RIYADH: Prince Salman, minister of defense, said in Riyadh Saturday night that the late King Abdul Aziz, a great visionary leader of Saudi Arabia, has been a source of inspiration for citizens and rulers of this country. He said King Abdul Aziz was a leader of masses and a great statesman, who knew well about the complexities of politics, economy, foreign relations and how to exploit the natural resources of the country for the benefit of people.
“Late King Abdul Aziz success derived from his faith in Islam and his determination to maintain and build on the traditions of the region,” said Prince Salman, while addressing a major symposium here at King Saud University (KSU) Saturday night. The title of the symposium was “Humanitarian and Social Aspects of the History During the Reign of King Abdul Aziz.”
The event was organized by KSU’s Prince Salman Chair for Historical and Civilization Studies of the Arabian Peninsula.
Referring to the life and achievements of King Abdul Aziz, Prince Salman said his father faced difficult situations with iron will and enjoyed working with people from all walks of life. “He was committed to the noble principles of Islam and heritage of the Arab world, which was evident from the life in the country in the middle of the 12th Hijri,” said the defense minister, adding King Abdul Aziz was ambitious to unify the lands and worked for safety and security during his regime.
According to the remarks made by Hafez Wahbeh, one of the contemporary companions of the king, some Kuwaiti friends who played and lived with King Abdul Aziz and accompanied him in his childhood said that he was a clever boy. He was more active than them and he was even the winner in their games besides being a keen student of art and heritage. King Abdul Aziz founded the Kingdom based on Islamic Shariah, said Prince Salman, adding that he was the greatest founder of the Kingdom.
He said the foundations laid by King Abdul Aziz have now made this country a modern Islamic state, a country rich in traditions and heritage. He was an embodiment of a unique combination of faith and respect for tradition, while adapting to the technological developments of modern world, which characterizes the Kingdom today.
Referring to KSU, Prince Salman said this university is one of the oldest Saudi universities that has been a seat of learning for students. Prince Salman also took a tour of the exhibition that was organized on the sidelines of the symposium. “These photographs and documents support the social solidarity among the people of the Kingdom,” said Prince Salman, while referring to the photos and documents displayed on this occasion.
On an education front, Prince Salman said the Kingdom has made great strides. “In the last 15 years, we have carried a lot of reforms especially in the field of education and youth affairs,” said the defense minister, adding King Abdul Aziz was instrumental in establishing the foundation for “Justice and Stability” in Saudi Arabia. Prince Salman also saw a documentary film called “Salman and the University”, which talked about the prince’s contributions to the education sector of the Kingdom.
Abdullah Al-Subei, general supervisor of the Prince Salman Chair, also delivered a speech on the occasion. Abdullah Al-Othman, KSU rector, hailed ancestors like King Abdul Aziz who have built this country. The symposium and exhibition will be open from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Monday also in the College of Arts on the main KSU campus, and the women’s activities to be held in Khadija Hall on the Olaysha Campus.
The Prince Salman Chair’s overall purpose is to consolidate historical and cultural knowledge of the Arabian Peninsula through advanced research methodologies and techniques in interpretation. The chair’s objectives are met through extensive research incorporated into the production and publication of books and the development of research partnerships with other national and regional historical departments and scientific centers.
The chair also helps support researchers and graduate students and recruit experts and visiting professors in similar domains to lecture. Finally, the chair co-sponsors joint research projects with groups and provide consultation and collected data to both governmental, private and public agencies involved in related activities. The Prince Salman Chair was launched in 2009 through an agreement with the King Abdul Aziz Foundation for Research and Archives (Darah) and King Saud University.