Mishaal bin Majid
|Mishaal bin Majid|
|Mayor of Jeddah city|
|In office||1997 – present|
|Predecessor||Nazir Ibn Hasan Naseef |
|Spouse||Al Jawhara bint Khalid bin Musaid Al Saud|
|House||House of Saud|
|Father||Majid bin Abdulaziz|
|Mother||Nuf bint Abdallah Al Fahd Al Muhanna|
Early life and education
Prince Mishaal is full brother of Prince Abdulaziz and five sisters. One of his sisters, Jawaher bint Majed, is the first Saudi woman to have been granted the title of the patron of arts in Saudi Arabia. Mishaal bin Majid was educated entirely in Saudi Arabia and is a graduate of King Saud University with a degree in business and public administration.
Prior to becoming Jeddah governor in 1998, Mishaal bin Majid is reported to have spent 16 years in the private sector.
The Jeddah governor, a position less than the governor of a province but more than the governor of a typical town, works as a separate department under the Makkah Region governor and in close association with the ministry of interior. Frequently seen publicly around Jeddah attending openings, ceremonies and weddings, Prince Mishaal appears approachable and engaged.
Okaz's comments praising Mishal bin Majid for preserving traditional values and culture were notable given that he is the governor of the Kingdom's most liberal city, Jeddah, and send a message that King Abdullah still places a significance on continuity, stability, and control, even as he pursues incremental reforms.
Mishaal bin Majid has been a member of the Allegiance Council since 2007. He is president of the governing council of the Assembly and President of the Social Development Forum that attempts to address the role of voluntary social work and the implementation of initiatives aimed at promoting social development to attain a consolidated society in which individuals who have attained better living standards want to help others achieve the same goal and to establish the concept of individual empowerment through each person discovering their own capabilities and fulfilling their potential without reliance on others. The forum is organized every two years by the Society of Majid bin Abdulaziz for Development and Social Services, a non-profit social work organization, which in 2010 was honored by being named the leading non-profit organization in sustainable development. This award was presented during the 27th session of the Council of Ministers of Social Affairs in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC). He is also the board chairman of the Society of Majid bin Abdulaziz for Development and Social Services.
Invoking the Ottoman Turks' occupation of Yemen and Egypt, Mishaal bin Majid said the geography and people of Yemen are both formidable, "very tough." Saudi Arabia wants to help Yemen, not fight in it. The Yemenis are "good, hard-working people," but if things remain the same they would continue to fight, Mishaal predicted. Yemenis are not united; each tribe is different, and there are Sunnis and Zaidis. The then Yemeni President Abdullah Saleh was not doing well for him. The GCC, U.S., and Europe need to build up Yemen by investing in the economy, constructing schools, educating Yemenis, and providing technology. Asked how this might be done, Mishaal replied that an international reconstruction plan should be written for Yemen. Saudi Arabia will no longer write a blank check, as in the past. While Saudi Arabia can help with roads, and everyone should share in building Yemen, Yemen has the potential "to become a heaven or a hell." Mishaal insisted that "if we don't work hard, the Iranians will take full advantage, as they have in Somalia." Explaining his bleak assessment, Mishaal remarked, "I say what I feel. I'm not a diplomat."
King Abdullah began to curtail some privileges offered to Saudi royal family members, including cellphone service for "thousands of princes and princesses", year-round government-paid hotel suites in Jeddah and the right of royals to request unlimited free tickets from the state airline. Some of them were angered by these rules. Mishal bin Majid had taken to driving between Jeddah and Riyadh "to show his annoyance" at the reforms.
Prince Mishaal is married to Al Jawhara bint Khalid bin Musaid Al Saud and has four children: Muhdi, Mishail, Nuf and Khalid. He speaks fluent English more characteristic of a Saudi who has spent years in the U.S. He has traveled frequently to Florida and California as a tourist.
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