October 2, 2008

Renowned writer Al-Jifri is dead

ArabNews - Famous Saudi writer and novelist Abdullah Al-Jifri died yesterday after a pronged illness. He was 69. His body will be buried in Makkah after funeral prayers at the Grand Mosque this afternoon.

Al-Jifri enriched Arab culture and heritage by writing more than 60 novels and thousands of literary and informative articles. Al-Jifri completed his secondary education in Makkah and worked as a civil servant in different government departments before joining the Ministry of Information.

He worked for Al-Bilad and Al-Madinah as editorial secretary and for Okaz as managing editor. He also worked as deputy to the publishers at Saudi Research & Publishing Company, when he supervised the cultural and literary pages of Asharq Al-Awsat, a sister publication of Arab News for several years.

He also wrote articles in Sayidaty magazine and Al-Hayat Arabic daily and supervised the cultural file of Al-Majalla magazine. His columns under the title “Shades” attracted a large number of readers — Saudis as well as non-Saudis. He contributed articles to the international edition of Egypt’s Al-Ahram and Kuwait’s Al-Rae Al-Aam as well as to Egyptian magazines such as Akhir Saa, October and Sabah Al-Khair.

In 1984, he received a prize from the Arab Educational, Cultural and Scientific Organization before winning the Ali & Mustafa Ameen Journalism Prize in 1992. He received another award in 1998 during the second conference of Saudi men of letters.

Hamad bin Abdullah Al-Qadi, a well-known writer and a member of the Shoura Council, said Al-Jifri’s death was a big loss for the Arab world. “Arabs all over the world read his articles through Asharq Al-Awsat and other newspapers and magazines,” he added.

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