Who’s Who

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Portraits of the King and the Crown Prince are all over the place here in Saudi Arabia. I’ve seen them on billboards, sides of buildings, inside businesses, even on vehicles.
King Abdullah, pictured on the right of this huge portrait hanging inside a medical clinic, has been the official ruler of Saudi Arabia for four years, however he assumed the position in 1995 when reigning King Fahd suffered a debilitating stroke. He is 85 years old and is the 5th son (of 37 sons) of the original founder of modern Saudi Arabia, King Abdul-Aziz. King Abdullah is highly regarded as one of the more progressive monarchs of KSA, however the very influential religious faction is loathe to endorse change, especially regarding women’s rights and socialization.
On the left is Crown Prince Sultan, next in line to the throne, who is actually several months older than King Abdullah. He is the former Minister of Defense and much of his wealth was accumulated in commissions for arms deals he made for the government. He is considered more conservative than the current king.
Since Arabic is read from right to left, King Abdullah appears on the right, the opposite of the prominent position of the West, which reads from left to right.


About SusieOfArabia

American woman now living in hubby's homeland of Saudi Arabia
This entry was posted in Photo, Saudi Arabia and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

8 Responses to Who’s Who

  1. These must not be recent photographs!!

  2. Chiara says:

    Great photo and explanation Susie. Crown Prince Sultan looks so much like his father King Abul Aziz Al Saud that I had to do a double take after I read your explanation of the L-R distinction.

    In Morocco under Hassan II it was obligatory for shop owners, even market stall owners to have a picture of the King visible to customers. Is that the same in Saudi?

  3. 37 sons??!?! How many wives for his father?!?! Cultural divide …

    • Well, King Abdullah was born to his father’s (King Abdul-Aziz) 8th wife. It is unclear how many wives he actually had, but many seem to agree on the number 22. All the succeeding kings of Saudi Arabia were fathered by King Abdul-Aziz. Current King Abdullah himself has had at least 7 wives and currently has 4. He has 15 daughters and 7 sons.

  4. rain_bow786 says:

    The king Abdullah, & Crown Prince Sultan Are my vision best leaders I am sying for 100% sure that both leaders are Global Famous & has been a complite vision for development/bestness of humenity.
    as king abdullah is serv to ksa i wish to God He will Be
    King Of The Universal. (Ameen Suma Ameen,

    Aghaz Ahmed Karachi Pakistan .

  5. Geogypsy says:

    Neither of them look that old.

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