From the moment of his birth on 13 October 1989 in Fairfax,Virginia, Joshua Sharbel Allam was on the move. At age 4 he moved with his Mother, Caroline Abbas (native of Lebanon) and his Father, Anthony Allam (native of Utah) to Salt Lake City where he attended St. Vincent’s Catholic Grade School and Judge Memorial Catholic High School. He studied English Literature at the University of Utah before moving to New York City, where he worked as a Chef.
Shortly after his return to Utah, Joshua made the biggest move of his life by returning to his Lebanese roots to discover the country of his ancestors, and where he was convinced he would discover, in his own words, “a newer and cleaner kind of freedom.” And that he did. With the help of cousins and friends, he quickly adjusted to his new life in Lebanon, attending courses in English Literature at Notre Dame University-Louaize, learning the Arabic language, and pursuing Lebanese citizenship. This latter pursuit took him to his Mother’s ancestral village of Mazraa Touffah high up in the beautiful mountains of North Lebanon, which greatly enchanted him. In Lebanon, he excelled in his early love of writing, drawing, and cooking, while working as a grant writer for an international NGO, a Tattoo Artist, and a Chef.
After four years in Lebanon, Joshua reluctantly decided it was time to return to the United States, as Lebanon began to experience serious political and economic upheaval. He returned for a short time to Salt Lake City in early 2020 to reunite with family and friends, working successfully as a Tatoo Artist. But always on the move and searching for a city he felt connected to, he moved to Los Angeles; although he greatly enjoyed the company of his brother there, he quickly knew LA was not for him. From there he made his way North to check out Seattle—a city that had attracted him for many years, and due to the Covid 19 shut down, he ended up staying there for five months with a close cousin from Lebanon. Joshua also befriended relatives on his mother’s side in Seattle.
Tragically, on a lonely Sunday evening in early August, Joshua’s life was accidentally cut all too short when he momentarily lost sight of that “newer and cleaner kind of freedom” he had discovered in Lebanon, and which, as he often implied, reminded him of his early and happy childhood, especially with his grandparents, ‘Gido’ and ‘Tieta’ in Virginia and Utah. He died on August 9th at 10:00 pm, Seattle time.
He is survived by his Mother and Father, his brothers, Jeremy and Gabriel, and his sisters, Maria and Sarah. His early death broke their hearts and the hearts of many cousins, uncles, aunts, and friends in Lebanon, Australia, Europe, and the United States.
A viewing will take place on Wednesday, August 19th from 6:00 8:00pm at Starks Funeral Parlor. In order to follow state guidelines and safe social distancing practices, those wishing to attend are requested to phone the funeral home during business hours beginning Monday at 801-474-9119 to make a reservation. The praying of the Holy Rosary will be held for family. The Funeral Mass will be celebrated on Thursday, August 20th at 11:00 am at St. Jude’s Maronite Catholic Church in Taylorsville. Intermment will follow at Mount Olivet Cemtery, Salt Lake City. A Holy Mass will also be offered up for the repose of his soul on August 16th in Ashqout, Lebanon, at St. John the Baptist Maronite Catholic Church. May his tender and gentle soul rest in the peace and purity of his namesake and his Divine Savior, Jesus (Joshua), in the company of the Virgin Mary, St. Sharbel, and all the Saints.
Services will be livevstreamed for those unable to attend the rosary and mass for Joshua. A red "Watch Now" button will appear on the page just before the 5:30 rosary and the 11:00 mass. Recording of services including the burial will be posted on our site shortly thereafter and will remain for all to view.
In Joshua’s unfinished novel, titled New York Times, the opening chapter states: “I would like to say to the readers that this is my first time attempting anything like this, so please be patient with me. I would also like to say that I am not sure what has happened to me in its entirety yet so there may come times when it seems hard to digest, but if you can stick it out with me, I think we can find our way out together. I do know I am not the same, how is unclear, but my very nature has changed.” And the opening quotes, in which he amusingly quotes himself, in addition to the intriguing opening chapter, give us an insight into Joshua’s clever mind and loving soul: “I just want a woman who will never quit on me,” and “Either everything matters or nothing matters, it’s either one or the other.”
Please check back soon for tribute slideshow.