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Has Reform Stalled in Saudi Arabia?

Chatham House, London


Robert Lacey, author, Inside the Kingdom: Kings, Clerics, Modernists, Terrorists and the Struggle for Saudi Arabia
Discussant: Dr Mai Yamani, author, Cradle of Islam: The Hijaz and the Quest for an Arabian Identity.
Chair: Professor Madawi Al-Rasheed, Professor of Social Anthropology, Kings College London.


Saudis were due to vote in municipal elections in October 2009 when, it was promised, women would be able to participate. However, in May the Saudi government postponed the ballot for two more years. The speakers will question how sincere Riyadh is in its professed desire for reform and modernization, considering the rise of Islamic extremism and King Abdullah's recent efforts to change direction.