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A Blog about Friendship

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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.

Comments

    Arthur Carindal  06:17 UTC on 10 October 2019

    Very sad and heartbreaking ! Our continent has lost a brilliant and visionary person like Tarek :-( May God pours His divine restoration and consolation into Tarek's family and loved ones during this hard time. RIP Tarek! _______________________________________________________________ Arthur Carindal N. Head of Stakeholder Engagement , AFRINIC Ltd.

    vinton g cerf  08:23 UTC on 10 October 2019

    Tarek was a friend and colleague whose career had at its epicenter the Internet. He was instrumental in bringing access to Egypt and subsequently to other parts of the world, especially Africa. He was the founder of the Internet Society in Egypt and served ICANN, ISOC, IGF as well as serving as Minister of Communications and Information Technology in the Egyptian government. He was always a thoughtful consultant on technical and policy matters, truly constructive in his thinking and always a gentleman. My respect for him grew for every year of our 25+ year acquaintance. I think now of his family who will surely miss him most and his immediate colleagues. But, more generally, our Internet community has lost a kindred spirit so devoted to the idea of a global Internet to hold and use in common. The years we had the benefit of his presence will not be erased by his departure from our midst. They will remain in memory and in deed as his works will attest. I am so very grateful to have had the benefit of his friendship and advice. As another Internaut has already suggested, if heaven does not have broadband yet, Tarek will make it so. vint cerf

    Noha Shaaban  10:24 UTC on 10 October 2019

    R.I.P. Dr.TarekKamel, ex Egyptian ICT Minister ... I have been honored and privileged to work under your leadership .. A true leader, mentor, decent, devoted and dedicated Egyptian... A loving person to his country and a main pillar in establishing the Egyptian ICT sector ... You will never be forgotten and definitely you will be missed..

    Karen Rose  12:54 UTC on 10 October 2019

    It is a sad day today as all in the Internet community mourn the loss of Dr. Tarek Kamel, a true statesman of the Internet. He was an early advocate in Egypt, the Middle East, and indeed the world of the transformational power of the Internet and ICTs. A kind, gentle, and humble man, Dr. Kamal bridged the worlds of technology and policy and worked to build mutual respect and understanding between them. He was a leader among peers and a true friend and colleague of the Internet community. He leaves a legacy that will not be forgotten. Inna lillahi wa inna ilayhi rajiun.

    Mohamed A. Gawad Allam  13:42 UTC on 10 October 2019

    Dr. Tarek (May God have mercy upon him) was a true human being. One of great Egyptian pioneers in the field of ICT. True leader, developer and transformer. His legacy and good deeds will remain inspiring and enlightening others. I did not work with him but I was lucky to know him in person and discovered a living model for perseverance and endurance, which will help his esteemed family and beloved ones to remain steadfast and follow his remarkable path. انا لله وانا اليه راجعون

    STEPHEN D Crocker  17:26 UTC on 10 October 2019

    Many vivid memories spring forth. In 2008 during the ICANN meeting in Egypt, Tarek welcomed us warmly, including a reception in his office in smart city where he offered an insighful comment on the U.S. election of Barak Obama the night before. In 2011, after the troubles in Egypt, he was eager to join ICANN. I arranged for him to meet Fadi Chehadé, the incoming ICANN CEO, and Akram Atallah. The three bonded quickly. I was fortunate to work closely with Tarek in preparation for some international meetings. His command of details of both substance and the English language were precise and astute. His intellect was packaged in an always warm and humble demeanor. He mentored many in both Egypt and ICANN, and never let his strenuous medical battles deter him. He is a true hero and good friend. We will both miss and remember him.

    Cheryl Langdon-Orr  17:45 UTC on 10 October 2019

    Like many whose lives intersected with this very special gentleman, I am deeply saddened by the news that his battle was lost to that devistating disease. Of course again like so many of you reading these beautiful words of memorial from Göran in this blog, I have so many fond and warm memories of someone I was honored to call colleage and friend. He will be sorely missed, but his influence will long continue... My family's heartfelt condolences and deepest sympathies goes out to his family as well as his close colleagues, and friends at this time of mourning and reflection on a life well lived, all be it for far to short a time...

