Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Inside the Saudi Kingdom


Through unique access to one of the most senior Royal Princes in the Kingdom, this film paints a portrait of modern Saudi Arabia at a crossroads. As it wrestles with modernisation and digital technology, can it maintain its Bedouin and Islamic traditions? Decadent princes, sand dunes and harems… these were once the typical images that Saudi Arabia evoked. But post 9/11, those cliches have been replaced by fears of a country funding fundamentalist Madrassi schools worldwide, breeding suicide bombers and not allowing its women to vote or drive. The new King Abdullah has embarked on a cautious program of reform to counter what some Western commentators see as a monarchy out of touch with its people. But what is it really like for those living in modern day Saudi Arabia? In this exclusive film, Prince Saud bin Abdul Mohsen - the Governor of Hail Province - talks candidly about its ambitions and problems and we speak to the ordinary people of his province. From their stories emerges a fascinating insight into a once secretive and feudal country, steeped in an aristocratic tradition, at a time of great change.
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