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Thursday, March 12, 2015

Rise of Sudairi Brothers

‘Sudairi Seven’ was powerful alliance of seven full brothers within the house of Saud, royal family of Saudi Arabia. Sudairi seven, seven sons of King Abdul Aziz and Hassa bint Ahmed al sudairi, are largest block of full brothers. Now they along with their sons and grandsons have become important power centre in Saudi royal family.  Sudairi seven included:-

1.       King Fahd,
2.       Prince Sultan ,
3.       Prince Abdur Rehman ,
4.       Prince Nayef,
5.       Prince Turkey,
6.       King Salman,  and
7.       Prince Ahmed.
Bandar bin Sultan house, has been sold to hedge fund billionaire

Polygamy and half siblings.
Polygamy is rampant among Middle Eastern royals. The major reason of marrying many women is to build alliances with other tribes. Assabiyya or group spirit is very strong in Arab tribes. Member of tribe is supported through thick and thin by the other members of clan. The whole tribe stands with the tribal chief. This makes the tribal chief a powerful and influential person in society. When any tribal chief marries daughter of other tribal chief, whole of his wife clan support him in his power struggle. This makes tribal society of Arab world most suited for monarchies.
Polygamy gives rise to many half siblings. The group cohesion among them is less as compared to full siblings. Sudiari seven are largest block of full brothers among sons of first king Abdul Aziz. Owing to their assabiyya they wielded powerful influence. King Faisal, who was not from seven sudairi brothers, relied heavily upon the sudairi brothers in his powerful struggle against king Saud, the second Saudi king. King Faisal continued to favour the sudairi brothers as his allies and appointed them in key posts.
Competence, assabiyya, number, interest in politics and wealth
Besides assabiyya and their number, their rise can be attributed to their intense focus on politics rather than business. Unlike their half brothers they tended to be interested in politics. After being appointed in important posts like interior minister, defense minister and governor of Riyadh, they acquired valuable experience. Their children has also acquired experience in dealing with the outside world for example prince Bandar bin sultan who is son of prince sultan has remained face of Saudi lobby in United States for many decades.
Their number is 7 while their sons and daughters can number in hundreds. For example the deceased Prince Sultan has thirty-two children by his multiple wives. Their vast wealth helps them in the political arena. Prince sultan distributed his 270 billion us dollars among his sons in order to shore up their political position. Hence their competence, assabiyya, number, interest in politics and huge wealth led them to be most powerful alliance within Saudi royal family.
Although sudairi brothers support each other against other princes, each attempts to form, with his sons, another power group.
Sudairi kings
 ‘Sudairi seven’ influence grew since the eldest of them rose to the position of Monarch. The king Fahd who ruled Saudi Arabia from 1982 to 2005 was one of the sudairi brothers and was the eldest of sudairi brothers. He led the sudairi faction in the initial years of their rise.

King Salman, the incumbent monarch, is also from sudairi seven. He became king after the death of king Abdullah. King Abdullah established the family council to reduce the suadiri’s influence but later on changed his mind in order to secure position for his own son. 

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