Maldives Culture -
Maldives Culture - maldives island
Latest Updates arrow Maldives History arrow 20th century Maldives arrow Hakeem - Yesterday Chapter 1 - Mohamed Ameen's services to the nation
Latest Updates
Advanced Search
Free Dhivehi-English Dictionary
Presidency of Mohamed Nasheed
Gayyoom's Dictatorship 1978-2008
Buddhism and Islam
Ibn Battuta 1343-45
Pyrard 1602-07
Rosset 1885
Maldives 1900-1922
Maldives 1924-1953
Majlis rule 1954-57
Suvadive Republic 1959-1963
President Nasir 1969-1978
Abdul Hakeem Hussein Manik
Maldives History
Maldives Art
Scripts of Maldives
Maps of Maldives
Traditional Stories
Magic - Fanditha
Photographs - Modern
Photographs - Historic
Ships of the Indian Ocean
Social Customs
Modern Stories
PDF Print E-mail
Yesterday (Iyye) Chapter 1
Mohamed Ameen's services to the nation
Abdul Hakeem Hussein Manik
10 August 1997

translated by Fareesha Abdulla with assistance from Majid Abdul-Wahhab and Michael O'Shea
Notes from U.K. Public Records Office added by Maldives Culture
Photographs and graphics below have been added by Maldives Culture from various sources.

  mohamed ameen didi maldives minister, dictator and first president
Mohamed Ameen Didi
nephew of Abdul Majeed and son of Ahmed Doshimeyna Kilegefan

  hassan fareed minister and dictator of maldives 1934-1944
Hassan Fareed
son of Abdul Majeed

 Abdul Majeed Didi, minister, dictator and sultan-elect of Maldives
Abdul Majeed Didi

 mohamed fareed didi, minister and sultan king of Maldives
Mohamed Fareed Didi
son of Abdul Majeed

When Mohamed Ameen returned to Male' after studying abroad there was a committee drafting a constitution and king Shamsudeen appointed him, by royal letter, to that group. He was its youngest and most intelligent member. After numerous difficulties, the constitution was completed and formally approved on Thursday 23 Shauban 1351 (22 December 1932).

Acting under the constitution, the king gave the trade portfolio to Mohamed Ameen, and he performed well in accordance with the practices of the time.

Shortly after the adoption of the constitution, a serious dispute began between the Borah traders and the government. The Borahs ceased trading, locked up their shops and occupied their mosque and their three shop-houses. The government declared martial law. The person in charge was chief minister Mohamed Fareed Didi who was also minister of the askariya (militia). On the second day of martial law, a small protest was organised. Fifty people from Galolhu ward gathered at the Machangolhi public square with another fifty people from that ward. These 100 people were to the go to the Borah mosque and hold a protest meeting. But things did not go to plan.

When they arrived at the mosque, others from Male' and the boats in the harbour had also joined them, and serious violence was likely. All the Borahs were in the mosque. So I went to see what was happening with my brother Bageechaage Dhohutu Didi.

Hassan Fareed and Mohamed Ameen arrived to control the confrontation with a contingent of militia and a group of fuluhun (policemen). They had been sent by Mohamed Fareed.

Due to the efforts of Hassan Fareed and Ameen, no one was harmed, but some wooden bars on the windows of the mosque were broken before the mob were dispersed.

Among efforts to calm the protesters, the words spoken by Mohamed Ameen were excellent. The arguments he put forward were very persuasive - to be obedient to the king, to protect the peace of the Maldives and safeguard the country’s sovereign independence. In saying this, Mohamed Ameen was trying to convince Maldivians in the Borah mosque to leave the building. The Borahs understood Dhivehi. With militia on both sides of the mosque gate, Ameen addressed the crowd saying that the Borahs were citizens protected by the English, and if any physical harm came to one of them or their property was damaged, the British would come and investigate the matter. People should return to their homes, he said, and leave the problem to be resolved by the king and the chief minister.

Ameen said he would arrange for the shops to be opened soon for trading, and those among the Bombay people who were guilty of any offence would be deported. He dispersed the crowd, and the next day at a cabinet meeting in the chief minister’s office on the upper floor of the Custom’s Building, two senior shopkeepers were summoned. The chief judge was Mohamed Saeed Didi. When the shopkeepers arrived up the stairs to the office, they saw two militia officers wearing belts and armed with guns. At the main jetty was a dhoani manned by ordinary militia, ready to row.

The two traders were informed that for the offence of causing hostilities between the Borah community and the government, they were being deported from Maldives. Accompanied by the two officers holding weapons, they were taken down to the dhoani and rowed out to a bangala boat in the harbour.

In those days, the minister of trade was responsible for the affairs of foreigners, so it was Mohamed Ameen who was responsible for resolving this serious unrest. He received instructions from Mohamed Fareed Didi and the foreign minister Hassan Fareed.

Educational Services
Education was neglected during the preparation of the constitution, but a new breath of life came into the education system with its arrival. Along with the passing of the constitution, a ministry of education was created. Ahmed Kamil Didi became the minister with Moosa Mohamed Didi as his deputy. The school began with a revived effort; boys attending during the day, and the girls at night. Most of the girls who attended school at that time are now dead except for two. The principal of both the boys' and girls' Madrasathul Saniyya was Moosa Mohamed Didi.

The Motorboat revolt, 11 November 1933
The prince vowed to visit the shrine of Shahul Hameed at Nagore, and wants medical treatment in India. 'No respectable persons go to his residence now.' The prince will not listen to anyone, including his father Shamsudeen.

Regarding the administration in Male':
Abdul Majeed controlled everything – all the chief departments, the treasury, customs, postal, law, and the militia. Abdul Majeed was treasurer, commander-in-chief, minister of home affairs, director of public works and mayor of Male'.

Government officials were often absent from offices, and business was done at home or on the street. The military consisted of 600 irregulars called hangubeykalun, and 25 regulars known as sifain and palace guards.

The income of the country from import and export duties was 8.33% on everything imported, taken in kind, with Rp2.5 per hundredweight charged on exported fish. Foreign shopkeepers bought these goods from the government on credit at 25% less than market value. Traders owed Rp100,000 to the Maldives government and there appeared little hope of getting it back. There was a 50% increase in foreign shops in the previous 5 years, all operating on Maldives government credit.

Regarding land, the practice of leasing islands and instantly cutting down and selling the timber, had denuded islands of trees for boat-building and there was now a scarcity of firewood.

