Abd ar-Rahman Munif

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Abd ar-Rahman Munif ( Arabic عبد الرحمن منيف, DMG ʿAbd ar-Raḥmān Munīf , other spelling Abdalrachman Munif ; * 1933 in Amman ; † January 24, 2004 in Damascus ) was an Arabic writer .


Munif was born in the Jordanian capital Amman in 1933. His father was a Saudi trader and his mother was from Iraq . 1951 made Munif graduated from high school and then studied in Baghdad law . Because of political agitation, he was expelled from the university in 1955. He continued his studies in Cairo , then moved to the University of Belgrade in 1958 , where he received his doctorate in economics with a focus on the oil industry in 1961 . After returning to Baghdad, he joined the radical wing of the Ba'ath Party and held various jobs as an economist in the oil industry . He worked for an oil company in Syria until 1973, and in 1975 he became the editor-in-chief of an Iraqi trade journal on oil and development.

From the 1980s he devoted himself exclusively to literature. Between 1981 and 1986 he lived in exile in France, after which he moved with his family to Syria, his wife's home country. He spent the rest of his life in Damascus until he died in 2004.

His novels are among the most widely read in the Arab world. East of the Mediterranean , the story of a political prisoner, also made him known internationally. A recurring theme - among many others - is the freedom of the individual under the conditions of dictatorship . In his five-volume novel Mudun al-milh (" Salt Cities "), a poorly encrypted literary tracing of the development of Saudi Arabia from a tribal desert society to an oil monarchy is undertaken. Because of this pentalogy , the Saudi Arabian state revoked his citizenship in 1989. His last fiction work was published in 1999.


  • al-Ashjar wa-ightiyal Marzuq . 1973 (German: The trees and the murder of Marzuq )
  • Sharq al-mutawassit . 1975 ( East of the Mediterranean , L. Bender (trans.), Afterword by Hartmut Fähndrich , 1995. ISBN 3-85787-238-1 )
  • al-Nihayat (German: On the edge of the desert . 2000)
  • Mudun al-milh . 1984–1989 (pentalogy salt cities )
    • al-Tih , 1984 (Volume I of the salt cities pentalogy: Salt cities , M. Barakat and L. Bender (trans.), 2003. ISBN 978-3-7205-2425-4 )
    • al-Ukhdud , 1985 (Volume II of the Salt Towns Pentalogy: Zeit der Saat , M. Barakat and L. Bender (trans.), 2008. ISBN 978-3-7205-3045-3 )
    • Taqasim al-layl wa-n-nahar , 1989 (Volume III of the Salt Towns Pentalogy: The Game of Light and Shadow , M. Barakat and L. Bender (trans.), 2009. ISBN 978-3424350111 )
    • al-Manbat , 1989.
    • Badiyat az-zulumat , 1989
  • Sirat madinah . 1994 (German: L. Bender, H. Fähndrich (ex.): History of a city . 1996)
  • Ard al-Sawad , 1999

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. Cf. on the biographical information: Mona Anis, Al-Ahram, February 19, 2004, trans.
  2. Abdelrahman Munif (1933–2004) - also spelled 'Abd al-Rahman Munif ( Memento from March 3, 2015 in the Internet Archive )