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MENA UNREST:Next stop: The House of Saud

Discussion in 'International Forum' started by Ehud, Feb 22, 2011.

  1. Ehud

    Ehud JF-Expert Member

    #1
    Feb 22, 2011
    Joined: Feb 12, 2008
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    What Bahrain's Shi'ites can certainly accomplish is to inspire Shi'ites in Saudi Arabia in terms of a long fight for greater social, economic and religious equality. It's wishful thinking to bet on the House of Saud reforming itself - not while enjoying extraordinary oil wealth and maintaining a vast repression apparatus, more than enough to buy or intimidate any form of dissent.

    Yet there may be reasons to dream of Saudi Arabia following the winds of new Egypt. The average age of the House of Saud trio of ruling princes is 83. Of the country's indigenous population of 18.5 million, 47% is under 18. A medieval conception of Islam, as well as overwhelming corruption, is under increasing vigilance on YouTube, Facebook and Twitter.

    The middle class is shrinking. 40% of the population actually lives under the seal of poverty, has access to virtually no education, and is in fact unemployable (90% of all employees are "imported" Sunnis). Even crossing the causeway to Manama is enough to give people ideas.

    Once again, talk about an extraordinary uphill struggle - in a country with no political parties - or labor unions, or student organizations; with any sort of protests and strikes outlawed; and with members of the shura council appointed by the king.

    The Arab News newspaper anyway has already warned that those winds of freedom from northern Africa may hit Saudi Arabia. And it may all revolve around youth unemployment, at an unsustainable 40%. There's no question; the great 2011 Arab revolt will only fulfill its historic mission when it shakes the foundations of the House of Saud. Young Saudi Sunnis and Shi'ites, you have nothing to lose but your fear.

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