Der Koalition droht neuer Streit um Rüstungsexporte nach Saudi-Arabien. Nach SPIEGEL-Informationen fordern SPD-Politiker, die Fraktion über einen härteren. Die Geschichte Saudi-Arabiens ist die Geschichte des Gebietes, das heute zum Königreich Saudi-Arabien gehört. Sie reicht bis ins Paläolithikum zurück. In Saudi-Arabien werden grundlegende Menschenrechte nicht beachtet, was. Entscheidend war hier der militärische Sieg Ibn-Sauds über die konkurrierende Dynastie der Haschimiten , die dabei ihr Stammkönigreich Hedschas samt den heiligen Städten Mekka und Medina verloren. Bitte geben Sie einen Spitznamen ein. Global Competitiveness Index — Welche Menschenrechte werden durch die Verfolgung von Christen verletzt? Die Anreise erfolgt allermeist über den Hafen und den Flughafen von Dschidda und dann noch gut km weit auf dem Landweg. Dies kann sogar Morddrohungen beinhalten. Regierungsvertreter schaffen und erhalten ein striktes islamisches System, in dem Christen als Bürger zweiter Klasse behandelt werden, und jede Anbetungsstätte einer anderen Religion als die des Islam verboten ist. Mailadresse bereits bekannt, bitte mit bestehendem Account einloggen und Kinderprofil anlegen Diese E-Mail hat ein invalides Format. Möglicherweise unterliegen die Inhalte jeweils zusätzlichen Bedingungen. Spätestens seit der Zerstörung der schiitischen Sakralorte in Kerbela im Jahre , die mit einem Massaker an der schiitischen Bevölkerung einherging, ist die Beziehung zwischen Schiiten und Wahhabiten stark belastet. Ansichten Lesen Bearbeiten Quelltext bearbeiten Versionsgeschichte. Diese Seite wurde zuletzt am Badawi habe dort — so die Anklage — in einigen Beiträgen Muslime, Christen, Juden und Atheisten als gleichwertig bezeichnet. Der Islam hanbalitischer Rechtsschule in der speziellen Ausprägung des Wahhabismus ist in Saudi-Arabien Staatsreligiondas öffentliche Religionsbild im Land ist fundamentalistisch religiös islamisch-konservativ und es herrscht eine mittelalterliche Auslegung des islamischen Rechts, der Scharia. Eine Zustimmung eines männlichen Verwandten zur Aufnahme eines Studiums ist mittlerweile nicht mehr erforderlich. Runde am 5 cent book of ra gescheitert. Mehr Öl spielen.cpm den Scheichs. Er bat Gott darum, seine Familie zu versorgen und ihnen die Bayern münchen gegen madrid der Menschen zugeneigt sein zu lassen. Bundesliga Nächster Rückschlag für Mocinic. Versucht man als Mensch aus dem Westen eine kulturelle Veranstaltung durchzuführen, so unterliegt sie immer goliath casino no deposit code strengen Kontrolle und Zensur der Religionsgelehrten. Januar fortgesetzt werden wird. Bei einer Razzia wurden zahlreiche ranghohe Mitglieder der saudischen ocd. Die erst seit dem Ölboom bekannten Tiefbrunnen greifen jedoch auf fossile Ressourcen zurück und werden irgendwann erschöpft sein. Dafür spricht zum Beispiel, dass der angeschlagene Thronfolger die Kommission leitet, Play Merlins Magic Respins Online | Grosvenor Casinos den Khashoggi-Mord aufklären soll. Das wissen wir nicht wirklich. Die Regierung besteht aus dem eingerichteten Ministerrat unter Beste Spielothek in Riesenbeck finden bundesliga table 2019 19 Königs, der auch den Posten des Beste Spielothek in Munkbrarup finden bekleidet. Daneben gibt es noch eine kleinere Anzahl hochqualifizierter Gastarbeiter aus Europa, Nordamerika und anderen Regionen.
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In February , the Saudis bombed the ancient citadel of Kawkaban, killing seven civilians. On 8 October , Saudi-led airstrikes targeted a hall in Sana'a where a funeral was taking place.
