Baz Ashmawy has revealed he only learned of his father’s death, six months after it happened.
His parents, Nancy and Mohammed Ussri Ismaill, broke up when he was a child, but Baz hoped to work on their relationship in his teenage years.
“Me and my dad had this staggered back and forth relationship where I lived with him when I was 15 after my granddad died. I went to Cairo and I lived with him in Cairo for a few years,” he said.
“We became like mates, he was very funny and he made me laugh a lot and I made him laugh a lot but there were certain things that I couldn’t get over. I asked very direct questions like, ‘Why would you leave and why would you do this?’”
Speaking to Brian Dowling on his podcast, Death Becomes Him, he added,”By the time I was 18/19 I was in Cairo and we had a massive fight, I think I was 20 actually, and we had a huge fight, like massive.
“I decided, ‘F**k it, I’m done with him’, and I was living in Sydney and then I moved to London. And then he died and I found out when I was 21.”
Baz reveals he was furious that it took almost half a year for him to learn of his dad’s death.
“I was angry, I was angry more than anything else. He had passed away six months previously before I found out,” he said.
“In Islam, they bury very fast and someone was in charge of tracking me down and of course, I was globally all over the place.
“So by the time I got to Cairo I was raging and people were very solemn. They have this thing in Islam where you don’t talk bad of the dead and I was like, ‘Well you can f*****g forget that I’m ready here to straighten s**t out.”
He continued, “I think I was so angry because I wanted to have a fight with him. I wanted to have it out with him and I never got to, and with that I did love him quite a lot and I suppose I felt robbed of that.
“And that’s the thing you have to remember when someone goes it’s that all the things you wanted to say – all the things you wanted to ask, those conversations that you needed to have – they’re just gone and you’re desperately trying to get stories from other people and piece things together yourself. It took me a long time to come to terms with all that.”