From the Evening Talks

From the Evening Talks

Publishing House: Mataba'a sharikat Hanifah lil-Oufsit

Publication Year: 1978

Genre: Memoirs

Number of Pages: 285

“From the Evening Talks: Real Stories from the Heart of the Arabian Peninsula” by Abdullah bin Mohammed bin Khamis narrates the heartwarming tales rooted in the Arabian soil, told by a man who, at the age of ninety, profoundly loved his land and became a living history of a nation pulsating with affection. Abdullah bin Khamis, a writer, poet, critic, researcher, and cultural icon, pioneered journalism in the Arabian Peninsula before passing away. His legacy comprises over 24 books, dictionaries, and hundreds of research papers covering literature, culture, geography, history, poetry, and daring writings on various social, economic, and political matters. He’s rightfully dubbed the “Encyclopedia of the Peninsula” and a leader of bold journalistic campaigns, planting seeds of social and national awakening in Saudi Arabia.

Dr. Abdulrahman Al-Shabili’s book “The Biography of Sheikh Abdullah bin Khamis and His Efforts in Media, Cultural, and Literary Fields” highlights the pivotal role played by Hamad Al Jasser and Abdullah bin Khamis in the inception of journalism and printing in central Saudi Arabia. In August 1953, Hamad Al Jasser launched “Al Yamamah Magazine,” the first journalistic print in the region, initially printed in Cairo. Abdullah bin Khamis later published the second private journalistic print, “Al Jazeera” Magazine, a monthly literary and social publication, with its first issue in April 1960, where he served as editor-in-chief.

Abdullah bin Khamis was a pioneer of literature, culture, and journalism. My earliest memory of him was through his beautiful radio program “Who is the Speaker,” which I listened to as a child. His deep Najdi voice left a lasting impression on my young mind, growing stronger during my time at the University of Riyadh (now King Saud University), surrounded by the rich literary and historical heritage he narrated. I observed him from afar at Palestinian events in Riyadh, supporting their struggle. Returning to Riyadh, I acquired his books, following his literary footsteps. When I finished writing my book “The Ardah Dance of War” 18 years ago, in 1414 AH, I sought his endorsement. Despite initial hesitations, I called him, and his familiar voice reassured me. He praised my work, a gesture that showed his humility and willingness to support emerging writers.

Abdullah bin Khamis’s love for folk literature was profound. His book “Folk Literature in the Arabian Peninsula” authenticates the Arab heritage of folk literature and poetry. His “From the Evening Talks” is a collection of real stories from the heart of the Arabian Peninsula. He also wrote about Rashid Al Khalaawi and war chants or Ardah poetry, showcasing his deep sense of Arab identity. He engaged in polemics with those who disdained folk literature, fearing its impact on Arabic literature, evident in his book “Symbols from Folk Poetry,” where he defended the authenticity and roots of folk poetry.

Abdullah bin Khamis is remembered as a monumental figure in Saudi cultural history, leaving a legacy that continues to inspire and influence generations. His contributions have enriched Saudi culture, making him an enduring symbol of the nation’s literary and cultural heritage. His 2011 passing marked the end of an era, but his legacy continues to resonate, leaving an indelible mark on the cultural landscape of Saudi Arabia and the Arab world.

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