Mustafa Diab, the "Godfather of Egyptian Billiards" has figured prominently in the game for over half a century.
Born October 22, 1918, he not only became a top class player but also an excellent administrator at the national and international levels.
When only 10 years old, Mustafa was introduced to billiards by his father, Ahmed, an ardent admirer of the game. He immediately fell in love with billiards and, being naturally talented, was soon winning against older and more experienced opponents.
In 1936, Mustafa, only 18 then, won his first major competition: The Cairo Three-Cushion Championship, organized by the Egyptian Billiards Federation which was then headed by Albert Soussa, brother of the world champion Edmond Soussa. In the same year, Mustafa placed fourth in the All-Egypt Three Cushion Championship. In 1938, he again placed Fourth in the 'Fantasy' All-Egypt Championship.
During World War II the Billiards Federation suspended its activities and the game was in the doldrums. However, Mustafa's enthusiasm did not wane. In 1944, he and several friends formed a new Egyptian Billiards Federation to replace the defunct one and the game began to gain popularity in the country. Friendly international matches were organized in Cairo against nearby countries in Three-Cushion Billiards, such as: Lebanon (1949) and Greece (1950). The Egyptian team of Mustafa Diab, Michel Candalaft, and Emil Mansour won all their matches in these meets.
Mustafa Diab had the good fortune to go to Paris where he met Mr. Alexandre Ave Richard Cron De Baker and the world-class player Alfred Lagache, with whom he played every single day for two months. The experience Mustafa gained not only improved his own game but also enabled him to help and advise Egyptian players. He also participated in the 'Libre' Championship of Europe, in St. Etienne, which was won by Van Hassel from Belgium.
Not content with being a top class player, Mustafa was also an efficient and energetic organizer and administrator, as well as billiards adviser. As a result, Egypt was included as a venue for European and World billiard championships. In 1963, for example, at the General Assembly of the European Billiards Federation, in Nice, he submitted a request to the President, Mr. Georges Troffaes, that Egypt host a European 'Libre' Billiards Championship, and the Assembly agreed that it be held in Cairo in February 1966, which was won by Jean Marty of France.
Soon international competitions were held in Cairo:
- 1967: '47/2 Cadre' World Championship, also won by Jean Marty.
- 1972: Nile Cup International Tournament, won by Bolangier of Belgium. 1973: 3-Cushion World Championship, won by Raymond Ceulemans of Belgium.
- 1981: 3-Cushion World Championship, won by Dielis of Belgium.
- 1986: 3-Cushion World Championship, won by Torbjorn Blomdahl of Sweden.
Mustafa Diab helped to found other national billiards federations and confederations.
- The Greek National Billiards Federation, in 1955, which allowed Greece to join the European Billiards Federation.
- The Lebanese and Sudanese Billiards Federation, in 1968, which the World Billiards Federation approved that, together with Egypt, they constitute the Billiards Confederation for Africa and the Middle East.
He traveled to Tunisia, Algeria, Morocco, Jordan and Kuwait to persuade them to join the confederation, but events in the Middle East, the Lebanon and the Sudan have impeded efforts in this direction.
Having dominated the Egyptian billiards scene (three-cushion, libre, cadre, etc.) from 1944 to 1980, Mustafa Diab's dedication has helped to popularize the game in Egypt. It is a far cry from 1944 when only three clubs played the game. Now the Egyptian Billiards Federation governs six zones: Cairo, Alexandria, the Canal, the Delta and Upper Egypt, which comprise 56 clubs that are active in all categories and games of billiards. Mustafa Diab has passed on his love of billiards to his younger brother, Dr. Khalil Diab (who became Egypt's champion in 1-Cushion), his three sons Mohamed, Mamdouh and Mohsen, all of whom are proficient players, and even on to his grandson, Mustafa, who has won the All-Egypt Junior 3-Cushion Championship for several years.
Mustafa Diab - Biography
- Date of Birth: 1918-10-22
- Country of Residence: Egypt
- Mustafa Diabs Nickname(s): Godfather of Egyptian Billiards
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Mustafa Diabs Cue Sports Records and Accomplishments
- Title: Mustafa Diab
- Author: billiardsforum (Billiards Forum)
- Published: 3/20/2020 5:01:56 AM
- Last Updated: 3/20/2020 5:08:11 AM
- Last Updated By: billiardsforum
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