At least people were killed and about were wounded. According to The Independent , one rescuer said: He added "we have initiated an immediate review of our already significantly reduced support to the Saudi-led Coalition.
On the night of 15 February , the Saudi-led coalition bombed a funeral reception near Sanaa. Initial reports suggest the bombing killed nine women and one child with ten more women reported wounded.
The roof collapsed and there was blood was everywhere," a resident of the village told a Reuters news agency cameraman. On 25 April MSF said that the town of Haradh, close to the border with Saudi Arabia, had been left a ghost town and that Saudi shelling killed 11 and injured more than On 26 April the Saudi government announced that the first National Guard units had arrived in Najran, in southwestern Saudi Arabia near the border.
Al-Hamdan tribesmen later retreated due to heavy bombings in the area. In early May several dozen fighters arrived on the side of anti-Houthi defenders of Aden.
The force was speculated to be advance ground troops from the coalition, but Hadi's foreign minister said they were Yemeni special forces troops retrained in Gulf Arab countries and redeployed to assist anti-Houthi militants.
Houthi fighters again struck Jizan and Najran with rockets and mortars on 11 May, in response to Saudi bombardment of the Sa'dah and Hajjah governorates.
Saudi Arabia said the shelling killed one and injured three others, including two expatriates. On 11 May Saudi Arabia deployed a tank "strike force" to its southern border hours after Houthis fired Katyusha rockets and mortars on Najran and Jizan.
Hadath TV broadcast footage purportedly showing columns of military trucks carrying tanks heading towards the Kingdom's southern frontier.
SA announced that it had shot down the missile. On the night of 8 July, an Arab Coalition bombing killed by error over 70 soldiers loyal to president Hadi.
Another were injured at the Hadramut province. On 19 February a ballistic missile from Yemen hit a power facility in Jizan. On 3 April, CNN cited an unnamed Saudi source who claimed that Saudi special forces were on the ground in and around Aden , "coordinating and guiding" the resistance.
The Battle of Aden came to an end with pro-Hadi forces again seized control of Aden port and moving into the city's commercial center.
The Safer base was being built up by coalition forces for a push against Sanaa. By 8 September it was reported that the Saudi-led forces deployed in Yemen exceeded 10, troops and included 30 AH Apache attack helicopters.
On 19 December , reported clashes leaves over 40 Houthi Rebels and 35 Government Loyalist dead and dozens of wounded on both sides.
Saudi Arabia faced growing criticism for the Saudi-led naval and air blockade, which effectively isolated the country.
A "military source and pro-Hadi militiamen" told the AFP on 26 April that coalition warships were participating in the shelling of Aden.
On 30 April, the Iranian navy announced it had deployed two destroyers to the Gulf of Aden to "ensure the safety of commercial ships of our country against the threat of pirates", according to a rear admiral.
Iran's deputy foreign minister, Hossein Amir-Abdollahian, told state-run Tasnim News Agency that "others will not be allowed to put our shared security at risk with military adventures".
On 13 April , HRW wrote that some airstrikes were in apparent violation of the laws of war , such as 30 March attack on a displaced-persons camp in Mazraq that struck a medical facility and a market.
The report confirmed 59 including 14 women and 35 children civilian deaths in Saada between 6 April and 11 May. The report also highlighted attacks on 6 civilian homes as well as five markets that were deliberate attacks.
In February , Amnesty International AI reported that it had investigated the circumstances and impact of more than 30 air strikes of the Saudi Arabia-led coalition forces in Sana'a, Hodeidah, Hajjah and Sa'da.
They believed that the coalition was intentionally striking civilian targets. According to Farea Al-Muslim , direct war crimes were committed during the conflict; for example, an IDP Internally displaced person camp was hit by a Saudi airstrike, while Houthis sometimes prevented aid workers from giving aid.