Public Records Office London

Bourdillon’s visit to Male' 1931
'There is apparently some demand for reform of the system of government, the question of succession seems to be involved in it,' said a report written on 16 January 1931. It pointed to the need for the Maldives government representative to be in Maldives to 'repent and advise', and suggested that 'evidently the administration in these delectable islands would do with an overhaul'.

sir bernard bourdillon
Sir Bernard Bourdillon

In a letter to Lord Passfield, governor Stanley wrote that Hameed Didi had requested Bourdillon's visit because of political trouble and potential violence. 'He thought the help, and advice and moral support of a representative of the Government of Ceylon would be invaluable, and indeed indispensable, in the process of achieving a definite settlement.'

Due of the state of affairs in Maldives, Sir Bernard Bourdillon visited Male' in 1931 while Abdul Majeed was the prime minister.

Report from B. Bourdillon (Officer Administering the Government, and Acting Governor)
14 March 1931

The ship Enterprise left Colombo on the 3 March 1931 and arrived at Male' on 5 March at 9.30 a.m., firing a 21 gun salute. Male' answered with firing from 25 guns.

Chief treasurer and prime minister was Abdul Majeed Didi, but Bourdillon refused to talk to the prime minister first, and awaited the sultan's visit.

In an earlier letter to the British governor dated 8 February 1931,Shamsudeen had said that he had nominated his son (Hassan Izudeen) as crown prince, and if he was unsuitable it was up to the ministers, nobles and leaders to choose another.

Bourdillon noted the sultan's wish for his son, and chided him and his son for not taking more interest in government. 'After a little hesitation and an uneasy glance' at Abdul Majeed, Shamsudeen replied that he had not traveled and because of his lack of knowledge of outside affairs, was obliged to leave matters largely to his ministers. Shamsudeen said the motorship proposal had been held up by Abdul Majeed's absence in Egypt.

Bourdillon said there should be a larger cabinet, and his words were effective because he spoke Arabic and had Middle East experience. Abdul Majeed was 'not altogether pleased with the turn of the conversation at the palace.' The crown prince was concealed behind a curtain during the interview.

Abdul Hameed Didi said everyone should support the larger cabinet proposal, except Abdul Majeed who would 'strongly oppose it'.

Ship's doctor found Shamsudeen in excellent health apart from tropical ulcers, but the prince refused to see the doctor.

Bourdillon interviewed many people, including thirty-seven at the palace. Some of the people were independent of Abdul Majeed. Bourdillon could speak English, Arabic, and Hindi. Abdul Hameed Didi interpreted Dhivehi.

The military officers are happy with present arrangement. The militia was subservient to Abdul Majeed and commanded by his son Mohamed Fareed who spoke English. He said he thought his father had too many responsibilities and some devolution was necessary.

Others say also said Abdul Majeed's power was too concentrated and contrary to Maldive custom. Those who spoke English and Hindi talked about democracy and the constitution with little understanding of their meanings.

Arabic speakers were more definite and coherent in their ideas. They want a legislative assembly, more ministers, corporate responsibility for finance, and more ministers without portfolio in the cabinet to strengthen it.

Abdul Majeed played for time, saying change could not be arranged before the end of the visit.

There was complaint that the murder punishment was not harsh enough. The sentence is 400 lashes delivered at various cross-roads of Male', with the flogger holding an orange under his arm.

Maldivians were docile and governable, contented and comparatively prosperous. Administration was surprisingly efficient.

Borah merchants were making excessive profits. Abdul Majeed 'in some way shares their profits'. He controls state finance. There is no budget. Abdul Majeed receives all revenue and authorises all payments. He has too much power, and it will lead to 'grave abuses and justifiable discontent'. His financial responsibility should be shared by his colleagues.

Bourdillon's proposals very acceptable to Shamsudeen because, for example, a minister of the royal court would increase the king's power in cabinet. Abdul Majeed was procrastinating, 'telling everyone that I (Bourdillon) was only staying for four days and that there would be no change.' Hameed Didi was the source of this information and the following: ' During his recent visit to Egypt, Abdul Majeed had come under the influence of Mahas Pasha, who had warned him against permitting any British interference in Maldive affairs... Abdul Majeed feared the existence of a regular steamship service (between Ceylon and Maldives) might facilitate foreign penetration.'

The crown prince Hassan Izudeen requested and interview with only Abdul Hameed Didi and an aide-de-camp. On the afternoon of 7 March, Bourdillon visited the prince's house. Izudeen was suffering from venereal disease. He was fluent in English and intelligent. Regarding the letter from Shamsudeen wanting him proclaimed crown prince, Bourdillon wrote, 'I strongly advised him to go to India or Ceylon and take a course of treatment there and endeavour to rehabilitate himself in the eyes of the people on his return.'

Abdul Hameed Didi and a private secretary told Bourdillon that anyone found guilty of adultery is ipso facto disqualified from holding any public office. The prince was accused by a noble, on strong evidence, of making his daughter pregnant. Hassan Izudeen got off, but people believed him guilty. Abandoning disreputable habits was a way to possible rehabilitation in the eyes of the public, but this was very difficult.

Abdul Majeed met Bourdillon and agreed to a proclamation that 'we have decided in accordance with Islamic religion that the administration of the affairs of the Kingdom will hereafter be carried on under the authority of the Sultan by a Council of Nobles and Ministers.'

Majeed also agreed to the idea of the reformation of the crown prince, but said there was not much hope. Majeed said he had tried to cultivate friendly relations with the Prince but without success. Shamsudeen reluctantly agreed his son must reform before he could be proclaimed successor.

Bourdillon explained to Majeed that it was the 'existing system, and not existing officials, that I was criticising,' but, Bourdillon wrote, 'I feel sure that the prime minister will still do his best to avoid any change.'

Abdul Hameed Didi says that popular opinion was against the present regime. 'The discussions which have been aroused by my visit,' Bourdillon wrote, 'and the advice received from me will, he thinks, provide the necessary stimulus, and those who have long desired reforms will, he believes, now have the courage to take an active part in ensuring that those reforms are actually brought about.

Abdul Hameed Didi, brother of Abdul Majeed but opposed tohis dictatorship
Abdul Hameed Didi

Abdul Hameed Didi was critical of Hassan Izudeen and said he would not reform, and would simply go to India to indulge himself. Izudeen wanted power in Maldives to indulge himself, according to Hameed. Bourdillon wanted the prince in Ceylon where he could be watched. If he was unsuitable then he would be declared unfit to succeed.

