Founding Day is an important memory in the Saudi national memory and holds great importance in the path of its founding
In January, a Saudi royal decree was issued that February 22 of each year be a day to commemorate the founding of the Saudi state.
It becomes an official holiday, to be added to the National Day holiday.
In detail, the Saudi monarch, King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, issued a royal order that the day (February 22) of each year be a day to commemorate the founding of the Saudi state, in the name of (Foundation Day).
He pointed out that the selection of this date is because “the middle of the year 1139 AH corresponding to February 1727 is the beginning of the era of Imam Muhammad bin Saud and his establishment of the first Saudi state.”
The founding day (February 22) differs from the National Day, which Saudi Arabia celebrates on September 23 of each year and is also an official holiday, and there is no conflict between them.
Both of them chronicle historical days and pivotal stations in the history of the Kingdom, which led to the prosperous present that the Kingdom is currently witnessing, and the prosperous future that awaits it, under the leadership of Saudi King Salman bin Abdulaziz and his Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.
On this occasion, Saudi cities will witness on this day some events – which are held to celebrate the “Foundation Day”, in honor of the well-established roots of this blessed state that extends back more than three centuries.
Several events will be held in the capital, Riyadh, including the “The Beginning March” event in Wadi Namar, which tells through 10 scenes the story of three centuries ago with the participation of 3,500 performers, while the “Operetta Foundation” will be presented, which will be held on February 23 at the Mohammed Abdo Theater in Riyadh Boulevard.
The sky of Riyadh on the evening of February 24 will be decorated with a “light show”, whose ten paintings combine fireworks, aerial drone shows, and sound effects.
Meanwhile, the site of the intersection of King Salman bin Abdulaziz Road with Prince Turki bin Abdulaziz Al-Awwal Road has been allocated to enjoy watching the paintings.
During the period from 22 to 24 February, the National Museum in Riyadh will host the “Majlis” event in an atmosphere full of cultural meanings that include a series of interactive workshops, as well as fruitful dialogues and discussions.
The “Najnaj” event will also be held in the exhibition plaza on the Eastern Ring Road, which is the place where the voices of sellers and buyers rise, according to what historians described, to take the visitor to the era of the movement of popular markets and the originality in traditional Saudi clothing and costumes.
This is in addition to holding an art exhibition, historical-cultural seminars, and another specialized in Saudi coffee, and fireworks displays with a range of programs suitable for the tastes of every one of all age groups.
Various regions of the Kingdom will witness a variety of activities, including the “Najnaj” event during the period from 22 to 24 February in the cities of Jeddah, Dammam, Madinah, Taif, Hail, Arar, Sakaka, Abha, Al Baha, Najran, Jizan, Tabuk, and Buraydah, in addition to Various events highlight the historical, cultural and social legacy of the Saudi state.
Founding Day Logo
Saudi Arabia issued a distinctive visual identity for the founding day under the slogan “Day We Started From”, in the middle of which appears the icon of a man holding a flag.
The Saudi Press Agency (SPA) said that the visual identity “carries various essential historical meanings and is linked to the glories, heroism, and nobility of the Saudi state.”
“The identity icon is surrounded by 4 symbols: the dates, which signify growth, life, and generosity, the Majlis, which expresses unity and societal cultural harmony, the Arabian horse, an element that displays the chivalry and heroism of the princes and braves of the state, and the market about economic mobility, diversity, and openness to the world.” according to SPA.
The phrase “foundation day – 1727 AD” was written in a script that “inspired by numerous manuscripts that documented the history of the first Saudi state so that the comprehensive message of the logo is linked to the values that represent the common Saudi culture, and conveys the meanings of pride, enthusiasm, authenticity, and interdependence.
The visual identity of this year’s founding day came under the slogan “Day We Started From” to “enhance the values and meanings associated with this distinguished national occasion, and instill pride in the cultural and social heritage of this country and its society.
What is the difference between the founding day and the national day?
The founding day (February 22) differs from the National Day, which Saudi Arabia celebrates on September 23 of each year and is also an official holiday.
These stations led to the bright present that the Kingdom is currently witnessing, and the prosperous future that awaits it, under the leadership of Saudi King Salman bin Abdulaziz and his Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.
When is the Saudi Foundation Day and the Saudi National Day?
February 22 coincides with the anniversary of the founding of the first Saudi state about 3 centuries ago, with Imam Muhammad bin Saud assuming the rule of Diriyah (20 km away from the center of Riyadh, the capital) in the middle of 1139 AH (1727).
