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Preserving Family Literature Saleh Al Khulaifi


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Saleh Al Khulaifi Qatar Academy PO Box: 1129 Doha, Qatar Copyright © 2013 by Saleh Al Khulaifi. All rights reserved. No portion of this book may be reproduced or utilized in any way whatsoever without the approval of Qatar Academy or the Author, with the exception of using quotations in a book review.


Table of Contents




Majed bin Saleh Al Khulaifi


Abdullah bin Saleh Al Khulaifi


Abdulrahman bin Saleh Al Khulaifi


Mubarak bin Saleh Al Khulaifi


Khalid bin Ali Al Khulaifi


Yusuf bin Abdulrahman Al Khulaifi


Ibrahim bin Mohammed Al Khulaifi


Majed bin Abdulaziz Al Khulaifi






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Introduction Introduction

Literature has always played a big role in Arabian heritage; especially poetry. Since thousands of years, Arabs always wrote poetry for many reasons, mostly to express their feelings and reflect what they sense and experience. No matter what reason; poetry would be written even to debate one-another.

This is why it is not peculiar to see that in the Arabian Peninsula, Qatar; there are many Qataris such as the founder Sheikh Jassim bin Mohammed Al Thani, have embraced poetry.

Various members of the Qatari families and tribes practice poetry writing. Moreover Al Khulaifi tribe has written poetry over the many years of Qatari modern history. And it is for this purpose that it is crucial to preserve their poems and their biographies.

In these following pages, the reader shall have the opportunity of reading the biographies of 8 Khulaifi poets, as well as over 20 pieces of their works of literature.


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Majed bin Saleh Al Khulaifi Majed bin  Saleh  Al  Khulaifi  was   born  in  1868  in  Doha.  Born  in  a   family  that  loved  poetry  and   literature,  and  that  had  great   affect  on  Majed.  He  moved  with   his  tribe  to  the  northeastern   part  of  Qatar  in  a  small  village   called  Ghariya,  where  later  on   his  siblings  would  be  born.  As  a   young  boy  he  was  educated  by  

Sheikh Yaqoub  Al  Tamimi  

his father,  Saleh  bin  Majed,  and  was  also  educated  by  Sheikh   Yaqoub  bin  Yusuf  Al  Tamimi.  And  so  Majed  started  to  have   passion  towards  literature  and  poetry.     His father Saleh bin Majed Al Khulaifi was a Pearl Merchants, and known man in the Khulaifi tribe. Saleh Bin Majed had 8 sons including Majed. Many of his sons grew up to become poets, proving that they truly grew up in a great environment. Qatar at the time was just a young nation, and Qataris depended on the sea. For the sea provided them with pearls and fish. So Majed, as well as other fellow Qataris went to work at the Pearl Diving industry. Majed worked as a diver, he would dive and get as much  


shells as possible, and then search for pearls hidden in the shells.

Majed lived  at  a  time  where  Qatar  faced  many  political  changes.   At  a  time  when  Qataris  fought  many  battles  to  insure  that  Qatar   gains  its  independence.  Majeds  father  joined  many  of  these   battles,  and  Majed  ended  up  joining  these  battles  also.       In  1903  he  went  on  his  last  pearl  diving  trip,  as  he  jumped  off   and  dived,  he  was  never  found  again.  About  25  ships  went  on  a   search  to  find  him  yet  they  all  failed  to  do  so.       He  died  at  the  age  of  35,  and  though  he  had  no  descendants,  he   still  left  behind  a  great  legacy.    


His Literature Back in the year 1969 his poetry was collected and put in a book titled “From Qatari Poetry” along with the poems of Mohammed Al Fayhani and Ahmed Al Kuwari.

Majed bin Saleh wrote this piece after a battle he joined. This battle was called the battle of Dhaban (1902) and in this piece Majed describes what happened as well as he is praising Sheikh Ahmed bin Mohammed, the founder of Qatars brother.


