HRH Mohammed bin Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud August 31, 1985, Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia, Deputy Prime Minister in addition to being the Minister of Defense.
HRH also chairs the Council for Political and Security Affairs as well as the Council for Economic and Development Affairs. He is the son of King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud
He holds a Bachelor’s degree in Law from King Saud University. He had served as head of the Saudi Royal Court since his father took office in January 2015 until April 2015.
On April 29, 2015, a royal decree was issued stating that he was chosen as the deputy crown prince, and appointed as the second deputy prime minister of Saudi Arabia.
HRH was chosen as Crown Prince in June 2017, after the Saudi Allegiance Council approved the dismissal of his cousin, the Crown Prince, and the Minister of Interior, Muhammad bin Nayef bin Abdulaziz Al Saud.
Mohammed bin Salman showed open attitudes and different from those of the Saudi leaders who preceded him. During his reign, the country witnessed allowing Saudi women to drive cars, enter sports stadiums and activate the entertainment authority.
He spoke frankly about Saudi Arabia’s tendency to combat what he calls religious extremism within the state – which is known locally as the awakening – and described it as an outsider to Saudi society.
Mohamad bin Salman launched the Saudi Vision 2030 plan, which aims to make the Saudi economy based on investment, in addition to not relying on oil as a basic and sole income
He promised to end the Saudi state’s dependence on oil, which he described as an “addiction.” He led the war against the Houthis in Yemen, opposed the Iranian nuclear deal, and threatened to develop Saudi Arabia a nuclear bomb if Iran produced a nuclear weapon.
The Economist described him as the powerful man behind the throne of his father, King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud.
In 2017, he was named by Time magazine as Readers’ Choice Person of the Year.
The American magazine Foreign Policy also chose him as one of the most influential leaders in the world in its annual list of the 100 most important thinkers in the world for the year 2015.
In 2018, Forbes magazine named him one of Forbes’ list of the most influential people in the world.
Mohammed bin Salman: birth, upbringing and education
Mohammed bin Salman the crown princes, the sixth child of King Salman bin Abdulaziz, was born in Riyadh on August 31, 1985. His mother is Princess Fahda bint Falah Al Hathlin.
He received his general education in Riyadh schools, and completed his secondary education in 2003, among the top ten in the Kingdom.
He completed a number of specialized courses and programs, During his education and obtained a Bachelor’s degree in Law from King Saud University, ranking second in his class.
Mohammed bin Salman began his political activity when he was appointed as a full-time advisor in the Experts Committee in the Saudi Cabinet on April 10, 2007.
He continued to work in the same position, until he was appointed in the Emirate of Riyadh as a special advisor to his father, the Emir of Riyadh at that time, on December 16, 2009, and his position in the Commission was transformed into a part-time advisor.
Muhammad was appointed as a special advisor and supervisor of his father’s office and personal affairs when Salman bin Abdulaziz was appointed Saudi Arabia’s crown prince in 2012. His father also appointed him as the country’s deputy prime minister and minister of defence.
He continued in his position as a part-time advisor in the Experts Authority until March 3, 2013, when a royal decree was issued appointing him as Head of the Court of His Highness the Crown Prince and as a special advisor to him with the rank of Minister.
Four months later, the position of Superintendent of the Office of the Minister of Defense was added to his previous duties.
His last promotions before his father took office on April 25, 2014, when a royal order was issued appointing him as Minister of State, a member of the Saudi Cabinet in addition to his work.
King Salman issued a royal order for his son to take over the Ministry of Defense, when he assumed power in the kingdom in 2015
With the exemption of Prince Muqrin Al Saud from the position of Crown Prince at his request on April 29, 2015, and the selection of Prince Muhammad bin Nayef Al Saud as Crown Prince, a royal order was issued stipulating the selection of Mohammed bin Salman as Deputy Crown Prince and his appointment as Second Deputy Prime Minister
The decision also stipulated his continuation as Minister of Defense and Chairman of the Council for Economic and Development Affairs.
Mohammed bin Salman’s political activities increased after he assumed the position of Deputy Crown Prince, as he participated in a number of political conferences and foreign diplomatic visits.
King Salman bin Abdulaziz issued a royal order – On June 21, 2017, to select Mohammed bin Salman as Crown Prince and appoint him as Deputy Prime Minister while continuing to be Minister of Defense.
Mohammed bin Salman’s Education Reform
Mohammed bin Salman launched on September 15, 2021 the Human Capacity Development Program, one of the programs to achieve Saudi Vision 2030,
The program aims to reform the education system. The program plan includes: “89 initiatives aimed at achieving 16 strategic goals of the Kingdom’s Vision 2030.”
The program’s strategy includes three main pillars: “Developing a solid and flexible educational foundation for all, preparing for the future labor market locally and globally, and providing lifelong learning opportunities.”
The program contributes to promoting “the values of moderation and tolerance, determination and perseverance, discipline and mastery, in order to achieve the values of global citizenship and enhance the competitiveness and capabilities of the Saudi citizen,” as stated in the program’s definition.
HRH was asked about his concept of moderation, he said on April 27, 2021, that “[the word] moderation is very broad, as all Muslim jurists have worked hard with the concept of moderation for more than 1,000 years,” and that he is “unable to explain the word.”
The Saudi Crown Prince pointed out that his concept of moderation is: “Abiding by the constitution of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, that is, the Qur’an and the Sunnah, which form the basis of the system of government in Saudi Arabia and applying it to the fullest and with a broad concept that includes everyone.”
Regarding the term “moderate Islam,” he said that using the term “moderate Islam” may make extremists and terrorists happy, as it might suggest that Saudi Arabia is working to change Islam into something new, while it is a return to the origin and roots of Islam.
The Saudi Crown Prince added that Islamic societies in the past were open and peaceful, in which Muslims lived side by side with Christians and Jews.
HRH pointed out that “these teachings have guided us to respect different cultures and religions.”