Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid with Habib Yousuf Abdullah Al Sayegh. File/WAM
Yamama Badwan, Staff Reporter
Habib Yousuf Abdullah Al Sayegh, a renowned Emirati poet, author and intellectual, died on Tuesday. He was 64.
Al Sayegh, who served as Editor-in-Chief of Al Khaleej newspaper, Chairman of the Emirates Writers Union and Secretary General of the Arab Writers Union, left behind a treasure of articles, literary publications and poems that were translated into English, French, German, Italian, Spanish and Chinese.
Serving journalism and culture for more than 46 years until he became the most famous intellectual in the UAE, Al Sayegh gave the UAE a new face with many dimensions in such fields as culture, poetry, journalism, translation, research and heritage, rendering the country at the heart of the cultural event industry.
Al Sayegh’s funeral will be held at 10.30am on Wednesday in Al Baharna Grand Funeral Area in Madinat Zayed in Abu Dhabi where the funeral prayer will be held. He will be buried in Al Bateen Graveyard.
The family of the deceased as well as his relatives and loved ones will receive condolences in the Azaa tent held near the late Ali Mohammed Al Sayegh in Abu Dhabi for men and in the late Ali Mohammed Al Sayegh’s house for women for three days from 4.30pm on Wednesday till Friday.
His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, mourned Al Sayegh and his family. Sheikh Mohammed tweeted, “The United Arab Emirates lost one of the pillars of media, press and literature. May Allah the Almighty have mercy on him. Homelands will be a witness to such characters. May Allah inspire his family patience and solace.”
Dr Sultan Bin Ahmed Al Jaber, Minister of State, Chairman of the National Media Council, affirmed the UAE and Arab media have lost a fellow poet and writer Habib Al Sayegh who passed away on Tuesday.
He tweeted, “Media lost an Arab world journalist and writer, Habib Al Sayegh, who left a strong imprint and many generations in the field of journalism, thought, poetry and literature were his disciples.”
Sheikh Dr Rashid Bin Hamad Al Sharqi, Chairman of Fujairah Culture and Media Authority, mourned the poet and writer Habib Al Sayegh.
He stressed that with Sayegh’s departure, the cultural and literary scene lost a bold and creative pen which cared about the issues of human society.
Sharqi explained the Arab cultural and media community was saddened by the departure of Al Sayegh.
Al Sayegh was born in Abu Dhabi in 1955 and began to write poetry and prose about the homeland and its issues at an early stage. He used to publish what he wrote in the press when he was a student at Jaber Bin Hayyan High School in Abu Dhabi. His writings rendered him so famous that the late Sheikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan did not hesitate to select him to work as editor in the Al Ittihad newspaper, which was established in 1973 on a monthly salary of Dhs3,000. Al Sayegh received his Bachelor of Philosophy in 1977 and completed his Master of Comparative Linguistics from the University of London in 1998. He later worked in journalism and culture and chaired the Emirates Writers Union.
Habib Al Sayegh was the Secretary-General of the General Union of Arab Writers and Editor-in-Chief of Arabic language daily Al-Khaleej.
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