Wednesday, February 22, 2012

A Tribute to Tareq

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.


Tainted Female said...

This is a beautiful account of the friend I, like many others knew and loved. Thank you for sharing when so many of us are lost for words of our own.

Albert Roux said...

Beautiful tribute Russ... Thanks for doing this.

Anonymous said...

Well done tribute to a great guy that I was honored to have known through work. He will be sorely missed!

yoyosmom said...

Beautifully written. Thank you for sharing. This man that I never knew changed something in me and my family this week.

Husayn said...

Hey Cindy,

I'm so sorry for your loss. I knew Taareq from Microsoft, we rode the shuttle and the 545 in from capitol hill together.

Saw him right before we left for Dubai. He was asking me about how he should spend his time out there, and what I wanted him to bring back for me.

He was a super guy. I'm gonna miss him.

Hope you're coping alright. Time heals all, just please be patient and have hope.

Velvet 500 said...

It’s been a decade now. It’s still a painful empty space where he stood in our world and in our lives. Such a special person, that he changed so many of us, to pay attention to what we do with every moment we have. I wouldn’t be who I am today if I hadn’t had the honour of working with Tareq, and knowing him for the few short years I did. Hope he’s up there, smiling as always, looking at the challenges we’ve faced these past 10 years since he left us, knowing he had a very positive impact here.

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