The story of Sheikh Mohammed bin Ibrahim Alsubeaei is an inspiring one – a portrait of a man who, in turbulent times, overcame great hardship and adversity and achieved consummate success.
Born in 1915 and fatherless from an early age, he began his working life as a labourer and a shopkeeper. Through hard work and strength of character, he rose to power and wealth, becoming an astute businessman respected by his peers for his honesty and integrity. He is also accomplished poet whose writings and insights are treasured. Notwithstanding his position and power, Sheikh Alsubeaei is a modest man of great dignity, compassion and benevolence; a man who walked with kings yet never lost the common touch.
Mohammed Alsubeaei achieved success long before Saudi Arabia received the blessings of great wealth made possible by the discovery of oil. A fervent patriot, he played a crucial role in helping to shape the emerging Kingdom into the strong nation that it is today.
The astonishing pace of change – social, political and economic – in Saudi Arabia during the 20th century forms a backdrop to the story of this extraordinary man. Illustrated throughout, the life and times of Mohammed Alsubaeai are told jointly by his daughter Huda and the Arabist and scholar the late Gene Heck, whose last work this is.
Dr Zahir Othman, Director-General, Al-Turath Establishment, Riyadh –
“Mohammed Alsubeaei has created one of the Kingdom’s leading and most successful corporations through his tireless energy, acumen and principled endeavours. Spanning nearly a century, this is an important study of a pioneering Saudi entrepreneur and a case-study in the development of modern Saudi Arabia.”
Professor Jane Harrigan, Professor of Economics, School of Oriental and African Studies –
“This is the story of a true entrepreneur that deserves to be told.”
Roger Harrison, Senior Reporter, Arab News –
“Mohammed bin Ibrahim Alsubeaei is both a unique individual and a representative of a special breed of Saudi businessmen. Western observers frequently fail to perceive the importance of the family and talented individuals in the structure of modern business in the Kingdom. This book, at once a quirky and fascinating study, both engages and informs the reader in the subtler nuances of family business in Saudi Arabia. It should be prescribed reading for anyone contemplating doing business in the Kingdom.”
Arab News –
Arab News – May 18th 2012
“Alsubeaei established a financial empire rooted in two incentives — utter devotion to God and his persistent resoluteness. The path before Alsubeaei and his generation of pioneers was neither streamed with rivers nor strewn with flowers. He achieved success before Saudi Arabia got the blessings of great wealth through the discovery of oil. A fervent patriot, he played a crucial role in helping shape the emerging Kingdom into a strong and modern state. The astonishing pace of change in Saudi Arabia during the 20th century forms a backdrop to the story of this extraordinary man.”
“Huda Alsubeaei’s book is worth reading for all those who want to know more about Saudi Arabia’s history, culture and business environment.”