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Arabeyes: Mourning for Hadeel

Saudi blogger Hadeel El Hadeef passed away exactly a month after her 25th birthday. Bloggers from around the region come together to mourn the death and celebrate the life of the blogger, whose contributions and humanity will continue to remain a living legacy on the world wide web.

Known for her beautiful writings, the daughter of renowned Saudi reformer and writer Dr. Mohamed El Hadeef, grabbed the attention of the blogosphere after slipping into a coma last month.

hadeel.jpg

On April 17, Hadeel was celebrating her 25th birthday and wrote :

منذ شهر وأنا أعد ُ نفسي بالغد، رتبت لاحتفال كبير، وخططت لكل شيء فيه، التفاصيل الصغيرة اعتنيت بها جيداً، وحرصت أن يخرج الحفل كما يليق بالعام الخامس والعشرين من حياتي.
فكرت بأني يجب أن أحتفل جيداً هذا العام، وأحتفل وحيدة، لا أريد مباركات الأصدقاء، ولا مجاملات المعارف، فوصولي لمنتصف العمر شيء يخصني وحدي، ولا أظن أن أحداً سيذكره لو لم يذكر ذلك في صفحة (فيس بوك)، أو منبه الميلاد الذي راسلني الجميع بشأنه، طالبين مني إدراج تاريخ ميلادي، لئلا ينسوه!
بخصوص فكرة منتصف العمر، فقد كانت نابعة من أمنيتي القديمة والمستمرة بأن أموت عند سن الستين، لذا فالسنوات منذ غداً وحتى بعد خمس سنوات، هي سنوات منتصف العمر الذي حددته لنفسي، وسيكون من المهم أن لا أقصر مع نفسي بشيء خلالها، وأدللها قبل أن يبدأ الزمن بالعد لي تنازلياً..
غداً ميلادي، وأعرف أن ذلك لا يهم أحداً حقيقة، حتى والديّ لا يعنيهما كثيراً يوم ميلادي، رغم أني ابنتهما البكر، لكن ٧ أتوا من بعدي يشفع لهما نسيانهما، أو تناسيهما.
كل عام وأنا بخير جداً، كل عام وأنا أجد في نفسي ما يستحق الاحتفال، كل عام وأنا أعثر على مبرر جديد لأحبني

I’ve been preparing for tomorrow's big celebration for a month. I have planned everything and personally took care of all the small details. I was keen for a celebration which suited the 25th year of my life. I decided to celebrate this year to the fullest, and celebrate it alone. No need for friends’ blessings or acquaintances’ compliments. Reaching the middle of my life is very personal, and I reckon nobody would remember that, had it not been for my FaceBook profile or the birthday alarm that everybody asked me to fill out – so that they don't forget it.

Regarding the idea of the middle age, it’s because of my old and permanent wish to die when I am 60. That’s why the years starting from tomorrow for the next five years are the middle age years that I have decided for myself. It would be important to spoil myself these years before the start of the countdown.

Tomorrow is my birthday, and I know nobody cares about this, not even my parents who don’t know much about my birthday, even though I am their eldest daughter, but seven (other siblings) came after me, and so I forgive them for not remembering.

Happy birthday to me. Every year I find good reasons to celebrate. And every year I find a new reason to love myself.

A few days later, the news spread everywhere: forums, blogs, websites, newspapers. Hadeel went into a deep coma. Not a single doctor knew the reason for her coma. Bloggers started praying for her recovery and a Facebook group was opened to pray for Hadeel to get out of her coma. Her last post on her blog “Heaven Steps” turned into a yard for comments.

On May 17, the Facebook group announced the news of her death. Soon the Saudi and Egyptian blogospheres turned into a wide page of condolences to her family, regretting the loss of a talented, cultured and passionate human like her.

Abdou Basha, an Egyptian blogger wrote a post entitled: The death of a Saudi blogger:

هديل الحضيف.. توفت اليوم، كيف علمت؟ منذ دقائق عن طريق رسالة وصلتني من مجموعة الكترونية كونها أصدقاء هديل بعد مرضها الأخير، من هي هديل؟ هل هي مجرد مدونة سعودية؟ أجيب بكل ثقة: لا، استطيع أن أصفها بأنها انسانة سعودية مميزة، ويستطيع أي عربي أن يفتخر بقراءة كلماتها وان يشعر بأن هناك أمل.. أمل في البشر، وفي كلماتهم ورؤيتهم

Hadeel El Hadeef.. Passed away today. How did I know?.. I knew minutes ago by a message from the electronic group opened by her friends after her illness. Who is Hadeel? Just a Saudi blogger?
I would reply confidently: No, I can say she is a special Saudi human being. And every Arab can be proud while reading her words and feels there is hope.. hope in the humanity, their words and visions.

أعلم ان كلماتي هنا.. غير مفيدة لأحد غيري، أردت أن أسجل كلمات أعبر بها عن صدمتي وأن أؤكد على أن هديل من الشخصيات التي يصعب نسيان وجودها حتى إن كان وجودها ضمن واقع افتراضي، أن هذا العنوان العبثى أعلاه ـ وفاة مدونة سعودية، لا ولن يصلح أبدا مع هديل، فهي لقرائها ومتابعيها وزملائها، أكثر من هذا بكثير

I know that my words here won’t benefit anybody but me. I wrote these to record my shock hearing the news, and to admit that Hadeel was a personality that could not be easily forgotten even if it was only through virtual existence. And the above random title for this post “The death of a Saudi Blogger” would never go with a person like Hadeel. For she was to her readers, followers and colleagues, much more than this.

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