King Abdullah bin Abdul Aziz Al Saud

A.k.a. King Abdullah

King Abdullah with foreign minster of Syria Walid Muallem

• Born in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia in 1924 • Father– Abdul Aziz Ibn Abdur Rahman Al Saud (more commonly known as Ibn Saud) • Mother– Fahda bint Asi Al Shuraim; she was 8th wife of Ibn Saud • Has between 50 and 60 siblings • Royal family was poor until they discovered oil in the 1940s

Rise to Power
• First major political position was as the mayor of Mecca • He was later appointed commander of the Saudi Arabian National Guard • After Abdullah’s half brother and former King Faisal was assassinated in 1975, his half brother Khalid took the throne • Khalid appointed Abdullah to the Council of Ministers, which is an advisory council for the king

Rise to Power (continued)
• In 1982, Khalid died, and Abdullah’s half brother Fahd became king • Abdullah was promoted to Deputy Prime Minister • Former King Fahd endured a series of strokes that impeded his ruling • Abdullah acted as a regent for 9 years until Fahd’s death on August 1, 2005, when Abdullah finally became king

Perspective on Terrorism
• Saudi Arabia is made up of fundamentalist Muslims and modernizing reformers, which make it difficult to rule • Because Abdullah supports modernization, various terrorist attacks have occurred, many of which have been traced to Al-Qaeda • Fundamentalists and reformers both want their way, which leads to various uprisings and rebellions • Abdullah responds to these with security raids, arrests, torture, and

Foreign Relations
• While visiting the U.K. in October 2007, people accused him of being a murderer and a torturer • Many people also felt that females and homosexuals were in a harmful environment • There have also been alleged bribes involving weaponry between the U.K. and Saudi Arabia • In 2005, Abdullah attempted to revive his 2002 Arab Peace Initiative, which was supposed to help relations between Israel and the entire Arab region • The plan received attention in 2005, but

Philanthropic Movements
• King Abdullah’s wealth is estimated at over $21 billion • With his money, he has paid for the surgery for conjoined twins • Donated $50 million and $10 million worth of relief funds to the Great Sichuan Earthquake • Gave $10 billion to help found the King Abdullah University of Science and Technology • Abdullah founded 2 libraries—one in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, and another one in Casablanca, Morocco

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