In 2011, specifically in October, grief overtook the Saudi people after the Royal Court announced the death of Prince Sultan bin Abdulaziz Al Saud.
Sultan bin Abdulaziz passed away after a career full of giving, leaving behind a heavy, large, and vast legacy of charitable, humanitarian, social, and environmental work inside and outside the Kingdom that will remain immortal.
Before his departure, he had been appointed Crown Prince of the late King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz, and also served as Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Defense and Aviation, and Inspector General of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
Prince Sultan, despite his many preoccupations with his official duties as Crown Prince and Minister of Defense, was benevolent and striving for it and was passionate about building many and many institutions and development programs and contributing to all kinds of goodness and assistance, whether with effort or with moral and material support.
He established many charitable institutions that have been converted into institutional work supervised by specialized charitable bodies to organize their work and ensure their continuity, the most prominent of which is the Sultan bin Abdulaziz Al Saud Charitable Foundation and the Prince Sultan bin Abdulaziz Special Committee for Relief.
The late founder of the Sultan Bin Abdulaziz Program for Medical and Educational Communications (Medionet) aims to provide communications and information technology services to the health and education sectors.
He also established the Sultan bin Abdulaziz Center for Technical Sciences (Scitech) intending to spread the principles of knowledge and innovations of science and technology through the methodology of education through entertainment, education by experience and observation, and the development of curiosity and exploration for all ages. Its construction cost was about RS 270 million.
The late Prince established the Sultan bin Abdulaziz Al Saud Charitable Foundation for Housing and aims to build and own needy families modern model homes, of which about 1,550 housing units have been completed or close to completion, distributed over some regions of the Kingdom, which are fully furnished and equipped with the necessary services.
Other charitable projects of the Sultan bin Abdulaziz Al Saud Charitable Foundation included many programs, charitable works, and scientific research that it implemented or supported, including what is for universities, private colleges, charitable societies, private and public hospitals, or to provide some requirements for people with special needs in terms of medical devices and equipment.
As for the Prince Sultan bin Abdulaziz Special Relief Committee, it aims to provide emergency humanitarian and relief services.
His care to Science
The hands of the late have supported many scientific programs, awards, and scientific projects in various universities, academic and research institutions inside and outside the Kingdom, believing in the importance of science, scientists, and researchers in the renaissance and progress of nations.
Among the most prominent of these programs was the Prince Sultan Program for Health Awareness and Teacher Training at the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), which was established in March 2001, and the Prince Sultan bin Abdulaziz Chair in Environmental Engineering at the Department of Civil Engineering at King Fahd University of Petroleum and Minerals, which is the first chair, programs and scientific awards in the University.
As well as the Prince Sultan bin Abdulaziz Program for Communication and Information Technology at King Saud University, the Prince Sultan bin Abdulaziz Chair for Environment and Wildlife at King Saud University, and the Prince Sultan bin Abdulaziz Chair for Contemporary Islamic Studies at King Saud University.
The scientific programs were supported by Prince Sultan bin Abdulaziz, including the Arabic and Islamic Studies Program at Berkeley University in California, in the United States.
Prince Sultan supported the Prince Sultan bin Abdulaziz Program for Academic and Cultural Cooperation with the British University of Oxford to provide scholarships for Saudi students to study bachelors, masters, and doctoral degrees in the field of humanities and to support the Prince Sultan bin Abdulaziz Program for Supporting the Arabic Language at UNESCO.
As an extension of his belief in the importance of scientific research and its role in serving humanity, the late Saudi Crown Prince Sultan bin Abdulaziz supported many scientific and research projects at home and abroad, including supporting Prince Sultan National University in Riyadh and supporting Dar Al-Hekma College for Girls in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.
It also supported disability research projects and centers for the disabled, supported research and treatment centers for heart diseases, supported aging and dementia research at King Saud University in Riyadh, in addition to establishing the Prince Sultan Civilization Center in the Saudi city of Hail.
His hand extended to support the Higher Arab Commission in Palestine, the encyclopedia project on the issue in Palestine, the Sultan Center for Laparoscopic Surgery in Kosovo, and the Prince Sultan bin Abdulaziz International Program for Research and Distinguished Scholarships at King Saud University.
