|Biographical detail : ||Saudi monarch.
Abdullah bin Abdul Aziz who ran the day-to-day affairs of the Saudi kingdom since Fahd, his brother, was incapacitated by stroke in 1995, was pronounced king after the death in 2005.
King Abdullah took over at a fortuitous time of high oil prices that have eased government financial strains. At the same time he trimmed princes’ allowances and asked questions about others on the royal payroll.
Abdullah, who regarded his kingly title as secondary to his religious one, chose an Islamic summit, in December 2005, to launch his first foreign policy initiative – a plan to revitalise the Organisation of the Islamic Conference and turn it into a vehicle for combating extremism and poverty throughout the Muslim world.
He began cautious social reforms, opening a university for women and allowing them a greater role in the workplace. To buy off discontent, King Abdullah poured oil revenue into jobs and housing, and persuaded clergy to help in a programme to “rehabilitate” young men attracted to violence in the name of Islam.
Abdullah who was brought up in the old way and was sent off to live with the Bedouin and learn rugged ways hankers after the simple life of desert. He had a popular image among Saudis as a straightforward, down-to-earth and pious man. Even though he rode a Rolls-Royce car yet he retained more of the old values than many of his contemporaries.