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King Salman … Unique Leader and the Founder of New “Saudi Arabia”

King Salman ... Unique Leader and the Founder of New “Saudi Arabia"

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A path of achievements and liberality is clear since the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques; King Salman took over power in the kingdom in 2015.


Leaders MENA magazine is trying through this report to shed light on the remarkable progress in the kingdom in the era of King Salman as Saudis celebrate this month the 92nd National Day.


The path of King Salman since he received power in KSA summarizes many meanings such as loyalty, patriotism, and a future vision of a well-established nation that will lead directly depending on its national cadres.


A path of accomplishments, and giving, summed up by the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, the most prominent personality in the hearts of Saudis as they celebrate their 92nd National Day.



A celebration that falls on September 23 of each year, and highlights the developmental achievements, historical reforms, and successes witnessed by the Kingdom, both internally and externally, at various levels, in the culmination of efforts closely linked to the King’s career.


King Salman was born on December 31, 1935; just 3 years after his father unified the country and transferred its name from the Kingdom of Hejaz, Najd, and its annexes to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, on September 23, 1932.



He has lived with all the kings of the kingdom since its founding at the hands of his father and has worked with them since he entered politics at the age of 19 as acting prince of the Riyadh region in 1954, to write a biography full of giving and experiences.



Experiences he employed to bring about a qualitative leap and a developmental renaissance in the Kingdom after assuming the reins of power on January 23, 2015, to lead the Kingdom in a few years to what has become described as the “New Saudi Arabia”.




King Salman was not satisfied with developing the present, but also charting the features of a bright future for the Kingdom, through a road map he launched one year after assuming power called “Vision 2030”, which leads to a comprehensive renaissance in various fields.




Accordingly, the Saudis celebrate their National Day, and they recall feelings of pride, appreciation, gratitude, and loyalty to the biography of their king, which is closely linked to the path of their kingdom.



Upbringing and politics



He is the twenty-fifth son of the founding King Abdulaziz Al Saud. He grew up with his brothers in the royal palace in Riyadh, where he accompanied his father in official meetings with the kings and rulers of the world.



He received his early education at the Princes’ School in the capital, where he studied religious and modern sciences and completed the Holy Qur’an at the age of ten at the hands of the imam and preacher of the Grand Mosque, Sheikh Abdullah Khayat.



King Salman entered politics at the age of 19 when he was appointed, on March 16, 1954, as Emir (Governor) of the Riyadh region on behalf of his brother, Prince Nayef.



The following year, he was appointed Emir of the Riyadh region, one of the largest regions of Saudi Arabia in terms of area and population and the capital of the state, from April 18, 1955, until his resignation on December 25, 1960, but on February 4, 1963, he was reappointed Emir of the same region.



He continued as governor of the Riyadh region for more than 5 decades, during which he oversaw the transformation of the region from a medium-sized town inhabited by about 200,000 people to one of the fastest-growing capitals in the Arab world.


Covenant and pledge of allegiance



On November 5, 2011, a decision was issued by the late King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz to appoint Prince Salman bin Abdulaziz at the time as Minister of Defense, and during his tenure, the ministry witnessed a comprehensive development for all sectors.


On June 18, 2012, King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz issued an order choosing him as Crown Prince and Deputy Prime Minister, while retaining the position of Minister of Defense.



After the death of King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz, on January 23, 2015, he pledged allegiance as king, becoming the seventh king of Saudi Arabia.


Since he pledged allegiance, the Kingdom has witnessed more giant developmental achievements across its vast areas, in various economic, educational, health, and social sectors.



After assuming power, the Saudi monarch reshaped the joints of the state at various levels, as he issued a royal order on January 29, 2015, that included the abolition of 12 committees and councils.




King Salman replaced this with two councils that are organizationally linked to the Council of Ministers, the Council for Political and Security Affairs, and the Council for Economic and Development Affairs, headed by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, and they formulate the kingdom’s policies on the political and economic levels.




The Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques sought, with all strength, determination, and firmness, to provide welfare and prosperity to the citizen who reciprocates love and loyalty in a way that embodied the highest meanings of the people’s rallying around the leader of the development process.




Economically, and to meet the challenge of low oil prices, Saudi Arabia announced on April 25, 2016, an economic vision for 2030, aimed at reducing its dependence on oil, the main source of income.


