Good News in Saudi Arabia

Discussion in 'world politics, current affairs and news' started by Rimbaud, Oct 27, 2017.

  1. Rimbaud

    Rimbaud Well-Known Member

    Some good news for a change.

    Saudi Arabia is on the path towards reform. The alliance between hardline clerics and the House of Saud has been broken. Women can drive and "guardianship" laws have been scaled back. Religious police no longer have the power to arrest.

    Reading between the lines, it seems like they are realising that they cannot rely on oil forever and so need to diversify their economy to include more services, entertainment, and tourism, which are incompatible with the current status quo.

    Whatever the reasons for it, this is definitely a very good thing; with Saudi turning its back on ultra-Conservative Islam, and IS almost a spent force, is the Islamic world's reactionary moment coming to an end? The successful revolution in Tunisia has also enabled a new wave of feminist activists to come to the fore, and they are in the process of enshrining equal inheritance rights in law.

    If this is a sign of things to come, 20 years from now the Islamic world could be a very different, and better, place.

    I will return Saudi Arabia to moderate Islam, says crown prince
     
  2. cupid_stunt

    cupid_stunt & dyslexic cnut.

    One small step for women, one giant leap for Saudi Arabia.
     
    Badgers and Rimbaud like this.
  3. tim

    tim Well-Known Member

    And a lot of innocent people slaughtered in Yemen
     
  4. cupid_stunt

    cupid_stunt & dyslexic cnut.

    Indeed. :(
     
    Badgers likes this.
  5. And Branston was in their like a rat up a drainpipe, scrounging cash for his spaceship and promising to invest in their madcap scheme to turn some Red Sea islands into throbbing tourist heavens, sans booze, natch.
     
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  6. RainbowTown

    RainbowTown Well-Known Member

    Don't hold your breath.

    (Wondering if they're still imprisoning and torturing the 'degenerate' homosexuals and other 'undesirables'?)
     
    MightyTibberton and Badgers like this.
  7. Rimbaud

    Rimbaud Well-Known Member

    Undoubtedly, but this is the first sign that they aren't going to be doing this forever.
     
  8. planetgeli

    planetgeli There's no future in England's dreaming

  9. tim

    tim Well-Known Member

    Not really, it's the sign of an unpopular and inexperienced
    heir trying to bolster his position.

    He's behind the war which is unpopular with the Saudi population. He also has lots of brothers, cousins and a few uncles who resent the way that someone so low down the royal pecking order has been designated as the heir to the crown.
     
    MightyTibberton likes this.
  10. Rimbaud

    Rimbaud Well-Known Member

    I don't get the premise of that article; what are they expecting, a total overnight transformation of society and "Norway of the gulf" by Tuesday? Recognising that these reforms are a step in a positive direction does not mean becoming uncritical cheerleaders of the present Crown Prince.

    As for "the bigotry of low expectations," I don't think it is bigoted to have rather low expectations of Saudi Arabia. As the article says, it is the first step with 1,000 miles to go; but this is better than walking backwards, which much of the Middle East has been doing for decades. The rise of IS being the most dramatic example. I am optimistic about this because it could be a sign that IS was the climax of radical Islam, and that ideological era is coming to an end.

    Tim is probably right that this is political maneuvering on the part of a inexperienced and unpopular heir; but that he is trying to bolster popularity in this way is an indication of how Saudi Arabian society has subtly changed. Women's greatly improved access to education over the last couple of decades is the invisible motor behind this.
     
    Last edited: Oct 27, 2017
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  11. Rimbaud

    Rimbaud Well-Known Member

    Women are becoming the driving force for Saudi Arabia’s progress

    According to this article, in the last 4 years, there has been a 130% increase in women working in the private sector, who now make up 30% of the workforce. There are also now more female graduates than men for the first time, and women are starting to take higher positions in society. With this in mind, there is good reason to believe that these reforms reflect a deeper change in Saudi Arabia in general - it won't be overnight, but give it 20 years, and things will look pretty different.
     
    cupid_stunt likes this.
  12. J Ed

    J Ed I remember the future

    Thought the thread title referred to mass hangings of the royal family.
     
  13. J Ed

    J Ed I remember the future

    Free markets free people
     
  14. Rimbaud

    Rimbaud Well-Known Member

    What do you mean?
     