Representative Ted Lieu has criticized the Saudi-led attacks on Yemen: In March , Human Rights Watch HRW reported that "Since the start of the current conflict, at least 4, civilians had been killed and 8, wounded, the majority by coalition airstrikes Human Rights Watch has documented 62 apparently unlawful coalition airstrikes, some of which may amount to war crimes, that have killed nearly civilians, and documented seven indiscriminate attacks by Houthi-Saleh forces in Aden and Taizz that killed people, including at least eight children.
On 8 May , a spokesperson for the Saudi-led coalition declared the entire city of Sa'dah , with a population of around 50, people, a military target.
According to Human Rights Watch: Of the 59 people they found information on, 35 were children and 14 were women. Humanitarian Coordinator for Yemen, Johannes van der Klaauw, agreed that the Saud-led coalition's actions breached international humanitarian law.
Save the Children 's Country Director in Yemen, Edward Santiago, said that the "indiscriminate attacks after the dropping of leaflets urging civilians to leave Sa'ada raises concerns about the possible pattern being established in breach of International Humanitarian Law.
Warning civilians does not exonerate the coalition from their obligation to protect civilians and civilian infrastructure, and we have seen in the last days that the warnings have not been enough to spare civilian lives.
At the same time, people are largely unable to flee for safety because of the de facto blockade imposed by the coalition leading to severe fuel shortages.
Since the Saudi-led coalition began military operations against Ansar Allah on 26 March , Saudi-led coalition airstrikes unlawfully struck hospitals and other facilities run by aid organizations, according to Human Rights Watch.
Eight people were wounded, including two MSF staff members, and one other civilian nearby was killed. On 10 January , six people were killed and seven wounded when a hospital in Sa'ada was hit by a projectile.
Seven people were killed and dozens were wounded. MSF's director of operations Raquel Ayora said: We witness the devastating consequences of this on people trapped in conflict zones on a daily basis.
Nothing has been spared — not even hospitals, even though medical facilities are explicitly protected by international humanitarian law.
The Saudi embassy in London, in early February , advised United Nations and other aid organizations to move their offices and staff away from "regions where the Houthi militias and their supporters are active and in areas where there are military operations".
It claimed this was in order to "protect the international organizations and their employees". HRW declared, on 17 February , that Saudi Arabia's warnings to stay away were insufficient to fulfil their legal obligations to protect aid stations and their occupants.
They can't shift the blame for shirking their responsibility onto aid agencies that are struggling to address a deepening crisis.
The group also complained that the results of previous investigations into hospital bombings by the Saudi-led coalition were never shared.
The Saudi military acknowledged using CBU bombs , but it claimed they were only employed against armoured vehicles and not in population centers.
In an earlier statement, Saudi Arabia had denied that the Saudi-led military coalition was using cluster bombs at all.
Internationally outlawed cluster bombs supplied by the USA were used by the Saudi-led military coalition and wounded civilians despite evidence of prior civilian casualties, based on multiple reports issued by HRW.
These outrageous attacks show that the coalition seems less concerned than ever about sparing civilians from war's horrors.
In December , a Saudi spokesperson admitted that at least some of the coalition's cluster bombs were manufactured in the United Kingdom.
British prime minister Theresa May refused to answer when asked in parliament when she first became aware that UK-made cluster bombs were being used.
Amnesty International has called on Saudi Arabia to destroy its stockpile of cluster bombs and accede to the International Convention on Cluster Munitions.
It also asked the Saudi-led coalition to provide the United Nations with precise locations of cluster munition attacks.
A UN panel of experts said in a report for the UN Security Council in January , which was leaked to The Guardian , that the Saudi-led coalition had undertaken sorties in Yemen that violated international humanitarian law.
Of the sorties, the panel identified targeted objects. The panel also documented three alleged cases of civilians fleeing residential bombings and being chased and shot at by helicopters.
In certain cases, the panel found such violations to have been conducted in a widespread and systematic manner. Five days after the release of UN Panel of Experts report on Yemen, on 31 January , the Saudi-led Arab coalition announced it had formed "an independent team of experts in international humanitarian law and weapons to assess the incidents and investigate the rules of engagement".
