A Blog by the Editor of The Middle East Journal

Putting Middle Eastern Events in Cultural and Historical Context

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Oh, Yes, He's Back

As previously anticipated, Saudi Crown Prince Sultan bin ‘Abd al-‘Aziz, Heir Apparent, First Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Defense and Aviation, Inspector General of the Armed Forces, and all his other "solemnly etceterated" (as was said of Elizabeth I) titles, did indeed return to the Kingdom on Friday last. Sultan's reputation has never been squeaky clean, but the Saudi press assures us (and who can doubt them?) that he was welcomed with enormous joy, jubilation, and enormous relief at his continued survival and recovery from his illness. The Kingdom has somehow survived without him for nearly a year, when he was in New York and Agadir (Morocco), where he happens to have a nice palace as a local pied-à-terre which doesn't have all the Kingdom's strictures, after surgery for what is widely understood to be stomach or intestinal cancer though it has never been formally defined, as far as I know. He's in his early 80s; I rather doubt that file photo is recent, or else he spends a lot on Grecian Formula. (But he can afford it.) Welcome home, Crown Prince.

Sultan may not be the most popular senior prince, but the presumed next in line, Prince Nayif, is the hardline Interior Minister, so the reported jubilation at Sultan's return may not be (at least entirely) artificial.

1 comment:

LJ Marczak said...

Saudi press has been showing him hard at work.

Visits to wounded servicemen.

A meeting with the King of Bahrain in Riyadh.

On the 13th AlRiyadh published a biographical piece "Who is this man?" It set forth the accomplishments of an unidentified man from the beginning of his career in the 50's when as the newspaper described Saudi Arabia faced the de-stabilizing threats of Arab nationalism. Then in the last paragraph it identifies the man as the Crown Prince.