Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Popular Saudi King

King Abdullah has been a very popular, respected, fair and beloved king of Saudi Arabia.   He is 88 years old now and became the 6th king of Saudi Arabia in 2005.  For the ten years prior to that, he was in fact the de facto ruler of the kingdom when he assumed the position after ruling King Fahd (his half brother) suffered a debilitating stroke.  He has served his country all his life and his first official public appointment was as Mayor of Makkah in 1961.  An official title of the king is "Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques."

While the rest of the world may view social progress in the kingdom as extraordinarily slow, King Abdullah is known as a champion of women's rights.  I have been quite amazed at the progress just in the short time I have lived here since 2007.  Despite health concerns and amid false reports of his death, the king persists in his goal to give women the opportunities they have long been denied in this society. 

King Abdullah's photo can be seen in this country everywhere - on buildings, businesses, billboards, and vehicles. 


Jerry Mc Kenna said...

I understand he is popular (I don't think all the Saudi bloggers I read are lying), but he is going too slowly. The country needs massive changes and it needs them fast. There aren't enough jobs for the young and young unemployed are increasing every day.

This is a solvable problem. The US was able to train massive amounts of women for defense work in the 1940's, but Saudi Arabia seems to be trying to walk on egg shells.

If you have ever seen the old movie 'Sabrina' there is a scene in which the father is trying to take an olive out of a jar and is make little progress. Humphrey Bogart decised to smash the jar. Someone in Saudi Arabia needs to smash the jar.

EG CameraGirl said...

Long live King Abdullah! It's great to hear that the lives of women is improving in Saudi Arabia.

Susie of Arabia said...

Hi Jerry - There is no doubt that Saudi Arabia has some huge problems that must be addressed. This country has experienced what could likely be the worst growing pains of any developing country in the modern era, while struggling to maintain its old traditions. Poor planning and other mistakes need to be corrected. That being said, the progress, especially for women, that I have seen in the five years I have lived here has been remarkable. It's hard for the outside world to see, but it is happening - not as fast as some would like, but it is happening.

Dina said...

Long live the King.

Gunn said...

I guess our Royal Family still have a way to go:)