A Kingdoms Future: Saudi Arabia Through the Eyes of Its Twentysomethings

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  1. A Kingdom's Future: Saudi Arabia Through the Eyes of Its Twentysomethings
  2. Case Study References
  3. International Education: Transforming individuals, Changing the world
  4. A Kingdom's Future: Saudi Arabia Through the Eyes of Its Twentysomethings | Wilson Center

This is also changing, thanks to social networking and new technology. The philosophy of sharing and exposing oneself to the world, was previously tabooed, socially speaking. Today, girls compete to post up not only their full name, but their photos and stories for the entire world to read and engage. This all happened in the span of years, and the trend is accelerating, so in a few years, Saudi women will lose that edge joking. How can expatriate women in the Kingdom and Saudi women meet and get to know one another?

It seems like these kind of bridge building opportunities would erase many false impressions. Expat women are very good in building their own networks. Some are keenly interested in building bridges and contributing to clearing a highly distorted image of Saudi women. I think that a good collaboration of both teams can generate excellent results. Thanks again, Reem, for giving American Bedu the opportunity to interview you and ask all of these questions. I wish you all the continued success!

A Kingdom's Future: Saudi Arabia Through the Eyes of Its Twentysomethings

Finally I have read data that has literally made me see red. A group of Saudi clerics…yes, I repeat, clerics, who consider themselves among the finest representatives of Islam, gave an ultimatum to the Saudi Minister of Labor , Adel Fakieh.


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These clerics are strongly against women in the workforce. So, the ultimatum they delivered to Minister Fakieh was that he either stop allowing women to work in retail or they are going to collectively pray that God gives him cancer. As an active cancer warrior who has been battling stage IV cancer since and lost my dear Saudi husband to the dreaded disease in I have a very strong reaction to the idiocy and hypocrisy of these so-called men of faith.

The Heat discusses the future of Saudi Arabia

I would never wish cancer or any kind of disease upon an enemy or anyone for that matter. How can these so-called clerics maintain any semblance of creditability when they publicly declare such sentiments? Where is the Islam of peace, tolerance, forgiveness and kindness? It clearly does not seem to be practiced or preached by these group of clerics.

Case Study References

The Minister responded to the clerics saying he would only ban women from retail jobs if ordered by the courts to do so. My question is who does one complain to in order to get such callous and insensitive men who dare to call themselves clerics removed? Andrea, now known as Amina, met and married her Saudi husband when they were both students in the United State of Iowa. Amina had never traveled outside of the United States and had few, if any contacts, with foreigners. When she met Saad, she never knew what hit her and was simply swept off her feet. She fell madly in love with him and believed everything he told her without questioning.

When they had a civil marriage in the United States he insisted that the marriage must be kept secret because his parents did not know he had married. He easily convinced Amina this was a normal procedure when the son was outside of the country but all that would change when she returned with him to Saudi Arabia. Most of the years she felt they had no idea how to raise a child and perhaps would have been better off never having her. As a result, it did not take much for Saad to sweep Amina off of her feet and dutifully follow his every word and request. She had never been a religious person in her life.

She believed in a God or supreme deity but did not affiliate herself with any religious doctrine or go to a church. It was simple for Saad to introduce Amina to Islam and have her convent within two weeks. He took it upon himself to be her teacher and oversaw her prayers and supplications. Saad was attracted to Amina by her beauty. Her eyes were an unusual shade of azure blue. He also found her equally beautiful on the inside. Unlike the brassy American women he had met or even the forthright speaking Saudi women in his family, she was quiet and seemed to prefer listening to him rather than talk herself.

Saad was a year ahead of Amina at University so he graduated first. Amina did not receive nor did she really care that she would not be finishing out her degree. She just wanted to enjoy her cocooned life with Saad. As Saad began the preparations for the return to Saudi Arabia, he told Amina he must travel to Saudi first to arrange for their accommodations. Saad was returning back to his job as a customs official with the Saudi government. They would be living in a conservative neighborhood in the Eastern end of Riyadh. Amina was disappointed that she and her husband could not travel to Saudi Arabia together but she was understanding.

Thankfully he was able to assist Amina in applying for her first passport and promised to take care of her visa.

He had her air ticket as well. Saad in the meantime was suffering his own set of demons. He believed he loved Amina but did not intend to tell his family of her existence. They lived in Abha so at least they were not local to him. He knew his family would never approve of his marriage to an American. In fact, they had already chosen a cousin from Lebanon to be his wife. Additionally, he was in a position which prohibited him from legally having a foreign wife. Saad focused on what all he needed to do to keep Amina a secret.

