Abdurrahman Wahid Biography, Life, Interesting Facts
Abdurrahman Wahid aka Gus Dur was hailed as the fourth Head of State of the Republic of Indonesia. It was during his tenure that he brought forth an advanced doctrine that was accepted by all. His creative thinking and an ample background in religion gave him a chance to chair Nahdlatul Ulama Party. He then established a party called National Awakening or PKB.
It was after Suharto’s dictatorship and resignation that made Abdurrahman Wahid be elected as the acting President of Indonesia from 1999 to 2001. The Chief Executive Wahid suffered tons of political constraints. But peace and harmony prevailed because of him. Little did he come to know that impeachment followed him like a plague. Let’s see whether he continued to serve as the front-man or an opposition headman.
Childhood and Early Life
On 7th, September 1940 a duo named Siti Solichah and Abdul Wahid Hasyim were blessed with their first born son in Jombang Regency, Indonesia. He was none other than Abdurrahman ad-Dakhil Wahid whose parents opted to name him after the founding father of a Muslim dynasty called Abd ar-Rahman I. He was then given an ad-Dakhil moniker where he was later referred to as Gus Dur.
Being the eldest brother of five younger siblings, Abdurrahman Wahid hailed from a well-to-do family in East Java. His protective father served as Prime Minister of Religious Affairs in Indonesia. At his tender age, he joined KRIS Primary School and later Matraman Perwari Primary School.
It was in 1957 that Wahid was allowed to join Junior High School after passing with excellence. He was then taken to Magalang where he studied Muslim Education. In 1965 his father took him to a High Institute of Arabic and Islamic. For his upkeep, he started to serve at the local Indonesian Embassy.
In 1971 Abdurrahman Wahid joined the University of Baghdada. He then joined the Institute for Economic and Social Research. In 1977 he was appointed as the leading member of the Faculty of Islamic Beliefs at Hasyim Safari Varsity.
After some time Wahid formed a Religious Council called Nahdlatul Ulama’s. While there he took the time to participate in several campaigns under United Development Party. In 1984 he got a seat as the leading arm of NU. Here, he aimed to change the Indonesian education system from classic to the modern school. In the process, he formed a close relation with Suharto who acted as the second President of Indonesia.
For more than a decade Abdurrahman Wahid ruled NU with all his might. After the resignation of Suharto in 1998, Wahid got a seat as the chairman of PBK party. The administrative members advised him to vie for the presidency. In 1999 Abdurrahman Wahid was elected by the People’s Consultative Assembly as the fourth President of Indonesia.
As the acting president, Wahid signed some peace treaties. He also took time to visit different countries including Israel, China, Jordan, India, Saudi Arabia, Pakistan and the United States. However, hell broke loose in 2002 where Wahid’s relation with the military force TNI weakened. Unsure of his act, Indonesia started to struggle with terrorist attacks when he was forced to resign.
In 2005 Abdurrahman Wahid opted to form a political partnership with United Awakened Archipelago. He took the time to oppose Yudhoyono administration. In the long run, he managed to establish a non-organization group called The Wahid Institute.
Personal Life and Achievements
From 1993 to 2003 Abdurrahman received some awards and recognition. Some of the notable ones include the Magsaysay Award, an Asia Nobel Prize, and Appeal of Conscience Foundation Award among others. He also received several doctorates from various Varsities including Sun Moon University, Soka Gakkai University, and Pantheon University.
Abdurrahman Wahid tied a nuptial knot with Sinta Nuriyah with whom he had four daughters. He breathed his last on 30th, December 2009 due to acute diabetes. He was interred at Jakarta, Indonesia. As a hobby, Wahid loved to listen to classical music mostly the Beethoven Symphony.