As he addressed the people of Medina during the ceremony that marked his appointment as Governor, The image of Prince Abdul Majeed bin Abdulaziz (may God have mercy on him) is still ingrained in my mind.
As a young child, I heard him promise the good people of Medina that their city would be one of international-standards, that would be given all that it was worth.
He truly achieved significant accomplishments in the Prophet’s City. During his time, activity and orderliness became defining characteristics of Medina, where projects, symposiums, conferences and exhibitions took place as well as infrastructure projects that were implemented in line with the national budget.
I heard him frequently and saw him even more at various stages of his life, even when he became Governor of the Mecca Region, where he completed the course initiated by his predecessors and was keen on serving it.
Known for its openness to the world, he sought to promote the dynamic image of Jeddah through events and conferences, all the while facilitating the movement of the economic wheel, always aspiring to address the problems of the vast Red Sea city.
What characterized him most was his lucid vision and determination. Whether some agreed or differed with him, whenever he launched a project or adopted another, he would personally oversee it. He was fond of detail, and would shoot an arrow and follow it in support rather than watch and pray for it to hit its target.
On my wedding day he smiled and told me “Before you think of children, think of their education, upbringing, health and an honorable life.” These words epitomized his vision for life.
Before his last return to the capital, Riyadh, I visited him in London. That day although his was visibly thinner I saw Prince Abdul Majeed bin Abdulaziz as I clearly knew him. During the visit he commented on King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz’s speech to the people of Jazan, and about the possibility of each Saudi city being the source of own independent revenue, according to its strengths and idiosyncrasies.
He said that the role of the state was to involve the private sector to overcome bureaucracy and make room for each and every city to enjoy its own economy according to its geographical location and historical background or revenues.
“God bears witness that all my brothers were never derelict after [they succeeded] my father, whether King Saud, Faisal, Khaled, Fahd or reigning brother Abdullah. Our problem, however, is bureaucracy,” he said. Then he proposed his vision that each city in Saudi Arabia depends not only on the state’s budget but also on revenues that conform to its nature and location through opening the door to the private sector.
During that meeting, he talked about oil-rich states that did not make as considerable accomplishments for their people as Saudi Arabia has and how those states misused God’s gifts, adding “What we are most proud of in our country is serving the holy sites and the guests of God.”
He then elaborated on the value of the individual, and that if the individual’s potential is effectively utilized, then that would be real wealth.
May God have mercy on Prince Abdul Majeed