Circle of Life, Via Basel

Basel and Mandy, b&w

This year there was much joy for the EIL family as well as for the families of Mandy Al-Aswad and Thomas Steinmetz. Mandy and Thomas got married on May 24, 2014.

Basel embracing Thomas in ceremony, b&wBasel Al-Aswad welcomed his new son-in-law to the family with a tender embrace during the ceremony and also in a sweet, funny, loving speech in the beautiful lavender lit reception room at the Radisson Blu Aqua Hotel in Chicago.


Basel, speaking at the weddingBut the father-of-the-bride toast also included a little bit of ribbing and ad libbing! About a Porsche! Thomas has a passion for sports cars, and the couple has a shared sense of humor, so they put a Porsche as a gift suggestion on their wedding website. Well, Basel has a sense of humor, too, and drove to a Porsche dealership the day before the wedding to do a little research on the latest models and pick up a little something for the groom. In the middle of his speech, after joking about Thomas beating George Clooney to the altar, Basel said this (a surprise to everyone except Basel’s companion, Kavita, who was ready):

Thomas, apprehensive about Porsche“Thomas, I know you are crazy about Porsches and as your loving father-in-law I would like to fulfill your wishes and make you happy.” (Here, there were a lot of gasps from the wedding guests and some apprehension from Thomas!) “But I have a problem, how to deliver it to you today.” (Here, Basel turned to Kavita to retrieve a beautiful collector’s item model Porsche!) “So I used my magical powers to miniaturize your favorite car to a size that I can hand to you on this wonderful joyous occasion. Now your job is to bring it back to its original size. Congratulations!”

Basel, hugging Thomas, with PorscheAnd father-in-law and son-in-law embraced with much relief, laughter, and love.

To read Basel’s speech and to see more pictures from the wedding, click the links below.




Wedding ringsAnd this July, as we remember Christopher Al-Aswad, EIL’s founder, we feel joy in new beginnings and in the circle of life!

Mandy and Thomas Got Married!

A Father’s Welcome

A Tribute to the Founder

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