JEDDAH – The sweeping changes in the Cabinet and other important government bodies have evoked optimism of a positive change among Saudi citizens. People from a cross section of society view these changes, coming as they do for the first time since King Abdullah, Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, ascended the throne in August 2005, with hope and optimism.
“What I have noticed in the new government is that the newly appointed people have left an indelible mark in their earlier postings and have proved their potential to one and all,” said Dr. Talal Abdulmalik from Jeddah’s King Abdulaziz University.
“We hope that all these new ministers will bring about changes that are best for our society,” he said. Housewife Thoraya Ahmed, 45, said new information minister Abdul Aziz Khoja dealt with the Lebanese situation deftly as Kingdom’s ambassador to Lebanon. “He played a great role in dealing with the difficult situation there and ensured the safety of many Saudi citizens during the Lebanese war,” Dr. Talal said.
Another prominent figure in Saudi society, Dr. Abdullah Al-Rabea, former Deputy Chief Executive Officer in King Fahd National Guard Hospital, takes over as the new Minister of Health replacing Dr. Hamad Al-Mane’.
Since 1990, Dr. Al-Rabea and his 25-member medical team have performed 10 successful operations to separate conjoined twins from countries around the world, including Saudi Arabia (three), Sudan (two), Egypt (two), Malaysia (one), the Philippines (one) and Poland (one). They all survived and are leading normal lives in their respective countries.
“Saudi Arabia has become very successful in these difficult surgeries and people from all over the world come to the Kingdom because of that,” said Sora Radain, a medical student in King Abdulaziz University.
“What was clear from the style of Dr. Al-Rabea during his tenure in King Fahd National Guard Hospital was that he is a strong supporter of Saudization and has been instrumental in uncovering new Saudi expertise that can be invested in the medical field,” added Radain. – SG