Prince's casual outfits send a message

Prince's casual outfits send a message
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Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman with Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg in Silicon Valley on June 22.
Prince's casual outfits send a message
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Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman meets with Secretary of State John Kerry in Washington.
Updated 27 June 2016

Prince's casual outfits send a message

Prince's casual outfits send a message

NEW YOrK: What leaders and politicians wear and how they act send an indirect message to the public and observers.
During his visit to the United States, Deputy Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman displayed this symbolic language through the outfits he wore at many occasions.
In his first meetings with Secretary of State John Kerry at the latter’s personal residence in the prestigious Georgetown district in Washington, the tie was absent from the overall outfit.
In the meeting with Facebook Chairman and Co-Founder Mark Zuckerberg, he appeared in casual clothes and the photos circulated extensively on social media showed a mindset of the new generation in terms of fashion. Photos showed Prince Mohammad wearing virtual reality glasses and challenging Zuckerberg in a game of ping-pong, an online publication reported.
Except for formal occasions during which Prince Mohammad met US President Barack Obama and UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, when he wore the bisht (a long cloak worn over the thobe), during all other meeting with officials in the US government he wore casual outfits, such as when he met with Secretary of Energy Ernest Moniz, and with CEOs of giant American companies, including the meeting with Apple CEO Tim Cook.
The absence of bisht is not something new in the meetings that the deputy crown prince has been holding. Many Saudi government ministers also abandon the bisht during meetings of the Economic and Development Affairs Council, as shown during the documentary film featured on Alarabiya.net.
The American media captured these indirect images and subliminal messages, noting that Prince Mohammad has a “youthful and cool appearance without a tie” to reflect the new way of thinking in Saudi society, where youths account for 60 percent of the population.
In one of its reports, Reuters news agency described the deputy crown prince as the “prince of change and the new face of Saudi Arabia, “adding: “Saudis are used to seeing their leaders wearing the formal white robe and shumagh with the black cloak … during formal visits abroad. Therefore, seeing the prince in a shirt, jeans and a sweater in California, and a suit with a tie in his meetings with some political leaders in Washington with much less extravagance in his appearance, sends a clear message.”
A young Saudi woman said this change and new spirit in Saudi Arabia confirms that the government and people speak the same language.
The out-of-the-ordinary and official traditions during the meetings also included Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s meetings with a number of young Saudis working in Silicon Valley and on their technical projects in major corporations.
The deputy crown prince also attended the discussion session with American pioneer innovators in Silicon Valley, who have invented important applications that are in use today. He also held meetings with officials of the most prestigious US universities.
His body language and outfits no doubt reflect the messages he wants to send to people, according to analysts and observers.