Segments in this Video

Saudi Arabia (03:05)


A rise in terrorist attacks on western targets in Saudi Arabia is causing the kingdom to break its isolationism. Crown Prince Abdullah bin Abdulaziz calls for a crackdown on terrorist activity. The kingdom is run on strict Islamic principles but is hoping to modernize and give Saudis a say in government.

Saudi Reform (04:44)

Prince Turki al-Faisal is one of the Saudi leaders looking to decrease authoritarian power. He invited the BBC film crew, who were also appointed government minders. He believes the royal family is obligated to bring change, such as democracy, a fair disruption of wealth, and rights for women.

Saudi Tradition (03:36)

Reforming society is not supported by everyone. Many important Islamic sites are in Saudi Arabia and its practices Wahhabi, a strict form of Islam. Many Saudis worry change will weaken religious devotion and recent terrorist attacks on Muslims have only strengthened the belief.

Saudi Unemployment (03:20)

About 75% of the population is younger than 20. Though oil provides money to the state, there is an unemployment rate of 30% with only 5% of women working. Reforms include increased privatization to create more jobs.

Saudi Women (03:41)

Women have few rights in Saudi Arabia compared to the west. Many young women want change and democracy but feel it must come to the country slowly. Some feel outsiders are the strongest voices for reform.

Saudi Security (03:53)

Foreign business leaders and American military personnel operate in large, heavily guarded compounds in the country. Many view the foreigners as infidels and violence against them is not always condemned. The views on militant violence changed when it started targeting Saudi victims.

Saudi Militancy (06:12)

All schools and mosques in Saudi Arabia follow Wahhabi, which calls other Muslims heretics. It is easy for young, unemployed Saudis to become radicalized and join terrorist groups like Al-Qaeda. Many Saudis, including Osama bin Laden, went to fight against the Soviets in the Afghan-Soviet War and continued militant practices afterward.

Saudi Views (05:55)

Many Saudis raised concerns about the rise of militants in the country. Most are offended by the September 11 attackers abusing Islam for their radical acts. Some believe the attackers could not have been Saudi and the accusation is being used to hurt the kingdom.

Saudi Clerics (02:57)

The government has created new regulations to stop extreme clerics from radicalizing people. More than 900 have been fired or re-educated. Many clerics still hold beliefs that would get them fired if spoken in public.

Saudi Activism (06:55)

The government is cracking on intellectuals and human rights activists. Activist Ibrahim Al Megedib says demanding too much change or faster change can still be dangerous. Many who have supported reforms have been arrested and detained without trials or formal charges.

Saudi Future (04:56)

Reform-minded members of the royal family are struggling to balance calls for change while not offending conservative Saudis. Many westerners are fleeing the country out of fear of militants, which is causing even stronger calls for reform.

Credits: Saudi: The Family In Crisis (00:45)

Credits: Saudi: The Family In Crisis

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Saudi: The Family In Crisis

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Sitting on top of the world's biggest patch of oil, the extended family that runs Saudi Arabia has managed to fend off the assaults of modernity and democracy since the state's foundation. But the triple shocks of 9/11, the US-led invasion of Iraq and the al-Qaeda bombings inside the kingdom have catapulted Saudi Arabia into the limelight. The United States wants Saudi Arabia and other Arab states to embrace democracy and join it in the War on Terror, but many Saudis are suspicious of America's intent. Can Crown Prince Abdullah strike a balance between Saudi Arabia's liberals and reactionaries, and meet the increasingly vocal demands of the west?

Length: 51 minutes

Item#: BVL185387

ISBN: 978-1-64623-872-9

Copyright date: ©2004

Closed Captioned

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