Abdulla Hameed’s body brought back for state funeral

Abdulla Hameed’s body brought back for state funeral
August 20 15:01 2015

The body of former atolls minister and speaker of parliament, Abdulla Hameed, was brought back to the Maldives this morning for a state funeral.

Hameed, younger brother of former President Maumoon Abdul Gayoom and half-brother to President Abdulla Yameen, passed away at the age of 76 on August 18 while undergoing treatment in Bangalore, India.

Hameed was flown to Bangalore for medical treatment after suffering a stroke in early July.

Hameed’s coffin, draped in the national flag and carried by soldiers, was greeted at the presidential jetty by President Yameen, first lady Fathmath Ibrahim, speaker of parliament Abdulla Maseeh, cabinet ministers, and Hameed’s children and grandchildren.

Hameed’s body is being kept at the Islamic centre from 1:00pm to 7:00pm for viewing. The funeral prayer will take place at the Islamic centre mosque after Isha prayers, followed by a state burial.

On Tuesday, President Yameen declared three days of official mourning and the national flag to be flown at half-mast. Wednesday’s sitting of parliament was also cancelled out of respect for the former speaker.

Hameed served as speaker of parliament from February 1988 to February 1990 and from November 1993 to September 2004.

Upon his return this morning from a visit to Egypt to attend an Islamic conference, former President Gayoom told reporters that his brother’s death has brought “a profound sadness to myself, my family and the whole nation.”

Hameed is survived by five daughters and six sons. “My father has returned to his beloved homeland,” his son Maumoon Hameed posted on Facebook today.

Hameed was awarded the second highest civilian honour in the Maldives, “Nishan Izzudeenge Izzai’theri Veriyaa,” during the final year of President Gayoom’s 30-year reign.

Hameed’s public career spanned 52 years and began on May 28, 1952 as a clerk at the communications office. Under his brother’s administration, Hameed served as minister of education and minister of atolls development.

After his retirement, Hameed was awarded the honorary post of a senior minister. He moved to Colombo, Sri Lanka, after Gayoom’s defeat in the 2008 presidential election, and returned to the Maldives in late 2013.