    Yaovi Atohoun  18:01 UTC on 10 October 2019

    I will remember his humility and his contribution to the development of Internet in Africa. God knows what we don't know.

    Veni Markovski  23:34 UTC on 10 October 2019

    Dear colleagues and friends, It is very, very difficult to write these words. The loss of a young person is always a tragedy. The untimely loss of a friend is even worse, and is always a very difficult time. The loss of a fellow Internet pioneer is like losing a brother. Tarek was a great friend of the Internet Society - Bulgaria. I remember him giving an interview for the Bulgarian public television in Yokohama during the INET 2000 meeting (I hope to be able to find this interview in the coming weeks) - praising our chapter for the elimination of all licenses and registration regimes in the country. In 2002 he sent his chapter condolences to ISOC Bulgaria, when we lost (also very untimely!) our co-founder and board member Mitko Kirov. I remember him as the ISOC - Egypt leader, and then as an advisor to the minister of ICT, and then as a minister. I also had the luck to work with him at ICANN, when he became responsible for the government engagement, and I witnessed first hand his great skills and talent to navigate the organization in the challenging times of international Internet-related negotiations. Tarek was the same person, no matter what he worked - kind, humble, thoughtful, always ready to listen, and give advice, always ready to suggest a new solution to any problem. I wish we all are as humble, as he was. I remember a story few years ago, when I introduced him to a friend of mine at the World Bank. My friend told Tarek, “Ah, I remember you, when you built the Cyber city in Egypt...”, and Tarek interrupted him kindly, “No, no... I didn’t build it. My boss built I, and I just had to go and cut the ribbon, as I was by that time the minister. But it was the previous minister, my boss, who by that time was already prime minister, who actually built it.” He always gave credit, where credit was due, and never took credit for someone else’s work. I wish we all are so precise as he was.... (part one of two)

    Veni Markovski  23:34 UTC on 10 October 2019

    (Continued, part two of two) ... Anywhere I’d go — at the UN or other UN agencies, when I would see someone from Egypt, they will always mention Tarek in the most positive ways. His former staffers always talked of him with great respect, and would address him kindly as “Doctor Tarek”. Earlier this year in Geneva I saw a former colleague of his, and I encouraged her to go and see him in the hospital. She just sent me a note thanking me for encouraging her to reach out, as she had one more opportunity to spend time with him. We all liked spending time with him, and he was always happy to see people around him, even when he was going through tough times... Especially during tough times. He was in some ways like a real doctor — always ready to listen to someone’s issue, always ready to suggest a ”treatment“ of a problem. I wish we all listen more, and try to help, like he did. And in all different ways, and always, he was a good Person, with a capital “p”. I hope we all strive to be as good as he was. I know it’s difficult, but that’s one of the (many) lessons I learned from him — that we should be good, when we are confronting challenging times, because it’s easy to be good, when things are going well, but it’s really good to behave well, when times are tough. Tarek, you’re already missed. Rest In Peace, my friend.

    Seun ojedeji  23:43 UTC on 10 October 2019

    I have known Tarek within the region (from a distance) but I got to meet him personally when I started getting involved within the ICANN community, he took me like a son and gave me fatherly support. During one of my interactions with him he said "... Thank you for your contributions we need more of you, let me know if there is anything you need, including training that will help improve your participation here...." I was highly motivated by those words and whenever I write him, he responded and always gave me good audience whenever we meet. It's painful to read about his exit but I am sure his legacy will continue to live on. May his grace be with his family during this trying time.

    Markus Kummer  02:56 UTC on 11 October 2019

    It is sad indeed to lose someone like Tarek. Over the years we worked together in different functions and became good friends. We first met15 years ago, shortly before he was promoted to ICT Minister of Egypt. During the World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS) he played a crucial role in defending the multistakeholder model in the African and Arab regions. When the IGF got started he showed an early interest in hosting the annual meeting and made a bid to host the 2009 event. We worked closely together to prepare the meeting in Sharm-El-Sheikh and I got to know him professionally as a true statesman of the Internet. We connected again at ICANN and the IGF Support Association (IGFSA). Tarek was one of the founding members of IGFSA and elected to its Executive Committee at the IGF in Istanbul in 2014. The IGFSA Executive Committee valued his friendship, his wisdom and counsel and not least his great sense of humour. In latter years, after he moved to Geneva, I also saw him as a dedicated husband and father. Tarek will be sorely missed. Our thoughts are with his wife and two children.

