Passing of Ibrahim Hegazi: "Egyptian sports family lost great enlightening symbol"

04 Jan. 2022

Passing of Ibrahim Hegazi: "Egyptian sports family lost great enlightening symbol"

Influential and prominent Egyptian sports journalist Ibrahim Hegazi has passed away at the age of 77, his son Mando announced on Monday (3 January).

Large crowds attend his funeral at the Al-Farouq Mosque in Maadi, Cairo with members of the House of Representatives, the Senate, Egyptian sports family and a large number of journalists.

Through his various outlets, which predominantly including the written press and TV, Hegazi covered a wide variety of sport, including handball, in the North African country, bringing handball to the attention of the nation and contributing tremendously to the development of the sport throughout Egypt. His work also brought the art of sports journalism to a wide audience and inspired generations of budding sports journalists in the country to pick up a pen or keyboard.

In a statement, the Egyptian Handball Federation, through Interim President Dr Mohamed Elamin, said it “mourns with more sorrow, the great journalist Ibrahim Hegazi.”

Born in April 1944, Hegazi graduated from the Higher Institute of Physical Education in El-Haram in 1967, joining the Egyptian army and serving in the special forces and parachute corps, before leaving to join the world of newspaper journalism at the Al Ahram Foundation in 1975 – the newspaper is widely praised as the first in the Arab world to feature a dedicated space for sport.

10 years later he won the Mustafa and Ali Amin Prize for written journalism in 1985 and then set-up the Al-Ahram Sports magazine in January 1990, where he was editor-in-chief for 19 years. He also held several positions on the Council of Journalists’ Syndicate, including undersecretary and the head of its registration committee, for several terms over 20 years.

More recently, Hegazi was appointed as a member of the Egyptian Senate by President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi in October 2020.

Egyptian Minister of Youth and Sports Dr Ashraf Sobhy was quoted by Egyptian media saying that “…he expressed his sincere condolences, extending condolences and sympathy to his family, stressing that the late writer enriched his work, thought and writings in various sports media work, and was very popular within the sports and media community, noting that the Egyptian sports family has lost a great enlightening symbol with clear fingerprints in the field of sports media.”

“We lost a brilliant journalist, a capable media figure, a prominent member of the council, and a patriotic man who loved his country until the last moments of his life,” added Abdel-Wahab Abdel-Razeq, President of the Egyptian Senate, which stood for a minutes’ silence for Hegazi on Monday. 

Famous former Egyptian international football player Ahmed Hossam Hussein Abdelamid, publically known as Mido, also offered his thoughts through a number of messages. “My sincere condolences on the death of the able journalist professor Ibrahim Hegazi. He was a loyal patriot in his work and a great stature and a mark in the Egyptian sports press. We were all brought up by his weekly article on Friday in Al-Ahram newspaper.”

IHF President Dr Hassan Moustafa, on behalf of the International Handball Federation, would like to express his condolences to the family and loved ones of Ibrahim Hegazi as well:

“With Ibrahim Hegazi, Egyptian sport not only lost a dedicated figure, who significantly contributed to the promotion of handball in the country, but I also lost a friend. By his followers, he was called the ‘Educator’, being one of the few who can deliver messages in any form, written or on air. He dedicated his life to sport and part of his mission was to highlight the ongoing progress of handball in Egypt. I was deeply saddened by the message of his passing and would like to convey my sincere condolences to the family and friends of Ibrahim.”