Other observations by Bourdillon:
1. The less the Maldivians have to do with the outside world, the better for them.
2. Venereal disease is common only in Male'.
3. The virtual dictatorship of Abdul Majeed makes possible exploitation of the country by the Borahs.
4. The revenue of Maldives is estimated at 700,000 rupees. If spent properly, it should be sufficient.
5. The royal family is weak and effete, but still retains the respect of people. The nephew of Shamsudeen, 17 years old, was educated at Lucknow and was said to be of good moral character.
6. There are many good Maldivians to share administrative responsibilities.

In a letter to Shamsudeen on 6 March 1931, Bourdillon wrote that it was 'advisable that the office of prime minister and treasurer to be separated, and that all major financial questions be discussed by Council of Ministers.'

British governor meets with Abdul Majeed 1930
In a report of a meeting between the British governor Sir H. Stanley and the prime minister Abdul Majeed (the brother of Maldive government representative in Ceylon), the governor writes on 9 April 1930 that he has learned from Abdul Majeed that the sultan's son had been disinherited some years ago due to his 'habits of life'.

The governor says Abdul Majeed had been traveling in the Middle East, and he told the governor that the son was disinherited for his behaviour. For example, the prince was the father of an illegitimate son. The governor was told that the sultan election process was basically 'a show of hands outside the palace'.

A council of regency was possible, because the Shamsudeen's brother was not well known in Maldives. Abdul Majeed favoured a regency. He wanted education standards raised, with Arabic, Dhivehi and Urdu for the lower orders and English as an extra subject for the upper classes.

Abdul Majeed said he may send students to Colombo. The British governor agreed. After prompting from the governor, Majeed said he also wanted to promote education of women.

Public Records Office London

A resume of a visit to Male' in April 1930
by Abdul Hameed Didi, accompanying Majeed back to Male after a trip to the Middle East.

Shamsudeen 'complained of the isolation with which he is kept by his ministers and others. Except on Fridays, ministers don't visit him. People are dissatisfied with the administration.'

Since the departure of Abdul Majeed in 1928, there has been constant quarrelling between the acting treasurer and commander of militia, resulting in hardship in Male' and people beaten, harassed and imprisoned without reason or trial. Early 1930, the sultan was in fear of his own position.

The prince, Hassan Izudeen, was bedridden with fever and had to be carried around. He spent nights awake with his father.

hassan izudeen, prince barred from becoming king
Prince Hassan Izudeen

Translation of sections of first Maldives constitution
by Abdul Hameed Didi,
Maldives government representative 29 July 1931

Article 3: Seven years in Maldives qualifies a foreigner to be legally naturalised as a Maldivian.
Article 11: Government servants are prohibited from divulging contents of letters, telegrams, telephone messages etc. passing from private individuals, unless as provided for by law.
In various articles, 'liberties' are given 'provided' they are not contrary to law.
Article 14: Maldivians are obliged to learn Koran and read and write Arabic and Dhivehi.
Article 20: Maldivian subjects are prohibited from permanently domiciling hereafter in a foreign state.
Article 24: Qualifications of ruler - A ruler must be Muslim, follower of Sunni sect, not guilty of any Sharia offence, male, minimum of 17 years old, have sound mind, be a free man, have all five senses, able to read and write Dhivehi, be healthy, have administrative talents, be born as son of the last king, or grandson in the male line of a king descended from king Ghazi Hassan Izudeen, the son of Mohamed Faamladeyri Manikfan of the Huraa dynasty.

Abdul Hameed Didi reports that a Japanese survey ship visited Maldives in late 1930 and cruised around the atolls for months.

Regarding the proposal of a wireless station in Male' to communicate with Ceylon. 'His Highness (Shamsudeen) appeared very keen on this, but it is doubtful if the idea will be encouraged by the prime minister (Abdul Majeed).'

Public Records Office, London

The constitution and dispute between Abdul Majeed and sultan Shamsudeen 1932

Maldivians wanting reform 'now proposed that the too powerful prime minister (Abdul Majeed) should be checked by the creation of a democratic constitution.' The British were asked to intervene, but it was the same situation as 40-50 years before (1880s). There was no serious maladministration, and the dispute was between rival power groups.

In 1925, Ibrahim Didi died and there was a power struggle between his three sons. Abdul Hameed Didi the Maldive government representative in Ceylon and his brother Ahmed Didi the sultan's private secretary, were allied against their brother Abdul Majeed the chief minister and treasurer. In 1905, Mr Dehan had reported that Abdul Hameed Didi and Ahmed Didi were 'more Europeanised' than Abdul Majeed.

The British decided it was a problem for sultan Shamsudeen and the Maldivians, not the British. 'It must be remembered that Maldives is very definitely a dependency of Ceylon and not of the UK, and in the long run the tightening of control will not mean control by this government, but control by Ceylon politicians. No British subjects are imperilled,' and 'we are expressly debarred from interfering in local affairs by the assurances given in Sir A. Gordon's letter of 23 December 1887.'

If Hassan Izudeen is unacceptable as heir to the throne, next in line is Mohamed Imadudeen V who was sultan for a few months at the age of 7 in 1892. He now lives in India.

Following the proclamation by the sultan, a new draft constitution was transmitted by Abdul Hameed Didi to the governor. It was modeled on the Ceylon Constitution, and was very liberal and democratic. In a letter to the the governor dated 14 November 1931, Shamsudeen claims the inauguration of the new constitution is being stopped by Majeed who insisted on having 'the rules and procedure and regulations of the government drawn up, before the constitution of the Majlis. On this pretence, he is obstructing the passage of the constitution.' Shamsudeen wants the British to remove Abdul Majeed to Singapore.

A list of visits to Maldives by British officials since the ascension of Shamsudeen:

Mr (later Sir Edward) Denham - 1905
Sir H. MacCallum (governor) - 1908
Shamsudeen appointed CMG, insignia delivered 1920
Sir H. Stanley - 1928
Sir B. Bourdillon - 1931

A report on 7 December 1931 said Abdul Hameed Didi, Prince Hassan and Shamsudeen alleged that Abdul Majeed was obstructing the constitution. 'They felt that the presence of a British officer would enormously strengthen the hands of the Sultan and the reform generally,' writes the governor on 7 December 1931. Abdul Majeed has 'now become a virtual dictator... although his assumption of power and his mismanagement of affairs is generally resented, the docility and the laziness which are characteristic of the Maldivians prevent his opponents' (from organising against him). Having a British officer present for a few months 'seems to offer the only possible hope of effecting any reform.' However, the Ceylon constitutional changes were requiring all the good officers to stay in Ceylon.