It would never occur to Amina that her husband would require special approval in order to be married to her.

International Education: Transforming individuals, Changing the world

She also believed he would never lie to her and each day she was overcome with more excitement to begin her new life in Saudi. She also had a secret she could not wait to share with Saad once they were face-to-face. She was expecting their first child! Because of her travel on an umrah visa, Amina arrived in Jeddah to an anti-climatic arrival. She was tired after the long flight and beyond disappoint that Saad was not at the airport to meet her.

After she cleared customs and retrieved her bags, she found an Egyptian holding a placard with her name. Yes; Saad had told her he had made arrangements for someone to pick her up and that she was not to ask him questions or engage in conversation. He also told her it would be a long drive from Jeddah to Riyadh and she it was imperative she not only wore her abaya and hijab but face veil and black gloves. After an interminable ride that seemed to go on forever, she finally arrived in Riyadh.

This time Saad was waiting in the outside courtyard of the house to greet her. She was finally reunited with her habibi. The first few days of her arrival she did not mind the solitariness of her location as she was battling acute jet lag and extra tiredness from her pregnancy. She also was excited on become familiar with the new home and life with Saad in Riyadh. Saad was thrilled when Amina shared with him they were going to have a child.

But he was also very specific in his instructions to her. Expressing the utmost of concern he told Amina she could not leave the house under any circumstances, especially as she could neither speak nor read Arabic. Saad worked long hours at the Riyadh airport but Amina took the opportunity to be the best American wife of a Saudi that she knew how to be.

Saad said it would look odd for him to have domestic help since people believed he lived alone. As a result, Amina was kept fully occupied with the upkeep of the much larger house they now had. She questioned Saad why people did not know yet they were married and especially not yet knowing anything about his family. Saad said it would take time for his family to adapt as they were very conservative and felt it would be best to wait until after the baby was born before introducing Amina to his family or any friends.

After several weeks, the solitude and isolation was starting to get to Amina. There home had small windows up high to the ceiling and let in little light. There was not a yard in which she could spend time and enjoy the sunlight. She was prohibited from going outside of the house.

Saad took care of all the shopping and other needs so she never even got the opportunity to just go for a ride with him in the car. However, she finally found herself a sanctuary. She had always thought that the small door in the upper level laundry room was a storage closet. One day out of curiosity she opened the door and found it opened up to another level of stairs.

A Kingdom's Future: Saudi Arabia Through the Eyes of Its Twentysomethings | Wilson Center

These stairs opened up onto a rooftop terrace. Amina was thrilled. She had found her sunshine. She managed to create a small sanctuary for herself on that rooftop terrace. She enjoyed going there each morning at sunset for her morning prayers. As she gained confidence that this was a secure sanctuary and she was not drawing attention to herself, she began to spend more and more time up on the roof in the early mornings.

One morning she was so overcome with joy for the sunshine and the new life growing inside of her that she spontaneously got up and danced across the terrace while clutching her hands to her stomach in joy. Little did she realize that some of the neighbors had noticed the young woman who prayed on the rooftop and now took to dancing.

He was incensed and feared that Amina could ruin him. He came home that evening and Amina immediately sensed something was not right with Saad. He approached her wordlessly and then struck her sharply across one cheek and then the other. He told her if she ever attempted to go up on the rooftop terrace again he would abandon her. In fact, to teach Amina a lesson and instill further fear in her, he stayed away for three nights. But that was not all he did.

Description: Agility KSA profile. Flag for inappropriate content. Original Title: Agility Saudi Arabia. Related titles. Carousel Previous Carousel Next. Blue Express - India's best courier services. Jump to Page. Search inside document. The Wilson Center. Umang Vora. Mayukh Roy.

Rajesh Putta. Nishant Raja. Natheem Safin. Shweta Sharma. Ana Maria. Er Dhairyashil Shinde. Neha Khalid. Most favor more tolerance for diversity, including in the realm of religion. At some point during this time, Saudi Arabia will experience a major transition to a new generation of throne contenders. This transitional period from one generation to the other is fraught with possibilities of royal-family infighting and factionalizing that, under worst-case scenarios, could result in political instability or paralysis.

Just as significant, the royal transition will also occur against a backdrop of increasing political consciousness at home. Given current trends among Saudi youth, future twentysomethings will be well educated, globally connected, and politically conscious. Demographer Richard P.


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  • His findings were reached by comparing the population-age structure of countries with their political-freedom rankings as determined by Freedom House. He argues that his model can predict with relative reliability when a nation is likely to become — and remain — a liberal democracy.