Ben was a light-filled person who was always excited to do something new. He threw himself into learning Arabic with the enthusiasm of a child and when he had studied the language for two years he volunteered to help students. I once asked him and the Pitchforks to sing a Fairuz song at the annual meeting of the Middle East Studies Association. Not only was he delighted to comply but he filled the singers with such joy that the Arabs in the audience were deeply moved. I am deeply saddened at his departure.

- miriam cooke