RIYADH — Saturday marks the 93rd National Day of Saudi Arabia, a day of pride and celebration for both its citizens and residents. Under the visionary leadership that prioritizes the well-being and prosperity of the people, this joyous occasion reflects upon the nation's remarkable journey toward a promising future.
As we commemorate this historic day, the Saudi Press Agency (SPA) takes us on a reflective journey through the life of a true statesman, King Abdulaziz bin Abdulrahman Al-Faisal Al Saud. On September 23, 1932, he achieved the monumental task of unifying the disparate tribes and scattered regions of the Arabian Peninsula, establishing the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. This Islamic state, with Riyadh as its capital, adopted the Holy Qur'an and the Prophet's Sunnah as its constitution.
King Abdulaziz's remarkable journey began in Riyadh in 1293 Hijri. At the tender age of seven, he began learning to read and write, and at ten, his father, Imam Abdulrahman Al-Faisal, gathered scholars and tutors to instill in him the fundamentals of Islam and equestrian skills. His upbringing was greatly influenced by his courageous father and wise mother, Princess Sarah Al-Sudairi. King Abdulaziz shared a close bond with his siblings, including his sister, Princess Noura.
Throughout his life, King Abdulaziz encountered numerous challenges that shaped his character and instilled in him qualities of patience, strength, and statesmanship. One of the most trying moments was his forced departure from Riyadh in 1308 Hijri when he and his family settled in various locations, including the Yabrin oasis, Bahrain, and Kuwait. Despite these hardships, his determination to reclaim Riyadh, a city with deep historical significance for his family, remained unwavering.
In his twenties, King Abdulaziz embarked on a journey back to Riyadh, leading an army. His arrival in Al-Shaqib district marked the beginning of a pivotal chapter. Following a brief but intense battle, he restored order, ushering in a period of political stability that laid the foundation for Riyadh's growth and prosperity.
In 1320 Hijri, the people and notables of Riyadh pledged allegiance to him as Emir of Najd and Imam of its people. This victory brought much-needed stability after years of turmoil, setting the stage for Riyadh's transformation.
King Abdulaziz's tireless efforts to unite the nation, restore security, and combat the chaos of the Arabian Peninsula culminated in him becoming the revered leader of a newly constructed nation, securing a respected place for it on the world stage.
On September 23, 1932, King Abdulaziz issued a royal decree, renaming the state from the Kingdom of Hejaz and Najd and its annexes as the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
With the nation-building process well underway, King Abdulaziz turned his attention to expanding the Two Holy Mosques to serve pilgrims and establishing schools, hospitals, villages, and irrigation systems to support agriculture. These ambitious endeavors required substantial funding.
In the fall of 1933, oil exploration efforts began, initially yielding no results. However, persistence paid off when oil was discovered 5,000 feet underground in the "Ain Jet" area in 1939. This discovery marked a turning point, opening the doors to major state projects.
King Abdulaziz's interest extended beyond domestic affairs; he maintained diplomatic relations with countries worldwide, prioritizing the Kingdom's independence while fostering relations irrespective of religious, cultural, or civilizational differences. His approach garnered admiration from world leaders and media alike.
In Muharram 1373 Hijri, King Abdulaziz fell seriously ill in Taif, and he passed away on November 9, 1953. He was laid to rest in Al-Oud Cemetery, Riyadh.
As he built his nation, King Abdulaziz's commitment to education was unwavering. He avidly read Arabic books on various sciences, printing and distributing them freely. He sought the counsel of his citizens, guided by Islamic principles, fostering cooperation between the ruler and the governed.
King Abdulaziz's righteous approach, continued by his sons, laid the groundwork for the Kingdom's remarkable development, characterized by collaboration between the leadership and the people.
In a historic gathering on Muharram 25, 1355 Hijri, King Abdulaziz emphasized his desire for close ties with the people, stating, "My door is always open to anyone who wants to talk."
Under his leadership, Saudi Arabia forged strong relationships with Arab and Muslim nations and engaged the international community with transparency and pragmatism.
King Abdulaziz's legacy was the culmination of a rich history. The First Saudi State, founded by Imam Mohammed bin Saud in 1139 Hijri, laid the foundation for the nation's development. The Second Saudi State, initiated by Turki bin Abdullah bin Mohammed bin Saud, continued this legacy for approximately 68 years.
However, the true turning point came on the fifth day of Shawwal, 1319 Hijri, when King Abdulaziz reclaimed Riyadh with valor, establishing a state grounded in the principles of the Holy Qur'an and Prophet Mohammad's Sunnah.
Subsequent leaders, including King Saud, King Faisal, King Khalid, King Fahd, and King Abdullah, each contributed to the nation's progress and development, with a focus on education, healthcare, industry, and economic growth.
Today, under the wise leadership of Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman, Saudi Arabia continues its journey of growth, development, and global influence. The Kingdom boasts a strong economy that ranks among the world's top 20.
As we celebrate Saudi Arabia's National Day, we reflect on the nation's remarkable accomplishments, secure in the knowledge that its legacy of progress and unity will continue to thrive under the leadership of King Salman. Saudi Arabia stands as a testament to what can be achieved with vision, determination, and the unwavering commitment to the welfare of its people.
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