H.E. Saad Abdullah Al Asousi, Ambassador of the State of Kuwait

  • 20 Mar 2023 3:09 PM
H.E. Saad Abdullah Al Asousi, Ambassador of the State of Kuwait
His Excellency the Ambassador of the State of Kuwait Saad Abdullah Saleh A Alasousi. He assumed his duty on September 2019 as the Representative of the State of Kuwait to Hungary.

Ambassador Alasousi was the previous Ambassador to Malaysia, Nigeria, Benin and Cameron. He is living with his family in this beautiful city Budapest, Hungary.

1. When did you arrive in Hungary and what brought you here? 

I arrived in August of 2019. I’m meant to be here for three to five years, and I’ve already spent four years here in Budapest – it really is one of the most beautiful cities that I have ever served in since 1992 when my career began as a diplomat.

2. Have you ever been an expatriate elsewhere? 

Well, I started my diplomatic life in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in 1992 in the department of GCC – the GCC covers the gulf countries of Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, UAE, Oman, Qatar, and Bahrain. Then the first country I served in abroad was The Republic of Iran. Next I served in the United Arab Emirates, from where I was sent to the consulate in Pakistan. After my time in Karachi I was then sent to work in Greece. After my time in Athens I was then nominated to be the first Ambassador to represent Kuwait in Nigeria. My next station was in the beautiful country of Malaysia. 

3. What surprised you most about Hungary?

Everthing is surprising here, the architecture of the buildings in Budapest are a beautiful example of this. I personally love the structure and style of the Opera House. You can find a lot about Hungarian culture in the Castle District, the Fisherman's Bastion, and the Basilica Church.  There is also the Balaton Lake in the middle of the country, which is surprising. 

4. Friends are in Budapest for a weekend - what must they absolutely see and do?

For a short weekend trip I would have chosen the Opera house, as I used to visit prior to the Coronavirus pandemic and construction which effected the beauty of the location. Thankfully the building has been completed recently and we can enjoy shows once again. Hungarian culture can be seen in the Buda Castle, the Fisherman’s Bastian and the church which are always great to visit. Also the museums in Hungary are a great option, as Kuwaitis are very highly educated and enjoy such culture it would be a good choice.

5. What would you say is your favourite Hungarian food?

Goulash! I like it lightly spicy. I also like Chicken Paprikas.  Do you know in the Middle East, and specifically in Kuwait and our region we usually use a lot of spices, and we love the taste of paprika in our food.

6. What is never missing from your refrigerator?

We have everything that’s important, so to be honest for me it’s cheese. I am a cheese lover so have several different kinds of cheese. Also, Hungarian steak is one of the best I have ever had, and overall the Hungarian food it’s very good, especially the cheese! By the way, one of the biggest factories that produces and exports cheese to Kuwait is in Hungary, its called Hajdú. They export all the kinds of cheeses to Kuwait, and they are considered to be some of the best ones available in Kuwait.

7. Do you have a favourite Hungarian word? 

Well, when I was younger I always used to learn the language of the country in which I served. So I speak Persian, English, and little a Greek. The issue with Hungarian is that if you don’t mix with people you will not get to learn such a language, and because of Covid I could not really go out, so I missed the chance to learn this language.

8. What do you miss from Kuwait?

At the beginning of my life as an Ambassador it was my family and friends. Clearly you miss your own people. So you know as much as you think that you are living the dream in a beautiful Greek city with beautiful architecture and nice food, you will always miss your culture and your people.

9. If you could choose a different career, what would you choose?

Well this is going to be my next step, within few years after retirement, I’m planning to be a professor at a university in Kuwait. I just finished my master degree and I’m working on my PhD in public relations.

It is one of my hopes that I can go back to my university and pass on my experience to students from over the last 30 years abroad as a diplomat. In Kuwait we have more than 12 universities in different regions, and I might find one of those to accept me as a professor. I am also working on a book, so hopefully when it’s finished I can share more of a clear picture about diplomacy and life as an Ambassador. As in reality the life of an ambassador is not as much fun as what many people expect - you can lose contact with your family quite easily.

During my career, I have been working in six countries on five different continents. At first my family came with me everywhere, so they are moving from country to the country, and while they did get new knowledge from living abroad this doesn’t give you back the friends left behind in your home country.

10. What is a job you would never want?

Before I became an ambassador, after graduated from high school, I wanted to be a pilot. Back then I became one out of five hundred guys that they nominated to take a pilot exam, and I succeeded. From this 500 they narrowed it down 50, and I was one of them.

Then when at home I told my parents about my progress, and explained that this 50 will sit another exam and have an interview to choose ten pilots. My parents told me I would never get through, so I didn’t proceed to the next stage. They explained how dangerous it would be, and I know they wanted to protect me, and so if you ask me about a job I wouldn’t do then I say a pilot!

11. Where did you spend your last vacation?  

My wife and my daughters usually go to Geneva, and more often to Vienna. We often drive to Vienna from here and stay overnight at weekends. 

12. Where do you hope to spend your next holiday?

I am going to Balaton this weekend, after that it will be Geneva, and Vienna again. 

13. Apart of temptation what can't you resist? 

Number 1 for me is always my family. I do whatever they want, go wherever they want to go.  Also, I’m a collector of carpets, so whenever I have seen a really nice carpet I can’t resist it!  When I was in Iran, where as you know they have the best quality carpets, I studied carpet making, how they make it from scratch, how long it takes, which are the best ones, so I have an eye for carpets and which ones are worth buying as investments.

14. What was your favourite hobby as a teenager?

Sailing a catamaran. It is a very physical sport and so I don’t do it these days. Also I used to windsurf.

15. What's your favourite drink? 

After water, I like to drink fresh juices. There are a few specific ones I like, like green apple with carrots. It is good and full of vitamins, my favourite drink in the mornings.

16. Do you prefer to read a book or watch a film? 

Reading a good book, it’s better than a film because you can experience a special atmosphere and imagine the differences in that way.

17. Morning person or night person?

Morning. I wake up at 6.30am every morning and I’m asleep very early, at like 10 o’clock.

18. Which social issue do you feel strongly about?

As you may know, Kuwait has a lot of charity associations in Africa, so we usually work as Ambassadors through the embassies to help people in this part of the world.

19. Buda or Pest side?

 I would say it really depends on what you are doing. Both are great for different types of fun experiences.

20. What would you say is your personal motto? 

What comes first to my mind now is that you should aim to raise your kids for another time not as in your time. So if you want to teach your kids to be successful, don’t give them the same schooling you took 40 or 50 years ago. You have to teach them to open their mind and if possible send them to the highest level of education available anywhere in the world. This is what I have done with my children, they studied in the United Kingdom.

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