Attendees at the AAPG International
Conference in Paris were saddened to
learn of the murder of prominent Iraqi
geologist Wissam Al-Hashimi, who was
kidnapped Aug. 24 on the way to work in
Baghdad. He was 63.
Al-Hashimi's daughter said at the time of
his kidnapping he was working on his
paper "Porosities of Carbonate Reservoirs
of the Mesopotamian Basin: An Insight Into
Their Origin," which was to have been
presented at the Paris conference. She said
a ransom was paid, but the family located
his body weeks later in a Baghdad hospital.
A small memorial was held at the Paris
session where his paper was to be
presented to commemorate him and his
Al-Hashimi, born in Baghdad, studied
geology-physics at the University of
Baghdad and joined the department of
geology in Mosul University, North Iraq, in
1967. He left Iraq in 1968 with an Iraqi
postgraduate research scholarship to the
University of Newcastle, England.
He returned to Iraq in1972 to head the
mineralogy division at the DG of Geological
Survey of Iraq, then he moved to Iraq
National Oil Co. in 1981 to head the
underground storage team.
Following the 1991 Gulf War he led the
unconventional petroleum storage project,
and in 1994 he returned to INOC, renamed
then as the Oil Exploration Co., to head the
sedimentology division. He then became a
consulting geologist to the DG of Oil
Exploration, and a board member of the
Iraqi Drilling Co.
"He persevered in serving Iraq
throughout his career and helped improve
the co-operation between geologists in
Iraq, the Middle East and the entire globe,"
said London geologist Muhammad W.
Ibrahim. "He organized several AGA
conferences under difficult conditions in
Baghdad, Ankara, Amman, Cairo and
Beirut, and he was planning another
(conference) in Abu Dhabi in early 2006."