Sadly, Majed bin Saleh lived to witness his wife’s death. And this is a part of a poem where Majed is expressing his sadness and sorrow about his wife passing away.


We can all agree that coffee is one of the best drinks on earth. Majed bin Saleh seems to think that way too, since in this is a poem he wrote expressing his love to the drink!


Saleh, Majed’s father had a great impact on his son. This is why we can see Majed proud of his father and admiring him, as he is illustrating his fathers greatness in many elements such as bravery, chivalry and honor.


Abdullah bin Saleh Al Khulaifi

Abdullah bin Saleh was born around the year 1884 in the small town of Al Ghariya. At a young age he moved to Al Wakrah with his whole tribe. There, like his brother before him, his father educated him. He also was the pupil of Sheikh Yaqoub bin Yusuf Al Tamimi. He learned and recited the Quran, learned the teachings of Islam and Arabian literature. A young Abdullah grew up, the community he was in shaped him to become a person interested in teaching.


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Abdullah then joined the pearl diving industry, and he became a Pearl Merchant. And later on in the early 1920s he and his tribe moved from Al Wakrah to Doha. He was still a Pearl Merchant, him and his father joined by his uncle and cousin. They would travel to India and Iran for trade, and also travel around the gulf in destinations such as Dubai and Bahrain. All these travels had great affect on this poet, as the different people he met inspired him and so did the different cultures he saw. By the late 1940s the Pearl Industry crashed, as fake pearls came from Japan. Also with the discovery of oil, most Qatari’s favored working for oil companies instead of pearl diving as it was less dangerous and paid well. So Abdullah bin Saleh went searching for a new career. In 1946 he migrated to Damam, a city in eastern Saudi Arabia. There his passion for literature was unleashed, as he became a teacher for 3 years. Then in 1949, he moved back to Qatar. At that time Qatar changed, as Sheikh Ali bin Abdullah introduced schools in Qatar. This was Abdullah bin Saleh’s opportunity to finally become a teacher in his country. After another 3 years in 1952 he moved to Al Khor, and there he taught Islamic teachings. And in 1957 he moved back to Doha to teach again and 3 years. He taught at Madrasat Al Rawdha Al


Al Qadeema, and then moved to Madrasat Al Janub Al Ibtidaiya which soon became Mardasat Khalid ibn Al Walid in 1958. And there he became a teacher of the Quran and Sharia teachings. In March the 1st, 1960 he retired from teaching in schools. He moved to Al Khulaifat neighborhood to become an Imam at the mosque. In 1967 he traveled to Iran, he was sick and he was seekin hospitals in Shiraz. In July 11, 1967, Abdullah bin Saleh died and was buried their.


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His Literature Abdullah bin Saleh Al Khulaifi is the author of a book, which he wrote by hand in 1944 titled “The Sincere Friend”. The contains many different works of literature such as the sayings of the Prophet Mohammed peace be upon him, words of the first four Caliphs, and literature from many different poets and authors of Arabia. Abdullah bin Salehs work were first collected and published by Yusuf bin Abdulrahman (see page 30) in 1983 long after Abdullahs death. Also the renowned author Mohammed Saeed Kamal visited Qatar to gather poetry for his book “From Bedouin Poetry”. And he did collect Abdullah bin Salehs poem in the 13th volume. However it was printed after his death in1969.


Abdullah bin Saleh has written many poems for many different occasions, and this is a piece of a poem that was written about his love for his country Qatar. As he expresses his love and says how he prefers the very “peaceful” Qatar over any other country.


And this is another piece of his poem that was written to welcome Sheikh Abdullah bin Jassim Al Thani from one of his travels. In this piece he writes how happy Qatar is that Sheikh Abdullah returned safely, and he is also praising and thanking God for it. This piece is special because it can be sung for people to sword dance to. Â


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Abdullah bin Saleh wrote this piece of poetry while in a pearl diving journey. And in that time pearl diving was the source of money for the average Qatari man. In it he describes how tiring the trip can be, and how he misses his family.


