RIYADH – Ghazi Al-Gosaibi, Minister of Labor, a consummate statesman and a writer of repute, died at King Faisal Specialist Hospital in Riyadh Sunday after a long illness.
He was 70.
The Ministry of Labor said in an official statement the country had lost one of its devoted sons who had served it honorably over several decades in many areas, the last being the Ministry of Labor. The ministry expressed its condolences to the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, the Crown Prince, and Second Deputy Prime Minister.
The funeral prayer was performed at Imam Turki Mosque in Riyadh.
He was buried in Aloud graveyard in Riyadh.
Al-Gosaibi’s death was a shock not to only to the labor ministry’s personnel but to all Saudis, said Dr. Abdulwahid Bin Khaled Al-Humaid, the Vice Minister of Labor.
He said Al-Gosaibi, despite his health and recent treatment, always kept abreast of developments in the country and at the ministry. He was always concerned about decisions and directives at the ministry.
Al-Gosaibi was an exceptional man who was concerned with the problems of his homeland even though he was away getting treatment. He wrote his last novel, Alzheimer, while away on treatment, said Al-Humaid.
Al-Gosaibi was born in Hofuf, eastern Saudi Arabia, on March 3, 1940 to a prominent and wealthy family of traders.
He earned a law degree at the University of Cairo in 1961, a masters at the University of Southern California in 1964, and a doctorate of law at the University of London in 1970.
In the 1970s he was director of the Saudi Railways Organization, and then moved to minister of industry and electricity, where he helped pioneer development of the Saudi petrochemicals industry.
Al-Gosaibi was ambassador to Bahrain from 1984 to 1992, and then to Britain from 1992-2002.
As a minister charged with boosting employment among Saudis, he served burgers in 2008 for three hours at a Jeddah fast food restaurant.
He published dozens of books, including essays, poetry, and love stories.
His best-known novel, “An Apartment Called Freedom” (1996), chronicled the lives of four young Bahrainis leaving their family cocoons and plunging into freewheeling, turbulent 1950s Cairo to attend university. – SG