Hope you all had a great start of the week yesterday. It has been a sad start of the week here in Saudi. Our beloved King, King Abdullah Al Sa'oud, just passed away on Friday the 23rd and broke our hearts. I was planning another Saudi Story for this week, but this tragic event needed a special post.
I remember King Abdullah -May his soul rest in peace- and his ruling period very clearly. It all happened right after I finished my final exams in high school. At that time, we were mourning his older brother, the previous King, King Fahad. Nonetheless, King Abdullah came and replaced that sadness with lots of joy with all the goodness that he spread in Saudi. There are three main achievements I would like to mention below: the scholarship program, the new university and the recognition of women's political role.
He made so many positive changes starting with the scholarship program that completely changed my life and the lives of so many others without this opportunity that King Abdullah presented me with, I would not have been where I am today. Since the start of the program ten years ago, there have been more than 150 thousand female and male students studying abroad across 30 countries (البوابة الإلكترونية لوزارة التعليم العالي, 2015).
The king also saw the importance of having more universities within Saudi and he made it happen in such a short time with King Abdullah University of Science and Technology. It has even been rewarded a research centre status in 2013.
In 2013, King Abdullah also included women to participate in The Consultative -Shura- Council for the first time in the Kingdom's history, where he chose 30 ladies and changed the architecture of that council to have 20% women (الحناكي, 2013).
We are sad to see such a visionary leave us after only a short ruling period, but we are also excited to welcome King Salman to the throne and to witness all the amazing things he has planned for the kingdom.
If you are interested to know more on the official country's history and more details about the previous kings and their accomplishments, please go on the Saudi Tourism website.
البوابة الإلكترونية لوزارة التعليم العالي, (2015). وزارة التعليم العالي. [online] Available at: http://www.mohe.gov.sa/ar/news/Pages/25_1_2014.aspx [Accessed 27 Jan. 2015].
الحناكي, أ. (2013). عضوات مجلس الشورى والنجاح المذهل! | المجلة. [online] Majalla.com. Available at: http://www.majalla.com/arb/2013/10/article55248402 [Accessed 27 Jan. 2015].
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