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Saudi Arabia Economic Evolution

Uploaded by tmjsnbrd95 on Oct 27, 2011

I Introduction

Saudi Arabia is a country that must be taken on its own terms. It is a large (slightly more than one-fifth of the area of the U.S.) barren country that until comparatively recently, was a tribal culture. It was thrust unprepared into the 20th Century, and so is partly modern, and partly mired in the past. It is the only nation in the world that bears the name of its ruling family: The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, ruled by the House of Saud. In Arabic, it’s Al Mamlakah al Arabiyah as Suudiyah.
It is a harsh and repressive society; for example, under “Suffrage,” the “CIA World Factbook-Saudi Arabia” simply says “none.” (PG). There are no elections, no voting; this is a kingdom ruled by a hereditary monarchy. Likewise there are no political parties or political leaders; they simply do not exist. The House of Saud exercises complete hegemony over the nation.
This regulation apparently extends to information, to judge by the fact that statistics easily obtainable about other nations are not found in the Saudi Arabian listing. (The “adult prevalence rate” for AIDS is .01% of the population, according to a 1999 estimate, but there are no people “living with the disease”, and no “Aids deaths”—those figures blank. In addition, the number of people living below the poverty line is given as “NA.”) (“Saudi Arabia,” PG). Perhaps the government doesn’t want to acknowledge that some of its citizens may be homosexual, a grave sin under Islamic law. Or perhaps they don’t want to admit that Saudis are subject to the same diseases as the rest of mankind. And there must be poor people, whether or not the government wants to acknowledge them. No matter what the reason, information is missing here that is routinely divulged by other nations. This seems to be typical of the sort of deep secrecy that surrounds the peninsula, a secrecy that often goes against the grain of Westerners.
The country is 90% Arabic, 10% Afro-Asian; it is 100% Muslim. Thus, Islamic religious law is also the law of the land. Separation of church and state is nonexistent here, and that too makes Saudi Arabia difficult for Westerners to understand.
Finally, and probably most importantly, the country’s economy is based on oil, and oil alone. Oil has made the...

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Uploaded by:   tmjsnbrd95

Date:   10/27/2011

Category:   Politics

Length:   38 pages (8,475 words)

Views:   1495

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