In a reply, dated 16 December 1931, to Shamsudeen's letter, the governor writes, 'Nothing can be achieved unless Your Highness is prepared to adopt a strong line and to compel the prime minister to abandon his attitude, which appears to me to be against the law and custom of the Maldives.' The governor offered the assistance of a British Officer in Male' in order to advise Shamsudeen on constitutional and administrative matters.

Shamsudeen replied on 8 January 1932. The sultan accepted the offer of a British advisor. He wanted the British officer to remove Abdul Majeed for short time to a foreign place, preferably Singapore, with a suitable allowance.

But the Colonial Office in U.K. disagrees and decides not to intervene.

According to S. Caine, writing on 24 March 1932, it was the same situation as 40-50 years before, when Ibrahim Didi was jockeying for power and 'led to a series of political changes, usurpations and depositions of successive sultans (all entirely pacific) during which both sides appealed for assistance to the Ceylon government.' Maldives had a government, and a 'very respectable civilisation of their own... no specific complaints of the administration. I see no reason why we should make any special effort to confer on these people the blessings of a democratic constitution which probably very few of them would understand, simply in order to get rid of a powerful minister. It seems unlikely that the sultan understands what might be the results of making this constitution really work. Instead of regaining his authority from the PM, he would merely be handing it permanently to a popular assembly.' It is 'essentially a matter of internal administration in which the Ceylon government should not intervene.'

In a telegram from the governor of Ceylon to the Secretary of State for Colonies on 12 May 1932, he wrote that towards the end of February, Abdul Majeed 'executed a volte face' and asked Shamsudeen to summon the Legislative Assembly which has sat regularly and passed the constitution in all stages. Majeed had asked to come to Colombo for treatment after a written demand from the Legislative Assembly for a statement of last year's revenue and expenditure.

In Shamsudeen's Address from the Throne on 22 December 1932, the king said, 'Those two blessings of remaining independent and in the Islamic faith, we have enjoyed for generations past.'

Public Records Office, London

In a very short time, a serious revolt occurred and the constitutional government in Maldives was demolished. The pioneers of education, Ahmed Kamil Didi and his chief assistant Hussein Salahudeen, were dismissed from their positions. At that time, Ahmed Kamil Didi was in Colombo buying a cargo boat.

During this infamous Motorboat revolt, the ministers and their deputies were sent away.

The visible instigator of the revolt was king Mohamed Shamsudeen III, and the mastermind behind it all was the person who had directly opposed the preparation of the constitution, Abdul Majeed Rannabandeyri Kilegefan.

Since this is taking so long, I will stop here. However, there is something I have to mention to be able to continue. It was part of Mohamed Shamsudeen’s cruel plan that Sheikh Ibrahim Rushdie, the attorney-general, was not summoned to the royal palace with the other nobles and warned before the revolt began. He was to be given to the mob.

sheikh ibrahim rushdie, law official in maldives
Sheikh Ibrahim Rushdie

While Ibrahim Rushdie was resting in the swing under the southern verandah of the Esjehi palace, the mob came in, kicking, pushing and dragging him through the outer house, across the verandah and through the street gate. They were taking him towards the public square beating and pushing him, when Mohamed Ameen came up and hugged the sheikh and held on to him. The leaders of the mob yelled out for Ameen to go away and leave the man for the havaru (mob) as the king had ordered. Ameen wouldn’t listen to any of it. Clutching Rushdie, he went across the square through Sakkarangnaa Gate on that long stretch between the Royal Departure gate, and to the front of the Customs building. By the time they arrived there, both Ameen’s and the sheikh’s clothes were torn, and they were bleeding from their cuts. Mohamed Ameen ordered the Customs people into the building, and the sheikh was shoved onto a small boat. It was 11 November 1933.

With the assistance of the militia mob, king Mohamed Shamsudeen sent all the nobles into exile apart from Mohamed Fareed, Hassan Fareed, Mohamed Ameen, Moosa Mohamed Didi and such people.

In the midst of these events, Moosa Mohamed Didi’s wife needed to go to Lucknow for medical treatment.

Mohamed Ameen became the deputy-principal of the school and he ran it very well. Edhuru Didi’s Dhon Tutu Didi taught English to the lower class and Mohamed Ameen taught English to the higher class. He worked very hard. Before Ameen became the deputy there was an end-of-year exam. He gave 100 questions. I was able to write the answers to 80 questions at least, while Ali Ahmed, Mohamed Jamal and Bageechaage Dhon Tutu Didi answered all 100 questions. A small booklet printed at that time is still around somewhere.

The examination that followed Mohamed Ameen becoming the deputy-principal contained ten questions, arranged in such a way that it was really 100 questions. If the question was answered well, ten marks were awarded. There were three grades of results: first grade = 75+ marks, second grade = 65 to 74 marks, and third grade = 40 to 64 marks. Mohamed Ameen showed how an examination should be conducted. The total number of male and female students was about sixty students, definitely less than seventy.

While the school was functioning smoothly, Hassan Fareed’s power had begun to increase. With his son Hassan Fareed in control, Abdul Majeed decided to live in Egypt though he was welcomed by the people when he returned to Male'. He only returned to Male' for a short visit after the ship with Hassan Fareed aboard sunk on 7 April 1944.

As soon as Hassan Fareed had established his power in Maldives, all schooling of both the boys and the girls ceased. An account of how the school was re-established can be found in another essay.

Since the time he returned from abroad, Mohamed Ameen had been obedient to his leaders, his parents and to his older peers. He was a very active person who worked hard to achieve whatever tasks his superiors set for him.

For this is the reason he did what Hassan Fareed instructed, and respectfully accepted and remained in whatever position Hassan Fareed gave him. Ameen was never out of the cabinet. Good manners were part of his personality and character.

The public had their first taste of his writing in an essay he wrote during the period of the constitutional government. It was an essay about the day of the arrival of Admiral Dunbar Nesmith in his ship. It was a beautiful description but I can’t remember the name of the vessel now.

That eloquent essay from Ameen still seems to be right before my eyes. It has never left my memory. It is in one of the issues of the Al-Islaahu magazine. When the ship was leaving, it carried Ahmed Kamil Didi, the minister for education and the home minister, to buy a cargo boat for Maldives. He was also accompanying Ibrahim Shihab, the young son of Hussein Salahudeen, on his way to study at Jamia-Miliyya.

Political life
I have mentioned the year Hassan Fareed died (1944). Two years before that, Hassan had decided to live in Sri Lanka, in early 1942. By this time Abdul Majeed had been living in Egypt for a long time and Hassan Fareed had become the most powerful leader in Maldives. Hassan Fareed transferred all government responsibilities to Mohamed Ameen.

