|US President Dwight D. Eisenhower and Vice President Richard Nixon with King Saud of Saudi Arabia attending the dinner at the Mayflower Hotel in Washington D.C. in 1957.|
|Born||15 January 1902|
|Died||23 February 1969 (aged 67)|
Saud bin Abdulaziz Al Saud (Arabic language: سعود بن عبد العزيز آل سعود Su'ūd ibn 'Abd al-'Azīz Āl Su'ūd) (15 January 1902 – 23 February 1969) was King of Saudi Arabia from 1953 to 1964.
|1956||Saudi Arabia stopped exporting oil to Britain and France because of the Suez Crisis.|
|1957||State visit to the United States at invitation of President Dwight D. Eisenhower.|
|1957||Saudi Arabia became a member at the International Monetary Fund.|
|1961||A royal decree was made to establish the Institute of Public Administration.|
|1961||Saud became sick and traveled to America for treatment.|
|1962||Saud established Saudi Television.|
|1963||Saudi Arabia withdrew its troops from Kuwait, after the end of the Iraqi-Kuwaiti conflict.|
Early life[edit | edit source]
Prince Saud was born on 15 January 1902 in Kuwait city. The second son of Ibn Saud, he was born in the home of Amir Abdul Rahman bin Faisal. They were in district of Sakkat Anaza where the family was staying after their exile from Riyadh. After his father Abdulaziz conquered Riyadh in 1902, Saud followed him with his mother and brothers.
When he was five years old, his father took him to Sheikh Abdul Rahman Mufaireej. He was taught Shari'a and the Qur'an. He also learned archery and horse-riding. He had smallpox, but Abdulaziz made Saud attend the meetings that he held in order to learn and develop political skills.[dead link]
Saud's first political mission occurred when aged thirteen, he led a delegation to Qatar. He led the first war against Ha'il in 1921, and became the leader of Saudi troops fighting in Yemen. In addition, Saud participated in eight wars before his accession: Grab War, Yabet War, Truba, Alkuras, Hail, Alhijaz, Almahmal and the Brethren.[dead link]
On 11 May 1933, he was appointed Crown Prince by his father. In 1937, he and Prince Muhammad represented King Abdulaziz at the at the coronation of King George VI of the United Kingdom in London. Before the death of King Abdulaziz, Prince Saud was named Prime Minister on 11 October 1953. Prince Saud was very close to his father, upon whose death he said: "I lost my father…and my friend".
Reign[edit | edit source]
Saud succeeded his father as King on 9 November 1953. Unlike his father, King Saud was considered an incompetent head of state, his extravagant lifestyle driving the Kingdom to the brink of bankruptcy. He squandered state funds for his own family and on palaces, all at a time when Saudi Arabia was still struggling economically.
National policy[edit | edit source]
King Saud established numerous governmental ministries. In 1957, he founded King Saud University in Riyadh.
Saud was keen to give his own sons power, and he placed them in high governmental positions. From 1953 to 1964, the appointment of eight ministers were partly to contain the fermenting demands for political participation among members of the royal lineage. By 1957, Saud had placed his son Fahd as Minister of Defence, his son Musaid to lead the Royal Guard, his son Khalid to command the National Guard (at only seventeen years old), and his son Saad in the Special Guard. Other sons appointed to prominent government offices included the second Minister of Defence (Mohammed), governor of Riyadh Province (Badr), and governor of Makkah Province (Abdallah), who became known as "little kings". Saud's appointments annoyed the king's half-brothers, who thought that his sons were too inexperienced, and began to fear that Saud would select his own son to succeed him.
King Saud fluctuated between the rising Arab nationalists and the religious traditionalists who favoured non-interference in international politics. His decisions were personal and spontaneous. He could not conceive of the notion that the government is above the family, and more important, he could not conceive of the primacy of the organization over the person. While Saud was still living in Arabia's past, Saudi Arabia was beginning to have a taste of new types of conflicts among new forces and new tendencies. The importation of foreign labour, which happened to be in the majority from other Arab states, exerted a great deal of influence on the urban Saudi citizens, exposing them to new values and different outlooks. These new types of conflicts were manifested clearly in ARAMCO whose workers went on strike twice. The first time was in 1953, when the Saudi workers led by migrant workers demanded better working conditions. The second time was in 1956, when the workers of ARAMCO demonstrated against the government which was intent on renewing the lease which gave the United States of America access to Dhahran Airfield for its forces.
Foreign relations[edit | edit source]
Internationally, King Saud neglected his father's position of non-involvement. First, he headed the Egyptian and Syrian coalition for neutrality, a policy taken to oppose the Iraqi call for a Western-sponsored regional defense arrangement Baghdad Pact. Pacts were thus signed in 1955 between Egypt, Syria and Saudi Arabia, which came directly after the Saudi-British dispute over Buraimi Oasis. At the same time, Saud supported Gamal Abdel Nasser's takeover of the Suez Canal. He severed his diplomatic relations with France and Britain and suspended oil shipments to them. Second, in 1957 Saud swayed the other way adopting the Eisenhower Doctrine, which was designed to fill the political vacuum in the Middle East following the Suez Crisis and the political defeat of France and Britain. The aim of this doctrine was to keep the Soviet Union out at all costs, in the hope that, with Saudi backing, the doctrine would be endorsed by all the Arab leaders. Saud was invited to the United States and was given a loan of $250 million towards defence costs. He returned home to discover that Egypt and Syria opposed the deal and were determined to remain neutral.
