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It is with a great deal of sorrow that I have received the sad news of the sudden death of Pastor Dorel Popa.
Pastor Popa, the former Mayor of the City of Arad in Romania, the head of the local Evangelist Church, a Knight of charity, a spiritual leader, a family man, a friend of many… a great friend of the State Of Israel, and a friend of mine.
I met Pastor Dorel Popa in 2000, at his office at the City Hall. Our meeting concerned the Medical Centre I was about to build with Euromedic in the centre of the city of Arad, Romania.
“Shalom”, he greeted me. It was our first meeting, and at the time I did not know it was the first meeting of many. We became firm friends.
“Shalom”, means “Hello” in my native language. He kept greeting me with “Shalom” all through our friendship. His “Shalom”, with his voice, is now echoing in my mind.
Pastor Dorel Popa in my office Nov 2013
In actual fact, I met Dorel in my Bucharest-based office only last Thursday. I did not know it was to be our last meeting. Had I known this, I would probably have used the opportunity to tell him how much I admired, appreciated and liked him. How I valued our friendship.
Dorel paved the way for my medical project in Arad. He was heavily involved in solving problems and removing obstacles which brought us to the opening of (at the time) the best and largest Imaging and Diagnostic Centre in Romania. Dorel did not think of himself. He never thought of any personal gain, but concentrated on the welfare of the citizens who chose him for his important position.
Dorel took me on a visit to the orphanage he had started, and made me see how unfortunate children received shelter and education, funded by donations that Dorel was busy collecting.
Recently Dorel and I met quite often. Dorel came to me with some ideas on establishing new hospitals, and in the last few months of his life, he was busy promoting his new ideas for medical projects.
Dorel was a cultured, educated and an interesting person. His approach to life was influenced by his religious mission, but he was always realistic, kind and a wonderful company to be with.
Now I am sorry that on that last Thursday I did not shake your hand Dorel, and tell you all those nice things and of the warm and hugely respectful feelings I have for you.
Shalom and goodbye my friend. You will always be in my heart.