Arts & Culture

Reknowned Saudi journalist, writer Abdullah Manna, dies at 82

Abdullah Manna, a Saudi journalist and writer, passed away on Saturday at the age of 82.

The name of the poet, Dr. Abdullah Manna, was adopted by the Jeddah Literary and Cultural Club to be “the personality of the forum” for this year 2021 and honored him at the 17th text reading forum organized by the club.

It is noteworthy that “” had recently conducted an interview with Manna after he decided to emancipate his novel “Al-Shabaa” that he wrote during his university days in Egypt, after the one-sided love story of his colleague Samiha, after 50 years of hiding in 9 issues of Al-Raed magazine.

He also published his novel “On the tops of misery” in 2013, by Dar Al-Tanweer in Lebanon and Egypt. It was published five decades ago in Al-Raed magazine, which was published in Jeddah during the period of individual journalism – between 1960 and 1961, and talks about a love affair between a Saudi scholarship student and a Christian girl. In 1960 Manna was a student at Alexandria University.  He began his university career and found his girlfriend as well, but to this day she does not know anything about the feelings of her colleague at that time.

When asked about Samiha, his colleague in the morgue at the time, and what would happen if the novel reached her, Manna laughed before commenting that he would be facing a challenge and may lose it or be angry because the novel in one of its forms is a criminal file, and that at the same time it restricts people within a time frame. The old tale.

As for whether he considered publishing the novel after all this time as a sort of resurrection for it, or a referral for retirement, he said, “The publication of the novel at this time was at the instigation of friends and with their help, and there was no change in the form of the novel, but an introduction was added because the time of the novel as it was during the 1950s.”

As for whether this novel is an autobiography as long as it is part of the story and its protagonist and its writer, he explained: “The story in its origin is based on truth, and in its extension depends on the writer’s imagination.”

When asked if time does return, and if he published this young novel 50 years ago, would that have turned him into a novelist, he replied: “The outcome of this experience and all the previous experiences are the good that have strengthened me all the time. I am certain that I am a writer.”

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