Habib Khan remembered

Habib Khan, ArtSci ’14, would wear one pencil behind his ear, a habit he picked up when he was nine years old from his father.
Habib Khan, ArtSci ’14, would wear one pencil behind his ear, a habit he picked up when he was nine years old from his father.
Credit: 
Supplied
Habib was a competitive athlete, having played basketball, golf, soccer and volleyball.
Habib was a competitive athlete, having played basketball, golf, soccer and volleyball.
Credit: 
Supplied

As second semester commences, students are reminded of the loss of Queen’s student Habib Khan whose kindness, determination and enthusiasm for life will be missed by those who knew him.

Habib, ArtSci ’14, died on Dec. 2 after falling three stories through a skylight in Duncan McArthur Hall.

His father, Minhaj Khan, describes Habib as a caring individual and loyal friend.

“The word ‘Habib’ in Arabic and Persian means ‘beloved friend’ and indeed Habib lived his life true to his name,” Khan told the Journal via email. “He was friendly, always smiling, always cheerful and always ready to help anyone, anywhere and anytime.”

Habib was a natural leader who hoped to graduate university and become a lawyer, Khan said. A true global citizen, Habib lived in three different countries during his lifetime and had a passion for travel. His family currently resides in Saudi Arabia.

Following his death, Habib was honoured with a funeral in Toronto and memorial services in Kingston and Saudi Arabia.

Khan said hundreds of friends from around the world came together in these ceremonies to pay tribute to Habib. Family and friends wore a pencil behind one ear to imitate Habib’s trademark.

“When I was doing my MBA, I used to stick a pencil or pen behind my ear during study,” Khan said, adding that Habib picked this up when he was nine years old. “Whenever he was in school studying in library or with friends he [would] always have pencil behind his ear. But as his studies got intense during high school … he did more frequently … even when walking in school hallways.”

A testament to Habib’s magnetic personality, many of his friends from Queen’s travelled to Toronto to attend his funeral.

“Habib looked forward to going to Queen’s in September and since then he enjoyed Queen’s very much. He made lots of friends in a very short time. In fact, a busload of 60 Queen’s friends travelled to Toronto to his funeral,” Khan said. “This was a true testament of how much he was loved by the people he met just three months ago.”

High school friend Tuba Chishti, ArtSci ’14, said she will remember Habib as a charismatic and unique individual.

“He was student council president in high school,” she said. “He always managed to make everyone around him smile. He handled responsibility really well. He was always there for everyone else.”

Chishti said Habib participated in a trip to Romania with Habitat for Humanity, illustrating his compassion for others.

“He worked really hard and had a lot of fun at the same time,” she said. “That was the kind of person he was.”

Chishti said Habib was always there when friends needed him.

“It was really nice to know someone to count on [at Queen’s]. To think he’s no longer here is really crazy because he’s such an amazing person. He had so much potential,” she said. “He believed he would change the world and he was going to.”

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