[Marxism] Abdul Rahman Munif

Louis Proyect lnp3 at panix.com
Mon Feb 2 11:23:35 MST 2004

(His "Cities of Salt" was praised highly in Tariq Ali's "The Clash of 

Abdul Rahman Munif, 71, Political Novelist, Is Dead

Published: February 2, 2004

DAMASCUS, Syria, Feb. 1 — Abdul Rahman Munif, whose critically praised 
novels looked at political oppression in the Middle East and were often 
banned by Arab governments, died here on Jan. 24. He was 71.

The cause was kidney failure and heart problems, his wife, Suad Qwadri, 

Mr. Munif wrote about 15 novels, including the "Cities of Salt" series, 
considered his masterpiece, and "East of the Mediterranean."

"Cities of Salt" deals with the changes that the exploitation of oil 
brought about among Bedouins in Saudi Arabia.

No other Arab novelist has taken such a detailed look at the 
psychological and sociological impact of oil on a community.

In "The Ends" he described the torture and suffering he endured as a 
political prisoner. The book did not reveal in which country the events 
took place, but it was believed to be Saudi Arabia.

When he died, Mr. Munif was working on a book on Iraq, where he had 
studied and later worked.

Many of his books were banned in Saudi Arabia and other countries for 
their political content. The Saudi authorities withdrew his Saudi 
citizenship in 1963 because of his political activities.

Born in Jordan in 1933 of a Saudi father and an Iraqi mother, he had 
lived in Syria since the late 1980's. The Syrians granted him 
citizenship, and his wife is Syrian.

In addition to his wife he is survived by four children.


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