Former Saudi Minister of Commerce, Finance and National Economy Suleiman bin Abdulaziz Al-Salim passed away dawn of June 8 at one of London’s hospitals.
Salim and the late prominent technocrat Ghazi Abdul Rahman Al Gosaibi had shared many roots. Their companionship kicked-off with shared college years and then carried out until the two were fulfilling their assigned government duties. Nonetheless it was their love of poetry that brought the two closer than ever.
When Gosaibi died in 2010, Al-Salim wrote a dexterous eulogy which was published by Asharq Al-Awsat newspaper on the August 21, 2010. The Article’s headline wrote: “Our Days are but Borrowed Dear Gosaibi.”
The headline still rings in the memory of the people, especially those who live in Al-Qassim Region– Salim’s hometown. Moreover, the headline was derived from a well-known cultural verse, which gave it all more of a reason to be appreciated by readers.
Al-Salim then brought down the curtains with his article by citing one of the greatest Arab poets that ever walked the earth, Al-Mutanabbi – the reference was taken from the notorious poem “Nights following the departed are all but redundant.” Salim cited a special two verses for his late friend, “A single farewell has set us apart- And in death we truly depart.”
Salim and Gosaibi started off their journey at the Cairo University, from which the latter earned a degree in law and Salim earned his Bachelor’s in Commerce and Political Sciences. The two then left in pursuit of their Master’s degree in International Relations at the University of Southern California, Los Angeles.
The two sustained and honored their shared esprit de corps throughout 1964, during which they signed up for teaching political sciences at Riyadh’s King Saud University.
In 1975, the two also simultaneously entered the true world of politics and were officially assigned posts at the Council of Ministers of Saudi Arabia. Their office comradeship lasted until 1983 when Gosaibi left his ministry.
Reminiscing to one of their memories, Salim would tell the story of a group of students, in 1964, taking a road trip to Santa Monica. The tale would then take a sudden turn of events, when the car’s breaks no longer work as they race into a steep hill with nothing but the ocean ahead. They thought it was the end. The car eventually stopped after being wedged between a palm tree and a wall. Salim said that he remembered the expression on one of his friends’ faces, with their thick glasses and reciting their final rites.
Six years after Gosaibi passed away, Salim also did, after experiencing a severe cardiac arrest in the early hours of Thursday June 8 in London.
Born in the governorate of Unaiza, Dr. Salim graduated with a BA in political sciences from Cairo University. He obtained his PhD degree in Public Relations from John Hopkins University in the State of Maryland.
After leaving his official post at the government, Salim chaired the Samba Financial Group and was a member at the advisory board of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC).
The time in which Salim worked at the government was known for its remarkable achievements. In his term, Saudi Arabia witnessed an accelerated development which was later known as the booming decade for the Kingdom dating 1970- 1980.