Yousef Shirawi


Public servant at the heart of Bahrain's affairs. Yousef was one of the Middle East's outstanding public servants and intellectuals and who was later appointed director of oil affairs. Bahrain had struck oil in 1932, the first state in the Gulf to do so. Bahrain announced its full independence from Britain in 1971. Shirawi was appointed Minister of Development and later served as Minister of Cabinet Affairs. He helped the setting up of Gulf Air and Bahrain Ship Repair Company, the first dry dock between the Far East and the Mediterranean. Yousef apart from being a fine chess player was also interested in the history of the Arabs, early history of Islam and the archaeology of Bahrain. He received many honours. Yousef Shirawi was born in Muharraq, the second of the principal islands in Bahrain archipelago, the son of a noted Arabic scholar. He was a large, ebullient man, always laughing.

Compiler: M. Nauman Khan

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