Mohammed bin Salman: Saudis’ most important opportunity

Dr. Ali al-Kheshaiban
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The clear facts and great achievements made during the past five years prove that the crown prince is the most important opportunity the Saudi people must invest in through supporting him as a leader of this Vision and supporting the developmental projects Vision 2030 offers.

In his exclusive interview on Saudi Arabia’s national television, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman discussed the progress Saudi Arabia achieved in implementing the goals of Vision 2030. The crown prince also talked about many variables and issues that had to be tackled to overcome greater challenges in order to move the Kingdom from the pre-Vison 2030 stage. Now, Saudi Arabia is halfway through its Vision journey, facing the cultural, social, political, and economic challenges. Economic challenges come at the end of this list because they are the easiest ones to deal with; Saudi Arabia is a rich country by its nature and could successfully tackle economic challenges through traditional means. However, the Vision is exploring how to move the Saudi economy from the traditional path to a modern one that includes economy, politics, society, and culture.

It is no easy feat to achieve this economic goal. The Saudi leadership must first deal with fundamental issues without compromising on the political norms and values that Saudi Arabia was built upon, all the whole giving the Saudi society an opportunity to realize the cultural and social transformation and move seamlessly from one stage to another. Mohammed bin Salman explained the constitution Saudi Arabia relies upon and described the criteria used to evaluate dogmatic, cultural, social, and political resources. Saudis understand the words of His Highness more deeply than any foreign observers or analysts. For the past four decades, the Saudi people have been living in a cultural, social, economic, and developmental environment that is no longer suitable, and it took courage and true grit to change this environment so that Saudi Arabia can keep pace with international transformations.

There are specific standards for countries today to considered viable in the twenty-first century. These standards are not impossible to achieve, but they require people who deeply understand their society, realize the requirements needed for change, and can extend a clear discourse to the targeted groups in their society. The crown prince has outlined in this interview the method of achieving this transformation in a society where the youth represent more than 70 percent. He demonstrated the available options and available means for Saudi Arabia to overcome economic, cultural, and social challenges so that all Saudis can live in a dynamic, fast-paced world.

Many of us do not know what other options we might have had to resort to if the Saudi leadership did not work on this transformation and had it not entrusted the crown prince with achieving the Vision. Change and transformation are a fact of life, and this vision is the path through which Saudi Arabia will achieve this transformation. Thus, it was necessary to make difficult decisions, as His Highness said, because had this change not happened, the alternative options would have been hard on everyone whether politically, economically, societally, or culturally. It was necessary for Saudi Arabia to change and move in a new direction that overcomes its past in order to avoid many crises.

The Saudi national identity must be saved through putting it within the right framework and defining it according to the future and not the past. It was important to defeat the fear of tearing apart the beliefs about our society and culture and eliminate the uncertainty of our future as an important country in the region and the world. It was crucial to stand against social dislocation and its negative effects on the structure of the society. It was vital to alleviate economic anxiety and confront any attempts to attack our national culture and exploit the Saudi society by many ideologies. It was essential to eliminate anger and impetuousness in all their geographical and historical forms.

This Vision, led by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, is Saudi Arabia’s only chance to attain this achievement and change the rules of the competition. Even if His Highness discussed the economic, social, and cultural opportunities that Saudi Arabia must invest in, the clear facts and great achievements made during the past five years prove that the crown prince is the most important opportunity the Saudi people must invest in through supporting him as a leader of this Vision and supporting the developmental projects Vision 2030 offers.

Saudi’s Vision 2030 was found upon a number if initial elements, such as the developmental model, the agility of the political and administrative leadership and the speed of its adaptation to transformations; in addition to empowering the youth of both genders and betting on them as the biggest generation in Saudi Arabia in terms of numbers. The Vision was also based upon having a diplomacy built upon forming partnerships with all countries and ensuring a balance that would allow everyone to realize their interests, as well as establishing a tolerant and moderate model to deal with cultural and social issues; promoting openness that is reasonable and balanced; solidifying the legal and judicial law; building capabilities of all kinds, including military capabilities; advancing the technology and developing artificial intelligence; and facing the evolving future.

This article was originally published in, and translated from, Saudi newspaper al-Riyadh.

Read more:

The city of the future and the prince of hope

Who are we? An interview with Mohammed bin Salman

Saudi Arabia: A dynamic of change and modernization

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