    Makane Faye  04:29 UTC on 11 October 2019

    Ina lilaahi wa inaaileyhi raajioun! To God we belong to God we return! I have been working with Tarek since 1995 when the UN Economic Commission for Africa established the working group on the African Information Society Initiative (AISI), which was chaired by Egypt. Moreover, when Tarek was appointed minister we used to work closely on several African ministerial programs on ICT. Our cooperation continued when he joined ICANN and later IGFSA where we were both members of the Executive Committee. Brother Tarek was a leader, a great man with good heart and an always welcoming smile! He will be remembered forever by the African ICT4D community in general and the Internet Governance Stakeholders in particular. To his family and friends, to the ICT4D and the Internet Governance community, we present our deepest condolences. May Allah the mighty grant him peace in heaven! Makane

    Cherine Chalaby  07:57 UTC on 11 October 2019

    Tarek was a gentle giant who was loved and respected by everyone who knew him. Throughout his professional life, he was a strong advocate of the open Internet. He established Egypt’s first connection to the Internet, founded the Egyptian chapter of the Internet Society and served on the Internet Society Board of Trustees. In 2005, he was named "Top Minister in Africa with an ICT Portfolio", and for the past seven years he was ICANN’s Senior Vice President, responsible for our engagements with governments and IGOs, globally. Tarek was the friend you relied upon for guidance and earnest advice. Sadly, he left us too early. We will miss his calmness, wisdom and clear thinking in the most complicated of situations, and above we will miss his great sense of humour. We were truly fortunate to have had him as a member of our community for almost two decades. A great man. A great loss.

    David A Gross  18:41 UTC on 11 October 2019

    My general rule is not to write anything very personal (other than happy birthday wishes) on public social media. But for Tarek I am making an exception. Like others, I knew Tarek for a relatively long time — almost 20 years. We met because of our official positions — his with the Egyptian government and mine with the USG. As was typical with Tarek, our official conversations quickly turned personal — sharing stories and personal information about our families and — importantly — about our dreams for a better, more peaceful, and more prosperous world. During our many conversations (especially over many, many meals), Tarek — always thinking of others and thinking big — focused not only on the struggles and joy of the education and lives of his two children (Omar and Heba) and his deep, deep love of his amazing wife Iman, but also how to best change Egypt, Africa, and the entire world by using the power of technology (especially the Internet) to bring the benefits (with a particular focus on education and knowledge) to the poorest and the most destitute. He used his influence, his governmental position, and his heart to help those who most needed help — regardless of their geography, their background, their gender, their religion, or their social position. Simply stated, he worked incredibly hard and successfully to help the world. Of course, such work was not easy. But I doubt that many people really know how difficult that work was him — there were some in the Egyptian government who created real problems and, of course, there were issues during the past few years regarding his health. In fact, it is a miracle that he was with us as long as he was — a miracle born of great medical care, extraordinary care by Iman and his family, his supportive ICANN family, and an extraordinarily strong will to live as long as possible. He did not want to live just for the joy of living, but rather because he loved his family, his community (especially the Internet community), his country (which he loved deeply), and al

    Mahmoud Hassan  21:15 UTC on 11 October 2019

    My deepest condolences to Dr. Tarek family, it's a big loss not only for me but for all his lovers, friends and audience, he was a great man in a challenging era, may God mercy him.

    Olivier Crépin-Leblond  01:26 UTC on 12 October 2019

    It is with great sadness that I learned the passing of colleague and friend Dr. Tarek. He was a key part of a small team of "crazy people" working with the Egypt Foreign Relations Government department who thought, in 1993, that it was important to get Egypt connected to a network called "The Internet". I got to e-meet him then, along with his colleague Nashwa and the magic of a "First Ping" in late October after more than 6 months of constant questioning whether this darned thing would ever work... Many many years later, we finally met in person and it felt like we were old friends. We shared updates about our respective families and the extended Egyptian technological family - it's a small world, in Cairo. Ever since, every time we met, mostly at ICANN and Internet Governance meetings, we shared news about all the friends we had in common - "how is the family?". He had a lifelong mission to promote the Internet multistakeholder model. This week, "the family" lost a relative, the Internet lost a Big Gentleman ("Un Grand Monsieur") and I lost a friend. My heartfelt condolences go to his family.