Ameen was closely attached to his mother and father, his younger sister, two wives and young daughter, and it wasn’t possible for him to be separated from his parents and family even during a time of war. Not to make the story too long, I leave the tale of Hassan Fareed.

When Mohamed Ameen began to the government, there were two leaders above him but they had no choice than to hand over all their powers to him. The Second World War began in 1939, and the Borah traders, because they were ruthless, dropped the prices they paid for fish. The war with Japan had not even begun.

Ameen tried to open the government Big Store, and the Borahs and the Maldivian traders tried to trick him. In Ameen's book Maldives Under a Cloud of War, it is clearly states the names of those who spoke against the passing of the bill to open the store. Though a clever half a dozen members totally opposed the bill, it passed with a majority. The hard work of opening the store has been well described in an issue of Finihiyaa included with a photo of Ameen. An even better article is in an issue of Amaazu, and the introduction by Nakhuda Hassan Kaleygefan also describes well the determination of Ameen.

After passing the bill, Bodu Store was opened on the night of 10 December 1942. The next day, the price board at the Bodu Store set the value of a hundredweight of fish from mid-Maldives at 25 rufiya, with the price of Huvadhu fish at 30 rufiya per hundredweight. Fish was to be sold to the private traders at a 5 rupee profit. This fish was the same fish that the Borahs had been refusing at a price of 7 rufiya per hundredweight.

The first manager of the Bodu Store was Nakhuda Hassan Kaleygefan His assistant managers were Koli Umar Manik and Kandi Dhon Manik. Since the details are lengthy, we leave that story here.

The next big hurdle Ameen had to face was the issue of the Northern Rebellion. Many small and large vessels sailed into Male' harbour in an aggressive manner on 3 March 1943. Courageously, the people of Male' joined with those arrivals, in direct opposition to the government. At this critical moment, Ameen also showed courage and took advice from his wise father. Ameen put down the uprising and sent the northerners back in the direction they had come from.

In Maldives Under a Cloud of War, Ameen has written a confusing account of the results of this event. A very clear chronicle of what happened was published in the March 1988 issue of Finihiyaa magazine and in the Aafathis daily newspaper. This writer saw what happened with his own eyes and experienced the events. Many young people have taken photocopies of the articles from my house.

Some of Ameen Didi’s reforms
Ameen was responsible for many changes. One of his most memorable actions was the creation of the Maldivian government symbol. I believe he was assisted in this by Adam Naseer Manik. It is a very beautiful icon. Prior to Ameen, there was no national anthem, but instead there was a fanfare called Salamathi played with sticks and drums. The national anthem, called Gaumi Salaam, was composed by Ameen with assistance from Moonimaage Seedi and Sheikh Jameel.

The description of the national flag in the anthem is not complete. The words say the flag’s colours are green, red and white, but there was black colour as well. Ameen and those who came immediately after him did not realise this. Later, it was a much younger prime minister, the head of government Ibrahim Nasir who removed black from the flag. The reader can find the date for this change under the section on Nasir’s reforms.

From the time of the foundation of the Maldive army, their uniform had been Turkish hats, white coats, white trousers and white shoes. When not on duty, they wore a long white shirt with the letters ‘L. I.’ on the upper sleeve, and a red hat on the side of their heads. There was a silver chain attached to it and hanging down, to keep the angled hat in place.

Mohamed Fareed became the chief of the army after Athireege Abdullah Didi. His formal dress was a white coat, white trousers and a hat with silver thread chain. Ameen changed the army uniform to a white shirt with black strip lining, and the Maldive sarong became their informal wear. For formal functions the army wore coats, trousers, shoes and an angled hat.

Ameen also inaugurated an annual Army Day, when the chief of the army in full uniform went to Dhoonidhoo island (near Male') with his men. Ameen was not the army chief at that time. The position was held, in name only, by Mohamed Fareed. Ameen introduced a route march for the army on the 15 August 1945. They marched in khaki uniforms on that day marking the joyous end of World War Two. The army also went to Dhoonidhoo in full uniform on 6 June 1947. All these details can be found in Dhivehi Sifainge Saththaige Handhaanthah published on 21 April 1992 by the Ministry of Defence and National Security.

A Colourful Change
The name of this section is prompted by the beauty of the new dresses that Maldivian women were permitted to wear. Ameen Didi allowed women to wear three styles of dresses.

The first type was the old dress style the women had been wearing since ancient times, but without the gold and silver thread collar. The material could be of any colour.

The second type was the first style dress with a collar of the same colour or any other colour.

The third type was a full length dress with a flat collar and a head piece made of lace material. This thin lace is worn on the back of the head and hangs down over the nape of the neck. Today, women still wear this style, whether they be of high status or not.

Ameen did not make any restrictions on dress to indicate particular families, ancestries or social status, but wearing the style with the gold and silver covered thread on the collar was still restricted. We don’t have time to go into the details here.

The three styles were permitted from 12 May 1942, and though later on there were changes in these matters, the third style with the lace at the back of the head was most popular among the elite government ladies and aristocrats.

More reforms
Since ancient times one Maldive rufiya (rupee) was worth 120 laari. Abdullah Ismail Didi had always been a strong proponent of the metric system and Ameen Didi saw himself as Abdullah Ismail’s student. A special meeting of the People’s Majlis was held and the rufiya was set at 100 laari. It remains at that value.

From the day the constitution was passed, cabinet ministers were prohibited from owning a business. This had become a problem. Meeru Bahuru Ismail Didi was a joint partner of M. M. Ibrahim Didi Company, and Kakaage Ahmed Hilmy Didi was a shareholder of K. I. D. and Sons. At a special majlis meeting, Ameen proposed the repeal of the section in the constitution that prohibited ministers from owning businesses. After discussion and the expression of many views, the repeal motion was passed with a solid majority and the decision still holds today. The king, the president and ministers may all own businesses. Ameen Didi himself had no mind for business. The removal of this restriction was for those who came after him.

It was Ahmed Kamil Didi’s idea for Maldivians to have their own cargo boat, but the venture was unsuccessful. Ameen Didi formed a joint venture company called 'Gil-Ameen', and the organization bought two cargo vessels of 7,000 tons. One was named Sheila Margaret, and the other was the Margaret Rose. They made several voyages to Male'. Ameen registered the company in the Male' judge's (court) house under the name of the government of Maldives so it would not be considered family property.

