09:29 GMT11 April 2021
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    Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman has been photographed while visiting the Great Mosque in Mecca, the site of pilgrimage for the Hajj, which every Muslim is required to perform at least once in their lifetime.

    Mohammed bin Salman walked around the roof of the Kaaba, often called the House of Allah, a cube-shaped building at the centre of the Great Mosque in Mecca, one of the holiest cities for Muslims.

    READ MORE: Crown Prince Salman's English Teacher Reveals What MBS Was Like as a Child

    As the son of Saudi King Salman, whose formal title is the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques (in Mecca and Medina), the crown prince was there to inspect the construction work underway to renovate and expand the gigantic complex surrounding the Kaaba.

    Prince Salman’s visit to the holy site has, however, frustrated some social media users:

    One netizen shared a piece of advice to the crown prince, suggesting he should stick to Niccolo Machiavelli’s characterisation of a prince:

    Mohammed bin Salman, sometimes referred to as MBS, is widely known as a proponent of liberal reforms in the kingdom: he presented his own vision of the country’s future in the project called Vision 2030. It envisages opportunities for everyone to have access to education, high quality services, health, housing, jobs and entertainment.

    Over the past year, Saudi Arabia hosted a series of concerts, including female-only and mixed gender, a pop culture festival Comic Con, lifted a ban on women driving cars, opened its first cinema, putting an end to a nearly 40-year ban on movie theatres, etc.

    Last year, the crown prince found himself at the epicentre of global attention after Jamal Khashoggi, a Washington Post journalist of Saudi descent, was killed in the Saudi Consulate General in Istanbul, Turkey.

    Responding to speculations linking Prince Salman to the killing of the journalist, Riyadh vehemently denied the royal family’s involvement in the tragic incident, stressing that it was a “rogue operation”, and launched an investigation into the murder.

    shrine, holy site, pilgrimage, Hajj, mosque, Mohammed bin Salman, Mecca, Saudi Arabia
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