Prominent Figures

A Tribute to Gabriel (Gaby) Deek: A Visionary Leader in Digital Media and Internet Society

Pioneering Lebanon's Internet Revolution

Gabriel Deek was a founder, CEO, president, professor, mentor, and friend to many in the fields of digital media and internet society. He passed away on February 25th, 2022, leaving behind a legacy of innovation, excellence, and passion. In this blog post, we will celebrate his achievements and contributions to the industry and the community.

A Pioneer in Digital Media Solutions and ICT in Lebanon

Gabriel Deek started his career in 1989 as the founder and CEO of Digital Media Solutions Companies and Manager of eBusiness Solutions Activities. He was at the forefront of several groundbreaking projects related to eBusiness Infrastructure, Multimedia, Advanced Collaboration, Video Production and Post-Production, and News-Room Automation Systems. His tenure as General Manager of OmniSystems sal., an affiliate of OmniTech Holdings and MiDiS Group, further established his reputation as a visionary in the field.

Gabriel Deek was a visionary leader who foresaw the potential of digital media and the internet to transform the way people communicate, collaborate, and create. He was always on the lookout for new technologies and trends, and he was not afraid to experiment and innovate. He was also a hands-on manager who led by example and inspired his team to deliver high-quality solutions to clients.

Some of the notable projects that Gabriel Deek and his team worked on include:

  • The first interactive multimedia CD-ROM in the Middle East, which was produced for the Lebanese Ministry of Tourism in 1994.
  • The first online news portal in Lebanon, which was launched for the Lebanese Broadcasting Corporation (LBC) in 1996.
  • The first live streaming of a TV channel in the Middle East, which was done for Future TV in 1998.
  • The first interactive TV show in the Middle East, which was produced for LBC in 2000.
  • The first online video platform in the Middle East, which was developed for LBC in 2006.
  • The first mobile TV application in the Middle East, which was created for LBC in 2008.

A Champion of Internet Society

Gabriel Deek was not only a successful entrepreneur, but also a passionate advocate of internet society. He believed that the internet was a resource to enrich people’s lives and empower them to achieve their goals. He was actively involved in promoting the development and use of the internet in Lebanon and the region.

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He became president of the Internet Society (ISOC) Lebanon Chapter from 2016 to 2018. ISOC is a global non-profit organization that works to ensure the open, secure, and trustworthy development of the internet for everyone. As the president of the Lebanon Chapter, Gabriel Deek led several initiatives and events to raise awareness, educate, and engage the public on various topics related to the internet, such as:

  • Internet governance and policy
  • Internet access and inclusion
  • Internet security and privacy
  • Internet innovation and entrepreneurship
  • Internet education and literacy

He also represented Lebanon in several regional and international forums and conferences, such as:

  • The Arab Internet Governance Forum (AIGF)
  • The Internet Governance Forum (IGF)
  • The World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS)
  • The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN)

Deek was also a member of the Multistakeholder Advisory Group (MAG) of the IGF, which is a group of experts that advises the UN Secretary-General on the agenda and program of the IGF.

A Professor and Mentor of Entrepreneurship

Gabriel Deek was a leader in the industry, and also a leader in the academia. He was a Professor of Entrepreneurship, Negotiations and Knowledge Management at the Saint Joseph University (USJ) in Beirut. He taught and mentored hundreds of students and aspiring entrepreneurs, sharing his knowledge and experience with them. He also encouraged them to pursue their dreams and passions, and to use the internet as a tool to achieve them.

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He was also a member of the MIT-Venture Mentoring program, which is a program that connects entrepreneurs with experienced mentors who provide them with practical advice and guidance. He was always willing to help and support young entrepreneurs, especially those who had innovative ideas related to digital media and internet society.

Training the Next Generation of ICT Leaders

Recognizing the importance of nurturing talent, various talent training initiatives and programs have been launched across Lebanon, including ICT academies in partnership with prestigious universities. These programs cover a wide range of technical fields and aim to develop a new generation of ICT leaders, ensuring a bright and connected future for Lebanon.

Change yourself. Change the World.

