Belfast Telegraph

Family mourn grandad who fled to Northern Ireland after Kuwait invasion

By Allan Preston

A Ballycastle grandfather who fled Iraq's invasion of Kuwait over 25 years ago before making Northern Ireland his home has passed away from cancer.

Marvi Kashkoush died peacefully aged 68 on Saturday night at the Causeway Hospital after fighting his illness for 13 months longer than his doctors expected.

A family notice said he was the "beloved husband of Edith and much loved father of Christopher and Michael, father-in-law to Danielle and Arlene as well as loving grandfather of Sophia and Ariana."

Photographer Kevin McAuley, his close friend of 27 years, said he remembered a true friend who shared a common passion for amateur radio.

Posting his tribute on social media, Mr McAuley said he first met Mr Kashkoush after knocking on his door with a journalist for a story.

"The family had fled Kuwait during its invasion by Iraq in 1990 and ended up in Ballycastle," he recalled.

"Having no idea what sort of a reception we would get, we knocked the door around 2pm and left at about 6pm, the rest was history."

Describing Mr Kashkoush as "a great man for a yarn," the two discovered many common interests. "Marvi had an incredible talent when it came to the mechanics of how anything worked or functioned, unreal," he said.

"He was my all-round repair man in every sense of the word. He could be called at any time of the day or night."

It also helped, he said, that Mr Kashkoush had a fascination for news, "be it up the street or on the other side of the world".

He added: "He loved the sea and we made many trips to all sorts of places. He helped me with many things to do with amateur radio, with no real interest in the actual hobby. One day he rang me and said 'I can't beat you, so I am joining you'."

Mr Kashkoush soon became popular with many who shared the same hobby around the world.

"He was a very regular and popular person on all bands," said Mr McAuley.

"People across the world ask me about him when I am transmitting. He was the type that you never forgot, if you spoke to him.

"He was one of the kindest people I ever came across in my travels. Nothing was ever a trouble, he would have done anything for anybody at any time.

"A lot of people could learn a lot from Marvi about the common hand of friendship, and kindness."

Mr Kashkoush's funeral takes place at 4pm tomorrow at Roselawn Crematorium.

Belfast Telegraph

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