Shaikh Hamad bin Mohammad Al-Jasir was a prominent writer and a world authority on the history, geography and culture of Arabia. Born in Al-Burud village in Quasim (Central Saudi Arabia), the Shaikh was educated in Saudi Arabia and Egypt. His remarkable career spanned more than 60 years, during which he emerged as one of the most talented journalists and writers of our time. He authored more than 1,200 articles and numerous books dealing with different aspects of the Arabian society and including detailed analyses of more than 30 works written by early Arab travelers and pilgrims. Among his most important contributions in that respect are his scholastic 3-volume study of Al-Durar al-Farida, by Abd al-Gadir al-Jaziri (16th century A.H.), and Kitab al-Manasik, attributed to Al- Harbi, an Arab traveler of the 8th century A.H.
For more than three decades, Shaikh Al-Jasir was the publisher of Al Yamama, the first newspaper published in Riyadh and Al-Arab magazine, a popular and rich source of information on the life and culture of Saudi Arabia. He also founded Al-Riyadh Printing Press, the first press in the Saudi capital, and Dar Al-Yamama, a research, publishing and translating center that focuses on the history and geography of the Arabian peninsula. One of the major publications that emerged from Dar Al-Yamama was Al-Jasir’s own Geographic Encyclopedia of Saudi Arabian Lands.
Shaikh Al-Jasir’s impact as a writer and publisher earned him prestige among his peers. In addition to the King Faisal International Prize for Arabic Literature, he received several awards including Saudi Arabian State Prize in Arts and King Abd Al-Aziz Order, Babtain Prize from Kuwait Foundation Prize for the Advancement of Science and an Honorary Doctorate Degree from King Saud University. He was elected member of the Arabic Language academies of Damascus, Baghdad and Cairo, the Islamic Academy in Aligarh and the Royal Jordanian Academy for Research in Islamic Civilization.
Shaikh Hamad Al-Jassir died in 2001. His name was given to three streets in Riyadh, Jeddah, and Tabouk in addition to several auditoria and halls in the Kingdom and abroad.
Shaikh Hamad AI-Jasir has been awarded the King Faisal International Prize in recognition of his excellent analytical studies and reviews of more than 30 works written by early Arab travellers and pilgrims. The is best exemplified by his highly academic 3-volume study of Ad-Durar Al Farai’d by Abd Al-Gadir Al-Jaziri (16th century) and his study of Kitab Al Manasik, attributed to AI-Harbi in the eighth century.