From the Editors
The New York Times says Jadaliyya "Brings New Life to Arab Studies." Read about it by clicking here.
Riyadh feels a little less stale since the Tunisian people toppled their dictator-president Zine El Abidine Bin Ali on 15 January 2011. In cafes, restaurants, and salons (majalis), friends and colleagues greet me with a smug smile, congratulations, and a ‘u’balna kulna (may we all be next). On my daily afternoon walks, I overhear Saudis of all ages and walks of life analyzing the events that led to the overthrow of the Tunisian regime. Everywhere I go, people are hypothesizing on whether the same could happen to “them,” referring to the possibility of a Saudi Arabia not headed by the Al Sauds. Although most concur that it is highly unlikely, they are nonetheless more convinced than ever of the power of the people to bring about change. They know that they can no longer sit back and wait for their government to hand them their basic political, economic, and to some extent, even human rights.
It is not surprising that Saudis are jumping on the bandwagon of optimism which has swept the Arab world in the last two weeks. That they are expressing their discontent and criticism of the Saudi regime in public spaces, however, is. Last week, several “gatherings” (tajamu’at) took place at government institutions in several Saudi cities. Groups of seventy to one hundred Saudi men (no exact numbers are available) peacefully stood in front of different municipalities as well as the ministries of Education and Labor. The men were silently protesting their deteriorating living conditions, rising unemployment (in one of the strongest economies in the world), and increasingly corrupt and stagnant bureaucracy. These public protests have received little press coverage, but the fact that they have occurred for several days speaks volumes as to the increasing willingness of Saudi citizens to challenge the Saudi regime.
This article is now featured in Jadaliyya's edited volume entitled Dawn of the Arab Uprisings: End of An Old Order? (Pluto Press, 2012). The volume documents the first six months of the Arab uprisings, explaining the backgrounds and trajectories of these popular movements. It also archives the range of responses that emanated from activists, scholars, and analysts as they sought to make sense of the rapidly unfolding events. Click here to access the full article by ordering your copy of Dawn of the Arab Uprisings from Amazon, or use the link below to purchase from the publisher.
4 comments for "Saudi Arabia's Silent Protests"
If you prefer, email your comments to email@example.com.
Hot on Facebook
Jadalicious / جدلشس
“While proposed reforms may indeed postpone the Spring of Anger a little, the risk of revolution is definitely increasing with the dusk of the oil age.”click | email | tweet
Latest EntriesView All Entries »
- Beyond Uncritical Optimism: The Challenges for Transitional Tunisia
- Letter to the Louis D. Brandeis Center for Human Rights under Law regarding Attack on Title VI-Supported Middle East Studies Centers
- Declaration by Scholars for Peace in Solidarity with the Saturday Mothers of Turkey
- Erdogan, Turk milliyetciligi kartina oynuyor
- Maghreb Media Roundup (October 23)
- Assault on Academic Freedom: Neoliberalism and the Corporatization of Universities, Live Stream Event with Steven Salaita (27 October 2014 at GMU)
- On the BDS Blacklist
- أشباح سركون بولص
- ذكريات صغيرة عن سركون بولص
- عن سركون بولص في ذكراه
- New Texts Out Now: Edmund Burke III, The Ethnographic State: France and the Invention of Moroccan Islam
- Egypt Media Roundup (October 20)
- Turkey Media Roundup (October 21)
- ضياء الدين ساردار: مطارحة الإسلام والمستقبل
- هل يمكن إنقاذ العراق؟
- Operation Protective Edge and Legal Remedies
- O.I.L. Media Roundup (20 October)
- Hydrogen Senior Project Exhibition
- Last Week on Jadaliyya (October 13-19)
- Syria Media Roundup (October 20)
Jad NavigationView Full Map, Topics, and Countries »
Beyond Uncritical Optimism: The Challenges for Transitional Tunisia http://t.co/6izMU6L3Ke
yesterday at 11:59 AM
Declaration by Scholars for Peace in Solidarity with the Saturday Mothers of Turkey http://t.co/K1z9GIvf9J
yesterday at 10:30 AM
Call for Participants: 2015 PARC Faculty Development Seminar (May 14-25, 2015, Jerusalem and the West Bank) http://t.co/xDuLAAZEyx
yesterday at 9:23 AM
Call for Applicants: 2015-16 PARC Fellowship for US Scholars Conducting Field-Based Research on Palestine http://t.co/vfJpBGRqsR
yesterday at 9:22 AM
Call for Applicants: 2015-16 NEH/FPIRI PARK Fellowship for Scholars Conducting Field-Based Humanities Research in... http://t.co/QnpUau2v6I
yesterday at 9:22 AM