FaceOf: Faisal Al-Hegelan, veteran Saudi diplomat

Faisal Al-Hegelan
Updated 14 January 2019
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FaceOf: Faisal Al-Hegelan, veteran Saudi diplomat

  • He was born in Jeddah in 1929 and attained a law degree in 1951 from the University of Cairo
  • He was named an ambassador to a number of countries in the 1960s and 1970s

Faisal Al-Hegelan died Wednesday in Beirut aged 90, having devoted decades of his life to serving Saudi Arabia as an ambassador and government minister.

He was born in Jeddah in 1929 and attained a law degree in 1951 from the University of Cairo, which was known then as King Fuad I University.

He joined the Ministry of Foreign Affairs as an attaché after graduating, working at Saudi embassies in Washington, Madrid, Buenos Aires and Caracas.

Al-Hegelan held several positions at the ministry. He was promoted to the second secretary in 1954 and then to the first secretary in 1958. Two years later he was transferred to the General Secretariat of the Cabinet to serve as an adviser to King Saud.

He was named an ambassador to a number of countries in the 1960s and 1970s: Spain, Venezuela, Argentina, the UK, Denmark and the US.

Al-Hegelan returned to the Kingdom after years as a globetrotting envoy, holding several high-level government posts including health minister.

He chaired the board of directors at the Saudi Red Crescent Authority and was appointed plenipotentiary at two of the country’s top medical institutions: King Faisal Specialist Hospital and King Khaled Eye Specialist Hospital. 

He went back to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in 1996 as the ambassador to France, and earned international recognition for his efforts and service.

His awards and honors included the Order of Isabella the Catholic from Spain, the Order of May from Argentina, the Knight Commander of the Order of the British Empire, and the Order of Rio Branco from Brazil.


Scholarships abroad for 330 students as part of ambitious Saudi tourism project

Updated 2 min 9 sec ago
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Scholarships abroad for 330 students as part of ambitious Saudi tourism project

  • Places will be offered to 330 students from the northwestern region of Saudi Arabia to study in Australia, France, the US and the UK

JEDDAH: Hundreds of Saudi students are being given the chance to study abroad as part of an ambitious tourism project for the Kingdom.
The Royal Commission for Al-Ula (RCU) is set to open the second phase of a scholarship program for Al-Ula high school graduates from the 2018/2019 academic year.
Places will be offered to 330 students from the northwestern region of Saudi Arabia to study in Australia, France, the US and the UK, almost double the number of scholarships made available in the program’s first round.
The RCU-sponsored initiative offers education and training in professions that will support the growth and development of Al-Ula into an open, living museum and global tourism destination.
Saudi minister of culture and RCU governor, Prince Badr bin Abdullah bin Farhan Al-Saud, said the scholarship program’s success represented “an important step in the realization of His Royal Highness Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s vision for a Kingdom that thrives from the contributions of a vibrant, successful society.
“We will continue to develop the scholarship program in a way that empowers the youth of Al-Ula to reach their full potential, and in turn, benefit the growth of the entire Kingdom.
“We, at RCU, believe that investing in people is the real catalyst for the success of development plans anywhere. Therefore, we invest in the youth of Al-Ula who have shown their skills and abilities to achieve their goals,” Prince Badr added.
Applications for the second phase of the project can be submitted via the RCU’s website at https://rcu.gov.sa/scholarship from 10 a.m. on June 20 until the end of the day on June 30.
The launch of round two of the program will see a total of 496 students from Al-Ula studying tourism and hospitality, history and archaeology, and agriculture, along with the specialist subjects of architecture and urban design, environmental planning, and facilities and services management.
As part of the program’s expansion, Australia has been added as a host country for the select group of students from Al-Ula who will pursue vocational education, diplomas, and bachelor’s or master’s degrees.
The aim of the scholarship program is to develop skills and expertise among talented local youth, to enable them to play a major role in the ongoing development of Al-Ula on return from their foreign studies.
The RCU’s charter also looks to help catalyze new and diverse economic sectors in Al-Ula while involving the local people at all stages of development.
The RCU provided employment opportunities for the local community of Al-Ula to work with tourists and visitors during the 2018-2019 Winter at Tantora festival, in its first season, with them taking part in the 10-week series of concerts, cultural and entertainment events.
The scholarship program is just one component of a wider plan to develop Al-Ula, its natural wonders and ancient cultural sites into one of the world’s leading tourism destinations.