10 July 2021 Distinguished calligrapher & Al Manaar founding figure passes away

Ali Omar Ermes, world-renowned artist and one of the founding trustees of the Al-Manaar Muslim Cultural Heritage Centre in West London passed away today, inna lillahi wa inna ilayhi rajiun. Ali Omar combined his outstanding professional career with a commitment to high standards in Muslim community projects, witnessed today in the interior design and architecture of the Al-Manaar Centre. Ali Omar Ermes was born in Tripoli, Libya in 1945 and settled in London in the early 1970s following the coup led by Col. Gaddafi.

Ali Ermes’s work is exhibited in major world galleries and held in royal private collections. His concern with Muslim community development included support for the Muslim Council of Britain when it was inaugurated in 1997. He followed developments such as the MCB’s campaign for a religion question in the late 1990s, even hosting a dinner at his home in Ealing so that a case could be made to the sceptics at the time. He served as MCB treasurer for some months in 2002. When MCB hosted Prime Minister Tony Blair at the Royal Commonwealth Institute, Ali Omar most generously gifted one of his paintings. Ali Ermes was a warm individual, passionate in the causes he took up, and his loss will long be felt.

Jamil Sherif