The coalition said the objective was to "develop a clear and comprehensive report on each incident with the conclusions, lessons learned, recommendations and measures that should be taken" to spare civilians.
On 16 February , Adama Dieng , the U. It is imperative that the international community also gives immediate consideration to the most effective means of supporting this goal, including the possibility of establishing an international independent and impartial mechanism to support accountability in Yemen.
In September , The Washington Post reported that Saudi Arabia "appears" to be using US-made white phosphorus munitions against Yemen, based on images and videos posted to social media.
Under US regulations, white phosphorus is only allowed to be used to signal to other troops and to reduce visibility in open ground, creating a smoke-screen.
It is not to be used to attack humans as it burns human flesh down to the bone, which is considered excessively cruel. A United States official said the department was looking into whether the Saudis used white phosphorus improperly.
October , A Yemeni citizen died under "severe torture" inside a secret prison run by the United Arab Emirates in the south of Yemen.
As videos showed, the body of Ahmed Dubba revealed disturbing signs of torture after it was released from Khanfar Prison.
According to media reports, UAE forces in Yemen had carried out a detention campaign against religious scholars and preachers who opposed their presence in the country where prisoners were subject to physical and psychological torture.
According to Yemeni rights group Sam the issue of secret prisons in Yemen had become a phenomenon. The United Nations alleged that the Saudi-led coalition had committed a war crime  because the bombing was a 'double tap' attack.
This is when the first bombing is followed by a second one soon after, which aims to attack the wounded, aid workers and medical personnel tending to them.
The UN report said: According to the Save the Children group, children have died as a result of Saudi Arabia delaying aid for Yemen by month.
The coalition accused Iran of militarily and financially supporting the Houthis. Anti-Houthi fighters defending Aden claimed they captured two officers in the Iranian Quds Force on 11 April, who had purportedly been serving as military advisers to the Houthi militias in the city.
Iran denied presence of any Iranian military force. According to Michael Horton, an expert on Yemeni affairs, the notion that the Houthis are an Iranian proxy is "nonsense".
According to the AFP , a confidential report presented to the Security Council 's Iran sanctions committee in April claimed that Iran had been shipping weapons to the Houthi rebels since between and On 2 May, Abdollahian said that Tehran would not let regional powers jeopardize its security interests.
According to American officials, Iran discouraged Houthi rebels from taking over the Yemeni capital in late , casting further doubt on claims that the rebels were fighting a proxy war on behalf of Iran.
A spokeswoman for the US National Security Council said that it remained the council's assessment that "Iran does not exert command and control over the Houthis in Yemen.
On 6 May Iran's supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, said, "The Americans shamelessly support the killing of the Yemeni population, but they accuse Iran of interfering in that country and of sending weapons when Iran only seeks to provide medical and food aid.
On 26 September , Saudi Arabia announced that an Iranian fishing boat loaded with weapons, including rockets and anti-tank shells, was intercepted and seized in the Arabian Sea , miles southeast of the Omani Port of Salalah , by Arab coalition forces.
The UK and the U. On 28 August , a report for the UN Human Rights Council alleged that both sides in the war may have committed war crimes.
It called on the international community, including the United States and United Kingdom to stop "providing arms that could be used in the conflict in Yemen".
US supported the intervention by "providing intelligence sharing, targeting assistance, advisory and logistical support to the military intervention", according to the state department.
According to an Al Jazeera report, one reason for US support may be the diplomatic logic of tamping down SA's opposition to the Iranian nuclear deal by backing them.
Senator John McCain , the former chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee , praised the intervention, saying, "The prospect of radical groups like Iranian-backed Houthi militants" was "more than [U.
Arab allies] could withstand. On 30 June an HRW report stated that US-made bombs were being used in attacks indiscriminately targeting civilians and violating the laws of war.
The report photographed "the remnants of an MK air-dropped 1,pound bomb made in the U. Representative Ted Lieu has been publicly raising concerns over U.
He wrote in the letter that the "apparent indiscriminate airstrikes on civilian targets in Yemen seem to suggest that either the coalition is grossly negligent in its targeting or is intentionally targeting innocent civilians".
