The billionaire prince

Prince Al-Waleed bin Talal bin Abdulaziz al-Saud is a man who wears many hats. One of the richest men in the world, he has recently been accused of being one of the financiers behind the planned Islamic center in downtown Manhattan by Fox News — which is owned by a company in which, ironically, he ...

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Prince Al-Waleed bin Talal bin Abdulaziz al-Saud is a man who wears many hats. One of the richest men in the world, he has recently been accused of being one of the financiers behind the planned Islamic center in downtown Manhattan by Fox News -- which is owned by a company in which, ironically, he is also a major stakeholder. Jon Stewart's Daily Show lampooned the incongruity of this earlier in the week, joking that the only way to stop Al-Waleed from funding the Islamic center was to stop watching Fox.

Given that the prince is the frequent subject of magazine profiles and even an authorized biography, it is strange that we seem know so little about him -- and get so much of it wrong. The following is a brief, irreverent, account of everything you need to know about Prince Al-Waleed.

Prince Al-Waleed bin Talal bin Abdulaziz al-Saud is a man who wears many hats. One of the richest men in the world, he has recently been accused of being one of the financiers behind the planned Islamic center in downtown Manhattan by Fox News — which is owned by a company in which, ironically, he is also a major stakeholder. Jon Stewart’s Daily Show lampooned the incongruity of this earlier in the week, joking that the only way to stop Al-Waleed from funding the Islamic center was to stop watching Fox.

Given that the prince is the frequent subject of magazine profiles and even an authorized biography, it is strange that we seem know so little about him — and get so much of it wrong. The following is a brief, irreverent, account of everything you need to know about Prince Al-Waleed.

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Simon Henderson is the Baker fellow and director of the Gulf and Energy Policy Program at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy.

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