Ra’am MK Said al-Harumi dies from heart attack at 49

Written by on August 25, 2021

Ra’am MK Said al-Harumi has died at 49-years-old after suffering a heart attack in the early hours of Wednesday morning.

Al-Haromi was rushed to Soroka-University Medical Center in Beersheba where the medical staff was forced to determine his death. The Negev-born Bedouin lived in Segev Shalom, a small Bedouin village south of Beersheba.

“He was a young, energetic and intelligent politician,” Ra’am head Mansour Abbas said of Alharomi. “He always believed in his way a member of the community of Negev Arabs. This is a huge loss,” Abbas added. “His entire life, he worked for the residents of the Negev. Everyone who knew him said he was an amazing man who knew how to get everyone to agree.”

“May god have mercy on Said and guide him in peace. We extend our condolences to Said’s family and the people of the Negev,” Ra’am stated in a press release announcing his death. “Al-Haromi dedicated his life to serve the Arab sector and to solve the burning issues of his community,” the statement added.

The Ra’am MK served as head of the Knesset’s Interior and Environmental Protection Committee. He previously served as secretary-general of the Islamic Movement in Israel, as well as the Segev Shalom Regional Council head, where he lived.

Foreign Affairs Minister Yair Lapid tweeted on early Wednesday morning, acknowledging al-Haromi’s large contribution to the formation of the new Israeli government. Lapid sent his condolences to al-Haromi’s family. 

צער גדול על מותו בטרם עת של ח״כ סעיד אלחרומי שהיה שותף לדרך, ואחד האנשים שבזכותם הוקמה הממשלה. איש הנגב, אוהב אדם שהאמין שאפשר לשנות ולקדם את החברה הישראלית. שולח תנחומים למשפחתו, לכל שבט מסעודין אל-עזאזמה ולמפלגת רע״ם. יום עצוב.

— יאיר לפיד – Yair Lapid (@yairlapid) August 25, 2021

President Isaac Herzog released the following message on Twitter, in both Hebrew and Arabic: “Shocked and pained by the untimely passing of my friend Said al-Harumi, the chairman of the Knesset Interior Committee and a man of the Negev. In his many roles, al-Harumi was a wise and amicable public servant who faithfully represented the Bedouin community in the Negev. My deepest condolences to his family and friends.”

כואב בתדהמה את לכתו בטרם עת של ידידי סעיד אלחרומי יו״ר ועדת הפנים של הכנסת ואיש הנגב. בשלל תפקידיו היה סעיד שליח ציבור מאיר פנים ונבון שייצג נאמנה את החברה הבדואית בנגב. תנחומיי מקרב לב למשפחתו וחבריו לדרך. pic.twitter.com/Ft6TWbpMI5

— יצחק הרצוג Isaac Herzog (@Isaac_Herzog) August 25, 2021

Iman Khatib-Yasin, who was fifth on Ra’am list for the March elections, will replace Alharomi as MK. Her addition to the Knesset will set a new record of 36 women in the Knesset.

TEHILA FRIEDMAN (right) and Iman Khatib-Yasin at the Knesset. Both are striving for a society with greater collaboration and understanding across sectoral lines. (credit: TEHILA FRIEDMAN)TEHILA FRIEDMAN (right) and Iman Khatib-Yasin at the Knesset. Both are striving for a society with greater collaboration and understanding across sectoral lines. (credit: TEHILA FRIEDMAN)

Khatib-Yasin was previously elected to the Knesset as a member of the Joint List in 2020, when she became the first woman to represent the Ra’am party.

With the untimely death of MK Sa’id Alharomi from a heart attack at age 49 overnight and the automatic return of hijab-wearing MK Iman Khatib-Yassin, there are now a record 36 women in the Knesset for the first time.

— Gil Hoffman (@Gil_Hoffman) August 25, 2021

Other MKs have also expressed their grief for al-Haromi.

מפלגת יש עתיד מביעה צער על מותו בטרם עת של ח”כ סעיד אלחרומי. איש הנגב, איש חינוך, אוהב אדם שהאמין שאפשר לשנות ולקדם את החברה הישראלית. שולחים תנחומים למשפחתו, לכל שבט מסעודין אל-עזאזמה ולמפלגת רע״ם. יום עצוב.

— יש עתיד (@YeshAtidParty) August 25, 2021

“It wasn’t difficult to be his friend,” said Joint List MK Ahmad Tibi, “this is a painful loss for everyone, to the Negev, to Ra’am, to me, and to the entire Arab public.”

Interior Minister and Yamina MK Ayelet Shaked also gave her condolences to al-Harumi’s family in a tweet. 

משתתפת בצערה של משפחת אלחרומי על מותו הפתאומי של יו”ר ועדת הפנים ח”כ סעיד אלחרומי. שולחת תנחומים למשפחה

— איילת שקד Ayelet Shaked (@Ayelet__Shaked) August 25, 2021

Meretz MK Tamar Zandberg was “Shocked and saddened by the untimely death of my friend. A dedicated and honest public messenger and a cheerful and humble man, who dedicated his mission to advancing the Negev and Israeli society. Just last week we met to discuss interior and environmental protection issues.” She also sent her condolences to al-Harumi’s family and the Ra’am party. 

המומה וכואבת את מותו בטרם עת של חברי סעיד אלחרומי, שותף לדרך, שליח ציבור מסור וישר ואדם מאיר פנים וצנוע, שהקדיש את שליחותו לקידום הנגב והחברה הישראלית. רק בשבוע שעבר נפגשנו לדון בנושאי פנים והגנת הסביבה, ולא הספקנו להגשים. תנחומים למשפחתו, לשבט מסעודין אל-עזאזמה ולמפלגת רע”מ

— תמר זנדברג (@tamarzandberg) August 25, 2021

Labor MK Omer Bar-Lev wrote: “Astonished by the sudden death of MK al-Harumi. In recent months, he has been in constant contact with me, offering advice and ideas for our plans for the Arab sector. My condolences to his family.”

Yesh Atid MK Meir Cohen also stated on Tuesday morning: “it was only yesterday I sat down with Said for a work meeting. I knew him well. He is a very intellectual man, an educator, a man from the Negev who chose to represent the Bedouin with authenticity and dedication. Said constantly strived for solutions. My sincere condolences to the family and the Ra’am party.” 

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