Gabriel Deek (on Twitter)

Impact on the ICT Sector and Beyond

Deek’s impact extended beyond individual achievements; his work has significantly influenced Lebanon’s broader ICT sector. The sector’s anticipated contribution to Lebanon’s GDP is expected to reach US$7 billion by 2025, showcasing the potential for increased innovation and digital accessibility throughout the country. This growth aligns with the Digital Transformation Strategy, emphasizing the importance of infrastructure development and talent investment in shaping a robust, digitally-driven economy.

A timeline of Gabriel Deek’s impactful career

1989

Digital Media Pioneer & eBusiness Solutions Expert, CEO of OmniSystems sal.

Founder and CEO of Digital Media Solutions Companies and Manager of eBusiness Solutions Activities. Involved in multiple projects related to eBusiness Infrastructure, Multimedia, Advanced Collaboration, Video Production and Post-Production, and News-Room Automation Systems. General Manager of OmniSystems sal. an affiliate company to OmniTech Holdings and MiDiS Group.

1996

TERMIUM logo - ICT Lebanon Exhibition

PCA and ICT Lebanon

Joined the Professional Computer Association (PCA), marking the beginning of his active involvement in Lebanon’s ICT community.

March, 2003

LOGO of PCA Professional Computer Association of Lebanon

Elected PCA Secretary-General

Elected as Secretary-General of the PCA, where he began influencing public initiatives for developing internet infrastructure and legal frameworks

April, 2003

Logo of World Summit Award

World Summit Award (WSA)

Became Member of the Executive Board of Directors and Country Expert for the World Summit Award, a UN GAID supported initiative.

2007-2009

EWSCWA Logo

Consultant for the ESCWA

Served as an Evaluation Consultant for the ESCWA Digital Arabic Content Promotion Project, delivering the final report and a detailed marketing plan.

2010

ISOC Lebanon logo

Co-Founded and Vice-president

Co-Founded and became Vice-president of the ISOC Lebanon Chapter, leading efforts to promote internet growth and accessibility in Lebanon.

2012

Gabriel Deek talking on his mobile

Founded LEBKnoC initiative

Founded the Lebanon Knowledge Network (LebKnoC) initiative, aiming to open knowledge centers in remote areas to bridge the digital divide and support the local economy.

Delivered the “Business Models for the Promotion of Digital Arabic Content” report to ESCWA.

2016 – 2018

President

Became President of the Internet Society (ISOC) Lebanon Chapter. Worked on promoting the development and use of the internet as a resource to enrich people’s lives.

February 25, 2022

End of a Tremendus Effort

Passed away. Remembered as a visionary leader, a passionate mentor, and a generous friend.

This timeline illustrates Gaby Deek’s progressive influence and leadership in the digital media and internet sectors in Lebanon, showcasing his role as a visionary in the field.

Gaby was a brother-in-arms, an advocate to the Internet and ICT in Lebanon and an inspiration to everyone. He gave so much to the community and we’ll always honor his memory…

Nabil Bukhalid

The Legacy Lives On: The “Gaby Deek Internet Innovation Award”

In remembrance of Deek’s contributions, the Internet Society Lebanon (ISOC-LB) and ESIB (Engineering Faculty, Saint Joseph University – USJ) established the “Gaby Deek Internet Innovation Award”. This award honors the top three undergraduate students’ final year projects in the Internet domain. The award ceremony, attended by ESIB students, faculty, staff, and Deek’s family and friends, is a testament to his enduring influence on the Lebanese tech scene. Dr. Nicolas Rouhana, President of ISOC Lebanon, described Deek as a “visionary and an activist for a better Internet for everyone in Lebanon”.

Gabriel Deek’s legacy is a beacon for Lebanon’s burgeoning digital future. His contributions, epitomized by the “Gaby Deek Internet Innovation Award”, continue to inspire and shape the next generation of Lebanese tech pioneers. As Lebanon marches towards a digitally empowered future, the spirit of Gabriel Deek remains a guiding light, illuminating the path towards innovation and connectivity. He was a man who left a mark on the world, and on the hearts of those who knew him. He will be dearly missed, but never forgotten.

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