Mohammed Ali al-Ahwal
|Mohammed Ali Mohsen al Ahwal|
Mohammed Ali Mohsen al Ahwal
12 December 1950|
Bayhan District, Yemen
|Died||13 December 2013
King Faisal Specialist Hospital, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
|Known for||Ambassador to Saudi Arabia|
Mohammed Ali Mohsen al-Ahwal (Arabic: محمد علي محسن الأحول) (12 December 1950 – 13 December 2013) was a Yemeni banker and diplomat who headed the Central Bank of Yemen from 1985 to 1995, and held various other senior government positions. He was Ambassador to Saudi Arabia between 2005 and 2012. In March 2011 he publicly sided with the youth protesters who were demanding a change of government during the Yemeni Revolution.
Early life and education
Al-Ahwal was born in Bayhan District, Yemen on 12 December 1950. He was from the Almusobein tribe of Ain District of Shabwa.[a] Al-Ahwal attended elementary and middle school in Yemen, then moved to Egypt to pursue his secondary education and university studies. He graduated with a Bachelor of Commerce and Economics degree from Ain Shams University in 1974. He also earned a degree in Finance and Economics from the University of Ottawa in Canada and received a certificate from the International Monetary Fund in Washington. His study areas included finance policies, financing, central and commercial banking, computing and investment.
In 1975 al-Ahwal obtained a position in the Central Bank of Yemen. He served as Director General of the bank from 1985 to 1995. Al-Ahwal was a member of the General Committee of the General People's Congress from 1990 to 1998. He was a member of the Presidential Council from 1991 to 1994. In 1992 he was promoted to Deputy Prime Minister (Finance). Al-Ahwal received the Order of Yemeni Unity in 1994. He was in charge of land and real estate in Yemen between 1995 and 1998. Al-Ahwal was appointed Consul General in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia from 1998 until 2005, with ambassadorial rank. From 2002 to 2005 he was dean of the consular corps in Jeddah.
Al-Ahwal was appointed Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Republic of Yemen to Saudi Arabia by presidential decree of 19 November 2005. He was also Permanent Representative to the Organization of the Islamic Conference in Jeddah, and Yemen's ambassador to the General Secretariat of the Gulf Cooperation Council. One of the issues he had to deal with was the condition of camps in Saudi Arabia of Yemenis displaced by the fighting between the Yemeni government and the Houthis. The Saudis were refusing to aid refugees and turning them back to Yemen. In a meeting in Riyadh in April 2010 to discuss this issue with Abdul Rahman bin Hamad Al Attiyah, secretary general of the Gulf Cooperation Council, Al-Ahwal was assured that the Arab states of the Persian Gulf saw Yemen's security as part of their security.
On 21 March 2011 The Guardian reported that al-Ahwal had resigned in sympathy with the youth revolution in Yemen. According to Al Jazeera, Ahwal had said "I announce my support for the youth revolution, and for change in Yemen" but his statement did not make it clear whether he was leaving his post or resigning from Saleh's ruling party. The protesters were demanding the departure of president Ali Abdullah Saleh. Al-Ahwal's statement followed similar steps from dozens of military and tribal leaders in Yemen. The Yemeni ambassador in Egypt, Abdul-Wali al-Shameri, said that the ambassadors who had announced they were joining the rebels would continue to represent the Yemeni people in Egypt and the Arab League.
In April 2013 it was reported that al-Ahwal had been recalled from his post as acting ambassador to Saudi Arabia after the signature of a memorandum of understanding on Yemeni expatriates with Saudi recruitment firms. The Saudi authorities were escalating efforts to deport Yemeni workers who were not covered by contracts. There was some confusion over whether the report reflected the official Yemeni position. It was reported that Al-Ahwal had resigned seven months earlier and was now based in Sanaa.
Al-Ahwal died at dawn on Friday 13 December 2013 at the King Faisal Specialist Hospital in Riyadh, to which he had been admitted several days earlier. He was aged 63. His body was taken to the Yemeni capital of Sana'a. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs organized a memorial service for him under the patronage of President Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi, President of the Republic, attended by many diplomats, politicians and public figures. He was praised for his work in assisting Yemeni expatriates in Saudi Arabia and his role in the development of relations between Yemen and Saudi Arabia. Ali Abdullah Saleh, President of the General People's Congress, was among those who sent telegrams of condolences.