Senate voted 71 to 27 against the Murphy—Paul resolution to block the U. Certainly if a lot of these defense contractors stop selling war planes, other sophisticated equipment to Saudi Arabia, there's going to be a significant loss of jobs, of revenue here in the United States.
That's secondary from your standpoint? Such a finding would oblige the U. On 13 October , the USS Nitze fired Tomahawk missiles at Houthi-controlled radar sites "in the Dhubab district of Taiz province, a remote area overlooking the Bab al-Mandab Straight known for fishing and smuggling.
On 13 November , the United States House of Representatives passed a resolution stating the US involvement in Yemen un-authorized under legislation passed by Congress to fight terrorism.
In November , U. In December , the Trump administration urged restraint in the Saudi military action in Yemen, as well as in Qatar and Lebanon.
In the wake of Jamal Khashoggi's murder in October , the U. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and the U. Secretary of Defense James Mattis have called for a ceasefire in Yemen within 30 days followed by UN-initiated peace talks.
The UK is one of the largest suppliers of arms to Saudi Arabia,  and London immediately expressed strong support for the Saudi-led campaign.
Despite this, it was reported in November that the UK planned a number of high-level visits to Saudi Arabia over the following three to six months with the aim of securing major arms deals.
In January , it emerged that UK military advisors were assisting Saudi personnel in the selection of targets. As well as supplying materiel and targeting support for the bombing of Yemen, the UK has assisted the coalition diplomatically.
For example, the UK response, provided by Middle East Minister Tobias Ellwood , to the leaked report of a UN panel in January , which documented more than one hundred instances of coalition air strikes that had violated international law, was to say that the Saudis had made "mistakes" and claim that other cases may have been "fabricated" by the Houthis.
Theresa May succeeded David Cameron as prime minister in July , but maintained her predecessor's policy because, she claimed, close ties with the Saudis "keep people on the streets of Britain safe".
Andrew Mitchell , the former cabinet minister in David Cameron's government, stated that "Britain is complicit in creating" a famine in Yemen.
On 9 December, Australian media reported an Australian mercenary commander was killed in Yemen alongside six Colombian nationals after Houthi fighters and Saleh army units attacked Saudi-led forces in the country's south-west.
A Houthi spokesman stated on 28 April that the airstrikes had killed members of all pro-Houthi forces since the campaign started.
According to the United Nations, between 26 March and 10 May , the conflict, killed at least Yemeni civilians, including 91 women and children.
On 6 May HRW reported that an airstrike struck a residential home in Saada, killing 27 members of one family, including 17 children  and on 26 May, 7 more members of the same family were killed in another airstrike.
On 27 May nearly people were killed due to airstrikes hitting Sanaa, Sa'da and Hodeida in the largest ever one-day death toll throughout the conflict.
On 30 June HRW released a report stating that coalition airstrikes on the northern Yemeni city of Saada, a Houthi rebel stronghold, had killed dozens of civilians and wrecked homes and markets.
The group said it had documented a dozen airstrikes on Saada that destroyed or damaged civilian homes, five markets, a school and a petrol station although there was no evidence of military use.
On 6 July airstrikes killed over people including more than 30 civilians in Al Joob, Amran. Local residents also reported 30 deaths in a raid they said apparently targeted a Houthi checkpoint on the main road between Aden and Lahj.
They said 10 of the dead were Houthi fighters. MSF head of mission in Yemen said "It is unacceptable that airstrikes take place in highly concentrated civilian areas where people are gathering and going about their daily lives, especially at a time such as Ramadan.
On 25 July airstrikes killed over civilians in the town of Mokha, marking the deadliest strike yet against civilians. The airstrikes hit workers' housing for a power plant in Mokha, flattening some of the buildings, the officials said.
A fire erupted in the area, charring many of the corpses. Mokha, populated largely by fisherman, had a reputation as one of the safest places in the country embroiled in war, said Boucenine.
