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.