On behalf of Crown Prince Abdullah Bin Abdul Aziz, Deputy Prime Minister and Commander of the National Guard, Prince Sultan Bin Abdul Aziz, Second Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Defense and Aviation, last night patronized the closing ceremony of the King Faisal Foundation's celebrations on the occasion of its 20th anniversary.
Director-General of the Foundation and Governor of Asir Province Prince Khaled Al-Faisal, in a welcoming speech to Prince Sultan and the other guests, thanked Chairman of the Board of Directors Prince Turki Al-Faisal for the excellent arrangements he had made for the twentieth anniversary of the reputed foundation, which is named after the martyr who devoted his life in the service of Islam and the Muslims, and which serves humanity and the cultural activities of all mankind. Prince Khaled reported that the starting capital of SR 8 million (US $ 2.2 million) donated by the heirs of the late King Faisal has now grown to SR 1.3 billion (US $ 350 million), adding that the charitable expenditure of the foundation has reached SR 710 million (US $ 189 million). Prince Khaled then thanked the personnel of the foundation and all those who had donated to the welfare projects sponsored by the foundation.
Prince Sultan, welcoming the attendees, expressed his pride and pleasure at patronizing the occasion, and, echoing the praise already given to the good deeds of the late King Faisal, recounted two personal anecdotes that reflect the high respect in which he was held by the world's leaders. The first was that during a visit to India in 1960, the renowned leader Jawaharlal Nehru confided to Prince Sultan, then Minister of Communications, that everything would go well if the Kingdom rallied behind two important things: the Kaabah, representing Islam; and Faisal, as a sincere leader and reputed statesman known for being fair and gentlemanly. The second was that shortly before King Faisal's death, Prince Sultan met a blind camel herder who, not knowing whom he was addressing, stated that when he spent four months with his daughter and her husband, he would leave his 400 camels in King Faisal's care, since he had no relative to do so.
Prince Sultan, in a press statement afterwards, praised the pioneering role undertaken by the King Faisal Foundation, and referred to what had been said by those attending the functions of the celebration as material evidence of the great services rendered by the foundation over the last twenty years.