It has been almost one year since he was appointed Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia, and what a year it has been. Mohammed bin Salman, who was announced as the next in line to his father’s throne on the 26th day of Ramadan last year, has overseen many changes during his tenure, such as the upcoming end of the ban on female drivers in the Kingdom. Add to that the lifting of a long-standing ban on public cinemas and the opening of sporting stadiums to women, and the country has seen vast reforms under the royal’s ambitious Vision 2030 plan in recent months. To celebrate, we’ve rounded up some of his most powerful soundbites ahead of the official anniversary of his promotion on June 21.
On a woman’s dress
“The laws are very clear and stipulated in the laws of Sharia: that women wear decent, respectful clothing, like men,” Mohammed bin Salman told CBS this year. “This, however, does not particularly specify a black abaya or a black head cover. The decision is entirely left for women to decide what type of decent and respectful attire she chooses to wear.”
On Islam in Saudi Arabia
“We want to go back to what we were: moderate Islam. Saudi Arabia was not like this before 1979,” the royal added in the same CBS interview. “We want to go back to what we were, the moderate Islam that’s open to all religions. We want to live a normal life… Coexist and contribute to the world.”
On the guardianship law
“Before 1979 there were societal guardianship customs but no guardianship laws in Saudi Arabia,” the Crown Prince told The Atlantic in 2018. “It doesn’t go back to the time of the Prophet Muhammad. In the 1960’s women didn’t travel with male guardians. But it happens now, and we want to move on it and figure out a way to treat this that doesn’t harm families and doesn’t harm the culture.”
“I support Saudi Arabia, and half of Saudi Arabia is women. So I support women,” he added to The Atlantic.
On Saudi’s future
“We try to work only with the dreamers,” Crown Prince Mohammed told investors last year while announcing a new mega-city, according to CNN. “This place is not for conventional people or companies.”
On the changing face of women’s rights
“I just want to remind the world that American women had to wait long to get their right to vote. So we need time. We have taken many steps,” the royal told Bloomberg. “In King Salman’s time, women were able to vote for the first time and 20 women won in these elections. Women can now work in any sector. In business and commerce, as a lawyer, in the political field and in all sectors. Women can carry out any jobs they want. What is left is that we support women for the future and I don’t think there are obstacles we can’t overcome.”
On his dreams
“My dream as a young man in Saudi Arabia, and the dreams of men in Saudi Arabia are so many, and I try to compete with them and their dreams, and they compete with mine, to create a better Saudi Arabia,” he told The Economist in 2016.
On why he’s in a hurry
“I fear that the day I die, I am going to die without accomplishing what I have in my mind,” MBS told the New York Times. “Life is too short, and a lot of things can happen, and I am really keen to see it with my own eyes – and that is why I am in a hurry.”