Noura bint Abdul Rahman Al Saud
Noura's father Emir Abdul Rahman bin Faisal (left/up) and one of her brothers, King Abdulaziz bin Abdul Rahman (right/bottom)
Noura was born in Riyadh in 1875.
She was the eldest daughter of Abdul Rahman bin Faisal bin Turki and elder sister of Abdulaziz bin Abdul Rahman, who would found the modern Saudi Arabia and rule as its first king.
Noura's full siblings included Faisal, Abdulaziz, Bazza, Haya and Saad
Noura learned to read and write from her early years which was a very rare quality for an Arab girl at that period of time in the country.
Relations and activities
King Abdulaziz and Noura were very close to each other.
It is well known that on several occasions, King Abdulaziz identified himself in public by proclaiming “I am the brother of Noura.” Mohammad bin Abdul Rahman
, another of her younger brothers, also used to say the same.
Noura was reported to have the “minds of 40 men” and great wisdom.
She encouraged her brother to regain the leadership of the country when the family was in exile in Kuwait
Additionally, she was one of the few women of her period who learned to read and write.
Her charismatic personality and strong political ideas led to King Abdulaziz's paying attention to her opinion about many crucial issues.
Eventually, she became one of his main advisors
and even took his place in running the state when he was unable to do so. She was also known to be quite progressive and outspoken. For instance, when the telephone was first introduced to the country, many Islamic clerics rejected it and considered it to be a tool of the devil, but she actively supported its use and argued that it was an amazing device that they would not be able to live without.
She also played an important role in teaching her nephews and nieces the system of social norms. It is reported that whenever one of them misbehaved as a child, the King would send him to their aunt for discipline.
In addition, Noura was a pioneer in charity activities and the founder of the first charity program for the poor and orphans in the country.
Dame Violet Dickson
, a Briton, met Noura in 1937 and stated that she was the most charismatic and important personality in the Arabian Peninsula
at that period. Princess Alice
, a British royal, who visited Saudi Arabia in 1938, also met Noura and described her as follows: "Noura, is about sixty and said to be his [King Abdulaziz's] chief adviser, a fine, handsome woman."
Noura's husband, Saud Al Kabir
In 1903, the Al Kabir branch began to question Abdulaziz's right to rule and took refuge from their mothers' tribe, Ajman
Later Abdulaziz pardoned Saud, the most powerful surviving Al Kabir family member.
Saud Al Kabir then married Noura.
In other words, Saud Al Kabir's loyalty to Abdulaziz was secured as a result of his marriage to Noura bint Abdul Rahman.
Since then, the Al Kabir branch has become influential, but they have been mostly kept away from political power.
On the other hand, Saud Al Kabir served as the governor of Al-Qassim Province
following the foundation of Saudi Arabia in 1932.
Noura and her husband had two daughters, Hessa and Al Jawhara, followed by a son, Mohammed
. Prince Mohammed was a senior and respected prince due to his powerful tribal
knowledge and connections.
Princess Al Jawhara was the third spouse of Noura's nephew King Faisal
Noura's grandchildren include the billionaire Sultan bin Mohammad Al Kabir
and Princess Mashael, daughter of King Faisal and Al Jawhara.
Noura's family lived in Sharia Palace, Al Kharj
Following the establishment of the Kingdom the family moved to the newly built Al Shamsiah Palace, outside Riyadh,
which is in the Al Murabba neighborhood.
Noura died in July 1950 at the age of 75, a few years before King Abdulaziz.
She was buried in Al Oud cemetery
King Abdulaziz was buried in the same cemetery next to her in 1953.
Princess Noura University
was named in 2008 by King Abdullah
in her memory.
The university is considered to be one of the largest universities of its type and can accommodate 50,000 female students. The university reflected King Abdullah's appreciation for his aunt Noura bint Abdul Rahman.
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Last edited on 13 May 2021, at 18:36
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