    Xiaodong Lee  02:26 UTC on 12 October 2019

    Dr. Tarek Kamel is my former colleague when I was the VP of ICANN, I learn a lot from him on his humble, wisdom and open mind. Such a nice person, it is a huge loss of Internet community, Tarek did a lot for the world and his country, we all own him a big thanks, hope you will be fine in another world!

    Aditya gaurav  02:33 UTC on 12 October 2019

    Sir Terek played a very important role in the field of digital media specially for Icann we will appreciate his achievements but there is something that will leave behind us is his teachings and thoughts that can't never be die in veins of every internet marketers as well as his loved ones. Thanks Aditya gaurav Bloggingidea.in We will greatly missed you Sir terek

    nitin walia  04:03 UTC on 12 October 2019

    Dear Göran, I was so sorry to hear of Dr. Tarek death and we want to express our most sincere sympathies to the family during this difficult time from the management team here at Xgenplus. He was a highly valuable and respected member of our team in ICANN and the effects of his passing will be felt by everyone in community. Dr. Tarek was a wonderful person who understood the meaning of the word "team." He was always more focused on the good of ICANN than on his own benefit. He made many great contributions to and helped it move forward in numerous ways. His work here will not soon be forgotten. Please accept my sincere condolences for his family, friends and team ICANN. Dr. Tarek was a remarkable man and everyone is better for having known him. For those of us that had the privilege of calling him "friend" outside of work like you were humbled by his kindness and compassion to everyone around him. He will be greatly missed and everyone here is saddened by his death. Know that our thoughts and prayers are with his family and friends during this difficult time. With sincere sympathy,

    Hadia Elminiawi  14:17 UTC on 12 October 2019

    What a sad day and what a loss. Dr. Tarek Kamel will always be remembered for his long lasting efforts to the benefit of the whole Internet community. May his soul rest in peace and may he always be remembered for his good deeds.

    Fadi Chehade  15:59 UTC on 12 October 2019

    Tarek was a like an Egyptian Pyramid - bigger than life and steadfast. During our years together at ICANN, he guided me gently, protected our values fiercely, and elevated our institution globally. All with deep humility paired with his sharp mind. Without him, the globalization of ICANN and the transition to multi-stakeholder stewardship would not have happened: he was the silent architect of these accomplishments. We are forever indebted to this giant. Fadi

    Sphinx  16:24 UTC on 12 October 2019

    R.I.P. man

    David A Gross  02:04 UTC on 14 October 2019

    Continuing: and all of us. He lived with great illness so that the world could be a much better place because of his life. And our lives are now much poorer with his passing. Nevertheless, I — like so many who were lucky to know Tarek, as well as the millions of people around the world who did not know him but whose lives are materially better because of his life’s work, — can celebrate the fact that Tarek accomplished something of real and lasting importance. He made our lives and the world a much better place. Tarek’s legacy of a life well lived will live within all of us — especially the Internet community and the ICANN family who knew him so well. I miss him very much.

    Duncan Burns  06:37 UTC on 14 October 2019

    I will miss you Tarek, you are gone far too soon. I’m so sorry for your family. You loved them so much and were so proud of them. Your professional accomplishments are well covered from Göran and Fadi to Steve and Cherine to Vint, David and many others. You made a real difference in the world and in the lives of so many people. I first met Tarek in Paris in 2013 during three days of long internal ICANN meetings, and when he was unwell. His stamina, insights and humor shone threw despite how he must have been feeling. Sadly this became too common a thing for him. I loved working with Tarek for the next five years, through some challenging and fascinating times at ICANN. I learned so much from him, he was a generous, kind, patient and supportive colleague to me. I enjoyed our phone calls and our meetings dotted around the world. But what I enjoyed most was his sense of humor. Getting Tarek to laugh wasn’t hard, and when he did his whole body shook, his smile was priceless and the laughter infectious. I will remember all the meals we had together and the stories, the laughter. If you’d ever heard him talk about his weekend shopping trips or his duty free purchases you’ll know what I mean... To his children, and to (the other) Dr Kamel, I’m so sorry. He was so proud of you and sharing the latest updates with his ICANN family. We grieve with you.