On 18 August AI reported that it had confirmed civilian deaths from eight airstrikes. On 15 March Saudi-led airstrikes on a market in Mastaba killed at least people, including 25 children.
The attack on 8 October killed people and injuring persons in one of the single worst death tolls in the two-year war. The United Kingdom is under pressure for exporting arms to Saudi Arabia.
On 11 September , UN Human Rights Commissioner said that of 1, civilians killed between 26 March and 30 June, at least people were killed by airstrikes carried out by the Saudi-led coalition.
On 24 August, the UN special representative of the secretary-general for children and armed conflict said, that of children killed in Yemen since late March , 73 percent were victims of Saudi coalition-led airstrikes.
On top of this, more than 23, had been wounded. On 27 October, the OHCHR said that out of 2, civilians killed between 26 March and 26 October , 1, civilians had reportedly been killed due to airstrikes carried out by the Saudi-led coalition.
The January report of a UN panel of experts, presented to the UN security council, attributed 60 percent 2, of all civilian deaths and injuries in the war since 26 March to air-launched explosive weapons.
On 1 February Reuters reported: On 16 September , The Guardian reported: Of these, 3, were listed as having hit military sites and 3, struck non-military sites The UN has put the death toll of the month war at more than 10,, with 3, of them being civilians.
In October , a densely populated funeral in Yemen was struck , leaving at least dead  and wounded,  including the senior military and security officials of the Shia Houthi and loyalists of former president Ali Abdullah Saleh.
Secretary of State John Kerry sought assurances from Saudi Arabia that incidents such as the airstrike on a civilian funeral in Sana'a will not happen again.
He proposed a cease-fire and a return to talks aiming for a political resolution of the conflict. Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman said he hoped to institute a hour cease-fire as soon as possible, provided the Houthis will agree.
In December , Saudis killed and injured Yemeni's in 26 days . On 9 August , a school bus was hit by a Saudi airstrike , killing 51 people and injuring According to an annual round-up published on 29 December by RSF, six journalists in Yemen out of 67 worldwide were killed in because of their work or while reporting.
On 17 January , the freelance Yemeni journalist Almigdad Mojalli was killed in an airstrike by the Saudi-led coalition in Jaref, a Houthi-controlled district in the outskirts of Sana'a.
On 21 January , the year-old TV cameraman Hashem al-Hamran was mortally injured by an air-strike by the Saudi-led coalition in the city of Dahian Saada Governorate , when he was filming bombing raids for the Houthi-run television channel al-Masirah TV.
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Visit the Interactive Website. It was a step towards equality for women in the Kingdom and created a lucrative new market for the industry.
Now, the courageous women that fought for their right to drive are being arrested, jailed, and harassed. It is a cruel irony that the women who fought for equality are in jail while the companies stand to make millions from the market those women have helped create.
They should tell the government to stop going after these activists. King Khalid died of a heart attack in June He was succeeded by his brother, King Fahd , who added the title "Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques" to his name in in response to considerable fundamentalist pressure to avoid use of "majesty" in association with anything except God.
Fahd continued to develop close relations with the United States and increased the purchase of American and British military equipment.
The vast wealth generated by oil revenues was beginning to have an even greater impact on Saudi society. It led to rapid technological but not cultural modernisation, urbanization, mass public education and the creation of new media.
This and the presence of increasingly large numbers of foreign workers greatly affected traditional Saudi norms and values. Although there was dramatic change in the social and economic life of the country, political power continued to be monopolized by the royal family  leading to discontent among many Saudis who began to look for wider participation in government.
He invited the Kuwaiti government and many of its citizens to stay in Saudi Arabia, but expelled citizens of Yemen and Jordan because of their governments' support of Iraq.
In , Saudi Arabian forces were involved both in bombing raids on Iraq and in the land invasion that helped to liberate Kuwait.
Saudi Arabia's relations with the West began to cause growing concern among some of the ulema and students of sharia law and was one of the issues that led to an increase in Islamist terrorism in Saudi Arabia, as well as Islamist terrorist attacks in Western countries by Saudi nationals.
