Faisal (Dictionary of World Biography: Twentieth Century)
Article abstract: Faisal, as crown prince and eventually King of Saudi Arabia, led his country to its status as a world power through his participation in the Arab oil embargo and the formation of the United Arab Emirates and OPEC. He also advanced many domestic reforms.
Faisal ibn Abdul Aziz was the third son of the founder of the modern Saudi state, Ibn Saūd. His mother was Tarfa, a descendant of the founder of the Wahhābi sect. Faisal was reared in the home of his maternal grandmother as a devout Muslim. He learned to recite from the Koran by age ten. His father made it clear that in addition to book learning, he wanted his son to learn the ways of the Bedouin. Faisal was trained to ride horseback, walk barefoot, eat modestly, and rise two hours before dawn. His personal life was unpretentious, even ascetic according to many who knew him. He prayed five times a day, as is customary among devout Muslims, and avoided smoking, drinking, and gambling. Faisal was known to possess an inner puritanism and great integrity. Known as a hard worker, he attended to business of state on a rigorous schedule.
Faisal studied Western technology and politics and spoke fluent English and French. Most of his own children (seven of eight) studied at the Hun School in Princeton, New Jersey, and then went on to colleges in the United States or the United Kingdom. Faisal became known in the 1930’s as a poet whose...
(The entire section is 2762 words.)
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