It has often been observed that those with immense power cannot desist temptation for building eternal legacies. Let’s take the example of three kings who controlled powerful empires of their times. None of these could resist the temptation of building an eternal legacy.

The first on my list would be the pharaohs of Egypt who built the pyramids. The second would have to be Julius Caesar, who had named a month after his name. The third is Shah Jahan, the Mughal king of India who built the Taj Mahal. These were powerful rulers who left traces of their powerful empires for centuries to come. Then there is the fourth king.

Not much is known in the western world about this kingdom of the ancient world. It probably was the most powerful of all kingdoms throughout history. It was located in the South of Arabia between the borders of Yemen and Oman. Allah says, He never created a nation more powerful than the people of Aad. The name of the king was Shaddad bin Aad. He lived thousands of years before Prophet Isa (Jesus). It was he who built a city of pillars mentioned in the Quran, Eram. He is also known for building a paradise on earth.

All these kings mentioned above have one thing in common; fate did not deal kindly with them, although they were very powerful rulers. Pharaoh Ramses II drowned in the Red Sea. Julius Caesar was stabbed to death by his people. The Mughal king Shah Jahan was toppled and imprisoned by his son and denied the opportunity to live near his beloved Taj Mahal. Shaddad bin Aad died at the doorstep of his paradise, unable to enter to see and experience what he had built.

This makes you wonder whether those who attempt to build legacies are eccentric. And to be honest, I can think of quite a few eccentric rulers, who continue to be heads of their countries in the 21st century. However, one ruler is in a league of his own. That is Muhammad bin Salman, also known as MBS. He is the de facto ruler of Saudi Arabia. And yes, he is eccentric. And yes, he is building a paradise on earth. He is trying to build a legacy in the desert.

I know what you are thinking. You are probably thinking, MBS is not clever enough for this kind of project. Most probably you are thinking right. If you also think that he gets his instructions from somewhere else, the chances are you may be correct again. And what are his sources? Well, your guess is as good as mine. But, I’ll give you a hint. It is most likely those people who influenced the storyline of the film Elysium (2013). According to the dictionary Elysium;


  1. Greek Mythology The Elysian Fields.
  2. A place or condition of ideal happiness.

For readers who have not seen the film, a short synopsis; the rich elite abandons earth and move to Elysium, a space station orbiting the earth.

Surely, the resemblance with The Line City in Neom City, Saudi Arabia, is more than just a mere coincidence.

The resemblance goes much deeper. In MBS’s city, just like in Elysium, ordinary people will be prohibited from entering the utopian space. The Line City will be a heaven on earth for the rich.

Theoretically, it is a pretty good plan. But there is always one problem with such plans. The eccentric planners never seemed to learn from history. MBS is certainly not the type who you would expect to learn from history. He is too busy building his legacy. He is too busy following in the footsteps of Shaddad bin Aad. He is forgetting that those that try to shine twice as bright, last half as long.

One might say that building a lasting legacy comes at a cost, a very high cost. You need to have a special kind of ego along with ambition and ruthlessness to achieve your goals to establish a legacy. Building a lasting legacy is not for everyone. Shaddad bin Aad, Shah Jahan, Julius Caesar, and Alexander the Great did build lasting legacies but fate did not give them enough chance to appreciate or enjoy their legacies.

What about the fate of MBS? Will his fate be better than that of Shaddad bin Aad? Is MBS chasing a mirage in the desert? Will his fate allow him to enter and experience The Line City? Time will tell.


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By Khalid

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