Lord of the Arab Diplomacy
From Al Mowasah Hospital in Alexandria
to the Arab League in Cairo
Esmat Abdel Majid was born in Alexandria on March 22, 1923 where he was also raised. He is Ahmed Esmat Mohamed Fahmy Abdel Majid. He was once the linking point among the Arab countries, their presidents, kings and princes through his work as the Secretary General of the Arab League from 1991 to 2001. He is the son of Mohamed Fahmy Abdel Majid who adored Alexandria and who founded Al Mowasah Hospital as one of the projects of Al Mowasah charity organisation in which he was one of its most active and prominent members. His father, Mohamed Fahmy was born also in Alexandria on September 7, 1890 and died in it on January 15, 1943. He struggled a lot in order to found Al Mowasah Hospital to serve the underprivileged citizens of Alexandria, and he exerted all his efforts to fulfill his dream which is this hospital that offered free treatment to thousands of Alexandrians since it opened in November, 1935.
In 1922, Mohamed Fahmy got married to one of the daughters of the high-esteemed family of Al Nadory in Alexandria. His wife gave birth to one son who is Esmat Abdel Majid on March 22, 1923. It is worth mentioning that March 22, Esmat’s birthday, is the same day of founding the Arab League of which he later became the Secretary General. Esmat Abdel Majid was passionate about diplomacy and diplomatic life till he became a prominent diplomatic figure in the Arab World.
Esmat Abdel Majid obtained his BA in Law from the Faculty of Law, University of Alexandria in 1944. Afterwards, he obtained four diplomas from the University of Paris:
- Post-graduate diploma in International Law – University of Paris 1947
- Post-graduate diploma in Economics – University of Paris 1948
- Diploma from the Institute of Comparitive Law – University of Paris 1949
- Diploma from the Institute of Political Science – Unmiversity of Paris 1949
He got his Phd in International Law also from the University of Paris in 1951. The subject for his thesis was the Trial of Booties in Egypt which was a comparative study.
He held such high-profile positions as:
- Vice-Chief Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs in 1985
- Minister of Foreign Affairs in 1984
- The Egyptian Ambassador and the permanent representative of Egypt in the United Nations in New York from 1972 till 1983
- State Minister for the Cabinet affairs from 1970 till 1972
- The Egyptian Ambassador in France in 1970
- Director of Culture and Artistic Collaboration in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in 1968 and 1969
- Secretary General of the Higher Ministerial Committee for cultural exchange and artistic collaboration in the Arab Republic of Egypt in 1969
- Head of the Vice-President Office of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Cairo in 1968
- Councilor in the permanent Egyptian mission in the European Headquarters of the United Nations in Geneva from 1957 till 1961
- Head of the United Kingdom Department in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Cairo from 1954 till 1957
- Political Councilor responsible for implementing the Anglo-Egyptian agreement from 1954 till 1956 and many other positions.
Academic, Legal and Diplomatic Experience:
- Member of the Lawyers Syndicate from 1944 till present
- He spoke for the defense in the National Egyptian Courts and Mixed Courts in Alexandria, Egypt
- In 1954, he participated in the Anglo-Egyptian negotiations about the withdrawal of the English forces from Egypt
- In 1957, he was part of the Egyptian delegation that executed negotiations with the French to reestablish dialogue and connections between the two countries after the “Tripartite Aggression.” These negotiations led to the Zurich Agreement that called for resuming diplomatic dialogue between France and Egypt.
- Member of the Founding Committee of the United Nations in Tokyo in 1974
- Member of the Egyptian Legislative Ministerial Committee in 1970
- He participated in the works of legislative committees and foreign affairs and Arab affairs committees in the Egyptian Parliament
- Head of the committee that was responsible for making Arabic a used language in the United Nations in 1974
- Member in the International Law Union, London
- Member in the United Nations Committee for NGOs in New York in November, 1981
- Head of the Egyptian Committee in the Tut Ankh Amun exhibition in Paris in 1966
- Head of the Inauguration Festival of the Sinclair suite that was reserved for the Dandara temple in the Metropolitan Museum for Arts in New York
- Honorary president of Aspen Institute for Humanities, Aspen, Colorado
- Member of the United Nations Egyptian Association
- Member of the French-Egyptian Friendship Association
- Head of the Egyptian National Group affiliated with the International Peace Center through law
Awards and Decorations:
He was awarded the State Merit from the Arab Republic of Egypt as well as other merits from France, Yugoslavia, Greece, Italy, Denmark, Columbia and Germany. He is also the author of Situations and Challenges in the Arab World which is a 383-page book.
He was one of the people most familiar with the problems of the Arab nation, its pains, its situations and challenges and the events it had been through which affected it either positively or negatively such as the second Gulf crisis, the western Libyan crisis, the Lebanon crisis and that of the Iranian occupation of the Emirates islands.