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Saudi Arabia: Security and Reform - ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive
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Saudi Arabia’s “Friday of Rage” passed by calmly and peacefully, with the people of Saudi Arabia winning the bet they placed on the country’s security, stability, and reform from within. This experience confirmed the truth of the belief that every country in the Arab world has its own special situation and circumstances which differ from all others. Therefore despite the repetitive terms that have been used in describing the problems and challenges being faced by the regional countries, each country has reacted to these problems in a different manner.

The people of Saudi Arabia, like any other people, have many legitimate ambitions, desires, and dreams; they dream of a country that will meet their ambitions and desires and which will allow them to live in dignity and make a good living. They dream of a homeland where justice is carried out for all by a fair judiciary, where advanced state-of-the-art science and technology is readily available, and where economically affordable housing is easily obtained. They dream of a homeland where a citizen’s dignity is preserved, and there is equality without any forms of discrimination.

The people of Saudi Arabia are now aware that they are being ruled by a King who truly loves them and wants the best for his country and his people. Under this King, they have come to know new terms such as reform, national dialogue, confronting corruption, and punishing whoever is found guilty, regardless of who they might be. These all are noble and fundamental goals that reflect the sincere position of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah Bin Abdulaziz towards his country and people.

The people of Saudi Arabia have always been keen to strengthen their country and build upon the achievements they have made, and to build on the wonderful state established by the founder of Saudi Arabia, King Abdulaziz Ibn Saud, and fulfill the ambitions of everybody who lives in this country. They know that this is the definition of loyalty, and that this is what connects the Saudi leadership to the people and vice versa.

The people of Saudi Arabia have always been careful to remind the outside world that the country’s security and stability represent a red-line that cannot be transgressed, and that foreign intervention in its internal affairs is unacceptable. This is something that Saudi Arabia previously suffered from, and so it is extremely sensitive to any such attempts. Saudi Arabia’s “Day of Rage” was called for by non-Saudi Arabian sheikhs and preachers, and on non-Saudi Arabian satellite news channels and websites, which fueled a natural state of unrest, fear, and tension, in the country. This is something that quite naturally was reflected in the feelings of the people of Saudi Arabia, for this is a normal human reaction when dealing with the unknown. However despite all this, Friday was a day of calm, and this was a clear message to those who are seeking to stir unrest in the country and incite unrest, fear, and panic. Saudi citizens all across the country sent a message of calm, a message of love and loyalty, to their King and country, in a civilized manner.

The people of Saudi Arabia are aware that they do not live in a perfect society, and that they have problems and issues which concern, worry, and even weaken them. However they are also aware that there are mechanisms that lead to solutions, and others which lead to destruction, and they, of course, have enough wisdom to distinguish between the two. Second Deputy Prime Minister, Prince Naif Bin Abdulaziz, summed up the entire situation when he said “Congratulations to the King on his people; and congratulations to the people on their King.” He added “Our people have proved to the world the unity and cohesion between them and the Saudi leadership.” The Saudi people and leadership must continue their path of reform and achievement, establishing greater [civil] rights to ward off unrest and division. This is considered to be the most important path towards Saudi Arabia achieving a prosperous present and future.

The clear unity between the people of Saudi Arabia and its leadership should continue to provide the country with momentum and strength to walk the path towards reform. The noble people of Saudi Arabia have extended a wonderful, faithful and grand tribute to its noble-minded leadership, and we are hopeful that the people will be repaid for their loyalty

May God protect Saudi Arabia and its people from all evils, and keep this country safe and secure.

Hussein Shobokshi

Hussein Shobokshi

Hussein Shobokshi is a businessman and prominent columnist. Mr. Shobokshi hosts the weekly current affairs program Al-Takreer on Al-Arabiya, and in 1995 he was chosen as one of the "Global Leaders for Tomorrow" by the World Economic Forum. He received his BA in Political Science and Management from the University of Tulsa.

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