- ActivitesHuman Rights
- March 15, 2009
- 2 minutes read
The Next King of Saudi Arabia?
Rob at Arab Media Shack brings to our attention an article in Forbes on Prince Alwaleed bin Talal of Saudi Arabia. “Is there a possibility that Alwaleed might someday be king? “Sure,” he tells a visitor en route from Riyadh to Cairo last fall to attend a dinner hosted by Egypt’s first lady. A few days later, when asked again during a videotaped interview, Alwaleed is more coy. “The chain of command of people who could become king in this country is between the sons and the grandsons of King Abdulaziz. I am among them. … I would do anything to help this country,” he says. Including being king? “Each one has a chance if it comes. I will not seek it.”
But on the other hand, “Saudi watchers are blunt about Alwaleed’s royal future. “He doesn’t stand a hope in hell of becoming king,” says Simon Henderson, an expert on Saudi succession at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, a think tank. “His father, Prince Talal, has a past record of criticizing the royal family, and his mother isn’t Saudi.” (Alwaleed’s mother is Lebanese.) Says Rochdi Younsi, director of Middle East research for the Eurasia Group: “Alwaleed is the Donald Trump of Saudi Arabia. He may be a symbol of success for some Saudis, but many others view him as being way too gaudy.” Wahabis, members of the religious establishment in Saudi Arabia, generally oppose his notion of reform, says Younsi.”
Even though Saudi Arabia is far from being democratic, it is interesting to note how popular opinions and perceptions weighs in on these issues of succession.