Saudi Arabia: Passing Nightmare?

As the identity of Saudi Arabia is violently debated both domestically and internationally, the authorities watch nervously. They have tightened controls at home while not committing themselves publicly to reform. Perhaps they are waiting for the nightmare to pass.

The World Today Published 1 January 2002 Updated 23 October 2020 4 minute READ

Mai Yamani

Associate Fellow, Middle East Programme, Chatham House

Saudi Arabia has cultivated an image of traditional stability, benevolence, and almost mystical communal harmony. Suddenly deep levels of tension have been exposed. The world has become aware of stresses and potentially dangerous hostility and dissent. These disclosures have provoked a wave of speculation about Saudi society, some of it informed but much of it idiotic.

All is well

The Saudi royal family has come under intense pressure to respond to the expectations of the United States, their long term friend and supporter, while at the same time managing the increasingly complex demands of a young, volatile and unpredictable population.

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