KUWAIT: After more than 50 years in sports journalism, Kuwait has lost iconic media figure, former Kuwait Journalists Association secretary general and member of KJA’s general assembly Faisal Mubarak Ali Al-Qenae.

Qenae, born in October 1950 in Sharq’s Al-Jena’at neighborhood, was a pillar of Kuwaiti and Arab media, namely in sports journalism. Starting his career in 1969, Qenae witnessed many Kuwaiti teams’ local and international achievements in various sports. He worked for many local dailies and was one of the founders of Al-Jamaheer local daily in 1983.

Qenae held many positions including the secretary general of KJA and president of the Asian Sports Journalism Federation. He was a consultant to the Arab Journalists Federation, chief editor of Al-Shaheed magazine issued by the Olympic committee, vice president of the International Sports Press Association (AIPS), member of the communications committee at the Association of National Olympic Committee (ANOC), member of the Arab Sports Press Association’s executive office and head of Kuwait Olympic Committee’s media committee.

Throughout his career, Qenae received many accolades from regional and international organizations including the International Sports Press Association, the Asian Sports Journalism Federation, the Arab Sports Press Association, the Gulf Sports Press Association and ANOC Award for outstanding services in 1989 and 1990.

In an interview, Qenae said: “I started developing my journalism skills in intermediate school when I had good command of classical Arabic. In 1971, when I was only 20, my friend Dr Mustafa Jouhar Hayat advised me to work in journalism to exploit my style of writing and helped me contact the late Al-Seyassah sports writer Ramzi Otaifa, who helped me start my career at the age of 21.”

Qenae explained that taking into consideration his age, the mentality of his peers in those times and the fact that Kuwait was going through its golden age in sports, he chose to write about sports rather than politics or other topics.

Speaking on the sad occasion, Kuwait Hunting and Equestrian Club Chairman Sheikh Dhari Al-Fahd expressed his heartfelt condolences on Qenae’s demise, describing him as “the dean of Arab sports journalism”. In addition, the Arab and Middle Eastern Journalists Association expressed condolences, noting that throughout his life and long career, Qenae had spared no effort in serving Kuwaiti and Arab journalism.