New Saudi Arabia on Way 

Within the broad reforms during his reign, the state led to what the world has called the “New Saudi Arabia.” During the first year of the Saudi monarch’s rule, the first municipal elections were held in which women participated as voters and candidates in the history of the Kingdom.



The polling was held on December 12, 2015, culminating in 21 women winning seats in the municipal council elections in their third session.


Reforms continued, as Saudi women began driving on June 24, 2018, in implementation of a historic order issued by the Saudi monarch on September 26, 2017, to allow women to obtain a driver’s license “According to Shariah Regulations.”



On February 14, 2018, women were allowed to start their businesses and benefit from government services without the approval of a male guardian.



In the fifth year of the reign of King Salman bin Abdulaziz, Saudi women obtained a package of gains, according to amendments to the regulations of travel documents, civil status, and work that took place on August 2, 2019.


The year 2019 witnessed the first time a Saudi woman assumed the position of “ambassador”, as Princess Rima bint Bandar was appointed as the Kingdom’s ambassador to the United States on February 23 of the same year, to be the first woman to hold this position.


The year 2020 also witnessed the appointment of the first woman in the Saudi Royal Guard, and the appointment of Dr. Laylak bint Ahmed Al-Safadi as President of the Electronic University, as the first woman to head a Saudi university that includes male and female students.



Within the framework of full royal confidence in women and that they are up to the responsibility to carry out qualitative efforts in various fields, the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman bin Abdulaziz issued an order to reconstitute the Council of the Human Rights Commission, in its fourth session for 4 years, and to appoint 13 women to the Council of the Commission, including It represents half of the council members.




King Salman also strengthened bilateral relations with several Arab and Gulf countries, such as the United Arab Emirates (UAE), which enjoys a special status with King Salman bin Abdulaziz, and the relations between the two countries witnessed a qualitative leap during his reign.




During the second year of his rule, the Saudi-Emirati Coordination Council was established, whose establishment was signed in May 2016, in the presence of the Saudi monarch and Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces.




With the conclusion of his second year in power, King Salman bin Abdulaziz toured the Gulf, his first since assuming power, beginning with a visit to the UAE on December 3, 2016.


During that visit, Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan awarded King Salman bin Abdulaziz the “Zayed Medal”, in appreciation and gratitude for his pivotal role in promoting brotherly cooperation between the two countries and supporting joint Gulf and Arab action.


The process of cooperation between the two countries has proceeded towards strengthening partnership and achieving integration in various political, economic, security, and military fields, thus contributing to the welfare and well-being of the peoples of the two countries, facing challenges in the region, foremost of which is the fight against terrorism and strengthening security and stability in the region.



Awards and Honors

For his humanitarian efforts, the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques received many honors and medals from several countries, most notably the Necklace of Sharif Al-Hussein bin Ali, which is the highest decoration in Jordan, the Necklace of Mubarak Al-Kabeer, the highest decoration in Kuwait, and the Necklace of the Nile, which is the highest decoration in Egypt.


He also received the Kent Medal from the Berlin-Brandenburg Academy of Sciences and Humanities, the Moroccan Order of Intellectual Competence in Casablanca, and the Golden Medal of Bosnia and Herzegovina.


He also received the Order of the Star of Jerusalem, the Medal of the Elastic Eagle of the Collar Degree, the highest decoration in the United States of Mexico, the Medal of the Great Necklace, which is the highest decoration in the State of Palestine, and the United Nations Shield for Reducing the Effects of Poverty in the World.



While the Saudi monarch has become internally called the “King of Firmness”, against the backdrop of his resolute decisions internally and externally, the US “Forbes” magazine chose him among the first most influential figures in the world for 2015.



King Salman topped the list of the most powerful personalities in the Arab world and the fourteenth in the world, in the list published by the magazine in November 2016, and included presidents, kings, businessmen, and famous economic and political figures.


He also won the King Faisal International Prize for Service to Islam for the year 2017, and the selection committee for the award said that it had decided to grant it to King Salman bin Abdulaziz for several justifications, including “his attention to serving the Two Holy Mosques and their destination.”


The committee also referred to his “permanent quest to gather the word of Arabs and Muslims to confront the difficult circumstances that the Arab and Islamic nations are going through, including his establishment of the Islamic Military Alliance to Fight Terrorism.”


This is in addition to his “Arab and Islamic stances over decades towards the Palestine issue, represented by political, moral and relief support,” in addition to “establishing the King Salman Center for Relief and Humanitarian Action, and generously supporting it to provide aid to the needy Arab and Islamic peoples.”


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