Campaigner for women, children

Civil activist Haidah Haddad passes away after battle with cancer

BAGHDAD — Civil activist Haidah Haddad died Saturday in Istanbul after a nearly yearlong battle with cancer.

Residing in Istanbul with her family, Haddad faced complications from the disease following the failure of initial treatments after five surgical procedures.

Haddad, a prominent civil activist, was instrumental in campaigns and initiatives focusing on women, children, and orphans. She also extended her efforts to cities that were under ISIS control, in both Nineveh and Salah al-Din provinces.

She spent much of her life dealing with the trauma of losing her mother, academic and activist Dr. Amal Al-Maamalji, in a targeted assassination in Baghdad in 2004. Haddad channeled her love and energy into her young daughter, Maya.

Her husband, filmmaker Nizar Mahawy, launched a donation campaign late last year to support her recovery journey. The campaign and a heartfelt message from Haddad were previously shared by 964media.

Activist Hanaa Edwar told 964media, “I was devastated by the premature departure of our beloved Haidah Athir Haddad, who lived her short life joyfully, dreamily, and optimistically. She was nicknamed ‘the philosopher’ by her family for her insightful interpretations of events and situations. Haddad was known for her friendliness, proactive assistance to others, and significant energy in her professional life. Her contributions, especially after the liberation of Mosul from ISIS, including leading relief campaigns and initiatives supporting women, will not be forgotten.”

“We followed Haidah as she transformed her illness into a means for raising awareness on social media. She was diligent in preparing her daughter for the reality of her illness and the importance of continuing life thereafter. In this regard, Haidah was truly a hero.”

“May her soul rest in peace, and may her family and loved ones find patience and comfort during this difficult time.”