With the establishment of this company, Mohamed Ameen started a Maldives shipping line. The national shipping line was not started by Ali Umar Manik and Ibrahim Nasir.

Ameen’s advisors on this matter was M. Nair, the general manager of P. B. Unbuchi Company, and his partner P. M. Nair.

Government Debts
When the republican government came to an end in 1953, Faamladeyri Kilegefan became responsible for running the government. Ameen Didi was dead, and Mr Gil claimed the company was 300,000 rufiya in debt. Kilegefan sought advice from those enemies of Maldive businessmen and the economy, the hypocritical leaders of the Borahs. Very intelligent but shameless men like Baseeru Ali and Nana Bahee advised that the company should be closed down immediately, and Mr Gil said if the vessels were handed over to him, he would acknowledge in writing that the debt had been paid.

Kilegefan settled the matter according to their wishes, and the Gil-Ameen Company came to an end. Two very expensive boats became the private property of Mr Gil, and the way was paved for the Bombay people to take over the loading of cargo in Male'. The enemies of the Maldive economy had won.

Ameen bought two large blocks of land and three houses in Colombo, Sri Lanka. These purchases were on behalf of the Maldives government and he registered them in the government’s name. One house was a well-built dwelling on a large block in a lane off the road to Parman Kada from Haulaku Road. It was called Sosun Villa and served as a boy’s boarding house.

The other two houses were in Banbulha Petiya along Galle Road, on a street heading towards the sea called Melbourne Avenue. They were on large blocks of land and very close to the beach. One was named Evergreen, and the other Cosy Corner. Evergreen was the office and residence of the Maldivian Government Representative in Sri Lanka, while the other was for the staff of the representative’s office. Maldive schoolgirls also boarded at one of the Evergreen buildings. These land and building purchases cost the Maldives government 700,000 rufiya, according to Marrakkaam Hashim and Nakhuda Hassan Kaleygefan

After the fall of Ameen and the fall of his successor Faamladeyri Kilegefan (in 1957), there was still a debt of 700,000 rufiya owed by the Maldives government to Sri Lanka, and a further 80,000 rufiya owing to M. S. Hibuthullah Bahi’s company. Since both debts could be verified with solid written evidence, they were paid by the new head of the Maldives government, Ibrahim Nasir.

Thus, although Ameen played a part in the purchase of these pieces of land and building, they were secured by Nasir. A boarding house was set up in Male' called Dharul Iqama. Two children from each atoll were brought there, and among them were Zahir Hussein, Ali Hussein from Vaarey Villa, Gulhi Waseem, Zakariya Hameed, the late Adam Saleem, Mohamed Sodiq, Abdullah Sodiq, Ahmed Adam and many other children. This house was run very well. Hassan Moosa Didi was the boarding master with the title Murushidul Akhulaq. He is also known as Hassan Didi the son of Dhon Moosa Didi.

I am not aware that any children were sent to Male' unwillingly. I believe things went beautifully and smoothly. The children studied the Koran, learnt to read and write in Arabic and Thaana scripts, and punctually performed their prayers five times a day. They were taught at a very high standard for the time. They studied at the boy’s branch of Madrasathul Sanniyya, and were not allowed to wander around the island. Another similar school was established called Thuwaaqu Thalaba and atoll children were brought there as well. This also operated smoothly.

For Consideration
The children given the opportunity to board in Sri Lanka at Sosun Villa were all closely related to Ameen Didi, or the children of his very close friends. Mohamed Zaki and Ahmed Zaki were both grandchildren of Athireege Tutu Dhon Didi, Ameen’s aunt. Ali Riza of Meeru Bahuruge went there. His mother was the sister of Tutu Sitti, Ameen’s mother. Others who stayed at Sosun Villa were Adnan Hussein, Ameen’s wife’s full brother, and Abdul Sattar Moosa Didi, the nephew of Zubaida Mohamed Didi, Ameen’s second wife.

Zakariya Hameed and Adam Saleem of Hoarafushi were also taken to Sosun Villa, but they were soon sent back to Male' because they sat in the garden chairs at night when they were meant to be sleeping. The intention had been for them to go to Azhar University in Egypt. Zahir Naseer as also taken to Sri Lanka. He was the son of Ameen’s right-hand man and best friend, Adam Naseer Manik, who was also the brother-in-law of Abdul Majeed Rannabandeyri Kilegefan.

Another student at Sosun Villa was Ali Umar Manik, and during Ameen's time, he attained a reasonable standard of education. Neither Ameen nor any other leader would ever be able to find a better servant than Ali’s father, Koli Umar Manik.

The future prime minister and president, Ibrahim Nasir, also went to Sosun Villa to study. He progressed quickly, advancing to Grade 6 with double promotions. Then Nasir was returned to Male'.

There are two stories regarding this matter. In one version, Nasir requested to return after he learnt he was going back anyway. The other version is perhaps less credible. This story says that Nasir received a family letter from Velaanaage in Male' in which he was accused of visiting Evergreen house without permission and socialising with the girls there. ‘For this offence, you are being asked to return to Male',’ stated the letter. Nasir is said to have showed this letter to someone, and then he remarked that this was the certificate he had received for his studying efforts. Nasir was the grandson of Athireege Tutu Dhon Didi, Ameen’s aunt.

It is also rumoured that some of children were taken to Sosun Villa to study at the request of Hassan Fareed, but this isn’t possible because he died before the boarding house was set up. Moosa Fath-hee and Maumoon Abdul Gayyoom were sent to Azhar University by Ameen Didi. Thus Ameen was responsible for laying the foundation for the education of these two excellent students and future servants of the nation.

Ameen Didi started the monthly magazine Sarukaaruge Khabaru, and was its editor. His main helper was Meeru Bahuruge Mohamed Ismail Didi and the first issue was on 5 June 1943.

Ameen collated a very good grammar for the Dhivehi language, and it forms the basis for today’s grammar developments. I have also heard that even during the time when Latin script was introduced for Dhivehi, the changes were guided by Ameen’s grammar work. He made changes to the sentence structure of Dhivehi, but the only person who adopted the style seems to be Ibrahim Shihab. I also used the style a little in my writing. However many noblemen did not use it, including Ahmed Kamil Didi, Hussein Salahudeen, Bodufenvalhuge Sidi, Mohamed Jameel and Ali Ahmed.

In Ameen’s literary style, too many wasteful words were required, and an idea could not be expressed in a single sentence. Even much of Ameen’s work was not written in that style. He wrote some excellent books and some awful ones too. His pen was always racing away; but later he used clerks to do his writing.

