Cover photo for Atif Rafia Asal's Obituary
Atif Rafia Asal Profile Photo

Atif Rafia Asal

September 1, 1947 — June 18, 2021

Atif Rafia Asal

Atif Rafia Asal, 73, devoted husband and father, passed away June 18, 2021 in his family home in Oklahoma City, with his wife and daughters by his side, after a long and hard fought battle with cancer.Born in Nazareth, Palestine in 1947, Atif was the son of Rafia and Marie Asal, who preceded him in death, along with his sister Somaya and his brother Nabih. One of seven siblings, he moved to Oklahoma in 1975. He later met and married his beloved wife, Afaf, in Nazareth. They made Oklahoma their home in 1980 and have been devoted members of the Saint Elijah Orthodox Christian Church community since. A dedicated entrepreneur and businessman, Atif was the long-time owner of Mediterranean Imports and Deli – a gateway to the international community in Oklahoma and a well loved institution in the city's local food scene. It was a second home and a stage for him to do what he did best - turn customers (and many employees) into friends. Over the years, Atif loved introducing newcomers and connecting people he thought should be connected. Whether on the streets of New York City, in his hometown of Nazareth (where he had a cafe for ten years), or on a bridge in Prague (all true stories), Atif was often recognized as a smiling, familiar face to the many that crossed his path and experienced his hospitality. He intuitively understood the importance of food and culture as a way to reconnect to one's identity, and delighted in finding obscure ingredients the community requested. He was a firm believer in fairness and honesty and took those values to every interaction and decision he made. Always an adventurous and independent soul, he taught those around him to live well and eat well. He was a whirlwind of energy that kept up with everything and everyone, however, nothing brought him more happiness than being surrounded by loved ones. He appreciated the value of the time spent over a good meal with family and friends - and in that way, he was an inspiration to all those around him. Extraordinarily consistent in his daily rituals, he made his wife their favorite Arabic coffee every morning for the forty-one years of their marriage. Atif enjoyed spending time in the garden at home with his wife and traveling back to Nazareth, to visit family.Atif is survived by his loving wife, Afaf, his daughters, Elaine Asal and Dr. Mary Asal, as well as both his and his wife's extended families, siblings, and numerous nieces, nephews, and cousins. Atif will be remembered for his strength of character, welcoming and generous spirit, pride in his Palestinian heritage and deep devotion to family and community.Service Links:Evening Service at Smith and Kernke, June 23rd at 7pm: Service at St. Elijah Antiochian Orthodox Christian Church, June 24th at 10:30am: Service at Rose Hill Burial Park, June 24th:
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Past Services

Funeral Service

Thursday, June 24, 2021

St. Elijah Antiochian Orthodox Church

15000 North May Avenue, Oklahoma City, OK 73134

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