The European External Action Service mourns the loss of a colleague in Syria

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It is with great sadness that we have learned that our dear friend and colleague Ahmad Shihadeh who worked at the EU Delegation in Syria, passed away on Tuesday 12 March 2013. Ahmad was tragically killed during a rocket attack on the Damascus suburb of Deraya, where he lived.

Ahmad Shihadeh was employed as a policy officer in the political and economic section of the EU Delegation in Syria since 2007. Ahmad was deeply appreciated among his colleagues for his enthusiasm, natural courtesy and for his courage and selflessness.

Since the temporary closure of the EU Delegation in December 2012 due to the security situation, Ahmad devoted his energies to peaceful, humanitarian causes. He assisted in humanitarian relief work with the Deraya Local Council, of which he was a founder member, and helped run and write for a Deraya opposition newspaper. Since the violence began in Syria, he has been twice arrested, and spent seven months in detention without charge. Ahmad came to develop a reputation for active pacifism during an increasingly cruel war in Syria. At his young age, he was already a big man.

Ahmad, buried on 12 March in Deraya, was 32 years of age, and leaves behind a wife, parents, family and a multitude of friends. Ahmad Shihadeh will be dearly missed by his friends and colleagues and we express our deepest condolences to his family. May he rest in peace. Reacting to the news High Representative Catherine Ashton, Head of the European External Action Service, said "I offer my sincere condolences to his family and friends, and to the colleagues of the Delegation. Ahmad died while providing humanitarian help to the community of Deraya. Ahmad was known for his courage and selflessness."