Ibrahim Al Abed, peerless Emirati media icon - GulfToday

Ibrahim Al Abed, peerless Emirati media icon

Ibrahim Al Abed in a conversation with Sheikh Zayed. File

Gulf Today, Staff Reporter


Ibrahim Abdul Rahman Al Abed passed away in Abu Dhabi on Tuesday morning at the age of 78. Al Abed was a prominent figure in the UAE media sector and the Founder of the Emirates News Agency, WAM.

Sources close to the family said prayers for the deceased, funeral and burial ceremony will take place in Abu Dhabi cemeteries on Tuesday, in the presence of a very small number of close relatives. Sources added condolences will be through phone communication and via text messages and WhatsApp with his son Basim Ibrahim Al Abed on his mobile number 0507804853.

Sheikh Mohammed affirms that the deceased was one of the most prominent leaders of the media in the country.

His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, and His Highness Sheikh Mohamed Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces mourned Al Abed, affirming that the deceased was one of the most prominent leaders of the media in the country, having spent five decades of his life working tirelessly.

Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid tweeted: “We offer our condolences to the media sector on the death of one of its founders, Ibrahim Al Abed, may God have mercy on him ... He spent five decades working tirelessly until the last day ... Our condolences to his family, loved ones, friends and all media professionals in the UAE."

Sheikh Mohamed Bin Zayed also tweeted: “May God have mercy on Al Abed, one of the most prominent leaders of the media in the country. He belonged to the first generation who devoted his life and worked sincerely to serve the Emirati media for nearly five decades which were full of giving and accomplishments. “

The Ministry of Presidential Affairs has expressed its condolences on the death of Ibrahim Al Abed.

In a statement on Monday, the Ministry said, "In hearts that believe in God's judgment and destiny, the Ministry of Presidential Affairs mourns the late Ibrahim Al Abed, who passed away today."

Sheikh Mohamed Bin Zayed honoured him in 2018.

The Ministry also expressed its sincere condolences and sympathies to the Al Abed family, asking Allah Almighty to grant them patience and solace to bear their loss.

Al Abed was a consultant at the Ministry of Culture and Youth and was the Director General of the National Media Council.

He also supervised the editing of the UAE's yearbook, brochures and other publications issued by the Foreign Media Department.

The Emirati Journalists Association mourned Al Abed. Mohammed Al Hammadi, Chairman of the Association, said, "Al Abed is a great figure in the press and media at the local, regional and Arab levels. He is one of the most prominent journalistic and media leaders in the country. He belonged to the first generation who put the first touches to the rules of press and media in the UAE. His giving lasted for five decades, which he spent serving the UAE and Arab press and media."

Mohammed Hassan Khalaf, Director General of the Sharjah Radio and Television Authority said:, “The departure of Al Abed is a great loss for the Emirati media arena. He was one of the major media leaders in the UAE and the GCC region. His career is the great witness to his great achievements and giving.”

Al Abed has received many awards. Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid handed him the Media Personality of the Year Award at the 2014 Arab Journalism Award Ceremony, in recognition of his efforts in serving his nation and the press sector sincerely and honestly.

Also, Sheikh Mohamed Bin Zayed honoured him in 2018, among nine distinguished personalities who presented great works to Abu Dhabi society.

His Highness Dr Sheikh Sultan Bin Mohammed Al Qasimi, Supreme Council Member and Ruler of Sharjah, honoured Al Abed, as one of the thinkers and intellectuals in the UAE and the Arab world, in the fourth session of 2006 for the Taryam Omran Journalism Prize, organised by the Taryam Omran Foundation for Cultural and Humanitarian Works.

For more than 4 decades, Al Abed gave professional and patriotic efforts. With his high professionalism, he represented the pulse of the Union generation, and remained fond of his profession, which he practised with great vigour, power and innovation.


A father figure to Emirati journalists


Ibrahim Al Abed graduated from the American University of Beirut, specialising in Political Science and Public Administration. He is one of the most prominent symbols of the Emirati media, contributing with his giving to laying the foundation for it and developing it.


He started working for the UAE Ministry of Information and Culture in 1975, as the figure responsible for foreign media.


He founded the Emirates News Agency WAM in 1977, and took over its management until 1989, then he was assigned to direct it in 1997. He also headed the media team assigned to establish the "OPEC News Agency" in 1980.


Al Abed had researches in the Arab "Israeli" conflict, and gave several lectures to students of media colleges in a number of the UAE’s universities. He published 12 books and co-authored and published the book entitled "A Future Vision" on the UAE, in 1979.


Ibrahim-Abed Ibrahim Al Abed holds a book on Sheikh Zayed.


With the passing away of Al Abed, the Emirati media turns the page on one of the most important and influential media professionals in its history, who has devoted himself to documenting the founding stage of the Union. He passed his achievements to the whole world in a professional rare and unique way with a high sense of national responsibility.


With his responsibility and professionalism, Al Abed represented a school where an entire generation of Emirati and Arab media professionals were taught, who later, according to him, turned into a valuable generation of colleagues and friends.


He was at the forefront of persons calling and supporting the people of the UAE to join the media profession and take their place in serving the nation in this vital field.


Al Abed is considered a media and literary value and imprint that is difficult to repeat. Until the last day of his life, he adhered to his passion for the profession and steadfastly worked for it, as he was always present with his directions and opinions. He has been a strong participant in discussions, exhibitions, conferences and major media and cultural forums.


Despite the glory he had achieved in the world of local and Arab media, Al Abed remained an example of humility. He was a brother of the elder, father of the young, and a friend who did not skimp on advice and guidance.


Undoubtedly, Al Abed is considered an exceptional image in the Emirati media, who has worked to promote it for 45 years since he joined the Ministry of Information in 1975.

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