Thousands are in the streets of nations in the Middle East, but nary a small group of angry folk can be seen in any city of Saudi Arabia. Saudi King Abdullah has spent the past two months in New York City dealing with personal health problems and on his return there will always be available about $400 billion sitting in his bank accounts in case a few bucks must be spent to deal with minor problems like unemployment or lack of housing. We assume Saudi women watch TV and see sights of women assuming leadership roles in Cairo and elsewhere while they are not even able to drive a car let alone go shopping by themselves. In the tightly controlled nation of 19 million the very thought of opposition to the ruling monarchy is not even in the minds of most people. They would be happy to elect a fireman. Political analyst Khaled Al-Dakhil, thinks “people expect the leadership now to deal seriously with their problems,” but does Abdullah even recognize there are problems in his country.
Some members of his Cabinet have held their jobs for a few decades and the religious folk are ready to enforce Sharia law in case someone dares to utter a word of disagreement. The real question is how long can bright men and women put up with this dictatorship of the mind? A new high tech university now allows women to be in classes with males, and will this experience impact the thinking of Saudi women is a question yet to be answered. Most Saudis can’t even purchase a house because the royal family owns most of the land.
Hopefully, a scent of Egyptian bravery will catch the noses of Saudi people.