Saud lost on both counts. In siding with Egypt during the Suez Crisis, his oil exports declined, and in adopting the Eisenhower Doctrine, he was opposed by a rising Arab nationalism and by Nasserism. Saud became worried about the rise of Nasser, especially after the propaganda of the military revolutionaries in Egypt began to be spread widely with fierce calls for the destruction of the monarchies in the Arab world; the order in which the monarchies were to be undermined were: Jordan, Iraq, Kuwait, Yemen, Saudi Arabia and Libya. The Syrians began to plot to overthrow King Hussein of Jordan, who appealed to Saudi Arabia for help. Saud found that it was in his own interests to send his Bedouin troops to Amman to help Hussein, and sent a subsidy of half million pounds sterling. As a result, Jordan and Iraq formed a union for mutual protection, supported by Saud who played a major role in keeping Hussein in power. At the same time, Saud tried to break up the United Arab Republic and was accused of being behind a plot to assassinate Nasser.
From the mid-1950s until 1967, Saudi Arabia was engaged in a bitter conflict with Soviet-backed Egypt.
Struggle with Faisal[edit | edit source]
A fierce struggle between Ibn Saud's most senior sons, Saud and Faisal, erupted immediately after his death. The increase in oil revenues did not solve the financial problem associated with the debts Saud had inherited from his father, estimated to have been $US200 million in 1953. In fact, this debt more than doubled by 1958, when it reached $US450 million. The Saudi Riyal lost half of its official value against the United States Dollar. Both ARAMCO and international banks declined Saudi's demand for credit. Saud suspended the few government projects he had initiated, but continued his spending on luxurious palaces.
Saud and Faisal fought an internal battle over the definition of political responsibilities and the division of government functions. Saud is often associated[by whom?] among other things with plundering of oil revenues, luxurious palaces, and conspiracy inside and outside of Saudi Arabia while Faisal is associated[by whom?] with sobriety, piety, puritanism, financial wisdom, and modernization. Moreover, the conflict between the two brothers is often described as originating from the desire of Faisal to curb his brother's spending and solve Saudi Arabia's financial crisis.
The battle between the two brothers was fought over the role to be assigned to the Council of Ministers. Saud abolished the office of Prime Minister by royal decree, thus enforcing his position as King and de facto prime minister. Saud thought of himself as both King and prime minister whereas Faisal envisaged more powers being in his own hand as Crown Prince and deputy prime minister.
Forced abdication[edit | edit source]
King Saud's family members worried about Saud's profligacy and his inability to meet Nasser's socialist challenge. Corruption and backwardness were weakening the regime. Radio Cairo's anti-Saudi propaganda was finding a receptive audience.
King Saud and Prince Faisal continued their power struggle until 1962, when Prince Faisal formed a cabinet in the absence of the King, who had gone abroad for medical treatment. Prince Faisal allied with Prince Fahd and Prince Sultan. Prince Faisal's new government excluded the sons of Saud. He promised a ten-point reform that included the drafting of a basic law, the abolition of slavery and the establishment of a judicial council.
King Saud rejected Prince Faisal's new arrangement and threatened to mobilize the Royal Guard against his brother. Prince Faisal ordered the mobilisation of the National Guard against King Saud. With the arbitration of the ulema and pressure from senior royalty, King Saud yielded and agreed to abdicate on 28 March 1964.
King Saud was forced into exile in Geneva, Switzerland, and then on to other European cities. In 1966, Saud was invited by Nasser to live in Egypt; another report claims that King Saud went to Egypt under refuge granted by Nasser and stayed there from 1965 to 1967. King Saud was also allowed to broadcast propaganda on Radio Cairo. Some of his sons, such as Prince Khalid, Prince Badr, Prince Sultan and Prince Mansur, joined him and supported his attempt to regain the throne. However, after the June 1967 Arab-Israel War, he lost the support of Egypt and settled in Greece until 1969.
Personal life[edit | edit source]
His eldest son Fahad bin Saud bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, was minister of defence. His youngest child is Basmah bint Saud, who currently lives in Acton, London. His third son, Muhammed was sometime governor of Al Bahah Province, and died on 8 July 2012. Prince Mishari, replaced his elder brother as Al Bahah governor with the rank of minister in August 2010.
Another son, Mishaal, was the governor of Najran Province from 1996 to November 2008. His son Abdul Rahman (1940–2004) was a supporter of Al Nassr FC. One son, Badr bin Saud (died 2004), was governor of Riyadh during his father's reign, while another son, Hussam bin Saud bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, is a businessman.
One of his daughters, called Hajer, died outside the Kingdom following an illness on 17 November 2011. Her funeral prayer was performed at Imam Turki bin Abdullah Mosque in Riyadh after Asr prayer. Another daughter, Noura, was the mother of the former deputy defense minister Fahd bin Abdullah bin Mohammed Al Saud and died in late July 2013. Another daughter, Hessah, was the first Saudi woman to become the principal of a school.
In 2001, his daughter, Buniah (born 1960), was arrested and charged with assaulting her maid in Florida. She was held for one night in prison and was released on bail of $5,000 and ordered to surrender her passport.
Death and funeral[edit | edit source]
Two days before his death, Saud felt ill and asked his personal physician Filnger from Austria to examine him. In the morning, Saud took a short walk on a beach with his daughter, Nozhah, near Hotel Kavouri near Athens, Greece, where he used to reside. His physician arrived after he had died in the hotel on 23 February 1969, after suffering a heart attack in his sleep. His body was taken to Makkah where the funeral prayer was performed in the Masjid al-Haram, and then to Riyadh where he was buried in Al-Oud cemetery.
References[edit | edit source]
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[edit | edit source]
Saud of Saudi ArabiaBorn: 1902 Died: 1969
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