Reform Slowly Stirring in Saudi Arabia

(Economist) - The reforms so far are patchy and halting. Government jitters over the looming war on Iraq, the apparent hostility of their long-time American ally, and the reactionary surge in xenophobia have stalled more overt efforts. Saudi Arabia is facing a barrage of problems, unprecedented in its history. While its population has doubled in 20 years to 23m, income from oil has remained flat, with no prospects for sustained growth. Unemployment among the young has mounted inexorably, even as the doctrinaire and heavily religious education system continues to leave graduates unprepared for the job market.

2003-01-13 00:00:00

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