This past Sunday we lost an extraordinary human being.
Tareq Saade perished doing something he loved as his was an adventurous spirit. My heart breaks for his family and his girlfriend Cindy, and as profound as my own sadness is, I can't begin to imagine their grief. My most sincere condolences are theirs. Tareq's family has asked that you donate to Red Cross in his memory; one of the many ways he gave was as a Red Cross volunteer. West Seattle Blog's post regarding his impact on the community he embraced is also a kind remembrance.
Tareq was one of those rare people about whom I have only ever heard good (great) things said.
Kind, brilliant, smart, funny, bright, giving, sharing, engaging, the list is endless and only does partial justice to his character.
To my regret I really only knew Tareq in a professional capacity as part of the information security community at Microsoft. Yet even in that limited scope I can say that I am surely better for having known him. If ever I had a question of him (he was expert in malware analysis and threat intelligence) it was often mere minutes in which he replied and always with a passion for the subject. For his 29 years he was worldly and I always learned something from him given both his deep intellect and his profound willingness to share. It was not for Tareq to be didactic as much as it was to be a natural mentor, again beyond his years.
It was my distinct privilege to have written an article with him and shared the stage with him as we co-presented at a Seattle-area information security gathering two years ago.
Much of the research I have conducted in recent years is touched by his generosity as he often provided samples, captures, feedback, or simply interest. Tareq was an ally against the Internet's evil denizens and our community will long mourn him while continuing to serve in his honor.
I imagine amateur radio operators will listen for W7TJS and feel the loss in the silence.
I imagine those he climbed with, those he dove with, those he worked with, those he gave with, and those he lived with will miss Tareq always. Ours is a lesser world without him.
When I first met Tareq, so as to ensure correct pronunciation, I asked him how to properly say Saade.
With a smile he said to me "It's easy, just like 'sad day'."
That it is, my friend, that it is.
I grieve for you, Tareq, I salute you, and I will miss you. Godspeed.