Who was Abdul Rahman Munif? Google Doodle celebrates Saudi novelist

Search homepage opens with an illustration of the journalist and cultural critic

Google has created a doodle for Saudi novelist Abdul Rahman Munif on what would have been his 90th birthday. Photo: Google
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Saudi novelist Abdul Rahman Munif is being celebrated with a Google Doodle on what would have been his 90th birthday.

The special drawing can be seen in the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Oman, Iraq, Egypt, Libya, Algeria and Morocco.

Munif was a journalist and cultural critic who is considered one of the most significant modern Saudi authors of the 20th century.

He was born in 1933 in Amman, Jordan, to Saudi parents. In 1952, he moved to Baghdad to study law and was later based in Cairo. He earned his doctorate in petroleum economics at the University of Belgrade in 1961.

He had a career in the oil industry as an economist in Baghdad and later worked for Syria's Oil Ministry and Opec. While in Iraq, he also worked as an editor for a monthly publication called Al-Naft wa al-Tanmiyya (Oil and Development).

He began writing in the 1970s after he left an Iraqi government job and moved to Damascus. Munif wrote several short stories before publishing his first book.

He was the author of 15 novels, including the Mudun al-Milh (Cities of Salt) quintet about how the Arab world changed during the oil era.

Other books included Al-Nihayat (Endings), Sharq al-Mutawassit (East Of The Mediterranean), and the three-volume historical novel Ard Al-Sawad (Land of Darkness Trilogy).

His works have been translated into more than 10 languages. He also won awards for his writings, including Al-Owais Cultural Award in 1989 and the Award of Cairo Gathering for Arab Creativity in Novel Writing in 1998.

Munif died in Damascus in 2004, aged 71.

What are Google Doodles?

Google Doodles feature sporadically throughout the year, transforming the search engine's traditional logo into an animation to pay tribute to an important figure or moment in history.

They can also mark seasonal or celebratory events such as International Women's Day, for example.

Updated: May 29, 2023, 6:22 AM