Saturday marked the 9th anniversary of Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah’s accession to the throne and pledging of allegiance to him.

Abdulateef Al‐MulhimAbdulateef Al‐Mulhim,
Commodore, Royal Saudi
Navy (Retired)

When King Abdullah assumed the leadership of Saudi Arabia, the world in general and the region in particular was facing difficult times, as violence, instability and drastic changes were taking place. Not only the political situation was bad, the world was also facing unprecedented economic and security challenges. Many countries across the globe faced uncertain futures. Economic crises were unfolding in East and West and hostilities had cropped up among many nations. Saudis, under the leadership of King Abdullah, were only reading about all the mess in news. Just three years ago, the Arab world descended into chaos following the so-called Arab Spring that saw sweeping changes in the region. In the wake of the Arab Spring, all eyes were fixed on Saudi Arabia. Many people thought that Saudi Arabia might feel the pinch of the violent movements. Fortunately, the Saudis saw the events through the eyes of various media outlets. Since King Abdullah’s accession to the throne, the Kingdom saw an unprecedented increase in its national budget. The king also launched a series of extensive social, economic, education and political reforms. Mega projects were initiated and establishment of dozens of new universities around the Kingdom was ordered. Saudi Arabia allocates the highest per capita income for education in the world. In addition to that, King Abdullah launched the biggest scholarship program in the history of the world. In the United States alone, there are more than 100,000 Saudi male and female students attending the best schools and tens of thousands of Saudis are enrolled in other top European and Asian schools. During King Abdullah’s nine years of leadership, the Kingdom allocated the highest budget for health care system in its history. And in regard to social reforms, King Abdullah appointed 30 young highly educated Saudi women to be members of the Majlis Al-Shoura and three years ago, the king ordered the biggest housing project in the world by allocating more than $60 billion to help the low and middle income Saudi families own a house. This is in addition to the interest-free loans worth $130,000 for citizens as financial aid to help them get their dream homes. Mega projects include the huge economic cities to help the Kingdom diversify its sources of income. To the Saudis, King Abdullah is not only their beloved leader but he is considered a father figure. King Abdullah from an early age displayed a unique charisma. Saudi Arabia is enjoying prosperity, stability and security on the 9th anniversary of King Abdullah’s leadership. Saudis are also enjoying an open line of communication between the ruler and the ruled. The Saudis and the royal family have always and are still working hand in hand to build the country. These days all Saudis are extending their allegiance to King Abdullah, Crown Prince Salman, deputy premier and minister of defense and Deputy Crown Prince Muqrin and the ruling family. The relation between the ruling family and the Saudis goes back hundreds of years. At the end, we wish all the Saudis many more prosperous years under King Abdullah’s leadership. Written by Abdulateef Al‐Mulhim. Nine Golden Years of Prosperity and Stability reprinted with permission of Arab News and Abdulateef Al‐Mulhim.