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How Saudi Arabia Inhibits Democracy and Progress in the Arab World

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[By Arezki Daoud | daoud@north-africa.com | 508-981-6937 | Twitter: @northafrica] President Obama’s Middle East and North Africa speech of May 19, 2011 was promising and encouraging yet incomplete. Setting aside the mine field of the never ending and unsolvable Arab-Israeli conflict, the speech will likely be a source of more strength for pro-democracy activists in some Arab nations as it confirmes America’s siding with the right side of history in countries like Tunisia and Egypt. But while the President managed to clearly define some of the key issues that led to the Arab revolt and provided some directions as what he expects the outcome to be, he has avoided focusing on the actions of a highly disruptive nation, a partner of the US, that has long been source of repression and insecurity worldwide. For those of you who wonder who this partner is, consider this basic quiz: What do the following statements have in common?

1-      It protected dictator Ben Ali when he fled his country 
2-      It sided with Mubarak and provided him support when his people demanded his departure 
3-      It sent heavily armed troops to Bahrain to discipline the Bahraini people who were seeking some democracy  
4-      It invited the Monarchies of Morocco and Jordan to join the Cartel of Kings to protect the interests of Arab royalties 
5-      Many of its shadowy characters support and finance international terrorism 
6-      The key leaders of Al Qaeda are from that country 

Find us on twitterIf your response is Saudi Arabia, then you passed the test. By Saudi Arabia I do not mean the people. In fact, the people of Saudi Arabia are some of the most repressed individuals on earth. In particular if you are woman, tough luck. You have the right to remain covered and serve the males around you. You are not allowed to drive and if you attend university, your chances of working would be like winning the lottery. Indeed, women make up 5% of the workforce in Saudi Arabia.  Like Iran, Saudi Arabia has a bizarre enforcement system in form of religious police that are used, let’s face it, to perpetuate the reign of a few families in the name of religion. Continue here | Not a subscriber? follow this link | Join our mailing list.


Comments (4 posted):

Tony on 19 May, 2011 02:03:03
Ain't it a little too convenient that with everything going on in the middle east, Saudi Arabia seems untouched. Think about it cool
Mark Robert on 28 May, 2011 02:55:43
Most Saudis love their king and are still very loyal to him. What we are afraid of is what will happen to the kingdom's regime and the royal family after the king's death, especially with more than 6,000 princes & princesses that all want to lead the country in their own way.
Stephan on 05 June, 2011 08:15:57
Quote: "Setting aside the mine field of the never ending and unsolvable Arab-Israeli conflict" This conflict will be history soon. And all conflicts in Afrika will end, too. And then changes will be made that the people of African countries profit from their own treasures, not foreign firms and countries. Let's wait and see...
Wanjala Edward on 24 June, 2011 11:40:44
We really happy that people in the arab world and may in the whole of Africa have realised thier rights and are ready to fight for their rights, but we hope and believe that it should be people driven, but in ome cases you might find that it is propagated by some other countries or wealthy individuals to safre guard thier interest. this will be really wrong!!!

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