Journalist Tahir Hussain Ansari, 64, who had the distinction of being the longest-serving Indian journalist in Saudi Arabia, died following a heart attack on Friday night.
Tahir joined the Saudi Press Agency (SPA) in 1978 and was working as the managing editor of the English section of SPA.
Tahir, who began his journalism career with All India Radio in New Delhi, suffered “a massive cardiac arrest” while he was being rushed to King Fahd Medical City (KFMC), said Mubbasher Ansari, son of Tahir Ansari, here Saturday. Mubasher, business development manager for the local KSB Pumps Arabia, was with his father at the time of his death.
Tahir was a veteran journalist, who created a distinct and persuasive brand with SPA. He also played a pioneering role at the Press Trust of India (PTI) in New Delhi, where he worked in his early days.
“Never scared of taking sides for the right cause and always ready to support anyone in need, Tahir will always be remembered by one and all,” said Ashraf Shah, a senior Indian executive.
“The whole Indian community in Riyadh and those who worked with him are shocked to hear the news of his sudden death,” he added.
People from different sections of society paid their tributes to Tahir Saturday, while condolences were expressed from different parts of India and Saudi Arabia.
In his condolence message, SMI Hassan, a top insurance executive, expressed grief over the untimely death of the scribe describing it as “an irreparable loss to the media community in general and to his family in particular.” His thoughts and write-ups on public issues always caught the attention of the general masses, he added.
The late journalist was buried in Riyadh yesterday.
Tahir, who had the distinction to work for SPA for about 36 years, is survived by two sons and a daughter.
SPA is one of the affiliates of the Saudi Ministry of Information currently manned by nearly 500 employees.

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