Episode
January 19, 2012

Will reform come to Saudi Arabia?

Saudi Princess Basmah speaks to The Stream on how the Arab uprisings will affect her country
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How is Saudi Arabia dealing with citizens’ demands for greater rights and recent protests in its own Eastern Province?

Across the country, women have been rallying for increased political rights and representation. In Jeddah, the #Women2Drive movement called on the government to grant women the right to drive and gained international attention last summer. Saudi Arabia’s King Abdullah also announced last year that women would be allowed to sit on representative councils in the future.

Over the past several months, members of the country’s Shia minority – centered in the Eastern Province – have called for government reforms and an end to discriminatory practices against them. The Saudi government expressed concern that these protests are being backed by foreign agents and declared that security forces “will deal firmly with agitators.” A number of protesters have been reportedly killed.

In this episode, The Stream talks with social activist and writer Princess Basmah Bint Saud Al-Saud and Ebtihal Mubarak, a journalist and blogger raised in Jeddah.

What do you think? Will Saudi Arabia see a wave of reforms? Send us your thoughts and comments on Facebook or Twitter using hashtag #AJStream.

These are some of the social media elements featured in this episode of The Stream:
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