Media and journalism icon Mohamed Abdel-Gawad celebrates his 98th birthday

Reham El-Adawi , Sunday 13 Feb 2022

An array of journalists, media personalities and writers gathered Saturday to celebrate the 98th birthday of the so-called “godfather” of journalists and former chairman and editor-in-chief of the Middle East News Agency Mohamed Abdel-Gawad, at his residence in Mohandessin, in the midst of his family and friends.

Mohamed Abdel-Gawad
Mohamed Abdel-Gawad sitting on a chair with journalists, media personalities celebrate his 98th birthday

Abdel-Gawad, one of the most prolific experts in news agencies across the Arab world, was born in the village of Al-Madmar in Sohag governorate. He graduated in 1947 from the Faculty of Arts, Department of English Language at Cairo University. He immediately began his media career by joining the news department of the Egyptian Radio. Then, in 1950, he was appointed as a press attaché in Brazil and then worked at Al-Masry newspaper, then the British news agency Reuters, and later in the Arab News Agency.

All attendees stressed their pride and appreciation for the distinguished professional and humanitarian performance of  Abdel-Gawad throughout his career, which exceeded 75 years, during which he performed exceptionally in the service of the Egyptian and Arab press.

They also praised his tremendous contributions to the Syndicate of Journalists. He served as the first-under secretary of the Syndicate of Journalists in the period from 1981 to 1985, and was elected with the highest voter turnout in the history of the syndicate.

Among the participants in the celebration were Ali Hassan, chairman and editor-in-chief of the Middle East News Agency, Abdallah Hassan, the former head of the agency and the former first agent of the National Press Authority, Head of the Egyptian Radio Mohamed Nawwar, together with Abdel-Rahman Rashad, the former Head of the Radio, and a number of journalists from Al-Ahram, Al-Akhbar organisations, Rose Al-Youssef magazine, Al-Watan, and Al-Youm Al-Sabaa newspapers, and Member of Parliament Doha El-Assi.

Also present at the ceremony were Abdel-Gawad's sons, engineers Salah Abdel-Gawad, Mona Abdel-Gawad and Khaled Abdel-Gawad, and his wife Khadega Fathallah.

Abdel-Gawad played a vital part in establishing the Middle East News Agency in 1955 with a number of senior journalists at that time, most notably Galal El-Din El-Hamamsy, Ali Hamdy El-Gamal, Said Sonbol, Abdel-Hamid Saraya, Mohsen Mohamed and Ahmed Nafea. He then worked as a press advisor in Chicago in 1964, then occupied the post of the chairman-of-the-board of the Middle East News Agency and its editor-in-chief during the period from 1966 to 1984.

From 1981 to 1987, he was appointed as a member of the Shura Council, and worked as an under-secretary of the Supreme Council of Press during the period from 1981 to 1988.

Abdel-Gawad worked as a media advisor to the late President Anwar El-Sadat for four years and to late President Hosni Mubarak for 12 years. He received the Order of the Republic, first class and participated in the establishment of many news agencies in different Arab countries and provided them with the necessary experience and advice, as well as seeding them with staff from the Middle East News Agency.

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