Virus kills crown prince’s vision, now Saudi Arabia’s future is in peril
An oil price war with the Russians and MBS’s reckless gambles have left their dreams and visions in tatters
Long before Mohammed bin Salman, or MBS, became Saudi Arabia’s crown prince, he was just another anonymous royal, one of several thousand.
As a young man, MBS had desperately tried to accrue as much wealth as possible. A shortcut to riches for many Gulf princes was real estate, and so MBS briefly flirted with property in the 2000s. At one point, he wanted to acquire a parcel of land from a businessman in Jeddah who was reluctant to sell. Instead, MBS went to the cleric in charge of the land registry and pressured him to sign the property over to him. The cleric refused on the basis that it would have been illegal to do so. Enraged, MBS sent him an envelope with two bullets in it.
The incident earned MBS a nickname: Abu Rasasa, or “father of the bullet”...