Google Doodle celebrates late Saudi novelist Abdul Rahman Munif
Munif is widely regarded as one of the most significant Arabic language writers of the 20th centuries, and is considered one of the best Saudi authors.
Munif was born on 29 May 1933 in Amman, Jordan, to a Saudi father and an Iraqi mother. He moved to Baghdad, Cairo and later Belgrade for his education, and built a career in the oil industry - first as an economist in Iraq, and later for Syria’s oil ministry and the Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC).
When in Baghdad, he worked as an editor for the periodical Naft wa Al-Tanmiyya (Oil and Development). It was during this time that he wrote short stories and eventually published his first book.
Munif went on to write 15 novels and 9 non-fiction books that have been translated into ten languages, and is best known for his quintet of novels titled 'Mudan al-Milh' (Cities of Salt), published from 1984 to 1989.
His novels included strong political elements and frequently criticised Arab government and societies, for which he was stripped of his Saudi nationality in 1963 and saw his work often banned in Arab states.
Munif’s work won several awards including the Al-Owais Cultural Award in 1989 and the Award of Cairo Gathering for Arab Creativity in Novel Writing in 1998.
He died in 2004, leaving behind an immense cultural and literary legacy. He is widely seen as belonging to the pantheon of the greatest Arab writers of the modern era.