Cairo: Prominent Egyptian labour rights advocate and ex-lawmaker Al Badr Farghali has died in his coastal hometown Port Saeed. He was 73.
Farghali was nicknamed the “defender of workers” and “advocate of the poor” due to his long activism in espousing their causes.
Hundreds of mourners Monday attended his funeral in Port Saeed led by the city’s Governor Maj. Gen. Adel Al Ghadban. His coffin was draped in the Egyptian flag during the funeral held in the Suez Canal city, local media said.
“He was an example of dedication and devotion to his country. His efforts will be immortalised in the mind throughout ages,” the governor said in a tribute.
Farghali was born into a family which he once described as living below the poverty line. He left the school early in life and joined his father, a port worker, to help support the family.
Elected in 1990 as a member of the Egyptian parliament, Farghali retained his seat in the legislature for four consecutive tenures. He was known as the “voice of popular opposition” in the parliament due to his grilling of the government ministers.
Farghali co-founded the leftist Al Tagmuh unionist party. “Egypt has lost the defender of the poor and an ex-parliamentarian of a unique category,” sitting MP for the Tagmuh Alaa Esam said, mourning Farghali.
After leaving the parliament, Farghali set up a union for pensioners estimated at 9 million people in Egypt. He campaigned for increasing their pensions to cope with living costs.