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Customer Review

50 of 61 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Timely, surprising and informative, September 24, 2012
This review is from: On Saudi Arabia: Its People, Past, Religion, Fault Lines - and Future (Hardcover)
Karen House, the Pulitzer Prize winning Wall Street Journal writer, uses her insider and intimate knowledge of Saudi Arabia and it's people to take us on a surprising tour of the mysterious Kingdom.

Karen shows that the people of the Kingdom are heavily dependant on government subsidies, and the government is almost entirely dependent on oil income.

King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz al Saud may rule, but there is also a Byzantine bureaucracy powered by old desert nomad tribes and religious leaders This hampers any movement towards progressivism. The primary educational system, except for the very rich, is heavily dependant on Wahhabi- Islamic studies, which leaves the Kingdom behind in this modern techo world. It also has been accused of propagating hate.

The nation is also hampered by it's rampant sexism. Altho the author manages to get access quite well, men still hold nearly 90% of the jobs that are filled by Citizens. Hopefully, this is changing, women now are the majority of college graduates.

The author does not restrict her investigations to the rich and powerful. She delves into the almost unknown (at least to westerners) world of the poor in this rich nation.

Fascinating, informative, well written.
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Showing 1-2 of 2 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Sep 24, 2012 10:19:56 PM PDT
Burgmicester says:
Outstanding review and find. I am going to read this one. My knowledge of this area is very poor and I've been waiting for something to kick start me. Thanks.

Posted on Jan 17, 2013 4:16:56 PM PST
One Reviewer says:
Interesting review for an interesting country!
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