Posts Tagged ‘oil’

Two Sides of a Sword

16/05/2012

 

Saudi Arabia is known as the country with the highest oil reserves and as the largest oil producer. The country started exporting oil since 1939 which means it is been more than 72 years since then. The infrastructure of the country was significantly developed and the face of changed as a result of the income of exporting oil for all of these years. However, corruption was there along the way resulting in a lot of waste and improper management of the huge available income.

 

More people are aware today of the fact that more than 30% of the Saudis are less than 15 years old. In the other hand, King Abdullah is about 90 years old and none of the ministers is less than 50 years old with one single exception. In many countries people talk about Generation Y and how much different they are compared to Generation X and older generations. Saudi Arabia is not an exception here. Younger people in Saudi Arabia have their own needs and expectations. Without meeting those needs and expectations, things in the future might get more difficult in different aspects.

 

As unemployment is on the rise and more youngsters are graduating from universities not only local ones but also prestigious schools from around the world, the pressures are getting more tense on the government. The fresh graduates who choose to come back home were exposed during their years abroad to new cultures and political systems that are faraway from what they’ll find home. Surely not each one of them will have the guts, time or interest to demand implementing similar changes in their country. However, some might find it the most important thing they could give back to their country and to their future kids. Many of these students are actually females. Given the current situation of females in Saudi Arabia, I don’t expect many of those female graduates to accept the statuesque. Not only the government will struggle with that, but also the more conservative groups of the society as well.

 

Social Media brought to Saudi Arabia a vibe of change like nothing else in the past ten years. Many people experienced the freedom of saying what they really feel without a lot of concern. Many realized that the country is not what they personally believe in and that others might not share with them the same views. With the impact of the Arab Spring, individuals in Saudi Arabia know that they are part of the equation and ignoring them is not really an option. It is true that Riyadh streets did not experience any protests, but many use Social Media as Saudi Arabia’s Tahrir Square. Almost nothing could stop that. The question is how far and for how long such protests will remain a cyber-phenomenon.

From another angel, such challenges to the future of Saudi Arabia can be considered as strengths and catalysts for change and better future for the country. The financial wealth available is great, however the real assets of any nation is its own people. The country has no choice but to bring more inclusion of its citizens in running things. The Royals cannot run everything and might not have the right people in the near future who have the wisdom to keep things together. Going into the future without a vision will make the country very vulnerable to any internal or external risks. The stability Saudi Arabia experienced for many years might be at risk very soon.

 

Oil and money can be here today but they are not assured for the future. Educated and dedicated citizens will not ensure the sustainability of any country. Saudi Arabia today is facing the two sides of a sword. Either it will bring prospers future or it might mean the end of any hope in the future.

 

 

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Thomas Friedman – Saudi Wahabism

16/05/2011

So Thomas Friedman says the reason for the appearance of Osama Bin Laden on the global scene is the Wahhabi ideology, well that is either incomplete research or denial.

Having followed Friedman for a while, and having been in awe of his “knowledge” when I first knew about him +10 years ago, I know personally how he seems convincing, but he does have an agenda which includes making everyone in the region look bad, and almost never finding fault with Israel.

Thomas Friedman

Yes, the alliance between The Saudi family and Mohammad Ibn Abdulawahab goes back for decades, we learned that in school, that is no secret, what Friedman missed is a very big sign.

Maybe he never listened to Bin Laden speak, maybe he never heard his reasoning, if he did hear and analyse Bin Laden’s speeches, then he is denying and misleading his readers, if he didn’t hear or read the speeches, then he is BS-ing them, and on both accounts he should be ashamed.

I remember a Bin Laden speech after 911, it was the weekend in Saudi and my friends and I were planning on watching The Patriot, but like everyone we wanted to hear Bin Laden’s message, AlJazeera made everyone know what time it would air, he talked about Sykes-Picot, he talked about the Israeli occupation, he talked about the things the West does, and how when they are treated with the same they cry, the metaphor was something like when a sheep rams a wolf which is taking it’s young he cries foul play. That speech ruined the Patriot movie for my friends and I.

The carrot that extremist dangle in front of gullible believers is the Israeli occupation and the treatment of Palestinians. The promise to pray in the holy Al-Aqsa mosque, which they cannot go to, even Al-Oraifi tried to highlight that issue in his own special way.

Israel is an apartheid state, many are finally beginning to realize that fact and cutting funding, some Americans do not want their tax money to go to Israel, but it still flows, which is funny to me because I thought as a democracy, tax payers can say where they want their money to go. 6.8 million US dollars per day go to Israel, with nothing in return, at least the US is getting oil in return from Saudi, which of course they get their money back by Saudi buying American cars, and US franchises opening up all over Saudi, and of course arms deals, along with other things here and there.

I am an advocate for non violence, I disagree with many of the “wahabi” ways, but I also understand that when you keep telling them to be peaceful yet non peaceful methods are being used against them… Well, most People are not from Nazareth and their conception was not immaculate, so don’t expect them to be able to turn the other cheek.

So will you, Thomas freedman, as an “expert” on the region, ever tell your country to see that they are helping the carrot grow.

Just in case you missed my point, you said America gives money to Saudi, Saudi gives money to extremist, let’s not give money to Saudi so they cannot give money to extremist.

America also gives a lot of money in return for nothing to Israel, Israel with its history of violence and continuing violence fuels the extremist, who then go look for funding, you see how you missed that big part of the picture?

America gets less than 10% of its oil from Saudi, which means that America’s dependence on Saudi oil is minimal.

You know, the vibe after the soviet retreat from Afghanistan was for the mujahideen to go to Palestine and liberate it, that was the carrot… And it still is, and you know what, even peaceful protesters (you know, the ones who took out Mubarak) are now willing to march peacefully into the Gaza strip, oh, and the Muslim brotherhood is not behind this, actually it is not in favor of it.

So either Israel becomes a real democracy (because it is going nowhere, not in any near future), and make every Arab envy the Arab-Israelis, or please stop the half-baked hypotheses… wait, no or… Just stop the half-baked hypotheses, you already bragged about how you do not really read the details of the policies you advocate… but then again, you have a mortgage to pay… come to think about it, no you don’t, you married into one of the 100 richest families in America.

By Qusay