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Madina, Saudi Arabia
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Muhammad Al-Suhaimi (Arabic: :ar: محمد السحيمي, born 1966) is a Saudi cynical writer, author, and journalist. He published many plays including: Psychosis, Blackness of the Eye, Psychosis and others. His play Kafour and Dafour ranked first in the Young Theatrical Scripts competition in 2011. He was suspended and sentenced for his controversial views concerning Islam.
Early life and career
Al-Suhaimi was born in 1966 in As Suwadirah, a town south of Medina. About his birth he says: “I was born in the desert to migrating Bedouin parents. My birth is a story which I connect with writing, because I became a writer five minutes after I was born. My mother’s name is Atqaa’, which means beautiful, and if Bedouin women went into labour suddenly, they would go afar from the neighborhood, taking with them only the midwife, a close and warm woman, who happened to be my uncle’s wife, whom I call Fatima. Fatima tied my umbilical cord to a pencil after not finding anything else to tie it with, and having done that, she prophesied that I would become a writer.”
Al-Suhaimi graduated from the college of arts, the department of Arabic language, and worked in education in Riyadh. He received a master’s degree in literary criticism, and his dissertation was about Taha Hussein, and Doctor Abdullah Alghathami supervised it.
He spent three years studying Medicine, but then he abandoned it to study Literature. During his university study, he was threatened twice to be expelled because of his modernist views, as he opposed the opinion of Abd al-Aziz ibn Baz who gave the fatwa that a woman who protests her husband’s marriage from another woman is a Disbelievers.
When Al-Suhaimi worked as a teacher, he received many questions concerning Ahl as-Sunnah wa’l-Jamā‘ah and Shia Islam, and about singing. Al-Suhaimi answered with what he knew. Concerning the former, he said that these issues are controversial, and do not reach the extent of being considered as blasphemy. As for the latter, he is inclined to believe it to be permitted or halal.
Al-Suhaimi wrote many plays, the most prominent of which are The Game of Pranks and The Tempter, both written for children. Many of his works received awards, including his play Kafour and Dafour, which ranked first in the Young Theatrical Scripts competition in 2011, which was organised by the Ministry of Culture and Information. He won the first place again in 2013 in the theatrical texts competition for adults for his play Hassan son of Thabit. His other plays include: Provide Us Your Attention, Psychosis, Blackness of the Eye and others. He worked in many Saudi newspapers like Al Madina (newspaper), Okaz newspaper, and Al-Bilad (Saudi newspaper) sporadically.
Sentence in 2005
In 2005, he was sentenced in prison and received reprimand after he stated that Saudi women are not obliged to wear abaya, and he spent a fortnight of the duration of his punishment until a royal pardon was granted to him. The judgment came after looking into the case which was raised against him, which would have had him incarcerated for four years. After receiving amnesty, Al-Suhaimi talked to his colleagues about the grounds of the claim that was raised against him, and he denied the charges made against him, which claimed that he said “peace be upon Nizar Qabbani.”
Suspension in 2018
In an intervention on MBC 1 (Middle East and North Africa), Al-Suhaimi called for reducing the number of Mosque, claiming that the sound of the calling for prayer in speakers terrifies both children and the congregation of those praying. He also added that repeating the call for prayer in speakers in different Mosques competing against one another may disturb those asleep and children. He mocked their numerousness saying that there is now a Mosque for each local. The Ministry of Culture and Information has suspended him and referred him to be investigated before the Media Misdemeanour Committee in the Ministry of Culture and Information to look into his case.
- The Game of Pranks (Original title: Lo’bat Al-Maqalib)
- The Tempter (Original title: Al Waswas)
- Kafour and Dafour (Original title: Kafour wa Dafour)
- Hassan son of Thabit (Original title: Hassan bin Thabit)
- Provide Us Your Attention (Original title: Jaba Yahoo)
- Psychosis (Original title: Thuhan)
- Blackness of the Eye (Original title: Sawad Al-Ain)
- Ranked first in the Young Theatrical Scripts competition in 2011 for his play Kafour and Dafour.
- Ranked first in the theatrical texts competition for adults in 2013 for his play Hassan son of Thabit. 
- "السعودية: إيقاف السحيمي بعد دعوته لتقليص عدد المساجد". CNN Arabic (in العربية). 2018-02-19. Retrieved 2021-02-14.
- "من هو الكاتب السعودي محمد السحيمي منتقد "كثرة المساجد"؟ - BBC News Arabic". web.archive.org. 2019-05-30. Retrieved 2021-02-14.
- "SAUDI ARABIA 2018 HUMAN RIGHTS REPORT" (PDF). United States Department of State • Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor: 59.
- "Saudi Journalist Mohamed Al-Suhaimi Calls to Silence Mosque Call to Prayer and to Reduce the Number of Mosques in KSA". MEMRI. Retrieved 2021-02-15.
- "Saudi journalist: Ditch mosque microphones and reduce number of mosques". JNS.org. 2018-02-22. Retrieved 2021-02-15.
- "إيقاف الكاتب محمد السحيمي بعد انتقاده صوت الأذان وكثرة المساجد (فيديو) – إرم نيوز". www.eremnews.com (in العربية). Retrieved 2021-02-15.
- واس_الرياض (2013-11-06). ""الثقافة والإعلام" تعلن أسماء الفائزين بجائزة التأليف المسرحي". alyaum (in Arabic). Retrieved 2021-02-15.CS1 maint: unrecognized language (link)
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