Permission given for mauloodh ceremonies
Hassan Fareed went missing during the month of Rabeeul Aakhir 1363 H. (March/April 1944). He had completely prohibited mauloodh ceremonies from all the Maldivian islands when he first assumed power. For about eight years the mauloodh was not heard, and then when Hassan Fareed died, Ameen Didi permitted the ceremonies again. Everyone was very happy to be holding the mauloodh again.

The problem of Divorce
Hassan Fareed passed a law prohibiting divorce unless it was granted by a magistrate or court. Divorce had become very difficult. Hassan Fareed had established the new law with the support of the religious clerics. Hussein Salahudeen, Sheikh Ibrahim Rushdie, Sheikh Ibrahim Luthufi, Sheikh Abdullah Fahumi and others all gave advice on this matter.

As soon as Hassan Fareed was gone, Ameen’s first priority was to change the divorce law into a form it has remained until now (1996). The clerics met in the southern verandah of the chief judge's house. Present were the most prominent among the names given above, and six junior sheikhs. At that meeting, it was decided that a husband could divorce his wife any time he wished. The law the People’s Majlis had passed, which prohibited divorce except in court, was to repealed. With this consensus, the change was made and divorce was settled as it had been in the past.

Development of Sports
Mohamed Ameen rejuvenated many sports including football and cricket. He also formed a youth organization where the members did cadet-style drills. He chose about 24 senior boys from Majeediyya school and instructed them using Dhivehi words and phrases which he composed. They were very similar to English. The leader of the group was Bandhu Moosa Kaleyfan, a senior army officer.

Bashi had been played since ancient times and Ameen modified the game to use tennis balls and racquets. He also developed some elegant rules for the game and bashi remains a popular sport to this day.

Ameen formed a board called Munthazam to oversee sporting activities, and another called the Cricket Academy with Ibrahim Ali Didi as the chairman. At that time, the faamladheyri koli had not been held for him. Ameen was the chairman of the sports Munthazam. At this point, the dhoshimeyna koli had not been held for him either.

The brightest achievement
Mohamed Ameen began providing electricity in the year before the announcement of the First Republic. The service began in February 1952 and expanded quickly. The power station was on the northern side of Bodu Bandeyrige and on the same street. I don’t know about the generator, but it would not have been small. Before 1 January 1953, electricity was available in many places.

An electric light bulb was installed in my house at Everglory in Machangolhi ward. Immediately, a very influential and powerful government figure, Kuda Dhaharaage Ibrahim Didi, asked for the bulb to be handed over to him. I let him have it.

Electric lights were installed in all the major areas. These were Athireege, Athireege Aage, Orchidmaage, Sosunge, Daisymaage, and at the Republican Carnival held in Majeediyya, Maajehige, Dhaharaage, Kuda Dhaharaage, and many other places. There were streetlights too. Ahmed Shafeeg gives the date of electrification as 20 December 1949.

Teaching Medicine
Hassan Fareed had ordered examination and certification of the people practising medicine. The examination committee was Ibrahim Ali Didi, Malin Mohamed Didi and Ahmed Kamil Didi. Ameen vastly expanded the size of this committee. He included two people from each atoll and others who practised medicine, until altogether there were 150 people.

All were required to be holders of a certificate of medicine, or they had to take a two month course. Those who were traveled to Male' for this course were provided with accommodation and food at government expense. Each person was placed at a friend’s house. They were taught at the Naadhee building. Ameen taught physiology or human biology. Mafaiy Kilegefan’s son Mohamed Didi taught the properties of medicines.

Ibrahim Ali Didi taught the methods of Greek medicine to diagnose diseases by checking the pulse and colour of the eye, and other symptoms. He taught the use of medicine as an effective way of treating illnesses. One person is still alive who attended this course - Dhon Moosa, aged 88, of Kanditheemu island, Shaviyani atoll.

This tremendous service by Ameen provided a solid medical base. He taught extra skills to people who already had some knowledge and also published a book for the participants.

Various other services
Ameen formed a language committee, which included Hussein Salahudeen, Bodufenvalhuge Seedi, Sheikh Ibrahim Rushdie, Abdullah Ismail, Ameen himself and others. The chairman was Salahudeen. They began compiling the Dhivehi Bas Foiy (Dhivehi Dictionary). It was decided to present it in Dhivehi alphabetical Radheef form. As each Radheef was completed, it was published.

However, the work did not progress well. It stumbled along and came to an end when the government changed. It was recommenced and supported by President Maumoon Abdul Gayyoom when his government was formed on 11 November 1978. I am told it is progressing very well at the moment.

Ameen also formed a story committee. It included Ibrahim Ali Didi, Sheikh Ibrahim Rushdie, Mohamed Naseer Manik, Maulavi Mohamed Hassan Nadwi and many other literary experts. It passed and published excellent stories by various people, although Gellunu Lha Furaavaru (Lost Innocence) was not approved.

Minor changes were made to Moosa va Zulaikha ( Moosa and Zulaikha) and it was passed. This was the first novel published in Maldives. The book was written by Hussein Salahudeen. Dhonbeefaanu Vaahaka ( The Story of Dhonbeefaanu, Maldives’ second novel), was written by the same author, as was another novel, Numan va Mariyam ( Numan and Mariyam). These were both approved as well.

Haseenage Hithaama (Haseena’s Grief) was also passed by the story committee, which went on for a while and then dwindled away.

Ameen started giving beautiful names to Male' houses and placing a nameboard outside each dwelling.

However, long before Ameen returned from his schooling abroad, Ranvikkaage Tuttu Didi had a sign on his house saying Ranvikkaa Thuththu Didi ge. A fence was covered with a hessian bag and white-washed with lime, and the words were written in bright red. But just as people would not call Felidhoo Hussein the pioneer of libraries, no one would call Ranvikkaage Tutu Didi the pioneer of house nameboards.

Streets were given beautiful names by Ameen, and the signing of the streets began during his time.

Ameen’s uncle, Abdul Majeed Rannabandeyri Kilegefan passed away on 21 February 1952, and Ameen’s rule ended on 21 August 1953. Ameen had total control for 18 months from the day Abdul Majeed died. Only then did he dare to remove Faamladeyri Kilegefan, Velanage Ibrahim Didi, Buruneege Ibrahim Didi, Faamladeyrige Tutu Didi and Hussein Habeeb.

Abdul Majeed, who had been elected to the throne of Maldives, had been the one person who they, and all the people of Maldives, feared.

