the passing of Farah Lungay. May Allah grant her peace and help her family through this very difficult time, ameen. Our thoughts are with her family and with the team at Sufra. Her work at Sufra has changed the lives of so many people and brought comfort and help to some of the most vulnerable in the UK. She leaves a legacy of kindness and charity which will continue to bring light to many struggling families. Sufra is a lifeline for families and she showed so much commitment to help others during the Covid-19 crisis. Her family and everyone should be proud of everything she has done. Our staff at Islamic Relief UK worked with her and she was a kind, considerate and a caring person who showed so much commitment and passion for others. May Allah accept her efforts and allow them to be a lasting legacy that continues to bless her, ameen. She will be deeply missed.” – Tufail Hussain, CEO Islamic Relief UK

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