Randa Mohammed Al-Banna

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Template:Infobox royalty Sheikha Randa Mohammed Al-Banna (born August 11, 1955) was a junior wife of Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum. She was his first wife and married in the mid-1970s. During her marriage to Sheik Mohammed, she gave birth to his first child, Manal bint Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum. Al-Banna is the mother of only one of Sheik Mohammed's children. Following the birth of their first child in 1977, Maktoum married his now senior wife, Hind bint Maktoum bin Juma Al Maktoum. Her life has been shrouded in mystery, due to her divorcing Sheik Mohammed in 1976.

Her daughter Manal bint Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum is considered to be one of the most notable women in the Middle East. In 2005, she married Sheik Mansour (otherwise known as Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan), who is currently the deputy Prime Minister of Abu Dhabi.

She left Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum on an unknown date and is no longer considered one of his wives.[1]

Early life & education

Randa Mohammed Al-Banna was born in Beirut, Lebanon, in August 11, 1955. Her father Mohammed Al-Banna was a Lebanese politician. Her mother Souad Minato of Turkish descent was the daughter of Turkish politician, Chaaban Minato.

Al-Banna's education took place at a Christian Maronite Boarding School in Beirut. She pursued a law degree at the University of Lebanon, before deciding to move to the United Arab Emirates in her second year of studying; never completing her degree.

Life

After meeting Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, she became engaged to the future Ruler of Dubai in 1973. On November 11, 1975, Al-banna gave birth to Al Maktoum's first born child, "Sheika Manal."

Shortly after the birth of Manal bint Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Sheik Mohammed divorced Sheika Randa in February 1976. The reasons for the divorce have never been made public. At the age of 19, she disappeared from Dubai and according to reports, never returned. Her disappearance so soon after the birth of her daughter, led to false rumors that she had died during childbirth.

Al-banna had in fact left the UAE, exiling herself to Italy, where she still resides today. After a decade in Italy, she remarried and had two boys, Talal and Bilal. Her husband is then said to have died when Al-banna was in her late 20s.

After moving to Italy, Al-banna began to focus on art and many of her paintings have been purchased by the Royal Family of Saudi Arabia. Her main line of work was in lingustics, translating works for embassies based in Rome.

Along with her daughter Manal bint Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, she has an interest in Dubai Women Establishment, which was founded in 2006. Al-Banna regularly attends and hosts events worldwide to raise awareness and funds for Dubai Women Establishment, which was founded by her daughter.

Through the marriage of her daughter and Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan, she has five grandchildren. Fatima was born June 9, 2006, grandsons Mohammed was born December 4, 2007, and Hamdan was born June 21, 2011, granddaughter Lateefa was born January 23, 2014, and another grandson Rashid born March 22, 2017.[2]

Media

A United States-based TV network was said to be interested in documenting Al-banna's life in 2016.

References

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