A YOUNG MAN from Hijazi responded to Omar Bin Abdul-Aziz, when the Caliph asked why somebody who was older than him did not speak: “The quality of a man is determined by his heart and tongue”. Although the adolescent of that era was mature, subsequent experiences affirmed that a human being can be assessed by his intelligence and determination. How much more if one compares the smallest part of him, which is the heart that loves his country, and the eloquent tongue?
Examples abound in history, affirming that strong determination and overcoming difficulties are the ingredients for development in any country. This does not have anything to do with the age of the official; but awareness of his country’s capabilities, citizens and concentration. This is the reason why King Hussein bin Talal is regarded as the builder of modern Jordan, despite the limited natural resources of the country. The accomplishment was possible because the 17-year-old teenager was aware that since he took over the mantle of leadership, he was endowed with resources — the youths.
The case is not different with King Faisal II who took over the reign of leadership in Iraq at the age of 18. He launched a very big workshop, but the coup plotters dismantled everything he built.
In the Kingdom of Morocco, there was a thought-provoking experience which started with the late youthful King Al-Hassan II, who ascended the throne at the age of 32 during the last century. He understood the demands of the young generation that time. The same is true for his son, King Mohammad VI, who took over the authority when he turned 36 years old. He launched phase two of development in his country in a way that satisfies aspirations of youths and resources of the Kingdom.
In between, there is the British experience with Queen Elizabeth II who was crowned in 1952 at 26 years old. Before her was German Emperor Wilhelm II, the builder of modern Germany, who took over the reign of power in his twenties during the 19th century. He propelled Germany into the limelight, making it one of the world’s superpowers in that period.
Going back to those historical and contemporary illustrations was necessary to understand what will become of a country where youthful minds take over the job of building and modernization. This is in addition to overcoming crises and guaranteeing stability for several decades.
Today, all eyes focus on the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia where Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman bin Abdulaziz created space for the youths to participate in the new renaissance. He did this by appointing Prince Mohammed bin Salman as Crown Prince. Since he was brought on board, this youth has laid down programs for economic rejuvenation, proportionate to resources and facts available in Saudi Arabia where the youths account for 67 percent of the population.
With gigantic projects and upgrading activities concerning rules and regulations, Saudi Arabia has embarked on massive developmental activities in various fields,; especially the economy. This will lead to more effectiveness in kick-starting the train of regional economy quickly towards the future, taking along the remaining Arabian Gulf nations.
Before 1981, Malaysia was one of the poorest countries in the world and it was suffering from multitude of crises. However, Mahathir Mohammad transformed the national economy at a fast pace when he took over the reign of leadership. He made his country into one of the ‘Asian Tigers’.
Today, with the projects which the Saudi Crown Prince is working on, coupled with a strong industrial base; Saudi Arabia will, within a short period, be transformed into a major power within the region, Arabian Gulf and possibly the world. It will also influence other economies.
Based on information heard from the brain behind re-engineering of Saudi economy — Mohammed bin Salman, the real meaning of ‘Saudi’s Vision 2030’ and the work towards its realization is understood clearly. It is glaring now that dropping oil as the major source of revenue is not a difficult task. The next three or five years are significant in this aspect, while the fruit it bears starting from now looks promising considering what the continent will become 13 years from today. (Tomorrow … Mohammed bin Salman, let Saudis be privy to what will happen in the future.)
By Ahmed Al-Jarallah – Editor-in-Chief, the Arab Times