The Accompanying Minister

The Accompanying Minister

Publishing House: Arab Institute for Research & Publishing

Publication Year: 2010

Genre: Biography

Number of Pages: 211

In “Al-Wazir Al-Murafiq” (The Accompanying Minister), authored by Ghazi Abdul Rahman Al-Gosaibi and published in 2010, the writer chronicles his tenure as a minister in the Saudi Arabian government, specifically his roles as the Minister of Industry and the Minister of Health. The book provides an in-depth look at Al-Gosaibi’s experiences during this period, particularly focusing on his duties accompanying visiting heads of state and monarchs to the Kingdom, as well as escorting the Saudi Crown Prince or King on official trips during the 1970s and mid-1980s. Al-Gosaibi offers a detailed account of the inner workings of Arab summit meetings, the confrontations between leaders, and the surprising and sometimes awkward positions of various kings, princes, and heads of state from Western and African nations.

Al-Gosaibi begins his book with an introduction that sets the stage for his narrative:

“There were, from time to time, assignments that took the minister away from the whirlpool of daily routine work. Among the most prominent of these tasks were accompanying the King and the Crown Prince on official visits, escorting visiting heads of state to the Kingdom, and participating in various conferences… This book contains chapters that carry my personal impressions of several heads of state and governments, which I have endeavored to preserve as they were first recorded many years ago.”

The book is divided into ten parts, with each section detailing the minister’s accompanying experiences.

In one chapter titled “In the White House.. Between Two Masters,” Al-Gosaibi discusses Nixon, the Washington Emperor, in the context of the Watergate scandal that led to his downfall. Another chapter, “Meeting the Brother Colonel.. On the Bus,” recounts the first night the Saudi delegation spent under Colonel Gaddafi’s hospitality, sleeping on balconies due to intense heat, followed by various theological debates between King Khalid’s legal advisor and Gaddafi, including Gaddafi’s creation of an Islamic calendar based on the death of the Prophet to counter Christian dating by Jesus’ birth. King Khalid, astounded, asks Gaddafi, “You are like Umar bin Al-Khattab?” To which Gaddafi responds, “Time will tell… You will see.”

Al-Gosaibi’s book offers a unique behind-the-scenes look at the nuances of international diplomacy and the interactions between world leaders from the perspective of a high-ranking official in the Saudi government. It presents a fascinating insight into political and cultural dynamics within the context of Arab and international relations.

Read More About Ghazi A. Algosaibi

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