A word of caution
The historical writings of Ameen Didi are wrong. They are at much the same level as the Bible. They contain very little truth and these are outweighed by falsehoods. Proof of this can be found in the book written by Mohamed Nasheed (current MDP chairman, 2005) called Dhagandu Dhahanaa (Iron Armour). The Dhivehi Thaareekh, begun by Hassan Tajudeen, also shows that Ameen’s histories are very inaccurate.

History must be written in the way prominent Muslim and non-Muslim scholars written. Especially with respect to the methods used by Ibn Kaldhun. He is a great and revered Muslim historian, and had respect for scholars of any religion. Just because someone has died, we cannot avoid writing about the bad things done by the deceased. Please refer to the famous history Mu-ujamul Bulidhaan by Allama Thabri, and to the Thareekh Arab Wasaam written by Ibn Ishaq.

Ibn Kaldhun’s many historical works, praised by the world, should also be examined. His Muqadhimah Thareekh is an excellent work on historical methodology. There is no way anyone can write history without an understanding of its methodology.

A stylish change to the Dhivehi script
I went to Bageechaage one day at about half past ten and Salahudeen said to me, ‘Just then, Adam Manik came here and showed me Thaana akuru written with all the letters having equal tail lengths.’ He said that they intended to write Thaana in that style and asked if I agreed. I replied, they could write in that style, but I would not change the way I was writing. This conversation occurred in 1946, but I do not know the exact date.

Ameen was head of the government then, and if Adam Naseer Manik was thinking of changing the Thaana writing style, he would have discussed it first with Ameen. Then both he and Adam Manik would have sought the approval of Salahudeen. Salahudeen was the acknowledged master of the Dhivehi language at that time and he was Adam Manik’s teacher. In fact, Salahudeen was the teacher of all those Maldivians who had studied to a reasonable standard. At least, that is my opinion.

Salahudeen was a very high level teacher and therefore the two others realised the importance of his approval and opinion about the change. At any time, things are implemented only when the chief leader agrees and approves.

Ali Ahmed invented dotted Thaana script, but it was only acceptable when the prime minister agreed to it. With everything, there is always a person who has the idea, and those who implement it, namely the heads of the government. Therefore, it can be said that the person who invented the modern Thaana font with letters of equal length was Adam Naseer Manik, but responsibility for this change must also be included among the achievements of Mohamed Ameen.

To be honest to history, I have written in this way to ensure that Adam Manik’s contribution is not diminished, and that Ameen Didi is also honoured. In this journal I shall record everything as I have seen it, or as I have understood it from the original accounts.

Silver Jubilee of Madrasathul Saniyya (now Majeediyya school for boys)
Madrasathul Saniiyya had been operating for 25 years, and it celebrated for a few nights with a silver jubilee party. Music was played to the standards of the time, commemorating in Ameen Didi’s special style, the people who had provided educational services. This was the first silver jubilee celebration seen in Maldives. Everyone who has respect for history must give Mohamed Ameen credit for this.

There was some talk about holding a silver jubilee for the twenty-fifth year of the reign of king Shamsudeen III, but nothing happened. Perhaps the senior members of the royal court did not approve.

king shamsudeen the third of maldives with attendants
King Shamsudeen III (foreground) with his closest nobles, members of the Kakaage family, Dhanvaru Dhon Moosa Kaleyfan (left), Futhu Ali Fulhu (center back) and Soaru Hassan Manik (right).

Handicraft Exhibition (Atheri Masakkathuge Mauraz)
Maldives first handicraft exhibition was held when Mohamed Ameen was in charge of the government after the death of Hassan Fareed. People brought beautiful exhibits to the exhibition and it was very successful. The exhibition’s name was an Arabic translation of an exhibition mentioned in the book Numan va Mariyam by Hussein Salahudeen. The same name is still used today in Maldives. Hence, the credit for the idea must go to Hussein Salahudeen, and it was Ameen Didi who made the exhibition a reality on 9 September 1945.

Exhibition of agricultural and garden produce
The first agricultural and garden produce exhibition was held during the time of Mohamed Ameen. The produce, which came from the atolls as well as Male', included papaya, atha, pumpkins, wax gourds, tender coconuts, and many other fruits and vegetables. After opening the exhibition, Mohamed Ameen did the auctioneering. Mohamed Ismail Didi bought a pumpkin for Rf1,100 on behalf of M. M. Ibrahim Didi’s company. The exhibition is one of the achievements of Ameen Didi.

Republican Carnival
The Republican carnival was opened in the evening of 1 January 1953, in the premises of Majeediyya school. Then it was a very small area, but on the eastern side there was a large vacant piece of land. The carnival was well-organised and saw the introduction to Maldives of a merry-go-round and ferris wheel.

The grand-daughter of Maduvvari Dhon Kaleyfan had been brought to Male' for the beauty contest and she met a young man who accompanied Ameen to an official meeting in the morning. The couple rode on the ferris wheel and the young man was placed under house arrest at midnight. The girl was moved from the boarding house at Buchaage to Laamige house. The young couple eventually married and they are still living happily together, now as grandparents. The man works in a business which involves all the relatives of his wife who was once the girl from Maduvvari island in Raa atoll.

The carnival ended after two weeks. It was one of the beautiful innovations that Mohamed Ameen brought to Maldives.

An act of Ameen Didi condemned by later generations
Ameen Didi was about 25 years old when he returned from studying. He married Fathmath Saeed Didi, the daughter of Hussein Salahudeen. He refused to include Didi in his children’s names and she did not have it in her name. When they married, Fathmath was about fourteen. At that time, the constitution had not been passed. She quickly became pregnant and gave birth to Mohamed Ameen’s first child. It was stillborn, and the second child also died when it was six days old. Then a baby daughter was born, Ameena Mohamed Ameen. She grew up safely.

Ameen did not build a house for this wife. He built that large Sosunge place for Aminath Hussein, and the beautiful Orchidge for Fathmath Ibrahim Didi. The huge Billoorige was built for Fathmath Abdul Wahhab. At present (1996), it houses the National Library.

He married Zubaida Mohamed Didi as a second wife and built her a magnificent house in the premises of the palace of king Ali. The same block of government land also contains the house of Zubaida’s father, Mohamed Abdul Samad Didi.

Mohamed Ameen also built a beautiful house, Daisymaage, for Faiza. He did not realise that by neglecting to build a large magnificent house for the wife who mothered his three children, later generations would scoff at him.

<Previous   Next>
top of page

Maldives Culture, Powered by Joomla!; free resources by SG web hosting