As for the National Day, it falls on September 23 of each year, the day on which the founding King Abdulaziz Al Saud announced the unification of the country under the name “The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia” in the month of Jumada al-Ula in 1351 AH corresponding to September 23, 1932, that is, nearly 9 decades ago. This is after nearly three decades of efforts since the establishment of the third Saudi state in 1902.
If the two days are linked to two historical figures (there are about two centuries between them) that came at a time when the Arabian Peninsula was witnessing political chaos, division, and dispersal.
Each of the two aforementioned figures led the country in his time from chaos to stability, and from dispersion to unity, to establish a state whose constitution is the Holy Qur’an and the Sunnah of His Messenger, Peace be upon him.
The National Day holiday was approved on September 23 for the first time in 2005, by royal order from the late King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz, while Saudis will enjoy the founding day holiday for the first time this year 2022, according to the royal order issued the Saudi monarch King Salman bin Abdulaziz.
The establishment of the first Saudi state began with Imam Muhammad bin Saud assuming the rule of Diriyah in the middle of 1139 AH (February 22, 1727), and he was 30 years old at the time (born in Diriyah in 1697).
Despite his young age, he had an administrative sense and a future vision for the establishment of a civilization that would flourish through the centuries. He raised the slogan of unity, and started with his city “Diriyah” and united its two parts, and made it under one rule after the rule was divided between two centers.
With the beginning of his reign, he began a new phase in the Arabian Peninsula, where he laid the building block and unit that united most of its parts, and Diriyah became the capital of a sprawling state.
Achievements continued during the era of this state, including spreading stability in the state, which witnessed great stability and prosperity in various fields, and political independence and not being subject to any influence in the region or outside.
During the reign of Imam Muhammad bin Saud, who died in 1765, and after him among the imams, the city of Diriyah became the capital of a sprawling country, and a source of economic, social, intellectual, and cultural attraction.
Many scholars migrated to Diriyah to receive the education and authorship that was prevalent at its time, which led to the emergence of a new school of calligraphy and Naskh.
Saudi National Day
As for the National Day, which falls on September 23 of each year, it is the day on which the founding King Abdulaziz Al Saud announced the unification of the country under the name of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia nearly nine decades ago.
After a political vacuum and chaos in the center of the Arabian Peninsula, it continued for nearly ten years after the end of the second Saudi state, which was founded by Imam Turki bin Abdullah bin Muhammad bin Saud in 1240 AH (1824), and continued until 1309 AH (1891).
On the fifth of Shawwal 1319 AH – the fifteenth of January 1902, King Abdulaziz Al Saud was able to re-establish the third Saudi state after recovering the city of Riyadh to start a new page of Saudi history and laying one of the building blocks of unity, stability, and development.
On the seventeenth of Jumada al-Ula 1351 AH corresponding to the nineteenth of September 1932, a royal decree was issued announcing the unification of the country and naming it the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, starting Thursday, Jumada al-Ula 21, 1351 AH corresponding to September 23, 1932.
This announcement crowned the great efforts of King Abdulaziz aimed at unifying the country and establishing a solid-state based on the application of the provisions of the Qur’an and the honorable Sunnah of the Prophet.
After him, his sons, the kings, continued his approach in strengthening the building blocks, stability, and development until the era of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud and his Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, when the Kingdom assumed a regional and international position, strong global confidence, and witnessed achievements in various fields.
Historical & Cultural Depth
So, there is no conflict between the founding day and the national day.
To recap, the founding day is the day on which the first Saudi state was established about 3 centuries ago, while the national day is what corresponds to the date of the country’s name in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia about 9 decades ago.
The royal order made it clear that this matter comes “out of pride in the well-established roots of this blessed state, and the close connection of its citizens with its leaders since the era of Imam Muhammad bin Saud three centuries ago.”
An order whereby the Saudi monarch, King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, re-emphasized the historical and cultural depth of the Kingdom so that the current generations would know the historical roots of their country, and the whole world would know the extent of the ancient Saudi state and its great civilization.
Founder of New “Saudi Arabia” …King Salman
While Saudi will celebrate from now on the Founding day, they also celebrate a path of achievements and liberality that 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 the below lines to shed light on the remarkable progress in the kingdom in the era of King Salman as Saudis Founding Day.
The path of King Salman since he received power in KSA summarizes many meanings such as loyalty, patriotism, and a future vision to 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 90th 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 was pledged allegiance as a 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.”