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Saudi Arabia: In Memory of Dr Ghazi Al Gosaibi

Dr Ghazi Al Gosaibi

Dr Ghazi Al Gosaibi. Image sourced from Facebook fan page.

Saudi Arabia and Bahrain are mourning the loss of an intellectual who has contributed greatly to the cultural and development scene of both neighbouring countries. Ghazi Al Gosaibi, a poet, author, Ambassador and minister, died yesterday at the age of 70. Bloggers and tweeps remember him in this round up of reactions from across the Arab world.

A leading liberal voice in Saudi Arabia, Dr Al Gosaibi obtained his early education in Bahrain, where he has relatives, and where later on in his long career he served as Saudi Ambassador.

From the UAE, Sultan Al Qassemi tweets:

I would say this about a very small number of people in power: The Arab world is a better place because Ghazi Al Gosaibi was born into it.

Bahraini Yacoub Al Slaise adds:

Last night I told my friend that our generation doesn't have a TRUE role model, I was wrong and he passed away today #GHAZI

iLandBahrain feels the loss:

Ghazi Al-Gosaibi – voice of enlightenment and reason – You will be sorely missed ♥ God bless your beautiful soul ♥

And bint battuta digs into her archive:

In memory of Ghazi Al Gosaibi, an old post on my blog (in Arabic): “The pleasure of not having to understand” http://is.gd/eiC1U

The announcement of Dr Al Gosaibi's death on his fan page on Facebook has attracted more than 750 messages so far, from across the world.

Hussain Hashem writes:

أهدتنا الدنيا عالما عاملا مخلصا لدينه و وطنه
فلم نوفه حقه الا بعد وفاته

حزنتك لفراقك كما لو كنت من أعز أقربائي

The world has given us a scientist and an honest worker with a sense of nationalism – a nation that has not done him justice until after his death.

My sadness for losing you is similar to having lost one of my dearest relatives.

Nora Aboushoushah adds:

To live in hearts we leave behind is not to die..
U will always be in my heart..
Ur
books.. have inspired my life.. touched my heart..brought me so much
joy.. enlightened me.. made me laugh & cry.. helped me make some
choices..
My number 1 writer.. u will live forever..

From Saudi Arabia, Crossroads Arabia‘s John Burgess says:

I’m truly sorry to read of the passing of Ghazi Al-Gosaibi. Not only did I know and like him, but he represented the sort of government official who is in far too short a supply in Saudi Arabia. His love for his country and for his fellow Saudis was amply demonstrated by the regulations he sought to create to bring more Saudi women into the workplace, to control the explosive growth of expatriate labor, to reduce the unemployment problem that desperately needs a solution.

Qusay adds:

Dr. Ghazi Algosaibi passed away at the age of 70, a career Saudi government man who held more high positions than anyone in my limited knowledge of government officials and ministers, what I know is he was criticized for reasons I thought were absurd, so I knew he was on the right track.

Recently the Information Minister Aziz Khoja lifted the ban which was imposed on some of his literary works, which made me wonder, how one can be a Saudi minister and still have some of his books banned from the market? I am sure I am not alone in wondering about that

Bougi, meanwhile, describes Dr Al Gosaibi as “a one of a kind gentleman.” The blogger adds:

As Labour Minister, he urged unemployed young Saudi men to take the jobs they had traditionally left for foreigners, driving his point home by memorably serving hamburgers at a fast food restaurant in Jeddah.
As well as his ”9 to 5”, Mr. Al Gosaibi's literary works included a series of novels discussing corruption at home, Arab alienation and essays analysing relations between Islam and the West. His poems were touching, profound and relative to many, from all walks of life.

Kuwaiti Ain Bhaghzi too is moved and writes:

في الحقيقة المملكة العربية السعودية لم تفقد وزير بل فقدت رجل محنك و مثقف من الطراز الرفيع الذي قلما نجده في مناصب قيادية في البلاد العربية ، هذه مشيئة الله عز وجل، رحل جسد القصيبي وظل فكره في الإدارة و عذوبة أشعاره نتداولها جيل بعد جيل .
The truth is that Saudi Arabia has not just lost a minister, but an experienced and highly cultured man, who is very rare to find at leadership positions across the Arab world. His death is the will of Allah. He may no longer be among us but his thoughts in administration and the beauty of his poetry will be there for generations to come.

And writing at the Angry Arab News Service, Lebanese American Dr Asad Abu Khalil describes Dr Al Gosaibi as ” an interesting writer and poet who squandered his talents and his skills in the service of House of Saud.”

He further notes:

This Saudi ambassador and Minister died: the ban on all his books was
lifted weeks before his death, when he was on his deathbed.

2 comments

  • John Dominic

    I was fortunate to work with the Algosaibi familiy for 7 years between 1985 and 1992. Dr. Ghazi was then serving as Saudi Ambassdor to Bahrain and then to Britain. I had the opportunity to work for him during his official visits to Riyadh. Dr. Ghazi’s writings will become more popular than ever and will be the inspiration for the present and future generations. The Arab world has lost a great writer and stateman. We all mourn at this death.

  • Mohamed Bouaka

    Great intellectual and manager, I have read recently his administration career and experience book. RIP

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