Who is IBRAHIM ABD EL AL

(1908 – 1959)

1958

Elected President of the Fourth Conference of Arab Engineers, in Cairo.

1955-1959

Upon his request, the General Directorate of the Ministry of Public Works was divided into two sections: one for Roads and Construction, and the second for Water and Electricity. He was appointed Director General for Water and Electrical Affairs in addition to the control of Concessionary Companies.

1951

Granted additional responsibilities as Director General of the “Bureau de Contrôle des Sociétés Concessionnaires” and as Chairman of the Board of Directors of the “Office des Eaux de Beyrouth.” was also Chairman of the Board of several public institutions.

1949

Appointed as the Director General of the Ministry of Public Works.

1936

Appointed Chief of the Hydrological Studies Section in the Ministry of Public Works.

1932

Returned to Lebanon and worked in the “Régie Générale du Haut Commissariat pour l’Eau et l’Electricité”, (a joint Institution for Water and Electricity established by the French Mandate.). He conducted several hydrological studies on the rivers of the region.

1929

Pursued a degree in Hydraulics, at the University of Grenoble (France).

1928

Specialized in Electrical Engineering, at SUPELEC, Paris.

1925-1928

Graduated from the Faculty of Engineering at St Joseph University and delivered the valedictory of his class.

1919-1925

Graduated from the Patriarcal School in Beirut

1917

Ibrahim Abd El Al attended the German Protestant School in Beirut

EDUCATION AND YOUTH EMPOWERMENT

Ibrahim ABD EL AL believed in Education and the necessity of preparing the future generations to bare their national responsibilities:

1937-1954

He taught Mathematics at Makassed High School, he was able to trigger the interest of the students for a specialization in water.

1946 -1959

He taught Agricultural and Urban Hydrology at the Faculty of Engineering at the St. Joseph University. 

He insisted on recruiting the newly graduated young students in the public administrations related to Water and Energy.

ROLE IN INTERNATIONAL BASINS

1953 -1954

He represented Lebanon in the Arab League Committee who was assigned to elaborate an Arab Project for the exploitation of the Jordan River and its tributaries (in the context of the Johnston’s project). He defended the right of Lebanon for its share in the Hasbani-Wazzani River – (a tributary of the Jordan River) based on histechnical report. In the report he proved the need of water for population growth as well as the potable, agricultural and energy needs. Moreover, he visited along with the Arab representatives, the Jordan River Basin to collect exact data necessary for the elaboration of the Final Arab Technical Report.

  • Officier Supérieur de l’Ordre des Cèdres.
  • Mérite de l’Instruction Publique Libanaise.
  • Médaille d’Or du Mérite Libanais.
  • Chevalier de la Légion d’honneur Française.
  • Mérite de l’Instruction Publique Française.

Vision on integrated basin development.

Ibrahim Abd El Al worked on planning on Lebanese Water Resources in the scope of an Integrated Water Resources Management (IWRM) since the 30’s. He insured coherent policy making related to all sectors of Water. He established a master plan for drinking water, irrigation and energy projects at the national scale. This plan is still used by related governmental institutions.
His studies coveredall Lebanese rivers management, and especially the Litani River which he studies for 15 years, and which ended up with a complete plan for IWRM on this basin. He studied also groundwater related topics such as infiltration and surface flow in the region.

Scientific data base:

To ensure the database for scientific research and the policy making of Water Governance, he established and supervised the following:
– Establishment and supervision on the publishing of the Climatological Bulletin.
– Equipment of the Lebanese rivers with monitoring stations.
– Establishment and publishing, on a yearly basis, of the pluviometric maps.
– Establishment of the geological maps with the cooperation of French experts.
– He had the leading role in nationalizing the projects related to Beirut Water and Energy, and other projects in several Lebanese regions.
– Supervision on the studies of the American “Point 4” on the Lebanese rivers.
– Establishment and execution of the Master Plan for the potable water in Lebanon.
– Establishment of the Master Plan for Energy and Irrigation in Lebanon.
– Execution of 2 pilot projects for Waste Water plants.
– Execution of 3 artificial ponds for irrigation.
– Execution of a pilot project for artificial recharge of groundwater.
– Setting of socio-economic studies on the river basins.

He realized the economic and social potential of the Litani River, which is a 100% Lebanese river basin, in its surface water and groundwater. He made,  on a personal initiative, a study on this river that lasted 15 years, and was culminated in 1948 in publishing of his book entitled “Le Litani: Etude hydrologique”.This study was the base for the execution of the Litani project. He supervised the detailed technical studies of the” Point 4”, (US Bureau of Reclamation ) and succeeded in getting funds from the World Bank  for the execution of the Litani River Project.He worked on the establishment of the Litani River Authority, in 1954, insisting on shaping its structure as public sector institution with a special administrative and financial autonomy.

– In addition to his scientific work, he had a passion for literature and had written a play entitled “Al-Hajjaj”. Abd El Al’s personal library held more than 5000 books, 1500 of them being scientific works.

– He was fluent in Arabic, French, English, German and Turkish.

– His house was like a museum of civilizations with rooms dedicated to different styles: Andalusian, Arabesque, Persian, Islamic and Ancient Egyptian.

Inauguration of the Potable Water Project for the Metn region
Class of 1952 - Al Makassed high school
Abd El Al at work