One of UAE’s ‘greatest and loyal sons’ Khalfan Al Roumi dies
SHARJAH // Khalfan Mohammed Al Roumi, former politician and father of Ohoud Al Roumi, Minister of State for Happiness, died on Wednesday night.
“The UAE has lost one of its greatest and loyal sons. The wise politician, the modest man and the honourable teacher and the man who has a proven record of national accomplishments passed away,” said Dr Anwar Gargash, Minister of State for Foreign Affairs.
Al Roumi was a national pioneer who played a fundamental role during the establishment phase of the nation.
Brother of Mariam Al Roumi, the former Minister of Social Affairs, he was regarded as a leading academic degree holder, having graduated from Baghdad and one of the first graduates sent on educational missions abroad in the 1960s.
He worked as a teacher in 1968 before becoming deputy director of knowledge in Sharjah.
Al Roumi participated in preparatory committees and was a member of a delegation which toured Arab countries on diplomatic missions before the establishment of the UAE.
In 1973, Al Roumi was selected as a Deputy Minister of the Ministry of Education. In 1977, he became Minister of Health. Five years later, he was appointed Minister of Labour and Social Affairs and, in 1990, he became the Minister of Information and Culture.
Al Roumi also served as the chairman of the Arab Journalism Award.
In 2013, Al Roumi was honoured by Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid, Vice President and Ruler of Dubai, who lauded him as a national symbol who served the country alongside its founding fathers.
“Since the early days of federation, and during the era of the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan and the late Sheikh Rashid bin Saeed Al Maktoum, I have known Khalfan Al Roumi who has always been a true patriot, like the late Taryam Omran Taryam. I also recall here Ahmed Khalifa Al Suwaidi, who had played a vital role in the federation.”
Funeral prayers will be held on Thursday at Al Sahaba Mosque in Sharjah after Al Dhuhr prayer.