Ziad Al-Drees

Ziad Al-Drees

Ziad bin Abdullah Al-Drees, a renowned Saudi writer and cultural advisor, was born in 1962 (1382 H). He notably served as the Permanent Delegate of Saudi Arabia to UNESCO in Paris from 2006 to 2016 and was honored as an “Ambassador of Peace” by the Universal Peace Federation (UPF). This accolade recognized his efforts in promoting a culture of peace, tolerance, and diversity. He achieved this through public speaking, writing endeavors, and promoting cultural and linguistic diversity within UNESCO. Al-Drees is also known for establishing the World Arabic Language Day celebration.

Academically, Al-Drees holds a Doctorate in Sociology of Culture, focusing on “The Role of Patriarchal Authorities in the Age of Globalization,” from the Moscow State Pedagogical University, earned in 2007. He previously obtained his Master’s in the same field from the same university in 2002 and a Bachelor of Science from King Saud University in Riyadh in 1986.

His professional roles are diverse and impactful. Al-Drees was appointed as the Permanent Delegate (Ambassador) to UNESCO for Saudi Arabia from 2006 to 2016. He also served as the Assistant Deputy Minister at the Ministry of Education in 2009, led the editorial team of the “Al-Ma’arifa” magazine from 1997 to 2006, and was the General Supervisor of Educational Media for the Ministry of Education. Additionally, he worked as a dedicated cultural consultant at the King Faisal Center for Research and Islamic Studies.

Al-Drees has been an active member of various councils and bodies.

He served on various committees and boards, such as UNESCO, the Arab Culture Development Plan, and the Saudi Society for Heritage Preservation. Additionally, he was on the advisory board for the Annual Cultural Development Report by the Arab Thought Foundation the Board of Trustees of the Ghazi Al-Gosaibi Chair for Developmental Studies, and the King Abdullah Foundation for Giftedness and Creativity.

His publications include a mix of memoirs, sociological studies, and cultural commentaries. Some of his notable works are “Ocean of Vacation: Memoirs of a Proxy Bureaucrat” (2000), “Men’s Stories” (2004), “The Role of Patriarchal Authorities in the Age of Globalization” (2009), “Tell Me Who You Are, and I Will Tell You Who I Am” (2011), “No Compulsion in Patriotism” (2013), “Wars of Minor Identities: Fighting Exclusionary Classifications” (2014), “When do the Successful Wake Up?” (2015, co-authored with Ali Al-Hakami), “Who is Our Enemy in Iran?” (2016), “The Battle of UNESCO” (2017), “Diplomatic Struggle” (2018), “The Story of World Arabic Language Day” (2018), and “Those Are My Father” (2022) about his father, the writer Abdullah bin Idris.

Al-Drees has been honored with numerous awards and recognitions for his cultural and diplomatic contributions. He received the Palestinian Presidential Medal and Medal from Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas in 2011 for his exceptional efforts in supporting Palestine’s full membership in UNESCO. Lebanon awarded him the Merit Shield in 2012 for initiating the World Arabic Language Day celebration. UNESCO bestowed upon him the President’s Medal upon the completion of his tenure, acknowledging his efforts in achieving the organization’s goals of cultural convergence. In 2022, he was awarded the Prince Khalid Al-Faisal Prize for the Quran’s Language in the category of Community Leadership for Individuals.

Books Written by Ziad Al-Drees