    David Olive   07:41 UTC on 14 October 2019

    I first met Tarek in 2005 at a global ICT meeting in Cairo. Before the opening, he wanted to meet the conference organizers in his office. He was gracious and excited about the conference taking place in Cairo. We were most impressed by him and his team. The rest of his story is history many of us already know....and he will be remembered many -- a true sign of greatness in the Internet Age. I heard that Vint Cerf commented that if heaven does not yet have broadband, Tarek will make it happen!! A real loss to the ICT world and to the ICANN family. Deepest condolences to his family at this time of great loss.

    Sivasubramanian M  09:55 UTC on 14 October 2019

    Tarek Kamel's began the process of building a bridge between ICANN's multi-stakeholder process and the multi-lateral process at a time when Governments were largely reluctant to step out of their multilateral traditions. He did a lot more work than what is in view. He will be remembered for all this.

    Robert Shaw  20:05 UTC on 14 October 2019

    This is really sad news and I have many memories of Tarek's gentle demeanor when I worked with him when he was Egypt's Minister of Information and Communications Technology. One of my fondest memories is he asking if I would be willing to appear on an Egyptian talk show (I think it was called The Room or The Living Room). He picked me up and we raced through the streets of Cairo in the minister's car. We were then dropped off and led down tiny alleyways which were covered in debris and trash. We stepped through a door and it was like entering another world with a beautiful TV set lit by bright lights. Everything was in Arabic during the interview and it was kindly translated by Tarek and the host into English. I was asked whether I felt Cairo was safe (it was after a recent terrorist attack) and I honestly replied that I felt it was and I was staying at a tiny hotel near Tahrir Square. I couldn't have imagined that years later it would be the center of the 2011 revolution. But my fondest memory is how much Tarek was a gentleman in all our interactions. The world needs more people like him.

    Yeseul Kim  01:55 UTC on 15 October 2019

    Though I haven't met you in person for a time, thanks for your great service to bring the Internet to all of us. Your works will be truly remembered by the next generation (and coming generations) like me - and I also always thank our previous generations to have brought these broad networks possible so that I can be connected to people all around the world. I wish you can do what you've wanted to do in your life in heaven. Thank you for your great service for all of us again.

    Nigel Hickson  11:23 UTC on 15 October 2019

    As I sit here this evening in the Geneva Office, with Tarek's office dark and empty through an open, connecting door, our loss becomes even more vivid. I worked with Tarek from his first day with ICANN, in our sunny Brussels Office in 2012, followed him here to Geneva in 2014 and stayed with him since then. Though we met back in the early 2000s, when I was UK Official and he was the (infamous) Minister for Communications in Egypt, we only really got to know each other at ICANN. He was simply an incredible man. While a tough boss he had that innate ability to understand what we as his staff needed, both physically, emotionally and intellectually. His grasp of events, ideas and arguments was phenomenal, most of it in his head; with only a few notes scrawled on his (infamous) coloured sticky notes. You could tell how well you had drafted a speech or Board Paper by the number of these appended to your draft! I will deeply miss him, here, as so many others will. No more munching of cakes at midnight, no more advice and wisdom to receive and no more coloured notes. Rest in peace Tarek.

    Christine Arida  08:06 UTC on 17 October 2019

    It is indeed a sad time, words fail to express the grief for the loss of Tarek .. Tarek has been there for me ever since I started working .. A real mentor and great friend .. It is hard to imagine he will not be around anymore to turn to for guidance and advice .. Having worked close to him for almost 19 years, I am so grateful to have been there in the early days of the Internet in Egypt and witnessing his journey of great accomplishments .. He was always ready to dedicate time and effort to make everything perfect, just as it should be, while teaching us all the essence of fine work and devotion .. A real pioneer and worrier of the Internet in Egypt, in Africa, in the Arab world and beyond .. The love that is coming from all parts of the world is a tribute to the great man he was and proof of the imprint he has left behind .. May he live on in our hearts and may we continue to cherish his memory .. Rest in peace Tarek .. You will be dearly missed .. Christine

