Celebrating our homeland on Saudi Arabia’s National Day
On the 90th anniversary of the unification of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, which is dear to the hearts of all the men and women in Saudi society, as well as to other residents in the territories of this cherished homeland, we shall recall here some of the tremendous accomplishments our dear nation has witnessed in the political, economic, social, intellectual, urban, security, military, and health spheres.
As we mark this anniversary, we remember the heroic deeds that have contributed to the advancement of our country and helped successive generations to achieve outstanding accomplishments in developing, fortifying and moving the nation forward. This anniversary cements national cohesion and reinforces the social fabric among the different sects and factions of Saudi society, as well as the unity among the people. This anniversary also comes at a time when the Saudi people have rejected all forms of extremism and radicalism, instead embracing moderation and centrism, while upholding well-established religious pillars and social values and showing pride and appreciation toward the cultural heritage, habits and traditions of their homeland, which add to the strength of this country and its people.
The successive kings of Saudi Arabia, since the era of King Abdul Aziz, have exerted significant efforts for the development and advancement of this country, allowing it to make huge and unprecedented leaps in all fields within relatively brief periods of time. Saudi Arabia’s wise leaders have always been great believers in the importance of taking advantage of expertise from around the world, with each beginning from where their predecessor left off. They have taken Saudi Arabia to such an advanced position that Riyadh has now become a member of the G20, standing among the most powerful economies in the world. Investment has been pumped into the country’s human resources domestically and overseas, while strong and distinguished relations have been established with most of the world’s countries.
The reign of King Salman and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman has been distinguished by a succession of reforms, continuous advancement, comprehensive development and an eagerness to upgrade and improve all the services provided to citizens and residents for the sake of their comfort and welfare. At the same time, this reign has witnessed noteworthy accomplishments, action, resolve and insightful and visionary progress.
At home, our dear country has made remarkable advances in the legislative and executive spheres, especially in the field of strategic planning, accomplishing a qualitative transformation to face the future, achieving comprehensive reforms, and developing suitable plans for the future. At the head of these visionary initiatives is Saudi Vision 2030, which is a vital strategic enterprise aimed at ensuring a dynamic future for the country at the political, economic and social levels.
Wise leadership is steering the country toward safe harbor in the midst of a restive and crisis-riddled region.
Dr. Mohammed Al-Sulami
This ambitious vision embodies the tact and skill of the best decision-makers in resource and budget management, and addresses corruption and the manifestations of waste in all its aspects and forms. In addition, it boosts efforts to build and develop the national economy and diversifies sources of income. Most importantly, from my viewpoint, the vision places a significant focus on investing in the most important element: The country’s human resources. This is being done by introducing diverse and innovative initiatives that cover all the state’s institutions and allow all the different segments and classes of citizens to participate in deciding the future of their benevolent homeland. The Kingdom has also witnessed the establishment of multiple major development projects.
In other areas, Saudi Arabia has succeeded in addressing all the challenges facing it with awareness and sophistication, whether the economic challenges resulting from falling oil prices and volatility in the conditions of the global economy, including the ramifications of the coronavirus disease pandemic, or the security challenges faced by the Arab region, helping to maintain its security and stability in a geographical environment beset by problems and crises.
At the Arab and Islamic level, this period has witnessed greater harmony among the moderate Arab countries than ever before, especially in the face of the challenges afflicting the region.
The Kingdom was keenly aware of the dangers of the worrying developments in Yemen and the genuine threat posed by these developments to the security and stability of the region. Hence, King Salman took a historic decision, in collaboration with his brotherly leaders in the Gulf and the wider Arab region, to put an end to these excesses via the launch of “Operation Storm of Resolve” and then “Operation Restoring Hope” in support of the legitimate leadership in Yemen, quashing external expansionist projects in the Arab region and providing succor for those hit by the calamity.
In the field of fighting extremism and terrorism, the Kingdom in 2015 announced the formation of the Islamic Military Counter Terrorism Coalition, which comprises 41 Islamic countries. Following this announcement, Saudi Arabia conducted military drills dubbed “North Thunder,” with the aim of eliminating the danger of terrorism and extremism, in coordination with 20 other Arab, Islamic and allied countries. This took place in addition to the Kingdom continuing to support UN programs that aim to combat terrorism, systemic crime, human trafficking, and the smuggling and selling of drugs.
Saudi Arabia’s National Day should prompt every single Saudi citizen to feel proud of their dear nation’s past and present accomplishments, and of the comprehensive development being undertaken today in all fields and at all levels under a wise leadership that has been, and is still, steering the country toward safe harbor in the midst of a restive and crisis-riddled region.
We should also remember, with pride and joy, the unity of the people of the Kingdom and the support they have shown to its leadership, as well as their courage in sacrificing their souls and the most cherished among their possessions to defend the homeland, at the head of which come our brave soldiers on the front lines at the borders of our dear country.
• Dr. Mohammed Al-Sulami is Head of the International Institute for Iranian Studies (Rasanah). Twitter: @mohalsulami