MBS: The Controversial Saudi Prince

By Sofia Rojas, 9th Grade

Mohammed Bin Salman, the crown prince of Saudi Arabia, has led the country for five years. Previously, he was seen as the “savior” and modernizer of the peninsula. However, that image was quickly shut down after the murder of new york times writer Jamal Khashoggi. 

Mohammed Bin Salman Abdulaziz Al Saud also known as MBS was born on August 31st, 1985  in the city of Yeda. Since 2017, he has been the head of state since King Salman Bin Abudaliziz was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s. His political career started with an image of modernization for Saudi Arabia. Lifting the driving ban on women, decreasing Saudis’ dependency on oil, legalizing cinemas and concerts, promoting hip-hop culture, and liberating many political offenders marked MBS as a different leader for Saudi Arabia. Nevertheless, MBS has already created a dictatorial reputation for itself. In 2017, MBS rounded up hundreds of members of his own family and imprisoned them in the Riyads-Ritz hotel with informal and unevidenced charges of corruption. A year later, Mohammed was responsible for the death of prominent Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi. 

Khashoggi was first seen in the Saudi consulate in Istanbul on September 28, 2018. He was then cited to come back on the 2nd of October to pick up and arrange his divorce papers. After that visit, Khashoggi was not seen. For more than two weeks, Saudi Arabia consistently denied knowing about Jamal or his “fate”. Prince Mohammed even went as far as telling the newspaper Bloomberg that he had “nothing to hide”. But a change of thinking occurred on the 20th of October when the Saudi government gave a preliminary claiming that the journalist died during a “fight” when officials tried to return him to Saudi Arabia. However, a month later Saudi Arabia’s deputy prosecutor Shalaan-al Shalan said the murder was ordered by a team sent to Istanbul by the Saudi deputy Intelligence chief. 

Except, Khashoggi’s murder is not the worse thing done by the new Saudi government. Forcing the resignation of Lebanon’s prime minister, imprisoning women’s rights activists, and a surging wave of government executions have all marked the 5-year reign of Mohammed. According to the newspaper Al Jazeera “In the eight months after he was appointed crown prince, 133 people were executed.” Monthly 16 people are executed, which marks 2018 as one of the deadliest years for Saudi Arabia. Overall, MBS is not a reformer and neither does he look to be. While in the diplomatic eye he supports all these great ideals in the local eye citizens fear their government and decay necessities because of it.


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