King Faisal bin Abdul-Aziz Al Saud (1906 – March 25, 1975) (Arabic: فيصل بن عبدالعزيز آل سعود) ruled Saudi Arabia from 1964 to 1975. As king, he is credited with rescuing the country's finances and implementing a policy of modernization and reform, while his main foreign policy themes were pan-Islamism, anti-Communism, and pro-Palestinian nationalism.He successfully stabilized the kingdom's bureaucracy and his reign had significant popularity among Saudis. In 1975, he was assassinated by his nephew Faisal bin Musaid for unclear reasons
Contents [hide] 1 Lineage 2 Early life 3 Crown Prince and Prime Minister 4 Struggle with Saud 5 King of Saudi Arabia 5.1 Foreign relations 6 Assassination 7 Family 8 See also 9 References Lineage
Faisal was born in Riyadh. He was the third son of Saudi Arabia's founder, Ibn Saud. Faisal's mother was Tarfa bint Abduallah bin Abdulateef al Sheekh, whom Ibn Saud had married in 1902 after capturing Riyadh. She was a descendant of Muhammad bin Abdul-Wahhab, and her father was one of Ibn Saud's principal religious teachers and advisers. By the time of his father's death, Faisal was the second oldest surviving son.
As one of Abdul-Aziz's eldest sons, Faisal was delegated numerous responsibilities to consolidate control over Arabia. In 1925, Faisal, in command of an army of Saudi loyalists, won a decisive victory in the Hijaz. In return, he was made the governor of Hijaz the following year.
After the new Saudi kingdom was formalized in 1932, Faisal became Minister of Foreign Affairs, a position he continued to hold even as King. Faisal also commanded a section of the Saudi forces that took part in the brief Saudi-Yemeni War of 1934, successfully fighting off Yemeni claims over Saudi Arabia's southern provinces.
ARAMCO's development of Saudi oil after World War II quintupled revenue from $10.4 million in 1946 to $56.7 million in 1950.[7 (IN Todays money thats a couple of billions) As King Abdul-Aziz's health declined and his leadership became lax, Faisal comprehended the necessity for better management of the economy. In the summer of 1951, Abdul-Aziz enlarged the government bureaucracy to include many more members of the extended royal family. Faisal's son Abdullah was appointed Minister of Health and Interior.
Crown Prince and Prime Minister
Upon the accession of Faisal's elder brother, Saud, to the throne in 1953, Faisal was appointed Crown Prince. Saud, however, embarked on a lavish and ill-considered spending program that included the construction of a massive royal residence on the outskirts of the capital, Riyadh. He also faced pressure from neighboring Egypt, where Gamal Abdel Nasser had overthrown the monarchy in 1952. Nasser was able to cultivate a group of dissident princes led by Prince Talal who defected to Egypt (see Free Princes). Fearing that Saud's financial policies were bringing the state to the brink of collapse, and that his handling of foreign affairs was inept, senior members of the royal family and the religious leadership (the "ulema") pressured Saud into appointing Faisal to the position of prime minister in 1958, giving Faisal wide executive powers. In this new position, Faisal set about cutting spending dramatically in an effort to rescue the state treasury from bankruptcy. This policy of financial prudence was to become a hallmark of his era and earned him a reputation for thriftiness among the populace.
A power struggle ensued thereafter between Saud and Faisal, and on December 18, 1960, Faisal resigned as prime minister in protest, arguing that Saud was frustrating his financial reforms. Saud took back his executive powers and, having induced Talal to return from Egypt, appointed Talal as minister of finance. In 1962, however, Faisal rallied enough support within the royal family to install himself as prime minister for a second time.
It was during this period as head of the Saudi government, that Faisal, though still not king, established his reputation as a reforming and modernizing figure.He introduced education for women and girls despite the consternation of many conservatives in the religious establishment. To appease the objectors, however, he allowed the female educational curriculum to be written and overseen by members of the religious leadership, a policy which lasted long after Faisal's death. It was also during this time that Faisal formally abolished slavery.