Here’s a comment I have just posted on the University of Columbia Gulf 2000 website reflecting on the recent execution of the Shia cleric Nimr Al-Nimr by the Saudi government:
Elana DeLozier’s thoughtful post of yesterday reminds me of listening to the Ashura press conferences delivered in the Qatif area within a few days of each other in January 2007 by the two principal Saudi Shia leaders, Sheikh Hassan Al-Saffar and Sheikh Nimr Al-Nimr - the Tiger of the Tigers. The tone could not have been more different.
Robert Lacey discusses the critically acclaimed yet controversial 1980 film “Death of a Princess” on the BBC’s “The History Hour”.
The drama was based on the true story of a young Saudi Arabian princess that provoked an angry response from the Saudi Arabian government because of the film’s depiction of its customs.
Robert Lacey, author of The Kingdom: Arabia and the House of Sa'ud, told the Daily Beast: "Quite a number of the brighter and more hard-working Saudi princes are fighter pilots - trained in Britain or America and happy to get up at dawn to go out on patrol. They see it as being in the tradition of their grandfather, Abdul Aziz, the great warrior of the desert who created the Kingdom. He built it with camels. They defend it with Typhoons and F-15s."
Ed Attwood writing in 'Arabian Business' - Deft fiscal control has left Saudi Arabia in better shape than most. But the kingdom’s sternest tests are still to come.
The final chapter in Robert Lacey’s recent portrait of Saudi Arabia, ‘Inside the Kingdom’, ends in rather a depressing manner. Citing interviews with members of the royal family, Lacey describes a scene in 2007 where HRH King Abdullah visits the site of the university that is set to bear his name — the King Abdullah University for Science and Technology (KAUST) — only to find that work had not progressed as far as he had hoped. Disappointed, King Abdullah returns home to Jeddah, and the book concludes with the monarch poignantly staying longer at his prayers that evening.
Politician, diplomat and poet who had the ear of the reforming King Abdullah in Saudi Arabia
The death of Dr Ghazi Al-Qosaibi, the straight-talking Saudi technocrat, diplomat and poet, leaves a large hole at the top of the power structure in King Abdullah's Saudi Arabia. Ostensibly Ghazi (pronounced "Rhazzi") was Minister of Labour, charged with the hopeless task of reducing the foreign labour force and getting male Saudis to do a decent day's work. In reality he was the King's principal non-family confidant and adviser, the closest thing he had to a prime minister.