This voice will never fade away

Muscat: Dareen Mehdi has been synonymous with the environment.  For many years she has been contributing in her own way to environment awareness in Oman following in the footsteps of her father, Dr Mehdi Jaffer.

There was a sense of emptiness as people came to know of her passing away on July 22.  People expressed their sorrow and thoughts on social media.

“I had heard of Dareen long before we met one winter afternoon; we orbited on the same horizon, focused on the same planet, her love of the environment of Oman reached everyone like a gentle breeze. She had an infectious smile, vivid with exuberance; she bled happiness and positivity and shed light in the darkest of moments; most importantly she awoke the ideal in those who were lucky to meet her. She was a voice for voiceless creatures.  Those of us who shared her love for the environment will always miss her,” reflected Nasser al Kindy, Clean up Oman Founder.

Her Highness Sayyida Basma al Said, founder of Not Alone Campaign and Whispers of Serenity described Dareen as a force of positive energy, her smile filled the sky.

“Been with her for the Penned Thoughts and that is what that got us together – the thought of getting the youth talk about their feelings through poetry and writing.  I always admired that and was happy to be part of it with her.  She was going through the passing of her brother and that is how she healed – the healing poetry.  She was always there for us supporting the Not Alone Campaigns.  I hope God looks after her, her family and her father who was very close to her,” Sayyida Basma said.

If people loved her smile, they thrived on her sense of humour, whether they knew her personally or by following her on social media with her personal blog.  She talked about her childhood memories as well her reflections on life and philosophy and of course the environment and her projects.

A note on her memorial website says, “My friend you taught me a lot, we challenged each other’s thoughts, grew new ideas and shifted some beliefs.  I assure you that whatever projects we planned together, I will work hard and make it happen!”

She was there to inspire and support as she was at the Sultanate’s first environment-themed hackathon organized by the Environment Society of Oman, of which she was a board member, and Nama Group which tested the wit and technical prowess of 105 students to create digital solutions to environmental challenges.

Yet another person who has worked with her, Jaber al Ajmi, said, “Our Dareen Mehdi will be missed by the people, the environment and everything related to nature and happiness.  It is not easy to receive the news of her passing away.  Oman will miss one of the most important individuals who devoted her life in raising awareness and preserving the Omani environment with its various components.”

In her final posting on social media Dareen wrote, “I was thinking about global orientation to earth as 2020 starts as it is – It will be a strong year with transformations, events and facts…2020 is painful year in the surface ..I think there is a hidden message – we are all equal in circumstances and possibilities.”

And her message on the environment when she shed light on the bright side of this world crisis, “In my opinion as we practice home quarantine and social distancing, this is a good opportunity to pause to look deeply within ourselves, our consumption patterns, our requirements, can we live a simpler life?  Do we really need everything that we have now? How can we be innovative and flexible with green plans that respect both people as well as the planet?” These are the questions Dareen have left us with.