I wanted to write this blog post in honor of Grahame Maher, CEO of Vodafone Qatar. I find that the best way to get my emotions out is by blogging it. Sadly he passed away last night by suffering from a corniary and stroke at the same time. Now this guy was healthier than I am. He ran marathons, went on tour de france style bike rides, and he was an amazingly positive person. So why did this happen? In Qatar, we don't question why. We accept that this was written by God. It's in his plan and with every action there's some good reason. Grahame has left a legacy. Every single person in Vodafone feels for him.
Walking around the Vodafone halls you see people hugging, red eyes trying to focus on monitors, and people talking about what he did for them. Individually.
Grahame has been one of those that was a driving force behind what what me and the team at (iloveqatar) ILQ do. I wrote a post about my Grandmother as a reason for why ILQ exists. Well Grahame is another person who picked me up from when I had lost all hope in trying to change Qatar and gave me that extra push.
He spoke to me before he passed away. He said, "I'm so proud of you and Bassam (Al Ibrahim, my partner) and everything you are doing with iLoveQatar. Don't let anyone stop you." I wont. It's a public promise now.
What's he done? This is the guy that helped sponsor and support ILQ when we needed to support the community. When the Qatar volunteers society run by speed needed water, he gave them 8,000 bottles of water; when ILQ needed support with the small groups of people wanting to join different sporting events, he helped fund the entry fees; When we needed a booth to put up at the different fun events he made sure that was sorted; well, he basically managed to send ripples through society and help people. Even if they didn't really know who did it.
The irony of it all was just yesterday we had a comedy festival. He was so excited to go, and had arranged for Vodafone support in under a week. Perhaps that was his gift to the people. A chance to get people from ALL nationalities under one roof. No boundaries. All laughing together. One final smile from Grahame.
So what can we do to respect him? Remember him as a guy who brought a lot of happiness to the people around him. Remember him as the guy who lead competition in the country. Remember him as the guy who helped connect you to friends and family. Remember him as visionary... or my favourite, remember him as just some guy who cared enough to make a world of difference to all the people of Qatar.
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