So yesterday it was announced that King Abdullah died here in Riyadh just shortly after midnight. I woke up Friday morning with several messages from friends back home informing me, and asking if things were ok. The event was not unexpected as earlier this month he was admitted to hospital with reported pneumonia and was placed on a ventilator. He was 90 years old when he passed. King Abdullah was much beloved by the people of Saudi Arabia. He was buried yesterday in Riyadh following a funeral prayer at Asr prayer time (the afternoon). In keeping with religious traditions he was swathed in white cloth and buried in an unmarked grave prior to the next sundown. Only males are allowed to visit the grave. Memorial services have also been planned in Riyadh over the next few days allowing for the public to attend and diplomats from the International community.
King Salman the former Crown Prince was sworn in as the new King yesterday after evening prayers. King Salman is himself in his late 70’s. He takes the throne at a time when Saudi Arabia is surrounded by tensions to the North in Iraq and the growing tensions to its southern border Yemen. Inshallah this transition will be a smooth one….