This is a section of a poem that Abdullah bin Saleh wrote and in it, it shows the depth of his knowledge in history as he mentions historical figures such as the Canaans, Pharaoh and Khosrau. And he asks, where are they now? Insuring that nothing lasts and the world moves on.


Abdulrahman bin Saleh Al Khulaifi Abdulrahman bin Saleh was born around 1890 in al Ghariya. He grew up in his noble family and as a young boy he moved to Al Wakrah. Educated by the same teacher as his brothers, he learned Arabian literature and the Quran and therefore he was passionate about it. He then moved to Doha in the 1920s along with his family and by then he was a pearl merchant. Traveling was normal and thus he was inspired by the world around him. A talented poet and writer he was, writing poems for many occasions, yet he ended up burning most of them because of religious reasons. However there still remains a good amount of his work today, such as his book and many of his poetry. He died at the age of 53 years old, leaving behind his work for his son Yusuf. (see page 30).


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His Literature Abdulrahman bin Saleh was the author of the book “Courteous Gardens from Chosen People”. It was first published by his son, Yusuf bin Abdulrahman Al Khulaifi (see page 30), in 1935. The book contains some Arabian Literature in it such as poetry and stories. Abdulrahman bin Saleh wrote this poem for his cousin Mohammed bin AbdulAziz Al Khulaifi in celebration of Eid Al Adha. He also complements him with great use of vocabulary.


In this piece Abdulrahman bin Saleh is giving advice. One will find that there are many Arabic poems that are giving always giving advice, and here Abdulrahman bin Saleh is following the tradition.


In this poem Abdulrahman bin Saleh is praising Sheikh Abdullah bin Jassim and talking about his bravery in battle.


Mubarak bin Saleh Al Khulaifi Mubarak bin Saleh was born around 1895 in Al Ghariya. Also educated by sheikh Yusuf bin Yaqoub and his father. Along with his tribe, he moved to Al Wakrah. He was married and had 4 children, 2 boys and 2 girls. He started out as a Captain of his ship and in the 1920s he moved to be a pearl merchant along with his brother Ahmed in 1927. After pearl diving industry collapsed he moved into trade in the late 1940s. He had a major role in establishing companies, and in the 1950s his knowledge was finally put to use. He was a member of the education council and has a role of spreading schools in and around Doha. He, like his brothers also had a passion for literature and he became a poet as well.


His Literature Mubarak bin Saleh had many poems however very few were preserved. This poem was written for the book his brother Abdulrahaman (see page 19) wrote, the “Courteous Gardens from Chosen People”, after his death. In this poem he is asking God to have mercy on Abdulrahman and to guide and protect his children.


Khalid bin Ali Al Khulaifi Khalid bin Ali was born in the 1890s in Al Ghariya, and like the other members of his tribe he moved to Al Wakra as a youngster. He was taught the Quran by the Imam Issa bin Rayad, from Najd. And later on he was educated by Sheikh Yaqoub bin Yusuf Al Tamimi, the same teacher who taught many other young people from his tribe. Khalid bin Ali, like the other Qataris, started to work as a pearl diver. His father Ali bin Ali inspired him to do so, as his father was a pearl merchant and own a ship. After working hard as a pearl diver he became a Nokhitha, a ship captain. And after that, he became a Sirdal. A Sirdal is considered to be the “head” of the sea. In 1955 Khalid bin Ali retired from the Pearl Diving industry, as that was the time many other Qataris abandoned Pearl diving. He became known as the last Sirdal. Later on when the Municipal


was formed, Khalid bin Ali took part as a member of the council. And that was the last job he had. Khalid bin Ali was married three times. He had four sons and three daughters. Abdullah bin Saleh (see page 11) was one of Khalid bin Ali’s closest friends, as they both wrote poetry for each other. Khalid bin Ali also developed a friendship with Sheikh Ali bin Abdullah Al Thani as both of them liked literature and poetry as well. Khalid bin Ali died on February 29 1992. He lived a long life and lived to see 6 Qatari emirs, from the founder Sheikh Jassim bin Mohammed Al Thani until Sheikh Khalifa bin Hamad Al Thani.


