Prominent Saudis: Dr. Ghazi Al Qosaibi


The most prominent of prominent not royal Saudis is Ghazi Al Qosaibi. This is a name that every Saudi knows, young and old. He initially became popular for the reforms he implemented as minister of health, that and his Arabic novels compounded to make him one of the shiniest stars in the Saudi sky.
The first phases of his education were in neighboring Arab countries, Bahrain and Egypt. He then went on to a masters in the US and a PhD from the University of London. He then came back to Riyadh in 1971 to work as an academic at King Saud University. However, that did not last that long because he later sat at many important desks in Saudi; Director General of Saudi Railways Organization, Minister of Industry and Electricity, Minister of Health, Saudi ambassador in Bahrain then UK, Minister of Water, and now Minister of Labour.
Before he was assigned that last position, he was immensely popular all across Saudi but since becoming Minister of Labour, he has had to delve into areas that he had not touched before. As minister he is trying to tackle issues such as women unemployment rates, creating new sectors for Saudi women, reducing the number of low-skilled expatriate workers and training Saudis to take over their jobs. All of the above are held dearly to the hearts of our conservative majority.
It seems like they think anyone holding a Saudi passport is too good for blue-collar jobs. And they all live in a fairyland where every Saudi woman has a chivalrous man supporting her. And that’s why now his popularity has seen a dive.
To give you a sense of what he’s up against read these two articles:

Too Many Guardians Hindering Society’s Progress: Al-Gosaibi
Raid Qusti, Arab News

RIYADH, 28 April 2008 – Labor Minister Ghazi Al-Gosaibi yesterday criticized people who reject the idea of Arab and Saudi women working as maids in Saudi households.
“We are a society which is full of guardians,” Al-Gosaibi told reporters while answering a question about a proposal to have Egyptian housemaids in Saudi homes, as suggested by the Egyptian minister of labor.
“The Prophet (peace be upon him) said that all of you are guardians and that every guardian is responsible for his family. He did not say all of you are guardians for entire society,” said Al-Gosaibi.

Al-Gosaibi Seeks People’s Support for Job Policies
Arab News

BURAIDAH, 24 April 2008 – Labor Minister Ghazi Al-Gosaibi yesterday called for sustained support from society to help his ministry successfully implement new employment policies.
Addressing the participants in the second day of the seventh national dialogue forum that began in Buraidah on Tuesday, Al-Gosaibi said no Islamic religious strictures prevent women from working.
“After detailed studies and discussions, the religious scholars, intellectuals and the Supreme Economic Council have agreed on the religious regulations on the employment of women,” the minister said.

 Another thing that has to be mentioned when it come to Dr. Ghazi Al Qosaibi, is his great contributions to Arabic literature. His most noteworthy is The Apartment of Freedom which is about a group of Saudi college students in Egypt. It is so popular that it was made into a TV series. And his latest novel, The Genie, which was published in 2006 is also a good read.

One more thing is he was one of the first people to back Raja Al Sanea, author of Girls of Riyadh.


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17 responses to “Prominent Saudis: Dr. Ghazi Al Qosaibi

  1. Suleman

    I’ve been living in Saudi for almost 5 yrs, but I didn’t know he was that popular. He caught my attention only when he became the Labour Minister.

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  5. hana

    I believe that Dr. Ghazi is one of a kind. besides the fact that he is extremely knowledgeable and is willing to help his nation and the arab nation in anything that he can, he is a very down to earth character that can be accesseble which is very rare in our part of the world. God bless him

  6. nora hammoudi

    dr ghazi i had the chanec to interview him for un emiratee magazine when he was embassador in london i never meet in my life personnality like him he is down to earth and very simple person throw to his personnality i like all the saoudien ,i wich all the best i remember when i told him i was originally from algeria he smile and he said all the algerien are nice and beautiful
    i hope i will have chance to do tv progamme with him if allah want

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  9. I was ver y sad when i bought magazine from thé algérien aéroport m’y way to london anf i read thé bad news That dr ghazi left us i will remembre this beaufort personality all m’y Life and m’y condoléance to his wife and son i had thé chance to meet t hem long Time ago in london

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  13. Keep this goinjg please, great job!

  14. Reblogged this on Jean Sasson and commented:
    I was fortunate to meet this fine man (my husband and I were invited to his home when he was Minister of Health) and there was a crisis at the King Faisal Specialist Hospital and Research Centre. Dr. Ghazi was in a feud with my former boss, Dr. Nizar Feteih and he wanted to ask me some questions about Dr. Feteih. (I had been interviewed by the committee investigating Dr. Feteih.) Although Dr. Feteih could be very much a dictator at the hospital, he loved the hospital and did everything he could to make it the best hospital in the kingdom. Also, I had worked as Dr. Feteih’s right hand in the Medical Affairs Department for a couple of years and felt loyal as he had never been anything but extremely nice to me and my husband, Peter Sasson. I never saw Dr. Feteih do anything illegal or bad against the hospital, although he was a man accustomed to getting his way and at times was too harsh with some of the employees. Despite the fact I was unable/unwilling to turn against Dr. Feteih, Dr. Ghazi was very gracious. I briefly met his German wife, and two sons and a beautiful daughter. I found it interesting that the sons looked German as their mother and the daughter was a dark-haired/dark eyed beauty who looked completely Saudi. I did warn Dr. Ghazi that Dr. Feteih had been exceptionally close to King Khalid during the years I was working at the hospital (King Khalid died in 1982, as we all know) and that Dr. Feteih was also close to King Fahd. Dr. Ghazi brushed aside my concern that he (Dr. Ghazi) would end up losing any feud with Dr. Feteih. In fact. Dr. Ghazi was fired as Health Minister very soon after Peter and I met with him in his home, although a poem Dr. Ghazi had written that indicated the poem was for the eyes of King Fahd, played a role in his firing. Dr. Feteih was later released from his duties at the hospital, so the entire episode was very dramatic and both men paid a huge price for their feud. So much was happening during that time but I’ll save further details for my memoir. However, I will say that I found Dr. Ghazi to be a very intelligent and kindly man, and was very sad to hear of his passing so young a few years ago. I’m going to go now and find the poetry book he presented to me on that night and reread it. He was a very talented poet…(as all Saudi Arabians know.)

  15. Daleeli Saudi Arabia

    Daleeli Saudi Arabia
    I am very Happy to read this post. Thanks for making such post 🙂

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