Abida Ahmed, the longest-serving Foreign Service employee of the Maldives, passed away on May 8 at 66, according to a Foreign Affairs Ministry statement. As executive director of the ministry, Abida served her country for over 40 years. She was well-known for her exceptional protocol management and arrangements for visiting heads of state.

Abida’s career began in 1978 as a maid at Muliaage, the presidential palace. She worked as a telephone operator for the Maldives Airports Authority. In 1985, she joined Foreign Affairs Ministry. There, she made significant contributions to the foreign sector administration.

Foreign Minister Abdulla Shahid extended his heartfelt condolences on Twitter. He described Ahmed as an invaluable member of Team Khaarijee and a friend to all. Former President Maumoon Abdul Gayoom and other high-ranking officials also paid tribute to Abida on social media.

Abida’s funeral prayer was held in MalΓ© on May 8. Her legacy of dedication, passion, and integrity will forever be remembered in the Maldives. Abida Ahmed also mentored many young employees in the foreign sector, facilitating their introduction to the industry.