Abdullah ben Kalish Ezab is the 9 year old son of Mohammed ben Kalish Ezab, the Emir of the fictional Middle Eastern state of Khemed. Thanks to his father's spoiling, Abdullah has become a bratty prankster.
In many interviews, Hergé has said Abdullah and the Emir are two of his personal favourite characters. As such, Abdullah often appears in the series, performing tricks on Tintin and his friends.
Hergé was first inspired to create Abdullah while studying photos of Abdulaziz bin Abdul Rahman Al Saud, the inspiration for the Emir of Khemed. Al Saud had many published photos of himself with his family, including his sons, but Abdullah was to be primarily released on a different figure: Faisal II of Iraq, who became the King of Iraq in 1939 when he was 4 years old. Hergé closely modelled Abdullah after a portrait of Faisal II, and even redrew it for a panel in Land of Black Gold.
Abdullah is an extremely spoiled, mischievous and hyperactive child, as well as an incurable prankster who loves to play tricks and set traps on unexpected visitors. His father is often the target of his practical jokes, though the Emir finds these antics charming.
Abdullah seems to idolize Captain Haddock, whom he calls "Blistering Barnacles" after Haddock's go-to curse. Abdullah will target Haddock with his practical jokes whenever they happen to meet. In spite of the pratfalls he puts Haddock through, Abdullah enjoys being at Marlinspike Hall, and will throw a fit if he has to go home.
After first appearing in the Land of Black Gold, the Emir and his son reappear in The Red Sea Sharks, after the Emir is temporarily overthrown in a coup d'etat by rival leader Bab El Ehr. The Emir sends Abdullah and a royal entourage to Belgium where he will be safe with Tintin and Captain Haddock. Abdullah re-appears in Tintin and Alph-Art staying with his father at Roberto Rastapopoulos' villa in Italy.
- Land of Black Gold
- Destination Moon (mentioned)
- The Red Sea Sharks
- Tintin in Tibet (mentioned)
- Tintin and Alph-Art
- Farr, Michael. Tintin: The Complete Companion. San Francisco, Last Gasp, 2002. pg. 133.