Ismael Mohammad Ali Marafie

1870 - 1943

Ismael Marafie and the Debt Bonds:

In an interview he held with Ibrahim Jassim Marafie, the main topic of discussion was centred around his grandfather Ishmaels bonds against the loans he offered to people of various professions; as tradesmen or pearl divers. According to him, three days prior to his grandfathers death he summoned number of religious leaders to stand witness to his intentions.

Before the religious leaders he made it evident about the huge amount of cash he had offered as loans with the sole intention of helping people during their financial crisis. Nevertheless, he expressed his desire to overlook all such debts. This was further concretized by destroying all debt bonds in front of the large gathering in order to check any possible claim that would arise from his inheritors in the long run. This very deed of benevolence by a person of high respect & value in a business realm had created great impact on the debtors, their families and all the people of Kuwait. This is only one small example among his many remarkable and unforgettable generous deeds, which will be greatly honoured by the grace of God.


Ismael Marafie as Guarantor to Pearling Captains (Nokhathas):

Among those who frequented Ismael Marafies diwan, there were professional pearl divers but with poor income. Often when they failed to pay the Nokhatha their diving fee it was Ismael Marafie who would make the direct payment to the Nokhatha as it was the case with Jassim Mohammad Al-Omani too. Besides, Ismael himself would play the role of a guarantor to Nokhatha Ali Al-Ameeri thereby safeguarding the divers & by giving due respect to their identity from being exposed. Furthermore, he rescued many from selling their dwellings during lean season.


The Deputy Rulers eulogies

Both the Ruling Family and the Marafie family maintained a close knit relationship with close to heart sentiments for each other. Within them they sought counselling when required and cooperated on all issues of life.

On the occasion of the funeral service of Ismael Marafie, Deputy ruler of Kuwait; Sheikh Abdullah Al-Salem, on behalf of the Amir of Kuwait Sheikh Ahmed Al-Jaber Al-Sabah, rendered a heartfelt eulogy in which he made a sincere mention of the strong bond the two families maintained for over two centuries.

He even lauded the vital role of Marafie in the lucrative business prospects ever since the formation of Kuwait along with their mandate in the provision of funds & arms in aiding the country  since the reign of Sheikh Mubarak Al-Sabah, the 7th ruler of Kuwait. Sheikh Salem Al-Sabah remembered the great role played by this family as having etched on the minds of the ruling family.


Tax Exemption on Dates.

In the beginning of December, each year, sailing ships with the shipment of Dates would be anchored at Nigat Marafie and dates were stored in the Marafie dates store which had a storage area of 18X7 metres with cemented flooring. Date syrup, which was offered to the needy during this particular period, was collected by means of a hole made in the store. These dates, for Zakat and as Charity, were brought with the aim of helping the needy & and those in the deserts of Kuwait. Sheikh Mubarak and Sheikh Salem during their reign exempted such imported dates from tax. Shipments of four to five sailing ships arrived each year.

It is of worth-mention that the dates were the harvest of their family farm in Arabistan along with wheat and barely, all under the careful management of Mohammad Ali Marafie and Ismael Marafie.

Dr. Green Way & Diwan Marafie turned Guest House:

In 1935 Dr. Green Way was appointed as a preventive medical specialist to Kuwait. Married an Indian lady, they had two daughters. Dr. Green Way was the chief Quarantine Medical Officer of the anchored ships. This was in view of safeguarding Kuwait Nation from being susceptible to any possible contagious or epidemic outbreak. Dr. Green, apart from his working hours, would attend to sick patients in his clinics too.

In need of a suitable place of residence for the doctor, Ismael Marafie was requested by the Ruler of Kuwait to spare his vast sea facing Marafie Diwan with multiple rooms for the doctor which he readily agreed to. Ismael Marafies spirit of generosity by the free allocation of this Diwan with its key location - near to Khalifa mosque- as a government guest house is definitely laudable.



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