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Abdel Mageed Omar

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Abdel Mageed Omar (1883-1950)

1950 Obituary [1]

"His Excellency ABDEL MAGEED OMAR, Pasha, M.Sc., whose death occurred on 9th January 1950, was an authority on irrigation and in this respect had rendered distinguished service to the Egyptian Government for many years.

He was born in 1883 and educated at the Khedivieh College in Cairo, and at the Polytechnic College at Giza, where he obtained the College diploma in engineering. He began his professional career in 1904 with the post of assistant engineer in the irrigation department of Public Works and at an early age was appointed district engineer in the Fayoum Province in charge of all the contractors' work. In 1907 he was granted a scholarship by the Egyptian Government, which enabled him to study at the University of Leeds, where he graduated B.Sc. with first-class honours in engineering in 1909, obtaining his M.Sc. degree a year later.

After some two years' experience as assistant erector of pumping engines for Messrs. Hathorn, Davey and Company, Ltd., Leeds, he returned to Egypt and in 1910 was appointed Vice-principal and Professor of Hydraulics at the Royal School of Engineering at Giza. During his tenure of this office his advice was frequently sought by the Public Works Department on drainage schemes, and he also gave assistance to the Inspectorate-General of Projects with regard to important proposals.

In 1921 His Excellency was appointed, by the Sultan and Council of Ministers, to be one of three engineering advisers to the Egyptian official delegation in England in connection with the Nile water supply. In that year he became Principal of the School of Engineering and three years later he received the appointment of inspector of irrigation and deputy director-general of the physical department in the Ministry of Works. Subsequently he was appointed assistant director-general of reservoirs and finally in 1929 he became director-general. Some of his most important achievements were the construction of barrages on the Nile; the heightening of the Aswan Dam; and the strengthening of the Asyut barrage.

His Excellency represented the Egyptian Government at the World Power Conference in Berlin in 1920 and also at that held at Barcelona in 1929. He was also present as representative at the Conferences at Stockholm and Addis Ababa. From 1934 to 1936 he was Minister of Public Works and of Communications, and during 1936 was a member of the Egyptian Parliament. More recently he had been in partnership as consulting engineer with Sir Murdoch Macdonald, K.C.M.G., M.P., with whom he was jointly responsible for the strengthening of the Esna barrage. He was the author of numerous technical publications, and, in addition, found time to be chairman of the Salvage and Marine Engineering Co and director of the Keneh-Aswan Railway Co. His Excellency was elected an Associate Member of the Institution in 1911 and was transferred to Membership in 1930. He was also a Member of the Institution of Civil Engineers. The title of Pasha was conferred on him in 1935 and in the same year he received the decoration of the Grand Cordon d'Etoile Polaire of Sweden.

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