Peter Hellyer: UAE Historian Passes Away at 75
The UAE mourns the loss of Peter Hellyer, a renowned author, columnist, and cultural historian, who passed away peacefully in Abu Dhabi on Sunday. With a career spanning decades, Hellyer became deeply involved with the UAE in the 1970s when he arrived in the country to produce documentaries about the overseas visits of the late Founding Father, Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan.
A Legacy of Contribution
Throughout his illustrious career, Hellyer made significant contributions to the UAE's media and cultural landscape. He played a pivotal role in establishing the English-language service of Wam, the state news agency, and also took charge of foreign language radio broadcasting in Abu Dhabi. Furthermore, he served as the managing editor of the Emirates News newspaper and acted as a long-term information adviser to the National Media Council.
Recognized for his Meritorious Service
In recognition of his outstanding service to the nation, Peter Hellyer was granted UAE citizenship. His work in identifying crucial archaeological sites in the UAE, including the discovery of a Christian monastery on Sir Bani Yas island in the 1990s, earned him the Abu Dhabi Medal in 2013, the highest civilian honor in the emirate. Following his passing, tributes poured in from all corners, celebrating his rich legacy.
A Fond Farewell from Dignitaries
High-ranking UAE officials paid their respects to Hellyer, acknowledging his profound impact on the nation. Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed, UAE Minister of Foreign Affairs, hailed Hellyer as a true son of the UAE, while Salem Al Qassimi, Minister of Culture and Youth, lauded his dedication to the country's environmental and archaeological heritage. Noura Al Kaabi, Minister of State, expressed gratitude for Hellyer's friendship and devotion to the nation.
A Multifaceted Intellectual
Hellyer's diverse expertise extended to his literary pursuits, where he authored numerous books about the UAE. As a regular columnist for The National, he delved into various subjects, with heritage, archaeology, the environment, politics, and society being his central themes. His influential writings captured the essence of the UAE's past and present, cementing his position as a key figure in documenting the nation's history.
Farewell to a Great Mind
People from various fields and countries joined in paying tribute to Hellyer's remarkable intellect and warm personality. Colleagues and friends praised his encyclopedic knowledge of the UAE and its people, noting his invaluable contributions to journalism, archaeology, and heritage preservation. Hellyer's kindness, support, and dedication will leave a lasting impact on the UAE's media and cultural realms for generations to come.
Condolences and Remembrance
As the nation grieves the loss of Peter Hellyer, condolences will be held at the InterContinental Hotel, Al Bateen, Abu Dhabi, from July 3 to July 5. His passing leaves a void in the UAE's cultural landscape, but his profound impact and contributions will be cherished and remembered forever.