Manama: Simon Collis has become the first British Ambassador to Saudi Arabia to perform Haj while still on duty in the kingdom.
Pictures of Collis with his wife Huda Mujarkech with the white Haj clothes were posted on a Twitter account of Fawziah Al Bakr with the comment in Arabic “The first British ambassador to the Kingdom performing Haj after converting to Islam: Simon Collis with his wife Huda in Makkah.”
The diplomat and his wife thanked Fawziah, a writer and activist, for the tweet, Saudi news site Al Marsad reported on Tuesday.
According to his official biography, Collis, who joined the Foreign and Commonwealth Office in 1978 after studying Arabic, has served mainly in the Middle East and South Asia.
His first posting was to Bahrain where he was the second secretary from 1981 to 1984. He also served in Tunis as the Deputy Head of Mission from 1988 to 1990; in Amman also as a Deputy Head of Mission from 1996 to 1999; in Dubai as Consul General from 2000 to 2004; and in Basra also as Consul General from 2004 to 2005.
He was appointed Ambassador in Doha from 2005 to 2007, in Damascus from 2007 to 2012, and in Baghdad from 2012 to 2014.
He became Ambassador to Saudi Arabia in January 2015.