Middle-east Arab News Opinion | Asharq Al-awsat

Riyadh exhibition showcases rare photographs of King Abdullah | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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Riyadh, Asharq Al-Awsat – Saudi Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs, Prince Abdul Aziz Bin Abdullah, inaugurated an exhibition of 192 candid photographs showcasing the career of Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, King Abdullah Bin Abdulaziz, in Riyadh on Sunday. The exhibition represented a visual biography of the Saudi monarch, featuring photographs taken throughout his career; including images of his childhood and youth, as well as candid photographs taken during his successive governmental posts he has held over the years. The exhibition was held in honour of the opening of a new branch of the King Abdulaziz Public Library in Riyadh. The first edition of the Arabic-language “Kingdom of Saudi Arabia Encyclopaedia” was also launched at the same time.

The exhibition includes photographs taken of King Abdullah Bin Abdulaziz during a hunting trip in the 1970s, as well as the Saudi monarch performing the Hajj in 1967. There are also a number of photographs of King Abdullah meeting with various world leaders and heads of state. This includes a picture of King Abdullah meeting with former US President Gerard Ford in 1974, as well as photographs of the Saudi monarch with Spanish King Juan Carlos, former US President Richard Nixon during his presidential visit of the Kingdom in 1973, and Queen Elizabeth II of Britain during her visit to Jeddah in 1979. This is not to mention images of the Saudi monarch with former US President Ronald Reagan, former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, former UAE President Sheikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan, late King Hussein of Jordan, and late PLO leader Yasser Arafat.

The Riyadh exhibition also features a rare photograph of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, King Abdullah Bin Abdulaziz, scanning the desert for truffles, as well as the famous Time Magazine cover of the Saudi monarch.

These rare and candid snapshots into the life of the Saudi monarch also highlighted his strong relationship with the Saudi people. One photograph shows the Saudi monarch offering water to an aged and thirsty visitor at the National Guard’s office, whilst others showed the King receiving and speaking with Saudi citizens.

More recent photographs include King Abdullah inaugurating the the Riyadh conference of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries [OPEC] in 2007, his address to the Organization of the Islamic Conference in Mecca in 2008, and a speech at the United Nations in Nov. 2008. There was also a photograph taken during his address to the G20 London Summit in 2009, and another depicting the Saudi monarch during his famous address at the Madrid Interfaith Conference in 2008.

The exhibition also includes photographs of Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques inaugurating the King Abdullah bin Abdul-Aziz University for Science and Technology (KAUST) in 2009, which was attended by a number of prominent heads of state and world leaders. There is also a rare photograph of the King in prayer at his palace, overlooking the Red Sea in Jeddah.