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Obituary: Houssam R. Hariri '93

Houssam R. Hariri '93

Houssam R. Hariri '93 died Friday night in an auto accident in Jamaica Plain. The accident allegedly occurred when Hariri lost control of his Porsche 911 while drag racing with his brother, Bahaa, on Jamaicaway. His brother, who was driving an identical car, was not injured.

Hariri grew up in Saudi Arabia, and lived alone in an off-campus apartment while at MIT. His father, Rafic Hariri, is a mediator for King Fahd of Saudi Arabia.

His father also founded and funds the Hariri Foundation, based in Washington, DC, which provides interest-free loans to Lebanese students wishing to attend universities in the United States.

Hariri was a student in the Department of Mathematics, and held a wide array of interests, according to his advisor, Assistant Professor of Mathematics Ezra Getzler.

"He was a very enjoyable person to talk to. He had a lively range of interests," Getzler said, adding that Hariri seemed to be just settling into MIT this year, and that his death was certainly a great loss.

One of Hariri's close friends, Aaron M. Woolsey '93, said that Hariri spent last summer training in order to try out for the MIT track team. "He wanted to break the record for the 100-yard dash," Woolsey said. He added that Hariri was set on doing something for which his name would live on at MIT.

"Being at MIT meant a lot to Houssam. He was a good friend, very generous and supportive," Woolsey said. "He had many solid friendships at MIT. He'll be missed a great deal."

Hariri is the youngest of three brothers. His eldest brother, Bahaa, graduated from Boston University this past year and currently works in the Boston area. His other brother, Saad, is a student at Georgetown University in Washington, DC. Hariri is also survived by his mother, Navik, and several half-brothers and sisters living in Saudi Arabia.

A memorial service was held for Hariri on Saturday at The Four Seasons Hotel in Boston. His body was flown home yesterday for burial in Medina, Saudi Arabia.