Dr Ezzeddin Ibrahim was a renowned academic and an acknowledged Islamic scholar who was appointed as the Cultural Advisor to the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, Ruler of Abu Dhabi, founder and President of the UAE.
During Dr Ibrahim’s early career he held a number of educational and administrative positions in the field of education and scientific research in Egypt, Libya and Syria. In Qatar he devised a study programme for the Ministry of Education and in Saudi Arabia he held the eminent post of Professor of Arabic Literature at Riyadh University.
Throughout his life he remained passionate in his call for Islamic-Christian dialogue and worked tirelessly articulating his message, both in person as a key speaker at many international conferences and through his varied publications in journals, newspapers and books. During this time he came into contact with numerous distinguished people, and amongst those who had a profound effect on him was Pope Paul Vl who he met at his official residence in the Vatican in 1978 and the Dalai Lama whose philosophical and thoughtful insights left a lasting impression. Dr Ezzeddin Ibrahim fervently believed that dialogue begins by respecting the right of others to their beliefs and by strengthening the religious foundations for coexistence in one nation.
With that in mind and following a recent meeting with Pope Benedict, he worked closely with the ruler of Saudi Arabia, King Abdullah, to organize and participate in dialogue in Madrid in 2008, concentrating on life in human societies, international cooperation, human rights, issues of security, peace, and living together in the world. Besides speakers from the three monotheistic religions, Dr Ezzeddin, with the sincere support of a strong Middle Eastern monarch, was able to include delegates from other religious traditions, faiths and philosophies who he felt were under represented at such conferences. Although previously attempted and partly realised, this had not happened before, as it did so comprehensively in Madrid.
Dr Ezzeddin Ibrahim died on 30 January 2010 aged 81.