On the departure of a calm historian

The voices of enthusiasts about books, documentation and research on history are not heard much

Turki Aldakhil
Turki Aldakhil
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The voices of enthusiasts about books, documentation and research on history are not heard much. Saudi historian and translator Abdullah al-Askar has silently passed away. He was a bright man who was patient while researching and writing.

Perhaps one of our cultural problems is that we do not remember someone’s creativity until after their death. When the late Palestinian poet Mahmoud Darwish saw a cultural piece about him in a daily, he satirically said: “I thought I died!”

The calm ones among us pass away like strangers – like they have not walked on this earth – due to their silence and nobility. This is the lamentation of a historian who wanted his country’s history to be objectively documented - this is what he did. He studied at prestigious universities, and was a student of significant lecturers such as Jack Burke.

He wrote important books such as “The Economic Situation of South Arabians in Old Times”, “Dividing Islamic History into Periods”, “Al-Yamama in the Early Islamic Era,” and “The Cultural Dimension in the Life of King Salman bin Abdulaziz.”

Perhaps one of our cultural problems is that we do not remember someone’s creativity until after their death

Turki Aldakhil

The books he translated include “Oral History: Talking about the Past” by Robert Perks, and “The Wahhabi Mission and Saudi Arabia” by David Commins.

He was a member of the Shura Council, and was concerned about his country and the major issues concerning his community. May God’s mercy be upon him.

This article was first published in Okaz on Aug. 15, 2016.
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Turki Aldakhil is the General Manager of Al Arabiya News Channel. He began his career as a print journalist, covering politics and culture for the Saudi newspapers Okaz, Al-Riyadh and Al-Watan. He then moved to pan-Arab daily Al-Hayat and pan-Arab news magazine Al-Majalla. Turki later became a radio correspondent for the French-owned pan-Arab Radio Monte Carlo and MBC FM. He proceeded to Elaph, an online news magazine and Alarabiya.net, the news channel’s online platform. Over a ten-year period, Dakhil’s weekly Al Arabiya talk show “Edaat” (Spotlights) provided an opportunity for proponents of Arab and Islamic social reform to make their case to a mass audience. Turki also owns Al Mesbar Studies and Research Centre and Madarek Publishing House in Dubai. He has received several awards and honors, including the America Abroad Media annual award for his role in supporting civil society, human rights and advancing women’s roles in Gulf societies. He tweets @TurkiAldakhil.

Disclaimer: Views expressed by writers in this section are their own and do not reflect Al Arabiya English's point-of-view.
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