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Saudi Arabia

How Henry Kissinger Bungled the Arab Oil Embargo

Kissinger’s Saudi Failures

Most public debate about Kissinger’s legacy has concerned the morality of his “realism.” Yet examining his approach to U.S.-Saudi relations at a key moment reveals little strategic thinking and more of an ad hoc style, influenced by deep ideological values and a naive understanding of the Middle East.

How a Saudi Official Is Putting the Kingdom at the Center of Combat Sports

The Kingdom Comes Out Swinging

The future of combat sports may be in Saudi Arabia. If Turki al-Shaikh carries on like this, not only might he restore boxing’s popularity to levels seen only when the best fought the best, but he could possibly wrest combat sports away from the West, changing the cultural landscape.

A New Holiday Heralds a More Complex Understanding of Saudi Arabia’s Origins

A New Holiday Heralds a More Complex Understanding of Saudi Arabia’s Origins

The kingdom’s new Foundation Day plays down the false idea that the Saudi state legitimized itself through Wahhabism, with political authority divided between the ruling Al Saud dynasty and the religious establishment, and helps to reveal how it gained its legitimacy via a hybrid normative tradition that included Arabist and Salafist elements.

Nooriyah Brings Arabic Music to the Dance Floor

Nooriyah Brings Arabic Music to the Dance Floor

Arabic music had always had an influence on Western music and pop culture. I discovered the depth of this influence through a rather unlikely source — Nooriyah, a Saudi, London-based DJ/producer, who launched an Instagram video series that went viral in early 2021 exploring the phenomenon.

The ‘Conscious Uncoupling’ of Wahhabism and Saudi Arabia

The ‘Conscious Uncoupling’ of Wahhabism and Saudi Arabia

Years before the Saudi leadership turned its back on the native Islamists who co-founded the kingdom, the movement had already been in decline. It is these longstanding problems, not just the current political environment, that make the Wahhabi decay irreversible.

Ex-Saudi Intelligence Head Weighs In on Afghanistan

Ex-Saudi Intelligence Head Weighs In on Afghanistan

The closest Prince Turki al-Faisal comes to expressing regret is when he writes that he and his American counterparts might have been too focused on the immediate aim of winning the war in Afghanistan, rather than the potential long-term consequences of their actions.

Saudi Arabia’s Houses of Horror for Disobedient Women

Saudi Arabia’s Houses of Horror for Disobedient Women

Fear of ending up in a state-run Home of Care was echoed in every interview I conducted with women who sought asylum abroad after leaving the kingdom. Understanding this institution is crucial to understanding what the women are running away from.