- Al-Ahwal's brother, Ahmed Ali Mohsen al-Ahwal, became a brigadier general and governor of al Mahwit Governorate. In December 2013 there were armed clashes between Salafis and Houthi tribespeople in the area east of Sanaa, with both sides erecting road blocks. Ahmed Ali al-Ahwal survived an ambush of his motorcade, which was returning from his village in Shabwa.
- "محمد علي محسن الأحول.. رحيل الدبلوماسي الإنسان (Mohammed Ali Mohsen al-Ahwal .. Departure of a Diplomat)". 26 September (newspaper) (in Arabic). 6 February 2014. Retrieved 19 December 2014.
- "وفاة السفير محمد علي محسن الاحول في السعودية (Death of Ambassador Mohammed Ali Mohsen Elahwal in Saudi Arabia)". Aden Post (in Arabic). 13 December 2013. Retrieved 19 December 2014.
- "مواجهات بين السلفيين والحوثيين شرق صنعاء (Clashes between the Salafists and Houthis east of Sanaa)". Al Fajr News (in Arabic). 17 December 2013. Retrieved 19 December 2014.
- "وفاة سفير اليمن في السعودية محمد علي محسن الأحول (The death of Ambassador Mohammed Ali Mohsen)". Yemen Nation (in Arabic). 13 December 2013. Retrieved 19 December 2014.
- "Yemen, GCC in talk about war-ravaged Saada". Saba News. 31 August 2009. Retrieved 19 December 2014.
- "Yemen, GCC talk Saada". Yemen Post. 10 April 2010. Retrieved 19 December 2014.
- "Yemen unrest – Monday 21 March 2011". The Guardian. 21 March 2011. Retrieved 16 December 2014.
- "Top army commanders defect in Yemen". Al Jazeera. 21 March 2011. Retrieved 19 December 2014.
- "السعودية: انضمام السفير اليمني للمحتجين شأن داخلي (Saudi Arabia: The Yemeni ambassador joining the protesters is an internal affair)". Yemen Nation (in Arabic). 22 March 2011. Retrieved 19 December 2014.
- "سفراء اليمن في السعودية ومصر والجامعة العربية "ينضمون للثوار" (Yemen ambassadors in Saudi Arabia, Egypt and the Arab League "to join the rebels")". al Wasat News (in Arabic). 21 March 2011. Retrieved 19 December 2014.
- "صحيفة "الرياض" السعودية تدعو للاستعداد للاستعانة بالجيش والحرس الوطني لترحيل العمالة الوافدة (The Saudi Arabian newspaper Al-Riyadh calls for preparing to use of the Army National Guard to deport foreign workers)". Al Oulaye: The First (in Arabic). 13 April 2013. Retrieved 19 December 2014.
- Iman Alclav (11 April 2013). "السفارة اليمنية تنفي تعاقدها مع شركة لتصحيح أوضاع العمالة (Yemeni Embassy denies its contract with labor to correct the situation)". al-Madina (in Arabic). Retrieved 19 December 2014.
- "وفاة سفير اليمن بالسعودية محمد علي الاحول باحد مستشفيات الرياض (Death in Saudi Arabia of Yemen's ambassador Mohammad Ali Elahwal in a hospital in Riyadh)". Time News (in Arabic). 14 December 2013. Retrieved 19 December 2014.
- "في تأبين الفقيد محمد علي محسن الاحول.. محبوب علي : الاحول كان علما من أعلام اليمن الافذاذ (At the funeral of the late Mohammed Ali Mohsen Elahwal)". Yemen Now (in Arabic). Retrieved 19 December 2014.
- "احياء اربعينية السفير محمد علي الاحول". Yemen Today TV (in Arabic). 1 February 2014. Retrieved 19 December 2014.
- "الزعيم علي عبدالله صالح يعزي في وفاة السفير محمد علي الاحول (Leader Ali Abdullah Saleh condoles the death of Ambassador Mohamed Ali Elahwal)". Yemen Today TV (in Arabic). 13 December 2013. Retrieved 19 December 2014.