Saudi Arabia has always remained the favorite subject of foreign journalists and academics. A multitude of books, articles and commentaries have appeared in the world press, unfortunately, defaming Saudi Arabia by using an unbalanced and biased approach.
The number of publications on Saudi Arabia has increased during the past few months. Most of the publications proved to be lopsided and far from reality. Authors of those books, articles and commentaries apparently rely on hearsay or rumors and don’t try to do a research before writing any thing about the Kingdom. It is due to this approach, the Kingdom and its otherwise balanced and fair policies remain largely misunderstood.
Regional and global role
There is a great need to highlight the Kingdom’s positive regional and global role and to effectively counter the propaganda against Saudi Arabia. Recent developments in the Kingdom should have been enough to quash rumors and dispel wrong notions about this important country leading the global fight against extremism.
The decisive and resolute policies of King Salman should be an excellent starter to address the various challenges the Kingdom is facing
Mashary Sulaiman Balghonaim
The issue of transfer of power from one king to the other has always remained a hot issue in the foreign press. After the demise of King Abdullah, analysts and political pundits went into overdrive and we experienced a deluge of analyses. Everybody was trying to come up with a unique theory without understanding the culture of Saudi Arabia.
However, Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman’s ascension to the throne proved to be a very smooth process. Saudis, however, were not surprised at all. We know our country and our rulers well not to pay attention to silly analyses by people who have never been to our country. This smooth transition was enough to shut the mouths of those so-called analysts who can go to any extent to malign the Kingdom.
Subsequently King Salman issued a number of extraordinary decrees and orders. One of those decrees was to bring two young members of the royal family to the fore — Crown Prince Mohammed bin Naif and Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.
This royal appointment demolished few other wrong perceptions of the Saudi political affairs and proved to be a smooth transition in Saudi Arabia once again.
Officials and masses warmly welcomed the transition and wholeheartedly supported this move and proved to the entire world that the Saudis fully trusted their leadership’s decisions. They, once again, proved that the relations between the ruled and the rulers in the Kingdom are warm and based on mutual trust.
One must say that all those reports about Kingdom’s political developments and their consequences proved to be wrong and a waste of time and money. Those living outside the Kingdom appear to be very interested in commenting on Saudi politics and society but they don’t even know the basics about the Kingdom. They don’t know that the rulers and people of Saudi Arabia stand united and act as one body.
Saudi Arabia’s state institutions are also one of the favorite topics of foreign writers. Interestingly, they are not aware of the basic functions and organizational structures of these institutions but clearly they are very fond of writing about them.
It is a known fact that the demographic of the Kingdom is changing very fast. Youngsters ranging from 15 to 35 years form approximately 70 percent of the total Saudi population. It is due to this very fact; King Salman attaches great importance to the development of the Saudi youth.
The decisive and resolute policies of King Salman should be an excellent starter to address the various challenges the Kingdom is facing. Just a few days ago, King Salman in his address at the Shoura Council, vowed to enhance Saudi Arabia’s position in the world and enhance the economic developments in the Kingdom through various ways such as the diversification of the Saudi economy. During the last year, King Salman had shown the world his style of paving the way toward further institutional reforms and modernization to solidify the domestic front.
This article was first published in Arab News on Dec. 28, 2015.