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Obituaries
Published in Al-Ahram Weekly on 30 - 12 - 2004


Said El-Naggar (1920-2004)
Said El-Naggar, the internationally-renowned economist, died at the age of 84.
He graduated from Cairo University's Faculty of Law in 1942 and completed his graduate studies in economics at London University where he obtained a masters degree in 1948 and a doctorate in 1951. Among many positions held he joined the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) in 1965 and was deputy director of the Research Division, a post he held for six years until he was appointed director of the United Nations Economic and Social Affairs Office in Beirut. From 1976 to 1984 he served as executive director of the World Bank, representing Arab countries. He was also a member of the Appellate Body of the World Trade Organisation, based in Geneva, Switzerland, from 1995 to 2000.
Upon his return to Egypt in 1993 El-Naggar became professor emeritus of economics at Cairo University and founded the "New Civic Forum", an NGO dedicated to economic, political and social liberalisation.
Awad El-Morr (1934-2004)
Awad El-Morr, a former chief justice of the Supreme Constitutional Court (SCC), passed away after a long battle with cancer. El-Morr was a well-known legal expert and constitutional scholar, as well as a vociferous advocate of freedom of expression.
Born in Port Said in 1934, El-Morr studied law. He began his career as a state attorney and later advised several Egyptian and Arab governments on major international treaties, including the Law of the Sea Convention. In 1983 he became a member of the Commissioner's Body of the Supreme Court, the precursor of the Supreme Constitutional Court, which he ended up heading in 1991.
After leaving the SCC El-Morr worked as a lawyer, taking part in the high- profile case of Egyptian-American human rights activist Saadeddin Ibrahim. As the former head of the SCC El-Morr challenged the constitutionality of laws criminalising the "tarnishing of Egypt's image abroad", as well as military orders issued under the provisions of the emergency law.
Abdel-Wahab Motawie (1940-2004)
Abdel-Wahab Motawie -- a household name best known for the advice he dispensed to millions of readers as the editor of Al-Ahram 's "Letters to the editor" section -- died at the age of 64.
Motawie was the managing editor of Al-Ahram newspaper and editor-in-chief of Al-Shabab (Youth) magazine. A career journalist, he spent 43 years in the trade, becoming the editor of Al-Ahram 's "Letters to the editor" section in 1982. He was 42 at the time, and had been working at the paper since the age of 17.
Neither a psychologist nor therapist by training, Motawie was, essentially, a humanitarian. He wrote some 40 books on relationships and social trends, including Friends on Paper and Please... Give me your Lifetime. Many of his books are compilations of the letters he received through Al-Ahram 's mailbox. His much-sought-after advice was also available on TV, on the programme he hosted called "Moment of Truth". Motawie also scripted several films and television series over the course of his career.
Said Sonbol (1929-2004)
When Said Sonbol died the profession lost a leader characterised by selfless dedication, an acceptance of innovation, and who was invariably considerate towards colleagues.
Sonbol became Al-Akhbar 's first economic bureau chief in 1958, the paper's deputy editor-in-chief in 1961, its managing editor four years later, then chairman of the board of directors and editor-in-chief in 1985, a position he held until 1992. Even after his retirement he continued to write, producing his Sabah Al-Kheir (Good Morning) column until the last days of his life.
Ahmed Abul-Fath (1917-2004)
Many journalists, Wafd Party members and politicians bid veteran Al-Masri journalist, Ahmed Abul-Fath, a final farewell.
In 1940 Abul-Fath graduated from law school and began a brief stint as a prosecutor. In 1946 he decided to pursue a career in journalism, joining his brothers Mahmoud and Hussein at Al-Masri newspaper, where he became editor-in-chief. In 1954 the newspaper was shut down by a Revolutionary Court after publishing an article critical of the revolution.
He continued to write articles which appeared in Al-Wafd and Al-Akhbar calling for greater democracy. Until his death the 87-year-old journalist held firm to the democratic principles he had been advocating for nearly 50 years. The democracy and independence he had dreamed of has yet to be fulfilled, he said.
Maamoun El-Hodeibi (1921-2004)
Maamoun El-Hodeibi, leader of the Muslim Brotherhood, had a reputation as a reformer who favoured a peaceful, gradualist approach.
El-Hodeibi was born in 1921 to a prominent political family. Following in his father's footsteps he pursued a legal career. He also joined the ranks of the Brotherhood's political wing at an early age and was arrested for the first time in 1965, during the confrontation between the group and late President Gamal Abdel-Nasser's regime.
In November 2002, after Mustafa Mashhour, the Bortherhood's fifth supreme guide died, El-Hodeibi was chosen to lead the group. He ensured the group's views were heard, no matter what the political event.


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