Abrahim M. Sahak

Teacher, loving husband and father

Abrahim M. Sahak, known as Abe, died on May 15, 2015 at the age of 77 of heart disease complicated by cancer. He had lived in Claremont for more than 45 years.

Mr. Sahak was born on January 1, 1938 in Kabul, Afghanistan. His father served as speaker of the Afghan house of representatives and was a Pashtun clan leader. Inspired by a high school English teacher from the United States, Abe decided that he would travel to America for his education.

Arriving in 1958 when very few Afghans lived in the country, he attended the University of Michigan before settling in the Pomona Valley, working his way through college and graduate school. He first attended Mt. San Antonio College, during which time he had a one-of-a-kind experience. The king and queen of Afghanistan visited the Pomona Valley and, as an Afghan student, Abe was asked to serve as a sort of tour guide for the queen.

After graduating from the University of La Verne, he received his PhD in international relations from the Claremont Graduate University in 1969. He and his future wife, Judy, met in the early 1970s through a mutual friend who had attended CGU with Abe. They were married in 1978.

Mr. Sahak had long planned to return to Afghanistan for a career in the country’s foreign service. However, subsequent decades of political unrest and foreign involvement had begun and he took a teaching position with the Chino Valley Unified School District. He taught at Ramona Junior High several years and spent most of his 41 years with the district teaching history and government at Chino High School.

After retiring in 2010, Mr. Sahak was able to indulge his enthusiasm for politics and current affairs by reading, watching TV news and panel discussions, and engaging in friendly debate with friends and relatives. He liked to exercise his body as well as his mind, hitting the gym on a daily basis.

Abe is survived by his wife of 37 years, Judy Harvey Sahak of Claremont, his daughter Katherine, also of Claremont, and his son, Matthew of Los Angeles. Several siblings and other relatives are scattered throughout the world. Private graveside services were held at Oak Park Cemetery, followed by an Afghan luncheon at Walter’s Restaurant.

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