MENA on Fire: the Bahraini Story

While the protests in Tunisia, Egypt, Yemen, Algeria, Libya and Iran are not a surprise, the ones in Bahrain definitely are. Not because the population is not unhappy, (the majority shia are extremely oppressed by the minority sunni ruling class), but because in this constitutional monarchy bordering Saudi Arabia, it is rare that they were…

Should Liberty be the Price of Safety in Saudi Arabia?

Saudi Arabia takes national security very seriously. In 2003, after Al-Qaeda affiliates launched three successful attacks on expatriate compounds and several failed ones on Saudi government facilities, the country cracked down very hard on militants, suspected militants, political activists, dissidents, supporters and basically anyone it wanted to. The Human Rights Watch recently issued a report…

Alcohol in Saudi Arabia- expats

When it comes to alcohol the worst offenders in the Kingdom are often from the expatriate community. 9 out of 10 news reports about raids on producers, suppliers and distributors includes at least one, if not more, expats within the illegal alcohol supply chain. There are the expats who run factories to produce the local…

Alcohol in Saudi Arabia- locals

Alcohol is officially banned in Saudi Arabia- for both locals and expats (unlike other Muslim majority countries where alcohol is allowed for expats e.g. Pakistan or countries where alcohol is served in hotels openly available e.g. Egypt, Bahrain, Dubai etc).  The reality on the ground is different and depends on socio-economic status. The vast majority…

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