Mayada Al Askari was best known for the book 'Mayada, the daughter of Iraq', which spoke about her struggle during the regime of Saddam Hussain. Image Credit: Gulf News

Dubai: Mayada Al Askari, also known as the Daughter of Iraq, passed away on Tuesday morning after her battle with cancer at the age of 60.

The published author and Gulf News journalist is survived by her son Ali and daughter Fay Al Haimous.

Ali told Gulf News that Mayada passed away peacefully at 2am on Tuesday after fighting ovarian cancer for the past three years.

Mayada was a member of one of Iraq’s most renowned families as her paternal grandfather was a former prime minister of Iraq, Jafar Al Askari, and her maternal grandfather was Arab nationalist Sati Al Husri.

She was best known for the book Mayada, the daughter of Iraq, which spoke about her struggle during the regime of Saddam Hussain, who imprisoned her for nearly a month. The book was written by best-selling author Jean Sasson, who said in a  Facebook post on Tuesday that she was "heartbroken" over Mayada's death.

“My darling Mayada (Al Askari, of Mayada, Daughter of Iraq) left this world a few hours ago. Her precious children were by her side and with her as she left, and still remain with her until her funeral in a few hours. They are heartbroken. I am heartbroken. If I live to be a hundred years old, I shall miss her every day of those years,” Sasson said.

A file photo of Mayada (right) with her family - her mother, father, and younger sister.  Courtesy: jeansasson.com

Abdul Hamid Ahmad, Gulf News Editor-in-Chief and Executive Director of Publications, said Mayada’s passing is a big loss for Gulf News.

“She served at Gulf News from 2006 and brought with her a rich cultural background, which translated in her articles and books. Mayada will be remembered as the granddaughter of Iraq’s renowned leaders and for her books. Mayada, the daughter of Iraq and In the Kings Garden (in Arabic)”

“May God comfort her family and give them patience during this time of grief,” he said.

Mohammed Almezel, Gulf News Managing Editor, said Mayada was not just a staff member but also a friend of everybody in the newsroom. She was dedicated to three things: her children, Iraq and Gulf News.

Senior Gulf News translator Khitam Al Amir, one of Mayada’s closest colleagues, said she has lost a great friend.

“Even though she was in a difficult condition with her sickness, she always offered to help and would even insist on coming to work. She was a dedicated worker and a kind friend. She will truly be missed.”

Mayada was laid to rest on Tuesday at Al Quoz cemetery.

A file photo of Mayada (second left) and her mother Salwa, sister Abdiya, with their maternal grandfather Sati Al Husri. Courtesy: jeansasson.com