THE brothers in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia celebrate the sixth anniversary of the pledge of allegiance to King Salman bin Abdulaziz and his assumption of power. This is in fact a Gulf celebration more than just a Saudi one, because everything that is good and progressive for Saudi Arabia impacts the Gulf region as a whole. It was achieved because of the contemporary path taken by the wise leadership of Saudi Arabia.
The order by King Salman bin Abdulaziz is an internal social and economic revolution, as well as a political revolution at the level of regional and international relations. Granting women their civil rights has had a great impact, especially considering their involvement in work is equal to men. In the past decades, they transformed the distorted image of interpreting religious teachings and social pressures into shame, and being forbidden to work and drive a car. Today she is the vice-president of the Shura Council, which is a great honor that has implications on the development of the concept. And just as the Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman said, their participation in work has reached 36 percent.
This step would not have been achieved if the dark ideas established by the Brotherhood Movement remained when it was in control of the joints of several institutions and dominated the media, which was the basis for marketing the ideas of rulers and state projects, spying on people in their homes, and suppressing joy and restricting their movement under the slogan of “The Islamic Awakening, the Promotion of Virtue and the Prevention of Vice”.
This social change was accompanied by radical reform measures financially, economically, and judicially. It was either through the restoration of about three billion square meters of land that were usurped by influential people, or the recovery of more than $100 billion that were stolen by officials. The “Ritz” move was an important factor in changing the perception, not just in Saudi Arabia but throughout the Gulf region in terms of combating corruption.
The historic decision to impose taxes on those who have to give to those who do not have has a significant impact on society. When the crisis of the decline in oil prices ended and the public finances began to increase again, the fees were used to encourage investment and improve the general national product, in an effort to achieve the goals of the Saudi Vision 2030.
This is in addition to the mega projects, especially “NEOM” and other development projects that changed the global and local perception of Saudi Arabia as a tourist and investment destination, and a safe haven.
Judicially, the change in the ruling system has had an effect as well. The concept that prevailed in the past was that the judge judged people by their features, and the testimony of witnesses, which was what constituted a real obstacle to achieving justice. The reform that this facility witnessed represents a radical change in concepts, whereby evidence and documents became the basis of the lawsuits. All this was based on the idea of integration between the internal and external on the basis of parity in international relations.
Saudi Arabia, which today leads the G20 for the current session, is well aware that any progress on the path of international peace means more great opportunities in the future. Therefore, the pursuit of this equation in the Middle East needs a series of bold decisions to get out of the tunnel of the past, which was based on more crises in relation to the Arab-Israeli conflict that had drained resources without success.
Today, when we say that the leadership of King Salman bin Abdulaziz, and Crown Prince Muhammad bin Salman, has caused a great revolution in concepts and style of government, we acknowledge a truth supported by many evidences.
Therefore, we hope that this will continue until it reaches its end through the wisdom with which this big Gulf state is managed, something that every Saudi and Gulf national wishes for.
By Ahmed Al-Jarallah
Editor-in-Chief, the Arab Times