Masayoshi Son is not just the richest man in the world or just the leader of investment in modern technology and just the leader of SoftBank which manages global investment funds in modern inventions. He’s all that and much more.
Few days ago, he participated in the Future Investment Initiative panel held in Riyadh and commended our country’s magnificence. He singled out the NEOM project and spoke about those who have virgin lands, magnificent beaches and beautiful mountains. He was referring to Prince Mohammad bin Salman. “You have a great gift from God, which is the sun,” he added.
When asked about the possibility of success in NEOM, he said: “Yes, we will achieve that with the leadership of his Royal Highness Prince Mohammad bin Salman who has great passion. He is a young man with a sharp vision for the future that depends on a huge size of funds and investments. We will succeed.”
Responding to Masayoshi Son’s praise, his Highness said: “I am one of 20 million citizens. I am nothing without them. They motivate me and push me forward. 70% of the kingdom’s residents are youths. This is a double-edged sword. If youths work with all their might, they will create another different country. We will be the strongest country in the world. If they go wrong, we will fail. I am certain that youths have the professionalism and very high intelligence to achieve the impossible for their country, Saudi Arabia. We want to reserve a place for the kingdom in the future of the world.”
The source of enthusiasm and passion which brightly shone from Masayoshi Son’s eyes was obvious to all those watching as he spoke about NEOM and its success thanks to the young passionate command. Let’s go back to Prince Mohammad bin Salman’s comments on NEOM and reasons behind launching it.
“We have fantastic opportunities today. There is a demand outside of Saudi Arabia that amounts to $100 billion and an exceptional investment capacity worth $500 billion. We have a special location between three continents and between the most important air and naval transport routes. An example is that 10% of world trade passes near the location through the Red Sea. There is a stunning nature, and there are mountains, valleys, beaches and islands. In winter, mountains are covered with snow and in summer the temperature is moderate as it is 10 degrees less than the rest of Gulf cities and capitals. We have a strong political will and a strong popular will and desire. All the factors of success are present to create something great in Saudi Arabia. After all these opportunities and given these elements and a land that’s almost empty, we began to think why do we build a city the traditional way? We have the chance to develop a new generation that entails new ways of life, cities, technologies, healthcare and services.”
He who is not ambitious cannot make a difference, and he who does not think outside the box remains captive of traditionalism and classicism. He will not escape the problems of traditions. It’s true that ambition alone cannot be a factor for success but serious dreamers are those who change reality and the future of man’s life. It’s for the sake of this that we will not spend the next 30 years of our lives in submission due to extremism or getting dragged behind marginal issues. Our identity and religion never prevented us from being the best. We will be the best despite the pessimists’ dislike and in spite of extremists. If you ask about my stance against these categories, I’d tell you that a pessimist and an extremist both signify a call for death.
This article was originally published in here.
Turki Aldakhil 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.