Archiv Orientalni , 77, pp. Esposito, J.
New York: Oxford University Press. Kaptein, N. Katz, M. Schielke, S. Syracuse: Syracuse University Press. Schimmel, A. Stetkevych, S. Bloomington: Indiana University Press. Both are insufficient to check Naif. A key early test of Abdullah's kingship will be if he can succeed in freeing the hundreds of political reformers in prison, especially three respected academics who he encouraged to make reform proposals, only to be incarcerated by Naif. Old scores among King Fahd's numerous brothers and half-brothers, not to mention the thousands of princes in the next generation, will also need to be settled.
But don't look for hope in the new generation, which is neither necessarily young nor progressive.
Indeed, the Al Saud clan's third and fourth generations are divided not only in political and religious affiliation, but also range in age from 20 to All await a chance to rule. So Saudi Arabia's people confront a pivotal question; can an authoritative ruler reunite the country in the progressive tradition of the late King Faisal?
The sad likelihood is that given the power of the obstructionists under Naif, a decisive king is unlikely to emerge. The direction the country will take in the longer term can best be assessed by whom Abdullah chooses to name as the successor to Prince Sultan, Naif's chief ally who has already been named Abdullah's heir.
Perhaps if Abdullah can skip a generation there may be hope. But Naif, his full brothers - including Sultan - and their supporters in the Wahhabi establishment appear too entrenched to allow that. Like the geriatric successions that preceded the collapse of the Soviet Union, the accession of Abdullah seems to be only another step in Saudi Arabia's inexorable march toward political decay.
Russia found a reformer in Mikhail Gorbachev too late. It may also be too late for Saudi Arabia.
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Cradle of Islam. The Hijaz and the Quest for an Arabian Identity
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But it is the period since that chiefly occupies Yamani. It is in the last two decades, especially--after the first heady enjoyment of oil wealth and enthusiasm for modernization gave way to a "popular sentiment that Saudi Arabia's essential moral values were under threat"--that she locates the renewal of Hijazi tradition.
Yamani gradually unfolds an elaborate code of behavior relating to food and dress, speech and decorum, festivity and mourning that is distinctive to the leading families of the Hijaz, and whose exact observance influences social standing. To see all this as political, of course, it is necessary to appreciate the Saudi context, where the Hijaz has disappeared from the map, and even the use of the name is effectively subversive; where no Nadji would consider marrying a Hijazi; and where the privileges of the families long associated with the management of the pilgrimage and the governance of the holy cities have been usurped by Wahhabi yahoos.
Yamani writes of the "privatization of resistance" and "the powerful latent challenge facing the Saudi authorities. What she never does is invite any glib notion that the Hijazi elites, however dissatisfied with the current regime, are plotting to rock the boat.
- The Run.
- VTLS Chameleon iPortal Browse Results.
- Saudi Arabia's decade of denial - ABC Religion & Ethics.
- Cradle of Islam - AUCPress;
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Instead, she portrays them as dependent on access to high officials for their political and economic well being. Thus, they "have a profound interest in the maintenance of social and political stability," even that provided by the al Saud. Writing with controlled affection, Mai Yamani--the first Saudi woman to obtain a D.