Prince Sultan stresses women’s role in society

Prince Sultan stresses
women’s role in society
Updated 13 September 2012

Prince Sultan stresses women’s role in society

Prince Sultan stresses
women’s role in society

Prince Sultan bin Salman, chairman of the Saudi Commission for Tourism and Antiquities, was a guest at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs knowledge meeting recently.
Prince Sultan, who is also the chairman of the Disabled Children’s Association (DISCA). said: “Women play a major role in the development of their country.” He is proud of the fact that the DISCA was one of the first organizations to include women on its board of directors. “The normal place for women is in a leading position,” the prince said.
Prince Sultan stressed the need for the younger generation to initiate more interaction in a world where social networking dominates.
“Children learn by meeting others, by interacting and experiencing,” he said. He talked about his childhood and how his philanthropic nature was influenced by his mother’s tireless charitable activities.
“The mother is a role model for her children, especially boys. It is not completely correct that boys should be brought up by their fathers and girls by their mothers. No man can achieve success without his mother’s involvement,” the prince said. Prince Sultan was the first Arab and Muslim to fly in space. He is also the youngest person to fly on the Space Shuttle, at the age of 28. He credits education as important to helping people live a better life, especially when interacting with other cultures.
“I dreamed of becoming a pilot but was affected by rheumatism during my school years, which made that dream impossible at the time. Yet when I received my bachelor of arts in commerce from the US, I went back and studied to be a civil pilot,” he said, adding he applied "cockpit discipline" in every place he worked. He stressed it is important to acknowledge your dreams might go astray but you cannot really know what is best for you.
Prince Sultan said his experience with NASA was enriching. “We were looked highly upon, our culture respected, and supported by all we worked with, turning it into an unforgettable experience, and a proud one,” he said. When he and his fellow team members returned home they were received with great respect and enthusiasm by the late King Fahd and by the people of Saudi Arabia. “In my opinion that reception was not for us as a team or as heroes, but as a reflection of the nation’s pride in the achievement itself. It was patriotism in its highest sense,” said the prince.
Tourism is a valuable source of income for individuals and for the economy. “When we realized the need to develop tourism in the Kingdom, we thought it would be difficult to convince the people. However, it was the official bodies that were a challenge for us,” said the prince. The Kingdom sits on mines and wells of culture, deep-rooted civilization and touristic sites that should be invested in, he added.
Prince Sultan said: “People living in remote areas or near historical sites are demanding we fast-track local tourism. King Abdullah himself encourages local tourism out of his belief that people should be encouraged to spend their money inside the country, rather than going abroad.”
He said partnering with government bodies to facilitate cooperation and support would take more work. “Ministries are worse than nations, we face wars and have armies, therefore we need partnerships,” he said, adding as a result of this understanding more than 130 official bodies signed partnerships to pave the way for cooperation in all fields.
Yet the prince regrets that many of the young generation know more about other countries and not much about their own. “Some treat their country as an ATM machine, they withdraw money, they leave and spend it abroad. If you ask them about places in their own country, they are ignorant,” he said.