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Arab-American Blogger Leila Abu-Saba Mourned

Lebanese-American blogger Leila Abu-Saba has died after a long battle with cancer. Bloggers who have interacted with her over the years recall her merits and endless quest for peace.

Writing as Bedounia at Dove's Eye View, Leila started blogging in January 2004. In that month she wrote:

The point of this blog is to focus on a vision for peace. Concentrating on the solution is the only way to bring that about.

When her father died in 2006, Leila wrote:

Elias Abu-Saba lived the values I hope to promote in this blog: mutual tolerance, social justice, and concern for the earth. He wanted to see those values embodied in Lebanon, his beloved homeland, as well as in
America, his adopted country. Because many people in Lebanon and around the world read Dove's Eye View, I am going to tell you some important things you must know about him.

More on Mr Abu-Saba's amazing story here.

Sympathies from around the world poured in after Leila's death on October 12.

From Egypt, The Arabist has fond memories of Leila, saying:

Leila Abu Saba, of the blog Dove’s Eye View, passed away yesterday after a long struggle with cancer. Laila was a frequent reader of this blog and, especially in its early days, a prolific commenter. She was dedicated to peaceful coexistence among Palestinians and Israelis and, more generally, Muslims, Christians and Jews. We agreed on these issues but disagreed about her pacifism (or my anti-pacifism). She was an optimist, as this entry on her blog from a year ago, “Hello Kind World” shows.

Fellow Lebanese-American blogger Dr Assad Abu Khalil, or the Angry Arab, writes:

I never met Leila, but she often communicated with me on Facebook and on email. She even brought me books from the Middle East. She once participated in a “fly a kite for peace” affair in Oakland, and I wrote some smart ass comments and mocked it. She was not pleased.

John Ballard, at Newshoggers, is distraught:

Leila Abu-Saba has died of cancer.
A part of me dies with her.
I cannot write any more about her yet.

At About.com: Middle East Issues, Pierre Tristam notes:

We'd exchanged many emails and links over the few years we knew each other through our sites. She never let anyone imagine that her voice would be silenced. Not so soon. Or that her copious world of words would become a memorial. But there they are. Let's hope the site, Leila's testament and sanctuary to supreme civility, never disappears.

And Canadian Maryanne Stroud Gabbani, who lives in Egypt, borrows a title from one of Leila's blog posts to mourn her friend. In A Dove Has Flown, Maryanne writes:

One of the wonders of the internet is the ability to keep up with friends of ours from all over the world…and to make these friends in the first place. Many years ago when I first started blogging, Leila Abu-Saba posted some comments on my blog and we became net friends. We followed each other's blogs and when we discovered Facebook we connected there as well. For quite a few years, Leila was battling first breast cancer and then liver cancer as well and just recently she lost her fight to stay with us.

She continues:

The title to this piece is a link to Leila's blog post which was a meditation on cancer, forgiveness, and politics. I don't know anyone who could have expressed this better. Friends of hers are making sure that her books get published, the task that she was trying hard to finish in her last days. Look for them and let her words, thoughts, and spirit live on.

Leila's manifesto for hope is a good place to start.

On Twitter, Middle East commentator Marc Lynch remembers:

marc

Lebanese blogger Mustafa, who blogs at Beirut Spring, shares similar sentiments:

beirut spring

And her sister-in-law Debbie McLeod writes:

Debbie McLeod

May her soul rest in peace.

3 comments

  • Moussa

    Thank you Amira. May Leila’s memory live on. She was a true fighter, a militant pacifist. She fought against all odds. She did not give up. May her family and friends find peace.

  • A very sad loss. An amazing writer with such insight. I did not know her personally, but frequented her blog. Leila offered a perspective that challenged one to think outside of the square and revalute their own positions. She will be sorely missed. My condolences to her family.

  • May her sould rest in peace

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