As an island nation, the Maldives has always had certain limitations when it comes to development. While Male’ has always thrived as the host of power as the capital city in the country, the islands have been far from fortunate in terms of progress. Up until the 1970’s most of the administrative offices in the atolls were sheltered by thatch roofs, the four walls supporting it weaved the same. This changed under the diligent supervision of Late Uz. Abdullah Hameed as the Minister of Atolls Administration.
The thatch walls soon saw brick constructions as the atoll offices were remodeled and rebuilt to in accordance to the development the atolls required. Sheereen, a former colleague who worked with late Uz. Abdullah Hameed at the Atolls Administration described atoll life before development. “There were times when we could see the sky when we looked up from inside the offices. When asked about where they store documents, the clerks would say that they take the files home for safekeeping. What you see in the atolls today was built and developed under Hameed’s management. I would say he was a father figure to the atoll citizens.”
Late Uz. Abdullah Hameed kept a close eye on the atolls by calling up an atoll chiefs every night. “Whenever he visited the islands, he would always inquire about the development the atoll requires and would personally visit the atoll to monitor the progress of any ongoing atoll project. He was a kind hearted man. There is no one like him” said the former Member of Parliament for Guraidhoo Constituency, Hu’en Manik Dhonmanik.
His love for education and religious studies greatly benefitted the students in the atolls. With the establishment of schools in all the atolls during former President Maumoon’s administration, late Uz. Abdullah Hameed took it upon himself to better educate the students in religion and Quran studies. His love for Quran recitations eventually led to him being accompanied of atoll trips by a Qari who would recite at the meetings. He held nothing back when it came to the development of the atolls, thereby being the most reliable and approachable minister the Maldivians ever knew.
Today, the Maldives is once again looking forward to further development in the atolls. With an increasing populace and the growth in the tourism industry, the nation is once again in need for better allocation of resources and opportunities. In this time of need, the loss of Late Uz. Abdullah Hameed is irreversible; the Maldives collectively mourns one of the founding fathers of development the nation ever knew.