The Saudi Succession: The Secret Behind The Continuity And Success Of the Saudi State For Almost A Century
30 January 2015
By Mshari Al-Zaydi
It is only natural that the death of King Abdullah Bin Abdulaziz would be
greeted with such an outpouring of grief due to his status as a unique and
visionary world leader.
The King of Saudi Arabia; Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques; an icon for
Arabs and Muslims; the father of the Saudi people. These titles and more
speak volumes about late King Abdullah, and what a great leader he was.
He ascended to the throne in August 2005, succeeding his late brother King
Fahd Bin Abdulaziz, may he rest in peace. His reign would have marked its
tenth year next August.
There is a lot to say about this eventful decade, whether domestically or
externally, not least the infrastructure boom witnessed by Saudi Arabia's
towns and cities. King Abdullah died at a time when the King Abdulaziz
Project for Public Transport in Riyadh, which he initiated, was in full
King Abdullah passed away having initiated a unique educational program that
sent hundreds of thousands of Saudi students on government-sponsored
scholarships to study abroad. He was also the first King to grant women a
voice in the Saudi Shura Council.
A lot can be said about King Abdullah's achievements on the domestic front.
While on the foreign front, King Abdullah rescued Egypt from a storm of chaos
and instability, employing the Kingdom's clout and capabilities to preserve
its unity and save it from chaos and strife. He also made every effort to
save the Gulf ship from sinking. While before all this, he shielded the
Kingdom from the storm of 9/11, drawing his sword to confront terrorism in
the Kingdom and beyond.
Like all Saudi monarchs, he left this world after etching his name into
history. Now another member of the ruling House of Saud, the Arab and Muslim
stronghold, King Salman Bin Abdulaziz, has ascended to the throne.
According to Saudi historian Fahd Al-Marek, King Salman is the closest of all
his brothers in personality and temperament to Saudi Arabia's founder King
Abdul-Aziz Al Saud.
New Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman demonstrated a high level
of responsibility and leadership when he quickly and efficiently appointed
Prince Muqrin Bin Abdulaziz as Crown Prince and Prince Mohammed Bin Naif as
Deputy Crown Prince.
Time, for King Salman, is a value in itself and decisiveness and
responsibility have been among his attributes since his early youth,
characterizing his government service.
What King Salman said in his first speech to the Saudi people and the whole
world sent a clear message to those who want to know the secret behind the
continuity and success of the Saudi state for almost a century.
He said: ''We will continue, with God's grace and strength, committed to the
true approach which was followed by this state since its inception at the
hands of the founder, King Abdulaziz, God's mercy upon him, and at the hands
of his sons after him, God's mercy upon them.''
''We will continue in this country, that God has honored by choosing it as a
platform for His message and as the direction Muslims must pray. Our march is
to undertake everything possible to keep the unity of our ranks and the unity
of word and in defense of our nation's issues, guided by the teachings of our
true Islamic religion which was favored by the Lord to us, the religion of
peace, mercy and moderation.''
Based on this, King Salman's reign can only be a blessed one.
A Saudi journalist
and expert on Islamic movements and Islamic fundamentalism as well as Saudi
affairs. Mshari is Asharq Al-Awsat's opinion page Editor, where he also
contributes a weekly column. Has worked for the local Saudi press occupying
several posts at Al -Madina newspaper amongst others. He has been a guest on
numerous news and current affairs programs as an expert on Islamic.