He also financed and supported the Saudi Society for Economics and the Saudi Society for Media and Communication at King Saud University, and supported scientific chairs at King Saud University with an amount of 50 million Saudi riyals, and supported many associations and scientific events in Saudi universities.
Prince Sultan’s foreign policy
In Prince Sultan bin Abdulaziz’s political life, he oversaw the participation of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia in the civil war in northern Yemen in the 1960s, and also supported the sheikhs of South Yemen after Britain’s withdrawal from Aden.
When King Faisal was assassinated in 1975, and Prince Khaled became king, Prince Fahd was the crown prince, and when Egypt signed the Camp David peace agreement with Israel in 1978, Princes Fahd and Sultan suggested continuing close relations with the United States.
Prince Sultan bin Abdulaziz was also deeply involved in the covert US campaign to provide funds and weapons to the mujahideen fighting the Soviets in Afghanistan.
Prince Sultan’s internal policy
Throughout Prince Sultan bin Abdulaziz’s political life; people who knew him praised him as having a strategic vision and a great ability to think, especially after the rise in oil prices in 1973 and 1974.
Prince Sultan bin Abdulaziz established a huge military institution in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, through arms purchases from the United States, the United Kingdom, and France.
During his tenure at the Ministry of Defense, Prince Sultan spent hundreds of billions to modernize the country’s forces; this doubled the regular armed forces of more than 100,000 men and purchased advanced weapons from all over the world.
Prince Sultan gained a good reputation because of his seriousness at work, and his strict, harsh, and strict personality, and he worked until late at night, and he was moderate, conservative, and political.
His birth and positions
Prince Sultan was born on January 5, 1931, in Riyadh. He is the 15th son of his father, King Abdulaziz, founder of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. He grew up in his care.
He learned the Noble Qur’an and Arabic language sciences at the hands of senior scholars, and his knowledge expanded with his extensive reading in the fields of knowledge and diplomacy, and through his multiple visits to many countries of the world.
On August 1, 2005, he assumed the position of Crown Prince and Deputy Prime Minister, in addition to his responsibilities as Minister of Defense and Aviation and Inspector General.
Prince Sultan held many positions since the reign of King Abdulaziz, including the Emir of Riyadh on February 22, 1947, the Minister of Agriculture on December 24, 1953, the Minister of Transportation on November 5, 1955, the Minister of Defense and Aviation on October 21, 1962, in addition to the position of Second Deputy Prime Minister on June 13, 1982, along with His responsibilities are Minister of Defense and Aviation and Inspector General.
He assumed the presidency and deputy presidency of many councils and committees, including the Chairman of the Board of Directors of the General Authority of Civil Aviation, the Chairman of the Board of Directors of the General Organization of Saudi Arabian Airlines, and the Chairman of the Supreme Committee for Economic Balance.
He also held the presidency of the Board of Directors of the General Organization for Military Industries, Chairman of the Board of Directors of the National Commission for the Protection and Development of Wildlife, Chairman of the Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs, Supreme Chairman of the Sultan Bin Abdulaziz Al Saud Charitable Foundation, and Chairman of the Higher Committee for Education Policy.
He also assumed the presidency of the Board of Directors of the International Arab Encyclopedia, in addition to the position of Vice-President of the Supreme Commission for King Abdulaziz City for Science and Technology, Vice-President of the National Security Council, and Vice-President of the Supreme Council for Petroleum and Mineral Affairs.
Honoring the late Sultan bin Abdulaziz
Prince Sultan was honored in various fields inside and outside the Kingdom, as he received many scarves and decorations, including the King Abdulaziz Sash of the first degree, the National Order of Merit from France, the Umayyah Medal of the Knot from Syria, the Nile Sash from Egypt, and the Kuwait Order of the Sash of the First Class.
He also received the Sash of Honor from Sudan, the Muhammadi Medal of the second degree from Morocco, the Knight Medal of the Great Class from Sweden, the Star of Palestine Medal of Excellence from Palestine, the Unity Medal of the First Class from Yemen, in addition to the Higher Human Honor Medal from Sweden.
He also received the Peace and Environment Award from the European-Arab Cooperation Center in 2003, an honorary doctorate from Waseda University in Japan in 2006, an honorary doctorate from the Moscow Institute of International Relations in the Russian Federation in 2007, and an honorary doctorate from King Saud University in Riyadh in September 2008.