The national day of our beloved Kingdom is a precious occasion, in which we remember God's blessings on us. We see our holy land rise to new heights of development and provide a perfect model for development not only in its progress, but also with the civilized and human values in its developmental experience which enhances the sense of belonging to the homeland in all of us.
We evoke with pride, achievements and memories of the founder of our country, King Abdulaziz bin Abdulrahman Al Saud, may God have mercy on him, who reunited this country under the banner of "No God but Allah; Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah." We draw lessons from the life of a great leader where the history will stop in front of his great cultural achievement. If we need to review all his glories and heroisms, we will need much larger than this article.
In addition, this year witnessed full automation of all procedures in advance, student finds all the needs ready on arrival. KFUPM completed most of the arrangements prior to their arrival to avoid overcrowding and enable them to finish all procedures in a period not exceeding 40 minutes.
Then the nation was led by his righteous sons, who adhered to his principles and values, and they possessed awareness, wisdom and responsibility, which enable them continue the journey of construction, and achieve all that would flourish the nation and the welfare of the citizen.
Then we came to this glorious era of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud - God preserves him, who has made record levels of progress and achievements in all fields, while adhering to our high faith and preserving the authenticity of our society and its constants.
The celebration of the National Day this year is exceptional because we celebrate the many successes and victories that have been achieved. Our heroic soldiers continue to protect our southern borders and the intrigues of the spiteful have been crushed by the rigidity of our unity and strength. We are still thrilled by the extraordinary success of this year's Hajj, which exceeded all expectations.
The selection of His Royal Highness Prince Mohammed bin Salman as crown prince this year with his strategic vision, a serious desire in giving, sincere ambitious plans for the future, aware of its requirements and capable of its tools, will help to continue the growth and prosperity of our benevolent country.
Among the achievements were:
Saudi Vision 2030, led by His Highness the Crown Prince and approved by the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, represents the beginning of a new stage of development and modernization, and its importance stems from its strengths in our dear country, the most important of which is the Arab and Islamic depth, its huge investment capabilities and its geographical and strategic location.
The Kingdom stressed the rejection of terrorism in all its forms and manifestations, and urged the international community to confront it, in order to safeguard innocent people and preserve the sovereignty, security and stability of States.
The Kingdom has strengthened its position as a major regional power and has continued its good efforts to promote world peace, support humanitarian issues, strengthen the role of international organizations, abide by international treaties, conventions and charters, respect the principle of sovereignty and reject any attempt to interfere in internal affairs.
On the economic front, this glorious era has succeeded in stabilizing the pillars of a burgeoning economy that has proven its ability to meet the economic and financial challenges, fulfill our country's aspirations for comprehensive and balanced development, and deal with the changes that are taking place in most countries of the world under difficult economic conditions, represented by a slowdown in global economic growth and a drop in oil prices.
As our leadership convinced with the importance of education, this vital sector has received unprecedented support. This support has succeeded in the quantitative and qualitative upgrading of the educational institutions by raising its internal and external efficiency, increasing attention to its qualitative quality and expanding the specializations needed for development.
With this support, King Fahd University of Petroleum & Minerals (KFUPM) has made significant achievements that helped it to become a leading academic and research institution and to maintain a distinguished position among the universities of the region and internationally. The University has ensured that its strategic plans follow the Saudi Vision 2030. In this context, , KFUPM launched a series of initiatives and programs that enhance its participation to accomplish this vision by enhancing the competencies of its graduates with global skills, leadership in the fields of energy, environment and water, expanding the impact of innovation, entrepreneurship and nonprofit management.
Finally, I would like to emphasize that the National Day is a celebration of the glories of the past and of the achievements of the present, but it also urges us to work hard, make more sincere efforts, burden us with greater responsibility in the maintenance of these achievements, seek new achievements and to look forward to a brighter future. God willing.
In conclusion, I pray to Allah to preserve the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman Bin Abdulaziz and His Royal Highness Prince Mohammed bin Salman bin Abdulaziz, and to preserve our country's security, stability and prosperity under the wise leadership of our wise government.
Dr. Khalid bin Saleh Al Sultan
Rector of King Fahd University of Petroleum & Minerals