Faisal of Saudi Arabia

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King Faisal

King Faysal bin Abdelaziz Al Saud (1906March 25, 1975) was King of Saudi Arabia from 1964 to 1975.

Faisal was born in Riyadh, the fourth son of Ibn Saud. In 1925, Faisal, in command of an army of Saudi loyalists, won a decisive victory in the Hijaz. In return, he was made the Governor of Hijaz the following year. After the new Saudi kingdom was formalized, Faisal received the post of Minister of Foreign Affairs in 1932.

After the United Nations partition of Palestine, Faisal called on his father to break relations with the United States, but he was overruled. When Saud's health failed, Faisal was appointed regent, assuming office on March 4, 1964. On November 2 of that year, he became king after his brother Saud was deposed and left for Greece.

Faisal introduced reforms such as girl's schools and television, but these reforms were opposed by many Saudis, including members of the royal family, as both were seen to be against Islam. He was devastated when Israel won the 1967 Six-Day War and he purportedly never smiled again.

In 1973, Faisal began a program intended to increase the military power of Saudi Arabia. On October 17, he withdrew Saudi oil from world markets, quadrupling the price. Faisal's action was the primary force behind the 1973 energy crisis. In 1974 he was named Time magazine's Man of the Year.


On March 25, 1975, Faisal was shot and killed by his nephew, Faisal bin Musad, for reasons still not totally clear. It has been speculated that he wanted to avenge his elder brother Khalid, who died in a clash with security forces in 1965. Although there have been some conspiracy theories, an investigation found that Prince Faisal bin Musad supposedly acted alone.

Prince Musad was with a Kuwaiti delegation who were waiting to meet the king. King Faisal had bent forward to greet him, but the Prince was reported to have pulled out a pistol and shot King Faisal three times in the face.

Prince Faisal Ibn Musad was captured directly after the attack and Prince Musad was declared officially insane. He was later found guilty of regicide and in June 1975 he was beheaded in the public square in Riyadh.

Faisal was succeeded by his brother Khalid.

The city of Lyallpur in Pakistan was renamed Faisalabad in 1979 in his honor. The Faisal Mosque in Islamabad, Pakistan is named after him as well. The Main Highway in Karachi was renamed Shahrah-e-Faisal; a residential area close to Karachi Airport was renamed Shah Faisal Colony.

Preceded by:
King Saud
Kings of Saudi Arabia
Heads of the House of Saud

Succeeded by:
King Khalid

Template:End boxar:فيصل بن عبدالعزيز آل سعود de:Faisal ibn Abd al-Aziz gl:Faysal bin Abdelaziz Al Saud - فيصل بن عبدالعزيز آل سعود he:פייצל מלך ערב הסעודית


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