The man King Faisal served in the U.S.
An incident involving Saudi’s King Faisal showed that high morals are not about hypocrisy but good manners
Stories of great people with high morals and good manners never get boring. Historians have always documented the noble stances which made kings respectable and prestigious. What makes such figures even greater is how humble they actually are.
The late Saudi minister Hisham Nazer once described to me an incident that happened with late King Faisal, and which showed the extent of his faith in humans, justice and equality in a manner which even rose above western behavior that at some point was abusive towards others.
It all began with Said Adam, a calm and polite man who was one of the first Saudi men with a scholarship to study abroad. He worked in the government ever since the Saudi kingdom was established. Nazer said that when they were in New York with King Faisal attending United Nations’ meetings, the United States was still suffering from racism.
High morals are not about hypocrisy but good manners and sincere kindnessTurki al-Dakhil
One day, the king decided to go out with the accompanying delegation to eat at a restaurant in New York. Said Adam was one of those present and when food arrived, the waiter served it to the king and the delegation members but he excluded Adam because of his dark skin color. This made King Faisal stand up and serve food to Adam himself.
The king’s act reflected his noble morals and it served as a lesson to people whose vision and attitude towards certain people in the heart of New York and in the heart of modern civilization was underdeveloped.
This story can be narrated to convey a moral message and so others can follow suit. High morals are not about hypocrisy but good manners and sincere kindness. This is the great stance of King Faisal.
This article was first published by Okaz newspaper on Feb. 8, 2016.
Turki Al-Dakhil is the General Manager of Al Arabiya News Channel. He began his career as a print journalist, covering politics and culture for the Saudi newspapers Okaz, Al-Riyadh and Al-Watan. He then moved to pan-Arab daily Al-Hayat and pan-Arab news magazine Al-Majalla. Turki later became a radio correspondent for the French-owned pan-Arab Radio Monte Carlo and MBC FM. He proceeded to Elaph, an online news magazine and Alarabiya.net, the news channel’s online platform. Over a ten-year period, Dakhil’s weekly Al Arabiya talk show “Edaat” (Spotlights) provided an opportunity for proponents of Arab and Islamic social reform to make their case to a mass audience. Turki also owns Al Mesbar Studies and Research Centre and Madarek Publishing House in Dubai. He has received several awards and honors, including the America Abroad Media annual award for his role in supporting civil society, human rights and advancing women’s roles in Gulf societies. He tweets @TurkiAldakhil.