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Prince Al-Waleed bin Talal bin Abdulaziz al Saud
Prince Al-Waleed bin Talal bin Abdulaziz al Saud (born 1955) is a Saudi businessman, investor and philantropist. He is a member of the Saudi royal family, being a grandson of Ibn Saud, the first Saudi king.
Al-Waleed is chiefly known as the founder, CEO and 95% owner of the Kingdom Holding Company.
In November 2017, his estimated net worth was $18.7 billion. That same month, he and many other prominent Saudis were arrested in a purge characterized by the Saudi government as an anti-corruption drive. He was released form detention in January 2018, following an undisclosed financial settlement. By March, he was no longer present on the World’s Billionairs List.
Short facts about Prince Al-Waleed
Name: Prince Al-Waleed bin Talal bin Abdulaziz al Saud
Born: 7 March, 1955 in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
Residence: Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
Nationality: Saudi Arabian
Alma mater: Menlo College i California, USA; Syracuse University in New York State, USA
Spouses: Dalal bint Saud bin Abdulaziz (divorced); Eman bint Naser bin Abdullah al Sudairi (divorced); Ameera al-Taweel (divorced)
Much of Al-Waleeds philantropy is focused on the field of education and initiatives to bridge the gap between Islamic and Western communities. He has funded centers for Islamic studies at Western universities, and centers for United States studies at universities in the Middle East.
In 2015, Al-Waleed announced his intention to donate $32 billion to philanthrophic causes, particularly humanitarian projects such as the empowerment of women and youth, disaster relief, disease eradication, and the building bridges of understanding between cultures.
Examples of educational centres and programs supported by Al-Waleed:
- At the Georgetown University (US): Prince Alwaleed bin Talal Center for Muslim-Christian Understanding (ACMCU)
- At Harvard University (US): Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal Islamic Studies Program
- At the University of Cambridge (UK): Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal Centre of Islamic Studies
- At the University of Edinburgh (UK): HRH Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal Centre for the Study of Islam in the Contemporary World
- At The American University in Cairo (EGY): Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal Bin Abdul Aziz Alsaud Center for American Studies and Research (CASAR)
- At The American University in Beirut (LBN): Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal Bin Abdulaziz Alsaud Center for American Studies and Research
The Giving Pledge
Prince Al-Waleed has signed The Giving Pledge and promised to donate at least 50% of this wealth to philanthropy.
Examples of causes and projects supported by Al-Waleed
- After the terrorist attacks carried out on September 11, 2001, al-Waleed donated $10 million to New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani to help New York City. Giuliani returned the check, because he didn’t approve of Al-Waleeds comment on the situation. (Al-Waleed had released a written statement saying that: “At times like this, we must address some of the issues that led to such a criminal attack. I believe the government of the United States of America should re-examine its policies in the Middle East and adopt a more balanced stance toward the Palestinian cause.”)
- Al-Waleed has endowed the Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal Bin Abdulaziz Alsaud Center for American Studies and Research (CASAR). There is one centre at The American University in Cairo, Egypt and another one at The American University in Beirut, Libanon.
- In 2002, Al-Waleed donated $500,000 to the George Herbert Walker Bush scholarship at Phillips Academy in Andover, Massachusetts, USA.
- During a telethon arranged by the Saudi King Fahd, Al-Waleed donated £18.5 million to help Palestinian families.
- In 2004, Al-Waleed donated $17 mllion to help victims of the 2004 Indian Ocean earthquake and tsunami.
- In 2005, Al-Waleed donated $20 million to Georgetown University for the creation of the Prince Alwaleed bin Talal Center for Muslim-Christian Understanding (ACMCU) in the university’s School of Foreign Service.
- In 2008, Al-Waleed donated £16 million to Edinburgh University for the creation of a centre for th study of Islam in the contemporary world.
- Al-Waleed has endowed The Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal Abdulaziz Alsaud Institute for Computational Biomedicin at Weill Cornell Medical College in New York City.
- Al-Waleed financed the training of Hanadi Zakaria a-Hindi, the first female Saudi commercial airline pilot. At her graduation, Al-Waleed expressed his full support of Saudi women working in all fields.