An act of kindness may loom no larger than a pebble in a pile of rocks, but its effect may ultimately change an entire world. It is interesting to reflect that such a pebble – cast by Kuwait a hundred years ago when it gave shelter to the Al-Saud family – was to be repaid by such a solid rock of support earlier this year.
This September celebrates the 59th Saudi National Day. This year of 1991 also marks the 100th anniversary of the expulsion of the Amir Abdulrahman Al-Saud and his family from Riyadh into exile in Kuwait. Among the exiles was the Amir’s ten-year old son, Abdul Aziz, who vowed that he would one day reclaim his family’s lands.
That he did so is both a matter of history and legend. His successful storming of Musmak Fort in 1902 with just a small band of like-minded warriors was to set Abdul Aziz on the path to glory, not only for himself but for what was to become a great Arab nation – Saudi Arabia.
In the years which followed, the young warrior mellowed into the great statesman. Under his guidance a programmed of restoration, consolidation and modernization, consolidation and modernization molded the formerly disparate territories into a united whole – culminating in a new nation, born in 1932, embracing most of the Arab Peninsula, with Riyadh as its capital.