Prominent Yemeni businessman passes away [Archives:2008/1117/Last Page]

December 3 2008

By: Yemen Times Staff
SANA'A, Jan 2 ) Sheikh Mahfoudh Salem Shamakh, Yemeni businessman and Supreme Committee member of Islah, as well as chairman of the Chamber of Industry and Commerce in Sana'a, passed away on Tuesday, Jan. 1, at the age of 68.

Shamakh was known for charitable acts and social activism. Since his youth, he contributed by giving sound opinions and bold advice, calling on the country to work towards prosperity, brotherhood and reconciliation until his death.

The sheikh was a strong economist who fought corruption via speeches and statements, highlighting the limitations of state-run economic policies. He also demanded economic reform.

In the political arena, Shamakh always called either on the authority or the opposition and other political segments to transparent round-table sessions to discuss controversial issues, clarifying that what is happening in the southern governorates are not only retiree-related political congestions but also nationwide issues.

In regard to dialogue, Shamakh stressed the necessity of creating the appropriate atmosphere. He reiterated that dialogue should not be limited to retirees and persons deprived of their lands in the southern governorates.

The late businessman spared no effort to fight rampant corruption in all state and government spheres, unless the state's political will and volition was present.

He also deemed that opposition affiliates should do their role and educate themselves instead of voicing their opinions in newspapers. He also felt they should march into the streets and educate the public as well about how to propel the wheel of development.

Shamakh's life sketch in brief

Sheikh Mahfoudh Shamakh was born in Shibam, Hadramout in 1933. He studied in Shibam and then left to Al-Badri School in Aden. He is the founder of Al-Ta'awon Cultural, Sport and Political Club, founded in the 1960s over sports concerns. He also founded the Hadramout Society in Aden in the 1960s.

Shamakh is survived by three daughters, two abroad and one in Sana'a, and one son, O'mar, who is 30.

Shamakh was considered a prominent and wise Yemeni businessmen. He chaired the board of directors in the Chamber of Commerce and Industry in Sana'a, and was named as the “sheikh of traders” in Yemen. He worked as the deputy director of the board of directors in Shamakh Trading Group and was also a member of the Supreme Committee of the Yemeni Congregation Party (Islah).

He is the founder of two societies, Islah Social and Charitable Society and Hadramout Social and Charitable Society. He further contributed to charity by establishing the Shibam Hadramout Hospital and a school for girls. He worked in the field of trading and extended good relationships with respectable social figures. He was also known for fighting governmental policies, particularly the Law of Tax and Sales, taking his dispute with the government into the constitutional sphere in the Supreme Court. He was well-educated and was fluent in English. Shamakh provided a safe haven for southern governorate locals, particularly in Hadramout, during the time Yemen was split. He contributed to provide job opportunities for them and facilitated travel procedures into neighboring countries in order to find jobs there.

He supported charitable societies, such as orphanages, Qur'anic schools and a charitable foundation for cancer patients. In addition, he erected a hospital for psychological diseases, as well as a number of mosques and schools.

Shamakh is an exemplary model for businessmen through his contributions in social and charitable issues.