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.
As suggested at the Frontline Club on Monday 27 April, the Saudi Arabian King has announced major changes to the line of succession.
On Monday in a public forum with Owen Bennett-Jones at the Front Line Club I put forward the idea that a major dynastic reshuffle was in the wind for Saudi Arabia - and it has happened. King Salman has removed his half brother, Miqrin bin Abdul-Aziz, and has appointed his nephew, the powerful Interior Minister Prince Mohammed bin Nayef, as crown prince.
Is Saudi Arabia a kingdom in peril? This was the key question under discussion at a packed event held at the Frontline Club on Monday 27 April. Following the accession of King Salman and the ongoing conflict in Yemen, a panel, chaired by journalist Owen Bennett-Jones, discussed the potential destabilisation of the regime and the possibility for change within the country.
This evening at 8.30 I shall be on Channel 4 News in the UK to discuss Prince Charles' visit to Saudi Arabia.
I was on BBC Radio 4's Today Programme to talk about Prince Charle's visit to Saudi Arabia and the case of Saudi blogger Raif Badawi.
My interview is 01.52 into the show, just after Thought for the Day.
King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia (pictured)
Matthew spoke live to the historian Robert Lacey who has written books about the Saudi kingdom.
Born August 1924(?); died 23 January 2015 aged 90.
Click here for the publisher’s brief as a download.
9/11 gave birth to many conspiracy theories - among them the suspicion that Islamic charities were knowing and willing vehicles for Islamic terrorism. Robert Lacey examines this accusation with his co-editor Jonathan Benthall, a leading analyst of Islamic philanthropy, and a host of international academics and experts - the proceedings of a conference at Kings College, Cambridge, convened by the Gulf Research Council in the summer of 2012.
Available from any academic bookshop worldwide or from the publisher directly - all contact details on the publisher's brief
Demonstrations of any type, political or otherwise are rare in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia – bear in mind this is a country with no legal political parties or popular mass movements. "There is no history of public protests, even in support of the government," said Jaafar al-Shayeb, a city councilor and businessman in al-Qatif – quoted this week in the Guardian Newspaper.
Broadcast on the BBC World Service’s Newshour on Friday March 11th 2011, I was in discussion with the BBC’s Claire Balderson and Paul Wood in Riyadh, talking about the Saudi "Day of Rage".
The text is in Portuguese but the footage of the video is in English. It ran on Brazilian television on November 23, 2010.