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The young king?

The young king?

Articolo tratto da Al-Ahram Weekly by Haitham Nouri

Saudi Arabia’s Mohamed Bin Salman is officially second in line to the Saudi throne. Haitham Nouri reviews his meteoric ascent

The young king?

The young Mohamed Bin Salman, 32, was quickly elevated to the position of crown prince in the oil-rich country of Saudi Arabia. The appointment comes at a critical time since his country is battling on several fronts  — economic, social and political. He is the most favoured and influential prince among the thousands of grandchildren of King Abdel-Aziz Al-Saud, the founder of the kingdom, and has now risen to a higher position than any of his surviving paternal uncles. This begs the question: How did this young prince reach number two position in the country?

Some Western circles believe he is the king’s favourie son (he is the sixth in order and his mother is the daughter of the chief of the Agman tribe). This favouritism is not enough for his promotion, according to Ali Al-Shehabi, director of a Saudi institute. “After many decades of rule by old kings, a young king would be welcome,” said Shehabi. “This is normal in a country where more than half the population are youth.”

Some 60 per cent of Saudis are younger than 35 years old, which makes Mohamed Bin Salman one of them. At a news conference in 2016, the new crown prince angrily responded to those who say his name will be remembered in the future: “I am a Saudi citizen and Saudi citizens will all be remembered in the future also.”

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