Saturday, October 22, 2011

Saudi Crown Prince Sultan bin Abdulaziz Al-Saud has died at 85

          Saudi Crown Prince Sultan bin Abdulaziz Al-Saud has died at 85, is the news and talks this morning at work. Crown Prince Sultan was the minister of defense, and has had various medical issues in recent years and he was reportedly visiting the US for medical tests when he passed away.  He is the half brother of King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz Al-Saud who recently had surgery at National Guard Health Affairs King Abdul Aziz Medical Hospital where I work. There were no immediate details about his death.

          There are concerns about the future of Saudi Arabia, which has been ruled by the al Saud family since 1932. Prince Nayef, 77, who was appointed second deputy prime minister in March 2009 and son of  the King, now becomes next in line to the throne.  There are also internal differences because King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz Al-Saud has been seen as a reformer, making changes to improve the position of women and modernizing the kingdom.  There is some criticism from the ultra-conservative Wahhabi (dominant form of Islam in Saudi Arabia) clerics who give the royal family the religious legitimacy needed to rule. Prince Nayef's view is  seen as closer to the clerics. I will keep you posted.

All the best,

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