Former Indian Minister of State for External Affairs E. Ahamed, who passed away early on Wednesday in New Delhi, shared strong relations with Arab leaders and the Indian expat community in the UAE and other Gulf countries.
Many members of the Indian community, especially those hailing from his state Kerala, said Ahmed’s death is a big loss to the Indians living in the Gulf countries.
Condolence messages poured in on social media after the news about his death spread.
“It is a big loss to the expatriate community, especially in the Gulf countries,” said Punnakkan Mohammad Ali, social worker and Incas UAE committee general secretary.
“He was a good friend of Arab countries and leaders and a guiding light to the expatriates. He made great contributions as the minister and otherwise as well in supporting the expat community and boosting the bilateral relationships with Gulf countries. For the same reason, he was always invited for events hosted by Arab leaders irrespective of his profile,” said Ali.
Ahamed used to frequent Dubai for personal visits as well. His daughter Dr Fauzia Shersada is the institutional effectiveness director at Dubai Medical College and son-in-law Dr Babu Shersada is the medical director of Amsa Renal Care in Dubai Healthcare City.
“He was a wonderful human being who used to help a lot of people cutting across barriers of class and religion,” Dr Shersada, a nephrologist, told Gulf News while on his way to Kerala for the funeral of Ahamed.
“Dubai was a place that he really loved. He had a big friend circle in Dubai. In fact, he was here just a few days back and gave a rousing speech at his last public event here. As far as we are concerned, he was our loving father who was a guiding light for us. We will miss him dearly.”
Dr Azad Moopen, founder chairman and managing director, Aster DM Healthcare, said it was with deep regret that he heard about the sad demise of Ahamed who was a family friend to him.
“He was a politician par excellence who served his party, community and country exceptionally well in his five decades of public life. His death is a great loss to the NRIs, especially in the Gulf, as Ahamed Sahib had his heart and ears for [addressing] their problems.”
Indian social worker Ashraf Thamarassery remembered Ahamed as “the minister who took the initiative to revamp the Indian missions and appoint efficient officers in the UAE”.
“He would personally oversee matters and make direct calls to solve the issues of Indian expats here. I had personally experienced this when I sought his help to rescue 15 sailors stranded on a ship in Ajman,” said Thamarassery.
Esmail Meladi, Dubai Municipality’s senior media officer, said he had known Ahamed ever since his early years in journalism career in New Delhi three decades ago. “He was one of the most media-friendly leaders. He used to have an office in the parliament and used to be the head of some important committees. As a columnist, I had got a lot of good information from him. Though he was associated with his party’s newspaper from Kerala, he used to be surrounded by reporters from all national media houses. He nurtured his friendships beyond politics,” said Meladi.