Uqud Al Juman: The Biography of Ahmed bin Salman
Some notable families in the Gulf appear to be actively working to regain their historical past, according to observers.
People in this region, which was poor, occupied, and plagued by wars amongst major nations for a long time before oil was discovered, went through a lot to lay the groundwork for what would become an incredible present.
These are the men who, despite the region's poverty and reliance on the sea's treasures for survival, made significant contributions to development and enlightenment, transforming it into an early and vital investment attraction zone.
They explored a wide range of professional, academic, creative, and economic possibilities. People on the island of Bahrain are noted for their adaptability to new situations and their willingness to connect with people happily and openly, regardless of their background or beliefs.
Bahrain and the Arabian Peninsula have been home to many influential people whose lives and contributions to the region's trade, culture, education, and community service have remained mostly unrecognised for far too long.
For a long time, we failed to properly record and archive essential components of the human activity of the people who originally inhabited this region.
However, Dr Abdullah Al-Madni has been making an attempt, through the daily "Gulf News," to publish noteworthy photos in related documents and look into the lives of pioneers in business and social activities in this region.
The "Folk Culture Journal" just received a gift copy of Hilal Fajhan Al-Mutairi's book, "A Man from the Golden Era, 1938–1855: A Documentary Study," from Kuwait.
Additionally, a locally gifted copy of the book "Uqud Al Juman: Biography of Ahmed bin Salman, 1960–1866: A Study and Research by Bashar bin Yusuf Al-Hadi" has also been presented to the journal.
Previously, numerous important publications were released in Bahrain, including "Am Ahmed Ali Kanoo: Life and Achievements," penned by the late Professor Khaled Al-Bassam; Beit Kanoo: A Century of Business for an Arab Family Company," authored by the late Khaled Mohammed Kanoo; and Yusuf bin Ahmed Kanoo 1890–1945." These books explore the biographies of the notable members of the Kanoo family.
Writers have also penned narratives of Jassim Kanoo's children’s respective lives and careers (Abdulaziz and Abdulrahman). Books with a similar focus—on the founders of various Gulf Arab organisations, from businesses to cultural institutions—have been produced in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, and elsewhere.
All of these books feature extensive research as well as pictures of historic and distinctive assets from the fields of business, sports, and culture, demonstrating once again the strength of the bonds that unite these families.
We place significant importance on this trend towards recording and archiving. It highlights the significance and credibility of reliable documentation and information sources.
Accounts of a culture at a turning point in its development are completely forthright and honest in their depiction of communication, correspondence, commerce, and other activities, documenting the efforts of ancestors who laid the foundations and played a crucial role in creating a dynamic trade movement.
These notable biographies shed light on the struggles endured by certain pioneers as they worked to build a life for themselves and their families and to contribute significantly to their communities.
The act of recording, documenting, and publishing information about those influential figures leads to the discovery of new knowledge about other aspects of society and culture that were previously unknown or undervalued. Details like these, which span the realms of society, education, and culture, help to present an authentic picture of the pioneering spirit of their day.
It is possible to fully encompass and document every conceivable aspect of life in the Gulf region's formative years if every Gulf family were to gather and compile the available documents and records about their legacy, especially those of vital importance in business, social, cultural, educational, and other relevant aspects of life in this region, and if they were to restore these documents, search for any missing parts, and record the testimonies of knowledgeable individuals with details; these records would then be published and reproduced as permanent parts of the written record of each nation's past. Future generations won't forget the efforts that established modern life in their nation.
The two volumes that we have received are the outcome of extensive research. They dive into the lives of these honourable men, focusing on document collection and linking all accessible information. They paint a clear and vivid image of the efforts of these two pillars; each of them led a life full of commitment and hard labour in two nations linked by countless relationships.
Perhaps this is a foreshadowing of many more significant recorded biographies to come. "Tomorrow is drawing near."
Ali Abdullah Khalifa