Alums take gov't positions in Saudi Arabia

By Heather Hiscox

Arizona Daily Wildcat

In his recent Council of Ministers changeover, Saudi King Fahd filled four of his council positions with UA graduates.

University of Arizona graduates Naser Assaloom, Musaad Asenani, Madani Elaagi and Dr. Ziad Asudairey all joined the Saudi Arabian government to be counsels to the king and assume control of several agencies in the country.

These men have joined the ranks of another UA graduate, Abdulmohsen Alsudairey, who is presently the president of the Food Agriculture Organization in Saudi Arabia.

Assaloom, Minister of Communications, graduated with a Ph.D. degree in civil engineering in 1973. In Saudi Arabia he is now in charge of Roads and Transportation.

Asenani, Minister of Labor and Social Affairs, graduated in 1974 with a master's degree in accounting. His duties include labor agreements and social affairs, which include the welfare and education of women and the disabled.

Elaagi, Council Minister, graduated from the UA in1971 with a Ph.D. in Industrial and Labor Relations, and acts as an advisor to King Fahd.

The graduates' positions are equal to being a U.S. Secretary of a Federal Dept. (ie: Secretary of Communications) and/or being a member of the President's Cabinet. They all have a lot of power and responsibility; their positions allow them to travel often and to attend International Conferences.

Dr. Asudairey, Member of the Consultitive Counsel, has a master's degree in Public Science which he acquired in 1978. He acts as a political advisor and aids in monitoring the government and political system.

The men were recommended by the king's consultive counsel and were approved by the king.

"Many UA graduates have very important jobs in Saudi Arabia," said Badr Alsedairey, UA Graduate Student of Civil Engineering.

Alsedairey said he learned of the UA graduates in the Saudi Arabian magazine, Al Majalla, the International News Magazine of the Arabs, August 1995 edition. He said he is proud to be a part of the UA, a university that has graduated so many of his country's leaders.

Mohammad Eshani, UA civil engineering professor, also has ties with Saudi Arabia through participation in research for the King Abdlaziz City for Science and Technology, an Institute in Saudi Arabia. He acts as an advisor to Alsedairey and continues to give him information as he communicates with the country.

"I am proud that I study here," Alsedairey said.

Alsedairey said he plans to return to Saudi Arabia after he gets his civil engineering degree.

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