The Saudi diplomat, Abdulaziz Khoja, lived most of his life as the Kingdom’s ambassador to several countries. Although he specialized in chemistry, he combined politics and literature.
He was also appointed Minister of Culture and Information in Saudi Arabia in 2009, where he remained for 6 years. He has a set of poetry and prose collections, with which he presented many technical studies.
In an interview with “Al Arabiya.net”, Khoja talked about his experience in the ministries of culture and information, explaining that abnormal leaps occurred and he did not expect all this change at various levels in the Kingdom in general.
He pointed out that Saudi Arabia has witnessed various moves that removed many obstacles that existed in the past, specifically at the level of media and culture, considering that the two ministries of culture and information are completely contradictory works, each of which needs a great effort, as culture contains theaters, music, and others, while the media is more dynamic, And evolving and changing, so they must be separated from each other.
He also revealed that his wish was to place culture in an independent ministry, which was actually done, while the media witnessed a dazzling start at the level of the Radio and Television Authority and newspapers, which greatly contributed to pushing the national media.
Advice for the reading press
He pointed to the responsibility of the Ministry of Information in attracting minds in order to establish a language of calm discourse and dialogue, stressing that the Kingdom possesses a selection of raw materials and capabilities in this field.
As for newspapers, Khoja confirmed that they have their readers despite the electronic development, pointing out the need for them to catch up with development so as not to be canceled by competition with social media.
As for his current activities, he explained that he started writing poetry more and attending cultural salons, as well as finding time to devote himself to reading books.
Regarding cultural salons and intellectual meetings, he saw that they are a healthy atmosphere, because every day people learn and discover new things.
Khoja and Lebanon
When asked about his experience for years as the Kingdom’s ambassador in Lebanon, Khoja praised this beautiful country, but stressed that the presence of Hezbollah had ruined it.
He made it clear that it is a complete Iranian party, which depends ideologically, weapons and culturally on Iran, and is trying to drag Lebanon into dependency.
He also added that Lebanon includes a group of diverse cultures in which there is glamor, freedom, creativity, poetry and literature, all of which the Lebanese were able to spread around the world.
However, things changed after the entry of Iran, considering at the same time that the results of the recent elections suggest that the Lebanese have realized this.
It is noteworthy that Khoja was born in Makkah Al-Mukarramah in 1361 AH corresponding to 1942 AD, and holds a BA in Chemistry and Geology from the University of Riyadh (currently King Saud University), and a PhD in Chemistry from the University of Birmingham – England 1970.
He held many positions, and served as ambassador in many countries, including Morocco, Turkey, Russia and Lebanon, until he became Minister of Culture and Information in Saudi Arabia until 2014, when he was relieved at his request.