The Saudi de-facto power, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, aka MBS, has been featured in the annual list of top ‘100 Global Thinkers’ in Foreign Policy magazine.
In their 2019’s edition of the list, Foreign Policy chose MBS to be one of the 100 Global Thinkers in “40 & Under” category, beside North Korea’s leader Kim Jong Un, the US Congresswoman Alexandra Ocasio-Cortez and many others.
The list focuses on the "thinkers" who had an impact the world during the 12-month period, some names are to honor and other influencers are to 'shine a light on their doings in a world full of wars and economic crisis.'
Meanwhile, the magazine’s choice of MBS to be among the “thinkers” was surprising for many, considering 2018 was not the best year for him or for Saudi Arabia. He faced an international backlash for his government’s policies, activists arrests, escalating war on Yemen and it ended with the brutal murder of the Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi in his country’s consulate in Istanbul.
But seems that all of this did not prevent Foreign Policy from considering him as a “thinker” and “influencer” in the international scene.
The magazine wrote in their list that although MBS’ shine “have dulled” in 2018, yet his power has only grown.
Foreign Policy has highlighted the strongman’s ability to stand up in the face of the international backlashes against him, and the fact that he continued to “boldly stake his country’s future” on ending the Kingdom's dependence on oil and reshaping the Middle East for generations.
Yet, Foreign Policy’s choice of MBS as a “global thinker”, overlooking his policies and arbitrary detaining activists, torturing them, and for some, killing them.
Some Saudis applauded Foreign Policy and their leader for making his way to the list. Saudi media also reported the news.
Translation: “Famous American Magazine, Foreign Policy, chose his highness Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman among its list of 100 Global Thinkers”.
Saudi Arabia had a busy year in 2018. The Crown Prince had started the year with announcing lifting the ban on Saudi woman, in a step to secure his image in the global scene as the “reformist”. However, this did not last too long, when in May 2018, the Saudi government launched a massive crackdown detaining women rights activists and religious clerics who indirectly voiced criticism against some of the government’s policies. In October, the Saudi prince placed himself in trouble for suspension of involvement in Jamal Khashoggi’s murder.
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