We have a Swedish saying for when someone you love passes away: He is missed in me. As you now know, our dear friend Tarek has passed away and he is missed in me. There will be many eulogies written about this remarkable man who touched so many. I think many of us have wonderful memories that we can share about him, and I invite you to share them with us in this blog. I will make sure that his family receives your stories.
When I think about Tarek, I think about a man with a great sense of humor. Whenever we talked, he often ended the conversation by calling me boss. He knew and I knew that when it came to his area of expertise, I was and will forever be his junior. When we were together in Barcelona for a meeting with the Minister of Communication of the UAE, the subject matter was a little bit sensitive and it was important that I follow Tarek's instructions. At the end of the meeting, the minister looked at me and said, "You know that Tarek is much better known than ICANN in my region and I would not sit here if it was not for him." He paused, looked at Tarek and said something in Arabic. Afterward, I learned that he complimented Tarek for teaching me so well. And he was right - Tarek had the unique ability to bring people together and forget our differences. I think the reason for that was his big heart, and it is the reason why he will always be missed in me.
Please share your stories about Tarek in the comments below.