Brief History of Saudi Arabia Saudi Arabia PDF is a country in transition—slowly but steadily changing from within and increasingly flexing its muscle and influence regionally. The country has entered the new century as a pivotal regional power: The birthplace of Islam, it remains an important moral leader of the Muslim world, particularly the Arab arena; its response to domestic terrorism has shown that the monarchy has the drive to confront destabilizing elements within its borders, and the increasing value of its oil has provided financial and political security at home.
A Brief History of Saudi Arabia Pdf
However, Saudi Arabia still faces the challenges of unemployment for many of its citizens and an education system that makes it difficult for Saudi youth to compete in the global market, both factors that helped to inflame religious sensibilities against the royal family and its patron, the United States. Showing a new assertiveness, the royal family has just embarked on an ambitious program to reform the country’s religious institutions and directly confront politically radicalized religious activists and militants.
In the eyes of many Saudis, the United States is an internal player that helps sustain the harsh status quo. The anti-American rhetoric by the religious hard-liners masks a more practical agenda—toppling the pro-Western monarchy that is seen to have forfeited its mandate as a guardian of the ethos of Islam.
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Both the hard-liners’ rhetoric and their agenda resonate with alienated Saudi youths (burdened with high unemployment and indoctrinated by an ultraconservative religious establishment) who readily accept Washington’s culpability in perpetuating their predicament. This was brought into sharper relief on September 11, 2001.
The fact that 15 of the 19 hijackers involved in the 9/11 attacks were from Saudi Arabia—and that some financing and planning for the attacks allegedly occurred on Saudi soil—brought outrage and recrimination against the conservative kingdom by U.S. opinion-makers and serious accusations about its alleged role in financing militancy and terrorism.
Critics of the royal family accused the kingdom of financing and harboring terrorists and advocated a dramatic shift in U.S. foreign policy toward it.
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