  15. Pickman's model

    Pickman's model Every man and every woman is a star

    And you fell for it
     
  16. J Ed

    J Ed I remember the future

    just taking the piss a bit tbh
     
  17. bimble

    bimble noisy but small

    Saudi Arabia is really not like anywhere else. When that article talks about women making up 30 % of 'the workforce' how can that be if according to their own recent gov figures only 36% of all Saudis are 'labour force participants' ( working or looking for work).
    And apparently 90% of all jobs done by Saudis are government jobs. Weird place.
     
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  18. Rimbaud

    Rimbaud Well-Known Member

    That does shed a new light on things.

    So most of the workforce are migrants then?
     
  19. planetgeli

    planetgeli There's no future in England's dreaming

    You are commenting on this without knowing this?

    http://gulfmigration.eu/media/pubs/exno/GLMM_EN_2014_01.pdf
     
    Spymaster likes this.
  20. bimble

    bimble noisy but small

    This is interesting (if you're having that kind of a Friday night). Its the Saudi's employment situation and the issues they have with over-reliance on imported labour and a huge young population who are all expecting to get well paid easy government jobs.
    It helps put into context perhaps a lot of what the young prince is trying to grapple with.

    edit: i just don't know how to post links to PDFs .:mad:
    Google Saudi Arabia Labor Market Report
     
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  21. Rimbaud

    Rimbaud Well-Known Member

    I wasn't aware I required a qualification to comment on the news. I'm not posing as an expert.

    I knew Qatar and UAE relied on migrants, I assumed Saudi was too big to rely on it to the same extent.
     
  22. bimble

    bimble noisy but small

    Also (a few years old but) -
    "More than 80 percent of people receiving unemployment benefit are women.. Despite opposition from powerful religious conservatives, the government is pushing for more Saudi women to enter the job market. It has designated women-only working environments including lingerie and cosmetics shops."

    Yay.
     
  23. cupid_stunt

    cupid_stunt & dyslexic cnut.

    That fits in with what I was told by a mate teaching English over there, the students are actually paid to attend classes, most have no interest in learning, they just expect the system to carry on paying them in 'education' & beyond.

    Frankly this suits him, because he's a lazy bastard anyway, and is just happy to take the stupid tax-free money he gets paid for doing basically fuck all.
     
    SpookyFrank likes this.
  24. Happy Larry

    Happy Larry Banned Banned

    I agree.
     
  25. tim

    tim Well-Known Member

    Except a lot of young Saudi's can't get a job, particularly if they are Shia, or come from rbe wrong tribe or region . If tou talk to Saudis they'll tell you about the need for "Wasta", influence. I'm talking about male Saudis as I never taught females when I lived there, but there are very job opportunities for women.

    I taught factory employees either apprentices or older workers doing a course to boost their English. English was the main medium of communication in factories on the East Coast where I was living. Those guys, and as I say they were the luckier ones, ended up with fairly well-paid dead end jobs, just because you have enough wasta to get a job doesn't mean you have enough to get promoted.
     
    Last edited: Oct 29, 2017
  26. bimble

    bimble noisy but small

    tim yep, their official labour report thing mentions that too, saying that to get jobs (or anything other than low paid insecure menial jobs) young people need the right connections because personal networks govern access. What was it it like living in saudi?
     
  27. tim

    tim Well-Known Member

    There are unethused students in many classes regardless of nationality , particularly if the teacher is a lazy bastard. My experience is that Saudis are much lie anyone else, my classes had some eager beavers, some who learnt nothing and the majority in between. There was certainly a higher percentage of bone-idle shits in the ex-pat staffrooms than there was in the classrooms.
     
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  28. tim

    tim Well-Known Member

    I was there a long time ago, 1997-1999. The regime was and is vile, if anything worse now than when I was there. Most of the Saudis I taught were decent, surprisingly normal generous people, often with a good sense of humour. I've taught Saudis in the UK since, including wuite a few women. Even here people are wary of saying too much, but currently there seems to be more anger about the regime and in particular tne war in Yemen.
     
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  29. tim

    tim Well-Known Member

    Here is an article by Madawi Al Rasheedi, a Saudi academic at the LSE on the cosmetic nature of these reforms.

    I possibly should add that she's a grandaughter of the last non-Saudi king of much of what is now the Saudi Kingdom, not that I think it detracts from thr reality outlined.
     
  30. teqniq

    teqniq DisMembered

    KeeperofDragons, Rimbaud and bimble like this.

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