His Literature Thanks to Hilal bin Mohammed Al Khulaifi, he conducted a project himself and managed to preserve most of Khalid bin Ali Al Khulaifis poems. Thus, his product was a book that was titled “The Jewels and Ornaments in memory of Khalid bin Ali”.

Khalid bin Ali lived an extended life, And one will surly gain wisdom and knowledge from this long life. We can see that Khalid bin Ali did gain wisdom from his poetry and more so in this piece.


Khalid bin Ali was a devout Muslim, and this is shown here in this bit of his poem where he is praising asking God for forgiveness and protection.


This poem was written to be sung, by an genre called the “Art of Al Zuhairy”.


Yusuf bin Abdulrahman Al Khulaifi Yusuf bin Abfulrahman was born in al Wakrah in 1917. As a young boy his education was simple, like the education of other fellow Qataris at his time. He was taught about Islam and learned how to read and write. He worked as a pearl merchant with his father Abdulrahman bin Saleh (see page 11) for 15 years and learned about the sea . After working at the sea, Yusuf started a new career. In 1954 he worked for the ministry. Then he became a teacher in the Arabian Gulf School. He then became the principal of Abu Bakir school for 13 years. In 1983, Yusuf bin Abdulrahman retired and 6 years later he passed away.


His Literature Yusuf bin Abdulrahman died leaving behind a number of published works. Not only did he publish other Khulaifi books such as his fathers and uncles, but he also wrote an encyclopedia. He called it “The Great Masterpiece of the Qatari Traditions and Literature”. In this book he wrote many different things about Qatar, including Qatars history and Qatari literature.

And here are the books that Yusuf bin Abdulrahman published through out his lifetime.


This is a part of a poem where Yusuf bin Abdulrahman is giving advice to his youngest son, Ahmed. He advising him things like to become like the prophet, to tell the truth always and to respect his parents.

In this piece, he is praising the prophet Mohammed peace be upon him, and how he has showed us the way and gave us the honor of Islam and knowledge.


His well-written poetry was always in standard Arabic, and in this specific part he is talking to oil, (symbolically), and how it is a blessing.


Here, Yusuf bin Abdulrahman is explaining the “great” pearl diving journey which lasts months, and he describes the journey, such as how the water is warm and deep.


Ibrahim bin Mohammed Al Khulaifi Ibrahim bin Mohammed was born in 1920, and as a young child he moved to Doha. An Imam educated him, as he was taught about the Quran and recited it. And at his youth he went to work with his father at the sea. His father a ship captain, made his son a Tbaba, a person who would help around the ship. He worked hard and soon he was promoted to become a diver. After his fathers death, he got his own ship, because know he was well experienced. He moved to Saudi Arabia in the city of Dhahran to work for an American Oil company. He still didn’t leave the sea, he worked for the company as a ship captain and provided them with fish. He came back to Qatar after the discovery of oil and worked for the company, again in the sea. He would move shipments from Basra to Oman, And in 1960 he finally stopped working in the sea. He worked for the government, until he died later on in 1989.


His Literature Ibrahim bin Mohammed presented a verity of wonderful poems that were written for different occasions such as pearl diving and his love for his tribe. These poems were last collected in 1988 by Ali bin Abdullah Al Fayadh in a book called “Diwan Al Khulaifi”.

Ibrahim bin Mohammed spent his childhood in Al Wakrah and in this portion of one of his poems he explains how much he misses the land that was once his childhood home.


Ibrahim bin Mohammed lived long enough to see the Pearl Diving industry end, and in this segment of his poem he explains how things used to be back in the days of pearl diving. For example, how some people dived, and others were merchants, etc.


This poem is one that was written about Qatar, and how Qataris will protect their country with their lives. This poem can also be sung by men and have people sword dance to it.


