Prince Abdul Aziz bin Salman, Saudi Arabia’s new energy minister

Prince Abdul Aziz bin Salman
Updated 09 September 2019

Prince Abdul Aziz bin Salman, Saudi Arabia’s new energy minister

Prince Abdul Aziz bin Salman was appointed energy minister by royal decree on Sunday, replacing Khalid Al-Falih, who had held the post since May 2016. 

Prince Abdul Aziz had served as minister of state for energy affairs at the Ministry of Energy, Industry and Mineral Resources since 2017.

He had also served as deputy minister of petroleum and mineral resources since 2015, and was an assistant to the minister from 2004 to 2015, undersecretary at the ministry from 1995 to 2004, and adviser to the minister from 1987 to 1995.

Prince Abdul Aziz served as director of the department of economic and industrial studies at King Fahd University of Petroleum and Minerals from 1985 to 1987.

He headed the team formed by the Ministry of Petroleum and Mineral Resources and Saudi Aramco to prepare the Kingdom’s oil strategy, as well as the team charged with updating the strategy.

He also played a role in putting forth the first strategy endorsed by the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) at its ministerial conference in 2005, when he chaired the committee of OPEC oil and energy ministers to prepare its long-term strategy.

Prince Abdul Aziz is a member of the High Committee for Hydrocarbons, the board of directors of King Abdul Aziz City for Science and Technology, and the board of directors of King Abdullah City for Atomic and Renewable Energy.

He attained his bachelor’s degree in industrial management from King Fahd University of Petroleum and Minerals in Dhahran in 1982, and his MBA from the same university in 1985.


Laughter wins out on Riyadh’s ‘beautiful night for comedy’

Updated 14 sec ago

Laughter wins out on Riyadh’s ‘beautiful night for comedy’

  • Eddie Griffin says he had loved performing in the Kingdom

RIYADH: The Riyadh Comedy Nights festival ended amid laughter and a standing ovation as US actor and comedian Eddie Griffin signed off on his first visit to Saudi Arabia with a signature performance that took gentle aim at subjects ranging from the Kingdom’s wealth to recent social changes.

The final night of the six-day festival, held at the Bakir Al-Sheddi stage on Riyadh Boulevard on Saturday, featured local comedians, an improv group and a main performance by Griffin, who had the audience on its feet with his lighthearted observations on Saudi culture and life in the Kingdom.

Host Shakir Al-Shareef, best known for his special on Comedy Central, kicked off the show with a 15-minute warmup set during which he recalled his childhood in Saudi Arabia in the 1980s and showcased his signature self-deprecating humor.

“I look like Shaquille O’Neal, but I’m the size of his shoe,” he joked.
Al-Shareef was followed by, in his own words, “the rudest nice person I’ve ever met,” Saudi comedienne Lama Alfard. Alfard, the first Saudi female stand-up comic and a member of the Stand Up Comedy Tour, voiced her delight at performing in her hometown.

She poked fun at her social anxiety, struggles with weight loss and the way that Vision 2030 was making her parents “cooler.”
“My parents are actually proud now that I’m a comedian. When I enter the room, they say hi to me,” she joked.

HIGHLIGHT

The biggest laugh of the night came from a piece of dark humor, when the sound of fireworks on the boulevard appeared to startle Eddie Griffin.

She also delivered an hilarious impression of meeting her nutritionist, telling people she was going to give up trying to lose weight.

“I’m a comedian, the fatter the funnier. I’ll be fine,” she said to loud applause.

Following Alfard was the Improv Team from Dhahran, who engaged the audience in improv games before the main event.

Eddie Griffin arrived on stage to wild applause and his jokes, poking gentle fun at Saudi culture, soon had the audience laughing.

The US comic joked about the apparent wealth he had seen in the Kingdom, saying that “even the brokest Saudi got a Mercedes. Y’all got some money.”

I’m a comedian, the fatter the funnier. I’ll be fine.

Lama Alfard, Saudi comedienne

He also made lighthearted fun of recent changes in Saudi society, especially in the area of women’s rights. “It’s beautiful to see the ladies tonight ... and that’s all I’m gonna say,” he said amid laughter from the crowd.

However, the biggest laugh of the night came from a piece of dark humor, when the sound of fireworks on the boulevard appeared to startle him. Pretending to run away, Griffin said that the sound was giving him “flashbacks.” Backstage, the comedian told Arab News that he had loved performing in the Kingdom.

“I feel great about coming to Saudi Arabia. This was wonderful, a beautiful night for comedy, and I hope I can come back and do it all again,” he said.

Alfard told Arab News that she had been performing comedy since 2011 and was happy to finally be able to perform in her hometown.
“I felt alive, I was so happy to go back on stage. The audience was great, and I hope I can do more. I also hope I can encourage other girls to go onstage as well. I’m here if anyone needs help,” she said. Al-Shareef had a few words of advice for Saudis who wanted to follow him into comedy as well.
“Stop listening to your mother and follow your dreams,” he said.