DUBAI: Google Doodle on Monday celebrated what would have been the 90th birthday of Saudi novelist, journalist and cultural critic Abdelrahman Munif.
Munif was born on May 29, 1933 in Amman, Jordan. In 1952, he moved to Iraq to study law at the University of Baghdad.
Years later he graduated from Cairo University in Egypt before earning his PhD in petroleum economics at the University of Belgrade in 1961.
Munif had a career in the oil industry as an economist in Iraq, and later for the Oil Ministry in Syria and OPEC.
Since childhood, Munif developed an interest in writing and believed “the mission of literature is to increase awareness”.
While living in Baghdad, he worked as an editor at the monthly periodical Al-Naft wa Al-Tanmiyya (Oil and Development).
He published short stories and eventually his first book during his time as an editor.
His first novel, Al Ashjar wa-ightiyal Marzuq (Trees and the Assasination of Marzooq) was published in 1973.
His best known work is the quintet, Mudan al-Milh (Cities of Salt) which describes the Arab world during the oil era.
Other notable works by Munif included Al-Nihayat (Endings), Sharq al-Mutawassit (East of the Mediterranean) and historical novel trilogy Ard Al-Sawad (Land of Darkness).
In 1989, Munif was awarded the Al-Owaist Cultural Award for his distinction in writing and the Award of Cairo Gathering for Arab Creativity in Novel Writing in 1998.
“Thank you for your contributions to Arab literature and your analysis of sociopolitical issues,” read Google’s description of the novelist.
The doodle was seen across the Middle East on Monday.