Yousif Haider Marafie

1860 – 1939


A smart businessman, he was the reputed grain businessman in the whole of Gulf and Arabian Peninsula those days. He was keen and passionate about owning large granaries in Kuwait, where he would store the grains purchased from Basra and Bander Ma'shoor. It was shipped to Bahrain and Emirate’s coastal areas whereas to Arabian Peninsula it was transported by caravans.

He was instrumental in stabilizing wheat prices in Kuwait during the outbreak of wars and crisis. He was a man of noble objectives in life even amidst the toughest circumstances. When World War I broke out the prices of essential commodities escalated along with that of the Wheat. The price of wheat which was only Rupees 2/- per Mann prior to the war; immediately soared to Rupees 8/- per Mann within a week’s period of the war outbreak. It was at this time when an elite Al-Du’aj family member, the late Abdulrahaman Ben Du’aij approached him with an enquiry of the Wheat price. Despite the hike, Yousif stipulated on the initial quote of Rupees 2/- per Mann and reserved the same for him.  As was the practise, an enquiry of this nature, by the then business tradition was generally considered as a mutual understanding / terms of agreement between the two. By a casual enquiry, little did Abdulrahman think of a serious business deal.  On the other hand since the stock of wheat was reserved for Abulrahman Ben Du’aij at an agreed rate of Rupees 2/-Mann,  Yousif Marafie redirected all enquiries to Abdulrahman stating  the verbal sale deed  agreed upon with Abdulrahman for Rupees 2/- Mann.  Meanwhile, Yousif Marafie duly informed Abdulrahman too regarding the wheat reserve. Unfortunately, due to unprecedented price variation, the entire deal ended up in a dispute taking its way up to Sheikh Salem Al-Mubarak. In order to resolve the dispute, Sheikh Salem had drawn a decision of selling the wheat at the prevailing market price itself. But the price was structured in a manner that would obtain Rupees 3/- for Yousif Marafie, Rupees 3/- for Abdulrahaman and Rupees 2/- towards the Government. This wise decision was well accepted.



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