New Book Portends Crisis, Possible Revolt in Saudi Arabia

(Al Monitor) Bruce Riedel - A timely new book, On Saudi Arabia: Its People, Past, Religion, Fault Lines and Future by Karen Elliot House, presents an ominous picture of a country seething with internal tensions and anger. 60% of Saudis are 20 or younger, most of whom have no hope of a job. 70% of Saudis cannot afford to own a home. 40% live below the poverty line. The royals, 25,000 princes and princesses, own most of the valuable land and benefit from a system that gives each a stipend and some a fortune. 8.5 million foreign workers make the kingdom work. The Saudi state will soon face an unprecedented succession challenge. Since the death of ibn Saud in 1953, succession has moved only among his sons. Now they are all old, ill and few in number. Soon the kingdom will have to pick a grandson of ibn Saud and there is no agreed formula for how to do so other than that the last of the current line will choose from his own sons. Revolution in Saudi Arabia is no longer unthinkable.

2012-10-05 00:00:00

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