People around the world have been in a state of shock since news broke that legendary basketball superstar Kobe Bryant and his 13-year-old daughter Gianna tragically passed away in a helicopter crash in California this week with seven other passengers. Whether or not you’re an NBA fan, you’ve likely heard of the player who is often called one of the greatest of all time, the everlasting effect he had during his 41 years of life both on- and off-court, and the impact he will continue to have even in memory. Bryant’s untimely death has reverberated through the Middle East as well, with many of the region’s biggest personalities posting heartfelt tributes to the Los Angeles Lakers star on social media. While some share personal memories with the all-star athlete and others are reminded of the importance of spending time with loved ones, all speak about the inspiring legacy he and his daughter will leave behind. Below are some of the condolences from Arab celebrities as they, and many others, unite in mourning.
“You carried an inspirational message to our youth in Dubai and helped them accomplish their dreams,” the Crown Prince of Dubai wrote, adding a famous quote by Bryant: “Heroes come and go, but legends are forever.”
The half-Palestinian supermodel posted two photos in honor of Bryant, one being a flashback to a younger Hadid cheering at a Lakers game and the other being a touching black-and-white image of the Olympic gold medalist coaching his young basketball star. “This is too much. Rest In Peace and love together, legends. Growing up a Kobe fan brought so much joy to my life, like so many, and we were all so excited to see sweet Gigi play someday. Sending strength and my deepest condolences to Vanessa, the Bryant family, and all the families affected by this tragedy.”
“My heartfelt condolences go out to the families and friends of Kobe and of those who died in the terrible accident,” the Egyptian footballer wrote, one of the many Liverpool FC players and sporting stars overall who paid tribute.
“Losing a family member is the hardest thing a person can experience. I can’t imagine how his wife feels right now losing a husband and a daughter at the same day,” uploaded the Egyptian actor on her story, continuing with an important daily reminder. “This is a little reminder to hold onto your beloved ones, showing gratitude, compassion, and love towards them.”
American-Palestinian producer DJ Khaled performed a live tribute to Bryant and rapper Nipsey Hussle at the 2020 Grammys along with a group of fellow musicians including John Legend and YG, posting photos and videos of the performance with the caption “THE MARATHON CONTINUES! LONG LIVE NIP! LONG LIVE KOBE BRYANT! LONG LIVE GIANNA!”
One of the few Arab celebrities who met Bryant before his death, Kahawaty shared a personal anecdote about his generous character and ongoing support. “I can’t believe this terrible news. I met Kobe in 2013 for a philanthropic basketball initiative I was hosting for university students in Dubai and over the next few months he was so supportive with any and all of my crazy ideas for charity,” reminisced the Lebanese-Australian model and influencer. “I’m heartbroken that an educated, respectful and humble soul has left us. RIP Legend & to your daughter who left with you. My thoughts are with your wife & family”
“Heartbroken..life is tooooo short..count ur blessings…value the people that love you and make the most of each moment,” related the former Vogue Arabia cover star of Moroccan and Egyptian descent. “My deepest condolences to the Bryant family.”
Sometimes prayer is all you need to help you get through and make sense of a tough time and the breakout hijabi model‘s simple “My prayers go out to his family” post speaks tenfolds.