Ameer Seifullah Jihad, beloved father, grandfather, friend and God-fearing man, died Tuesday, November 2, 2021, at Mt. Auburn Hospital in Cambridge, Massachusetts. He was 65 years old.
Ameer was born and raised in Mt. Vernon New York. He had five siblings: Bernice, Mary, David, and Johnathan Green, and Jack Smith. Ameer was known to his family as Leslie, his birth name. Their mother, Ethel, worked as a housekeeper, and the tight knit siblings were always getting into some kind of mischief together. His brother Jack would eat all the food Leslie wouldn't eat, especially breakfast food, so that his younger brother wouldn't get in trouble. Until the day he died, Ameer would not eat an egg!
As an adult, Ameer converted to Islam while in prison. Because of his innate leadership ability and love for other incarcerated men, Ameer rose quickly in the Nation of Islam, with men and guards alike calling him "The Big Cheese." After more than a decade in the Nation of Islam, Ameer he fell in love with the Word, and was overcome by the grace of Jesus. He became a Christian in 1986 while still in prison. Until the day he died, he would come to tears as he talked about how the love of Jesus changed his life.
Once out of prison, Ameer met and married Chereese. Nafisa was born the next year, and quickly became the apple of their eyes. They spent their free time on nature walks around the city of Boston. The arboretum was a favorite. They also spent wonderful times with Chereese's extended family dancing, eating and cooking.
Speaking of cooking, Ameer could cook!! His greens and potato salad are famous, and he held several jobs cooking around the city. He was also an incredible gardener, and worked as a horticulturist.
Ameer's ability to help plants of all kinds thrive was a living symbol of his ability to nurture God's creatures. Ameer was a friend to all and would stop to talk to those whom others seemed not to notice. He had a special heart for those living on the streets, returning from prison, struggling to make ends meet, or simply needing a compassionate ear.
After Chereese passed away, the person who had the biggest place in Ameer's heart was Nafisa. Throughout all of the ups and downs, he adored her and worked to protect and care for her. He cheered her successes and comforted her when she was down. No one could make her laugh like he could, and they spent countless hours laughing until one of them peed their pants. They didn't need anything fancy to have a good time - they just loved being together.
Ameer was simply thrilled when Nafisa had her son Malakai, and he relished being a first-time grandpa. He was looking forward to many years with his family, and especially to telling Malakai the story of Jesus.
Ameer loved a good story, both hearing one and telling one. And there was no story he loved more than the story of Jesus. We rejoice thinking of the two of them cracking each other up in heaven.