By Katie Baker
Since taking the throne in 2005, Saudi Arabia's King Adullah bin Abdel Aziz al-Saud has tried to lift his ultraconservative country from the dark ages. He's given the go-ahead to modernize schools, has appointed women to high office, and invested in science and technology education and nuclear power initiatives. He's also proven a stalwart ally against Islamic extremism, delivering a much-applauded speech in Mecca that called on Muslims to embrace "the spirit of tolerance, moderation, and balance." At 86 years old, the monarch's window for change may be short, but he's still going strong.