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King Abdullah's Pledge - ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive
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The word “pledge” is most often used for political and propaganda purposes as a means of publicizing something or promoting strategic goals for political regimes that lack credibility with the public. However this is not a correct definition of the word, and it is possible for the word “pledge” to be used accurately [such as in the case of King Abdullah].

The people of Saudi Arabia are celebrating an event that is both important and significant to them, namely the fourth anniversary of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah Bin Abdulaziz coming to power. In only a short period of time, King Abdullah has managed to make many political, economic, intellectual, and social achievements in areas that had previously been stagnating. The King has opened files that were previously impossible to discuss, or even think about.

King Abdullah has courageously confronted extremism, opening various forms of dialogue [with other parties] to the point that this has become a prominent characteristic of his reign. King Abdullah opened the education file, courageously facing the challenge [that resulted from] simply admitting a problem exists [in the Saudi Education system]. He brought in a new Education Minister as an official expression of his desire to foster ongoing development and reform [in the Education system] rather than inertia and stagnation.

King Abdullah also opened the justice file in an unprecedented manner, and the people began to genuinely hope to see positive results in the file that is the most sensitive on the life of Saudi citizens.

A renewed sense of confidence, as well as features of social change, and an effective exchange between the citizen and the government are all new features to have emerged under Kind Abdullah’s rule. Not to mention terms such as human rights, freedom of expression, the importance of exchange, transparency, and accountability, that have all become an essential part of the new discourse available to citizens [under King Abdullah’s rule].

During King Abdullah’s reign [over the past four years], Saudi Arabia’s internationally distinguished position in the economic sphere was further strengthened, and the King devoted himself to his role as a wise world leader whose country is synonymous with a “Kingdom of Humanity.” This can be seen in the generous contributions made by Saudi Arabia to Lebanon, Palestine, Iraq, GCC countries, and others.

The Saudi Arabians have celebrated by raising photographs of their King on a number of occasions, as well as displaying these pictures in their cars; this is something that would only happen in other countries if the government instructed the public to do so. The King has entered the people’s hearts as they sense his sincerity and his genuine desire to reform, develop, and improve their living standards and conditions. This is something that cannot be denied!

Hussein Shobokshi

Hussein Shobokshi

Hussein Shobokshi is a businessman and prominent columnist. Mr. Shobokshi hosts the weekly current affairs program Al-Takreer on Al-Arabiya, and in 1995 he was chosen as one of the "Global Leaders for Tomorrow" by the World Economic Forum. He received his BA in Political Science and Management from the University of Tulsa.

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