Life Story

Zak Ibrahim

Obituaries in Perry, IA | Perry Chief


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Zakaria “Zak” Mohamed Ibrahim El Sayed Saad, died peacefully in Des Moines, Iowa on June 21, 2022 surrounded by his children who announce his passing with great sorrow.

Zak was laid to rest in a private burial at the Es Salam Cemetery courtesy of the Islamic Cultural Center Bosniak in Granger, IA.

Zak is predeceased by his parents, Mohamed and Takiya; and brothers, Nasser, Jamal, and Yehya; and nephew, Mohamed “Hamada” (Yehya).

Zak is survived by his three children, Sharif Ibrahim and wife Yvonne; Adam Ibrahim and partner Meredith; and Aisha Ibrahim; his grandchildren, Karim and Vonn; his two sisters, Fayza and Naima, and many nieces and nephews.

Zak was born October 21, 1947, in the Muharram Bek neighborhood of Alexandria, Egypt. He was the eldest son of Mohamed and Takiya Ibrahim. When he was a teenager, his father’s engineering career took the family to Libya; sparking Zak’s love for world travel. He pursued his education in Europe, honing culinary, management, and business skills while traveling and living in Italy, France, and England. He was destined for the United States and set his sights across the Atlantic for Maine. He eventually moved and settled in Minnesota, then Iowa, owning and operating restaurants in both states. Zak became a United States citizen in the late 1980’s, a feat he took great pride in. Throughout his life, he helped many immigrant and refugee families attain citizenship.

Zak was an affable man who brightened other’s days with his smile and charming personality. He enjoyed conversation, Egyptian and American history, and current events. Zak would share his love of Egyptian culture, music, and film with everyone around him. He was most comfortable cooking and entertaining, finding great joy in community.

Zak was an accomplished polyglot, speaking at least seven languages; Arabic, English, and Greek were among his favorites. A childhood in Alexandria primed him for a love and acceptance of different cultures, which showed in a close friend group that consisted of people from all over the world. Zak was a paragon of generosity and compassion, often provoking these traits in others. He was a leader that people from all cultures, countries, and belief-systems wanted to follow. He led by example and with his whole heart.

The Ibrahim Family would like to extend our love and appreciation to his many friends who were so impressive, genuine, and kind to him in his final days. He cultivated a community in Perry and Greater Des Moines that loved and accepted him and will miss his presence.

Zak’s family enthusiastically welcomes his friends and community to The Hotel Patee in Perry, Iowa on August 7, 2022 at 12:00 PM for a Remembrance Celebration to share stories and love. Snacks and drinks will be provided. Please bring stories of your time with Zak as we would like to memorialize these in a keepsake book to be shared with his family and friends.

Posted online on July 19, 2022

Published in Perry Chief