Saudi Arabia 2012

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Stories

  • Big Kingdom, Small Window

    During the eight years I organized overseas trips for US news editors at the International Reporting Project, I had a rule of thumb that served me well—if a country has a Ministry of Information, it means trouble. So when, after a two-year effort, the Saudi Royal Court finally

  • Detained, Tortured and Held Without Trial, a Saudi Political Prisoner Returns Home

    On weekend mornings, Ghazi al-Harbi likes to give his daughter driving lessons. Raaf is only 9, and women can’t drive in Saudi Arabia anyway, but that doesn’t stop her from hopping on her dad’s knee and taking control of the wheel. “Its O.K.,

  • The Secret Life of a Saudi Women’s Soccer Team

    Sarah Attar and Wodjan Ali Seraj Abdulrahim Shahrkhani are making Olympic history as the first two women to represent Saudi Arabia. But inside their country, women are deprived of basic sports and fitness options. Beyond just sports, most women grow up without being allowed physical education and access to gyms.

  • Why Israel Should Withdraw From the West Bank—Now

    These generally feel like good times in Israel. The existential dangers facing the country often seem to have subsided, with sanctions starting to bite Iran and most Israelis, secure behind their wall, able to ignore the Palestinians. Recent protests in Tel Aviv have focused on social security, not the physical

  • Does That Abaya Come in Brown?

    The West has a particular image of Saudi women: Draped in plain black cloth with their faces mostly, if not fully, covered. But basic black isn’t the only option. There are personally designed abayas, gray abayas and, a Jeddah favorite, the brown abaya: {image-1} {image-2} {image-3}

Blogs

  • Primacy of Faith

    The sprawling, marble-lined, four-level Al-Faisaliah mall in the heart of the Saudi capital is a ghost-town shortly after 6 o’clock on a recent Wednesday evening. The discreet sign on the locked front door of Harvey Nichols, the local branch of the luxury English department store, reads, “We will
  • Top Religious Cop Responds to Mall Clash Over Nail Polish

    The new head of Saudi religious police has criticized one of his men who was captured on video ordering a young woman out of a Riyadh shopping mall for wearing nail polish, the daily al-Watan newspaper reports. "The world is manufacturing airplanes and we are still telling a woman 'leave
  • Paranoia, or We’re Surrounded!

    The fear is widespread, unspoken, and tinged with an indomitable measure of hope. It revolves around the succession of leadership in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia—a nation that has managed, thus far, to avoid the bloody revolutions of so many other Middle Eastern countries ruled by despots who
  • The Boston-Jeddah Connection

      Inside Dr. Angawi's housePhoto: Ann Lopez It was to be an ethereal experience. An opportunity to sit on a roof top garden and watch the sunset with one of Saudi Arabia’s leading intellectuals. It sounded so romantic. I was looking forward to it but I never
  • Why Did the Journalist Cross the Road?

    I thought I was going to die. All I wanted to do was see the Red Sea. I’d always heard of the Red Sea in Church and read about it in Catholic school. Now here I was in Jeddah, a mere 50 feet from its shoreline. It was my

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