Please wait...

Life events


Birth and upbringing

Al Mana was born in 1903 in the city of Zubayr, south of Basra between Iraq and Najd. His family originated from the town of Jalajal in the Najd region. Because it of its dry desert climate, with sporadic natural vegetation and lack of rainfall, the family moved with many Najdis to Basra in the pursuit of work. The narratives mention that the migrants established their lives in Zubayr instead of returning to their hometown. Zubayr was the birthplace of AlMana, a city of great influence on him. Its geographical location influenced his father to move and live in it. Its location separating Iraq from Najd made it a busy city and enjoyed economic prosperity. Perhaps the period of childhood experienced by AlMana in Zubayr remained in the mentality of the child and never left him even after he left it. He was born in a trade family. His father worked as an Arab horse tradesman, which was popular at the time. Traders carried their horses in sailing vessels to Bombay and from there they were sent around the world. The father of Al Mana did the same; he bought horses from Iraq, Syria and Lebanon and sold them, but he finally decided to live in Bombay and sell horses to his customers, most of whom were British "cavalrymen", in addition to the elite of the Indian population so-called “Maharajas”.


Moving to Mumbai

He lived in Zubayr until the age of ten when his father decided to move to India, specifically to Bombay, now known as Mumbai, and of course he did not leave his child in Zubayr. He took him with him on this trip, which was one of the most important points that built the personality of AlMana and gained him knowledge, language and independence, away from his father's business career. He lived in Mumbai for twelve years, studied in an English school and moved from place to place to do business for his family, while he was publishing several newspaper articles in the English-language newspaper "Basra Times." After graduating from secondary school, he entered the university to study medicine, but at the end he decided to return to the Arabian Peninsula. He was filled with the news coming from there about the victories achieved by a young leader belonging to the family of Saud and his name was Abdulaziz bin Saud. AlMana mentioned in his book that he was fascinated by these events and victories achieved in the field and decided to serve this great leader and serve his native country.


Return to Zubayr

The news coming from the Arabian Peninsula and the victories of Bin Saud were the main reason why AlMana left Mumbai and returned to his hometown. He returned to Zubayr, leaving Mumbai, its development, its progress and its business behind. He returned to start again, looking for work with the merchants of Basra and ending by achieving his dream of serving with Bin Saud. However, his qualifications did not help him find a job, not because of low level of qualification but because his qualifications were higher than what was required. His English language was not useful to traders because the English speakers in Basra were a small number, mostly Jews and several Christians. But his knowledge of the language was the main reason for his acceptance at the Royal Court, and it also helped him to write for "Basra Times" newspaper. Writing for “Basra Times” gave him the ability to live and support himself. He had several articles published in the newspaper, which also linked him directly to the editor who offered him a fulltime job. However, he lost his job later and his financial condition deteriorated significantly, with his father not willing to help him as he didn’t agree with his career path.


Dream realization

One of the influential nights in the life of AlMana, he prayed with supplication and reverence in his home in Zubayr. On that night, one of his relatives from Basra visited him and they talked about the city's news. He found out that two men from Bin Saud's court were in Basra at the time. Using his young mentality in taking chances, he asked his friend the ‘Basra Times’ editor if he wanted to publish an interview with one of the ministers of Bin Saud. His friend, the editor, was excited and welcomed the idea. The next morning AlMana headed directly to Basra and conducted the interview with the two ministers, Abdullah Al-Damluji and Hafez Wehbe. After completing the interview, he told them about himself, his good education and his English and Urdu proficiency. He told them that he wanted to work as an interpreter with Bin Saud. That day was an important turning point in the life of AlMana. He received a promise that they would consider this and get back to him. Two weeks later he received a telegram stating that he had been appointed as an interpreter in the King's office. That was a victory for himself and his dream of serving the leader Bin Saud and serving his homeland.


Arrival in Mecca

AlMana prepared to realize his dream as there was no distance between him and his dream except the distance from Zubayr to the headquarters of the leader Bin Saud. The distance was too long; it was more than just miles on the desert road. That feeling was mixed between joy and awe, the joy of achieving his goal and work with the man whose reputation was global, and awe to meet this giant leader who terrorized many of his enemies and won battles deservedly. On May 26, 1926, AlMana arrived in Mecca feeling that he was fortunate compared to anyone else. He began his life as the first interpreter in the Royal Court until he became the chief translator and responsible for translating letters and documents from English and Urdu into Arabic. He spent 9 Years, sweet and bitter, accompanying His Majesty King Abdulaziz bin Saud in all his travels and invasions for the love of the King and to perform his task as an interpreter in case of need.


The biography of the unification of the Kingdom

AlMana did not want to record the events that he lived only after his friends convinced him, especially the English friends who were looking for a biographer who lived the period of events thoroughly. His discussions with them and the stories he told them made them convince him of the need to record these events for everyone’s knowledge. This represented the motivation to write his book "The unification of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia". After forty years of leaving the service of the Royal Court, he recorded and chronicled the events of his time in English and published it in that language only. He took into account the Arab perspective on the modern history of the Kingdom and made the unification of the Arabian Peninsula as its main theme to fill a number of gaps left by the historians. He narrated the story of Bin Saud since his takeover of Riyadh in 1902 until the mid-1930s when the oil epic began.


Sons and daughters

He was the father of ten, five boys and five girls. He loved his sons and daughters a lot, but he showed special consideration for his daughters and always encouraged them. Although he did not want to become a doctor, two of his daughters are doctors, Dr. Aisha and Dr. Sana, both of whom worked in the family hosptial, as well as a granddaughter of his son, Ibrahim, who became a doctor after her graduation from King Faisal University. His children are currently focusing on the health sector, whether hospitals or medical equipment, considering the advice of their father and his warnings that their work should be of high quality and with humane results away from the financial results, and should benefit from German experience and expertise in providing high levels of health.


His death

In 1987, Sheikh Mohammed Abdullah Al Mana passed away at the age of 87 years, full of serving the founder King of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and serving the nation and society. The funeral witnessed a large number of people from different segments of society.