“The Saudi Population Are Growing Restless”: A Deep Look Inside The “Black Box” That Is Saudi Arabia

With Saudi Arabia a critical player in the latest flare up in mid-east violence, while domestically the country faces increasing financial and economic pressure as a result of the collapse in oil prices coupled with the recent fomenting of a “royal coup” in Saudi Arabia, an honest and fresh perspective, not one pre-approved by the mainstream US media, into what is really going on in the kingdom was long overdue.

We are grateful to regular contributor Erico Matias Tavares who has kindly shared this interview with Dr. Ali Alyami, a native of Saudi Arabia and a citizen of the US for the past four decades. From an early age he has been advocating for political, economic and social reform in his native homeland. He is the founder and Executive Director of the Center for Democracy & Human Rights in Saudi Arabia, a Washington, D.C. based non-profit tax exempt organization.

Previously, Alyami was a Senior Fellow at the Saudi Institute in Washington, D.C., Director of an educational peace program for the American Friends Service Committee in San Francisco and a Representative for the Arab Organization for Human Rights (a Cairo based group) in North America. Dr. Alyami has spoken at conferences throughout the US, Egypt, Sudan, Israel, France, Belgium, Spain and the UK, has offered expert testimony before Congress and has advised senior officials at the Pentagon, the National Security Council and the Department of State.

  • The House of Saud has kept a very heavy thumb on Saudi Arabia’s population. If there is dissent, how will any political action be carried out?

    • ellake

      I think that their dissent will be similar to the one in Syria or even worse i.e. I think they will behave like ISIS. The majority of Saudi Arabia people are very conservative and very fundamentalist. And the Suni majority supports their government policy re Shia, there are some who do not like it but not the majority, I think.
      I also think that the interviewee mixed truth with fiction.

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      • As was pointed out elsewhere, Saudi Arabia is what ISIS with a country would look like. A splintering of Saudi society could lean towards an experience as seen in Egypt or, as you said, something worse.

  • bob e

    thinking “out of the black box” as iran shimmies it’s way up the nuclear
    maypole .. i’m bettin’ .
    they are still prosperous enough to supply germany with 200 new mosques
    and of course there were those two buildings that bill cllinton
    forgot to warn us about ..

  • tom_billesley

    Arab Organization for Human Rights (a Cairo based group)
    Will Dr. Alyami’s organization be seeking implementation of the UN Univeral Declaration of Human Rights of 1948, or the Organisation of the Islamic Conference (OIC) Cairo Declaration on Human Rights in Islam (CDHRI) of 1990? I think I know the answer. The latter has Sharia as its sole source.

  • Hard Little Machine

    Today, the social welfare system in the Kingdom is 70-75% of the government budget and the government is 70% of the economy. The kingdom pays Saudis to stay home and make babies. Out of a national population of 25million there are at most 7 million actual Saudi subjects of which most are women and children. The kingdom has one of the highest birthrates in the world – for the Saudi subjects. In a generation there will be 40 million Saudis right at the time when the oil is expected to play out. So the kingdom has a few pretty stark choices – move the economy to a non oil based system or cut the welfare the state. They can’t cut the welfare state, obviously since there’s no education and no way for Saudis to take on those jobs even if they allowed women to work. That leaves becoming a financial based economy. Basically Saudi Arabia will become a gigantic hedge fund that buys real estate and businesses and financial investments everywhere in the world except Saudi Arabia.