Abdullah Al-Subaie, Saudi ambassador to Cote d’Ivoire

Abdullah bin Hamad Al-Subaie
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Updated 03 February 2020

Abdullah Al-Subaie, Saudi ambassador to Cote d’Ivoire

  • Al-Subaie is also nonresident ambassador to Liberia
  • He is fluent in French, English and Spanish

Abdullah bin Hamad Al-Subaie has been the Saudi ambassador to Cote d’Ivoire and nonresident ambassador to Liberia since 2018. 

Born in Riyadh in 1966, he obtained a bachelor’s degree in political sciences from King Saud University in 1990, and a diploma in diplomatic studies from the Institute of Diplomatic Studies in 1996. He is fluent in French, English and Spanish. 

Before his appointment as ambassador, he was a minister delegate, and was appointed as deputy director of the General Directorate of Visas at the Foreign Ministry, and head of the Government Visits and Business Sector division between 2014 and 2017. 

Al-Subaie was an adviser and the head of the ministry’s Commercial and Family Visits division between 2012 and 2014. 

As a first secretary, he was appointed head of the Commercial Visits division between 2008 and 2012, head of the Visits and Saudis’ Affairs division in Paris between 2000 and 2007, and head of the consular division at the Saudi Embassy in Paris. 

Between 1996 and 2000, he served as head of the Commercial and Family Visits division at the office of the ministry’s undersecretary for consular affairs. He was an attaché of the General Directorate of Visas between 1993 and 1995. 

Al-Subaie has represented the Kingdom at several key national, regional and international forums.

He recently attended a Liberian parliamentary session. Liberia’s president addressed the session, during which he praised international organizations, including the Saudi Fund for Development, for their financial support to his country in its efforts to develop its infrastructure.

French engineer returns ancient coins to AlUla

Updated 13 min 41 sec ago

French engineer returns ancient coins to AlUla

  • Jean-Claude Lefevre said he got the coins from a child when he visited AlUla in 1966
  • Archaeologists at the Royal Commission for AlUla (RCU) are looking into the coins' origins

RIYADH/PARIS: When French geological engineer Jean-Claude Lefevre visited AlUla in 1966, a young child gave him five old bronze coins, which he took back to France with him. Last Friday, Lefevre donated those coins to the Royal Commission for AlUla (RCU).

Lefevre said he was inspired to return the items after visiting the “AlUla — Wonder of Arabia” exhibition at the Institut du Monde Arabe (IMA) in Paris.

Lefevre was working with the Saudi Ministry of Petroleum and Mineral Resources when he visited AlUla more than 60 years ago. At the time, there were no laws protecting heritage sites in Saudi Arabia, so there is no suggestion that the French engineer did anything illegal. Today, however, the removal of artifacts from such sites is forbidden.

Lefevre contacted the RCU and met Abdulrahman Alsuhaibaini, the commission’s acting museum and exhibitions director, at the IMA on Feb. 14, when he handed over the coins. They will now be studied by RCU archaeologists to determine their origin and hopefully reveal new details of the ancient commercial crossroads at Hegra.

“We are very grateful to M. Lefevre for his contribution to the protection and preservation of our heritage,” Alshuhaibaini said. “It’s wonderful to know that the IMA exhibition — where we launched our cultural manifesto last October — has inspired such positive behavior and a growing recognition of the Royal Commission’s commitment to preserving and protecting heritage. The coins will now be cleaned and conserved before they can be read and studied.”

Hegra became Saudi Arabia’s first UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2008. Archaeological excavations at Hegra have discovered evidence of daily Nabataean life and rituals since regular excavations by a Saudi-French mission began in 2008. The excavations have also demonstrated that the Romans built an outpost at Hegra — the most southerly Roman settlement yet discovered.

“Most of the finds are pieces of pottery and sandstone sculptures. Even the smallest find can yield valuable information that sheds new light on ancient life,” said Alsuhaibaini. “Since these coins have been removed from their original context at Hegra, their scientific value (has been diminished), but once cleaned up they may yield important information about the Nabateans or the Romans.”

Saad Al-Matrafi, a spokesperson for the RCU, denied recent rumors about the discovery of gold in AlUla. “The video that has been circulating on social media is an old video that misrepresents the finding of small fragmented Lihyanite pottery statues in Um Al-Daraj, AlUla,” he said. “There is no gold in AlUla.”

The “AlUla — Wonders of Arabia” exhibition at the IMA runs until March 7.