Commodore, Royal Saudi
In the early hours of Friday morning my wife called me on the phone and she was crying like a baby…Yes like a baby. I did not ask why she was crying because I was simply crying myself for the same reason and so did millions of Saudis, expatriates living in the Kingdom and millions around the world. The tears are genuine and sincere…. Custodian of The Two Holy Mosque King Abdullah is dead. Since the day Abdullah bin Abdul Aziz became king on August of 2005, he set the country’s progress in motion with massive mega projects, social reforms, political reforms and most important his efforts to bring the whole world together through open dialogue between all faiths. King Abdullah was not only the man of the year, but rather he was the man of the decade. And not just in Saudi Arabia, but throughout the world. Hours after his death I received many e-mails from different parts of the world from people I had never met or knew. The late King Abdullah was simply an international icon. He was a man of wisdom and vision that looked beyond the horizon. The whole world is mourning him with genuine tears. Saudi Arabia and what happens inside it is the whole world’s concern. It is one of the most influential countries in the world. After the official announcement of the death of King Abdullah, it was announced that Crown Prince Salman is the king and Deputy Crown Prince Muqrin the crown prince. The simple transparent announcement signaled a smooth transition of power in Saudi Arabia. Saudi Arabia now has a new king and a new crown prince. Both of them are very highly talented politicians and leaders. Prince Salman, now the king, has been the governor of Riyadh province for decades and Riyadh is known to be the most populated city and most government offices are located there. This gave him a very valuable experience in civil management and later on when he became the crown prince and the minister of defense. In addition he is very well known in the international arena. He is known in Saudi Arabia and the Arab world to be one of the top historians with knowledge of many details about the history and people. As for Crown Prince Muqrin, he started his life as a fighter pilot and was put to different challenges at a very early stage of his life. He is highly educated and held many military positions. His positions in the military taught him patience and determination. After leaving the military, he became the governor of Hail province and later the governor of Madinah. Also he held the position of the director general of Saudi Intelligence Agency. Crown Prince Muqrin is known to be one of the top astronomers. He is a star who is in love with the stars. Saudis and many observers around the world are confident that the drive to modernize and develop Saudi Arabia will continue and its foreign policy as a peace loving country will stay the course. Saudis are confident about the future of their Kingdom and the smooth transition showed again the stability of Saudi Arabia and it also reflected the strong bond and the open relation between the ruler and the ruled. We pray to Allah to grant our late King Abdullah the highest place in Heaven and give our new King Salman and Crown Prince Muqrin the strength to take the country to new heights. We all wish many years of prosperity for the Kingdom under King Salman’s leadership. Written by Abdulateef Al‐Mulhim. King Abdullah And The Genuine reprinted with permission of Arab News and Abdulateef Al‐Mulhim.