When Sheikh Ahmed bin Ali was the Emir of Qatar, the new airport was built next to the Al Khulaifi neighborhood where people lived. A highway was also built close. In this poem, Ibrahim bin Mohammed complains about how the airplanes and cars are causing rackets as they fly so close to the houses.


Majed bin Abdul Aziz Al Khulaifi Majed bin Abdul Aziz was born in Al Wakrah in 1910, where he grew up was greatly influenced by the environment that surrounded him. As a young boy he moved to Doha in the 1920s and there he received his education. Taught by his father and a teacher, he was taught the Quran and Islamic lessons, as well as poetry and Arabian literature. As a young man, he also worked in the Pearl Diving industry, as a merchant. Yet he still followed his passion with literature. He wrote poetry, yet very little of it is known today as it was not preserved well. It is also said that he wrote a book that had almost 500 pages but was lost as well. Sadly Majed ended up dying in 1954 in his early 40s. Little is known of about his life.

His Literature It is  true  that  Majed  bin  Abdulaziz  Al  Khulaifi  died  young.   However  he ended up writing 3 books, which were only published years after his death. These three books were combined into one, titled “The  Silky  Gown  of  Arabian  Sayings”  and they contained great work of literature. The first one contained old Arabian sayings. The second book contained many different poetry verses


written for many occasions. The third book, which is the shortest, contains rare Arabic word and their definitions. It was   published  back  in  1985  by  AbdulAziz   bin  Saleh  Al  Khulaifi.  

In this  poem  Majed  speaks  highly  about  his  father,  uncle  and   grandfather.  And  how  Ali  bin  Ali  Al  Khulaifi  was  brave  in  the   battle  of  Khanoor.      


Glossary Dammam: City in eastern Saudi Arabia Diwan: Collection of poetry in a book. Eid Al Adha: Festival celebrated after Ramadan Emir: Ruler of Qatar Ghariya: Town northeastern Qatar Imam: Person who leads the prayer in the mosque Khulaifat: Is the plural of Khulaifi Madrasa: School Nokhitha: Ship Captain Sharia: Islamic teachings Sheikh Abdullah bin Jassim: Second Emir of Qatar Sheikh Ahmed bin Ali: Fourth Emir of Qatar Sheikh Khalifa bin Hammad: Fifth Emir of Qatar Shiraz: City in southwest Iran Sirdal: The head of Pearl Diving in a city or town. Wakrah: City in the south of Qatar


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Al Fayadh, Ali A. Diwan Al Khulaifi. 1st ed. Doha: Arabic Library for and Distribution, 1988. Print. Al Khulaifi, Hilal M. In Memory of Khalid Bin Ali. 1st ed. Doha: Hilal Bin Mohammed Al Khulaifi, 2012. Print. Al Khulaifi, Yusuf A. The Great Masterpiece of the Qatari Traditions and Literature. 1st ed. Doha: Ministry of Culture, Arts and Heritage, 2010. Print. Al Manaai, Ali S., Ali A. Al Fayadh, Mohammed S. Al Blushi, Abdul Aziz A. Al Mutawaa, and Abdul Aziz R. Abdul Aziz. Diving for the Pearls. 1st ed. Doha: Katara, 2012. Print. Al Manaai, Ali S., and Ali A. Al Fayadh. Abdullah Bin Saleh Al Khulaifi: His Life and Poems. 1st ed. Doha: Ministry of Culture, Arts and Heritage, 2010. Print. Kamal, Mohammed S. From Beduin Poetry. 1st ed. Ta'if: Library of Knowledge, 1973. Print. Al Khulaifi, Majed S., Mohammed A. Al Fayhani, and Ahmed A. Al Kuwairi. From Qatari Poetry. 2nd ed. Doha: Qatar National Library, 1967. Print. "Mubarak Bin Saleh Al Khulaifi." Personal interview. 3 Jan. 2014. Al Khulaifi, Majed A. The Silky Gown of Arabian Sayings. Doha: n.p., 1985. Print.


Preserving Family Literature  

For my personal project

Preserving Family Literature  

For my personal project