Tuesday, August 02, 2005

And so it came to pass....

The Past, The Present and The Future (possibly)

King Fahd has died and King Abdullah is in charge, now in name as well as actions.

You don't need me to tell you that the Middle East is an incredibly complex region. What a lot of people don't realise is that regions of the Middle East are as different as chalk and cheese...The Levant countries of Lebanon, Jordan and Syria are totally different in culture, environment, race and nominally religion to the Gulf States of the UAE, Qatar, Bahrain and Kuwait...right in the middle is Saudi Arabia...possibly serving as the Arab axis, definitely serving as a fount of oil for the world and as a bridge between the Gulf and the Levant.

Saudi is a difficult country to rule...balancing the wants of the fundamentalists, staying true to the holy land of Mecca, weeding out the terrorists that seem to inhabit this secretive Kingdom and trying to bring Saudi into the 21st century world that the West presently accepts as the norm.

Given his age (82), King Abdullah is already being seen as more of a caretaker ruler, however from all accounts he has been ruling Saudi for at least the last 10 years in all but name. He is a reformer, however cautious, and has been seen to be trying to stem the flood of terrorism that seems to be washing through his Kingdom.

I hope he succeeds.


Blogger Glenzo said...

Why do they all wear the same facial hair?

4:46 am  
Blogger Madame Chiang said...

I know...I never realised they were all so similar until I saw that collection of photos...probably a lack of imagination on the side of their barber or a strict uniform policy!!

5:45 am  
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