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Abdullah Rajab
عبد الله رجب
Abdullah Rajab.jpg
Rajab in 2014
Coat of arms of Qatif
3rd President of Qatif
In office
27th December 1989 – 13th March 2011
Prime Minister Zayd Hossaini
Preceded by Othman al-Hussein
Succeeded by Mohammed Mujawar
Regional Secretary of the Arab Socialist Ba'ath Party – Qatif Region
In office
27th December 1989 – 13th March 2011
Preceded by Hamad Majeed
Succeeded by Mohammed Mujawar
Minister of Defence
In office
8th June 1984 – 27th December 1989
Preceded by Ziya al-Din Hussein
Succeeded by Abu Bakr Omran
Personal details
Born 31st March 1941 (74)
Qatif City, Sultanate flag Qatif
Political party New nation coa Ba'ath Party
Spouse(s) Raisa Amjad
Children 3
Alma mater Qatifi Military Academy of Security
Profession Politician
Career soldier
Religion Usuli Twelver Shia Islam
Military service
Allegiance Flag of Qatif Qatif
Service/branch Army Flag Qatif (1962 - 1991) Qatifi Army
Years of service 1962 - present
Rank Marshal
Commands War Flag of Qatif Qatifi Armed Forces
Battles/wars Six-Day War, Qatif-Trucial War, Yom-Kippur War, Qatifi Civil War

Abdullah Abul-Fazl Mohammed Rajab (Arabic: عبد الله أبو الفضل محمد رجب; born 31st March 1941, aged 74) is a Qatifi retired politician and general who served as the president of Qatif as well as the Regional Secretary of the Arab Socialist Ba'ath Party – Qatif Region and commander-in-chief of the Qatifi Armed forces from 1989 to 2011. He previously served as the Minister of Defence from 1984 to 1989.

Rajab was born in the capital of Qatif, Qatif City, in 1941. A career solider, he graduated from the Qatifi Military Academy of Security in 1964 with the rank of first lieutenant before serving in the Six-Day War. After the Qatif-Trucial War Rajab, a member of the Ba'ath Party, became involved in politics aligning himself to loyalists to president Mustafa al-Karim, first serving as the Qatifi ambassador for East Germany from 1974, and to Pakistan from 1978. In 1984 he was promoted to Minister of Defence becoming one of al-Karim's closest aides. The death of al-Karim saw Rajab retain the position of Minister of Defence as Othman al-Hussein took power as president of Qatif. The outbreak of the Qatifi Civil War saw Rajab coordinate attacks against the Islamic Liberation Front. In 1989 Rajab led a coup against al-Hussein due to the former's rapidly declining mental health which contributed to continued failure to end the increasingly bloody civil war. Rajab successfully led Qatifi forces to victory after the destruction of the Islamic Liberation Front and the signing of a ceasefire between the government and rebel forces in 1995. During the civil war Rajab dismantled the socialist economy put in place by al-Karim as well as introduce mild Islamist policies.

The Arab Spring saw many protesters to demonstrate against Rajab in 2011, where he responded by enforcing martial law. However Rajab lost the support of his cabinet prompting him to resign, appointing his successor as Mohammed Mujawar who subsequently announced to hold elections the following year. Following his resignation Rajab continued to serve in the armed forces in Qatif as well as acting as an advisor to Mujawar's government.

During his tenure Rajab oversaw increased economic growth in Qatif as well as a rise in living standards. He also oversaw the end of the Qatifi civil war and has made efforts to further improve the role of women and clamp down on corruption. Critics however contend that Rajab's rule was authoritarian with little freedom of the press, and encouraging sectarianism and regionalism. Since his resignation Rajab has been indicted over charges of torture, corruption and condoning the use of chemical weapons in the Qatifi Civil War as well as having helped organise the Al-Khabrit Prison Massacre. However Article 8 in the constitution gives any former president immunity from legal proceedings. Rajab continues to be an influential figure in the Qatifi armed forces and politics.

Early life

Rajab was born in Qatif City on 31st March 1941 to a Twelver Shia Muslim family. Qatif was then a British protectorate under a absolute monarchy. Rajab had five brothers and two sisters, with him being the third child and second son. His father was a teacher at the Riq-ul-Hussein School.

Rajab was educated first by local Islamic scholars, before his parents paid for his education for elementary school. He was transferred to the private Riq-ul-Hussein School located in the newly constructed city of Dhahran. Rajab was involved in Arab Nationalist activities whilst in school, becoming a member of the Qatifi Branch of the Ba'ath Party in 1958. In 1959 he graduated from the Riq-ul-Hussein School, joining the Qatifi Military Academy of Security, where he met several others affiliated with the Ba'athist movement, some of whom such as Mahmoud El-Zend and Saadallah Haffadh would later serve in Rajab's government.

Military career

Entry into politics

President

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