    Baher Esmat  09:09 UTC on 18 October 2019

    I was privileged to have known and worked with Tarek for many years. We met for the first time in August 1993. At that time, he was leading a team of engineers whose mission was to connect Egypt to the Internet. I was fortunate to have joined this team under Tarek’s leadership. Years later, the Ministry of Communications and Information Technology was established and Tarek was appointed Advisor to the Minister, and few years later he became the Minister. I had worked with him back then for few years. In 2006, I left the ministry to go work for ICANN, and I still remember vividly him telling me “we are lending you to ICANN for a short period of time and will get you back”. Fast forward in 2012, Tarek joined ICANN, and since then we had become, once again colleagues, but also as close friends as never before. Throughout his career, Tarek had always had the passion for what he does. He had been persevering to face and overcome challenges. He had mastered the unmatched ability of seeing the big picture without missing any of its details. But most of all, he had always had this unique human touch in anything he says or does. These are the traits that I have seen and admired in Tarek throughout the years, which among other personal qualities, made him this person who was respected by everyone who knew him. I already miss you, Dr. Tarek.

    Manal Ismail  15:24 UTC on 23 October 2019

    It is with a very heavy heart that I write this .. No words can express how I feel, losing a true mentor, role model, sincere colleague, elder brother and a dear friend .. I was privileged to work with Tarek since my graduation .. Even when he left the Egyptian government and joined ICANN we continued to collaborate in his new capacity leading government engagement within ICANN .. Tarek was a unique person; visionary and strategic but also mindful of all details, a wise politician but also a technical expert .. The past 8 to 9 years introduced a new Tarek to me, strong, brave and patient in fighting his illness but also thankful, cheerful and accepting .. Even at the most difficult times, Tarek was as professional as always, joining calls at late hours from the hospital and asking the nurse to pass later when she interrupted !! and as sincere and caring as always, never missing an opportunity to congratulate or console anyone within his network while seriously sick and hospitalized .. He managed to have 3 families, one at home, one at work and one all over the Internet .. His funeral was a demonstration of love with everyone consoling each other, not just the family, everyone feeling the loss is theirs .. Dr. Tarek, I still can’t believe that you have left us, too soon, too young and too sudden .. I still can’t believe that you won’t be on any of our future calls or meetings again .. Already miss you so much and still need to learn how to adapt .. Rest in peace Tarek .. You will be sorely missed but never forgotten ..

    Michal Golebiowski  19:43 UTC on 23 October 2019

    Sadly

    Syed Iftikhar Hussain Shah  03:17 UTC on 25 October 2019

    Dr. Tarek Kamel family and the global internet community, please accept my condolences on the passing of your loving friend and great worker for the internet and its governance. He was a visionary, simple, supportive and kind personality and had done an excellent job for his country, region and for the global community in terms of internet governance. We worked together on different ICANN matters through ICANN platform. My thoughts and prayers are with all the Global internet community including his family. I pray to mighty God that he May keep Kamel soul rest in peace. We always miss Dr. Tarek Kamel a lot at every moment. However, a human being, particularly our great friend like him, that departs from this earth never truly leaves, for they are still alive in our hearts and minds, through us, they live on. he will not be forgotten.

    Jenifer Lopez  03:48 UTC on 29 October 2019

    “The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.” so sorry to hear of Dr. Tarek Kamel passing. May the many memories of him helps to sustain his family and friends at this most difficult time. He always will be remembered for his efforts to benefit the whole Internet community. My deepest condolences.

    Mark Carvell  10:32 UTC on 29 October 2019

    I was extremely sorry to learn that Tarek has passed away. I got to know Tarek well during my time on ICANN's Governmental Advisory Committee representing the UK Government and as a GAC Vice Chair. He was a warm and generous spirit who was dedicated to ensuring that governments and inter-governmental organisations contributed effectively to the success of ICANN's multi-stakeholder processes. As an invaluable bridge between the GAC and ICANN's leadership and staff members, he always showed respect for the hard work of individual GAC representatives. Furthermore, he was always ready to make himself available to the GAC leadership in order to talk through the difficult challenges we faced with the aim of making progress that would serve the best interests of all stakeholders. I know Tarek will be sorely missed by the entire ICANN community and personally I will always remember the sincere warm greetings and cheerful embraces whenever we met.

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