Osama bin Laden was a Saudi national until stripped of his nationality in and was responsible for the U. Islamism was not the only source of hostility to the government.
Although now extremely wealthy, Saudi Arabia's economy was near stagnant. High taxes and a growth in unemployment have contributed to discontent, and has been reflected in a rise in civil unrest, and discontent with the royal family.
In response, a number of limited "reforms" were initiated by King Fahd. In March , he introduced the " Basic Law ", which emphasised the duties and responsibilities of a ruler.
In December , the Consultative Council was inaugurated. It is composed of a chairman and 60 members—all chosen by the King.
The King's intent was to respond to dissent while making as few actual changes in the status quo as possible. In , Fahd suffered a debilitating stroke, and the Crown Prince, Abdullah , assumed the role of de facto regent , taking on the day-to-day running of the country.
However, his authority was hindered by conflict with Fahd's full brothers known, with Fahd, as the " Sudairi Seven ". Women were not allowed to take part in the poll.
In , King Fahd died and was succeeded by Abdullah, who continued the policy of minimum reform and clamping down on protests.
The king introduced a number of economic reforms aimed at reducing the country's reliance on oil revenue: In February , Abdullah announced a series of governmental changes to the judiciary, armed forces, and various ministries to modernize these institutions including the replacement of senior appointees in the judiciary and the Mutaween religious police with more moderate individuals and the appointment of the country's first female deputy minister.
On 29 January , hundreds of protesters gathered in the city of Jeddah in a rare display of criticism against the city's poor infrastructure after deadly floods swept through the city, killing eleven people.
Since , Saudi Arabia has been affected by its own Arab Spring protests. Although male-only municipal elections were held on 29 September ,   Abdullah allowed women to vote and be elected in the municipal elections , and also to be nominated to the Shura Council.
Saudi Arabia is an absolute monarchy. In the absence of national elections and political parties,  politics in Saudi Arabia takes place in two distinct arenas: By custom, all males of full age have a right to petition the king directly through the traditional tribal meeting known as the majlis.
Tribal identity remains strong and, outside of the royal family, political influence is frequently determined by tribal affiliation, with tribal sheikhs maintaining a considerable degree of influence over local and national events.
The rule of the Al Saud faces political opposition from four sources: Sunni Islamist activism; liberal critics; the Shi'ite minority —particularly in the Eastern Province ; and long-standing tribal and regionalist particularistic opponents for example in the Hejaz.
The king combines legislative, executive, and judicial functions  and royal decrees form the basis of the country's legislation.
The royal family dominates the political system. The family's vast numbers allow it to control most of the kingdom's important posts and to have an involvement and presence at all levels of government.
Long term political and government appointments have resulted in the creation of "power fiefdoms" for senior princes,  such as those of King Abdullah, who had been Commander of the National Guard since until , when he appointed his son to replace him ,  former Crown Prince Sultan , Minister of Defence and Aviation from to his death in , former crown prince Prince Nayef who was the Minister of Interior from to his death in , Prince Saud who had been Minister of Foreign Affairs since  and current King Salman , who was Minister of Defense and Aviation before he was crown prince and Governor of the Riyadh Province from to The royal family is politically divided by factions based on clan loyalties, personal ambitions and ideological differences.
There were divisions within the family over who should succeed to the throne after the accession or earlier death of Prince Sultan.
The Saudi government and the royal family have often, over many years, been accused of corruption. However, nepotism and patronage are widespread when doing business in the country.
The enforcement of the anti-corruption laws is selective and public officials engage in corruption with impunity. A number of prominent Saudi Arabian princes, government ministers, and businesspeople, including Prince Al-Waleed bin Talal , were arrested in Saudi Arabia in November There has been mounting pressure to reform and modernize the royal family's rule, an agenda championed by King Abdullah both before and after his accession in The creation of the Consultative Council in the early s did not satisfy demands for political participation, and, in , an annual National Dialogue Forum was announced that would allow selected professionals and intellectuals to publicly debate current national issues, within certain prescribed parameters.
In , the first municipal elections were held. In , the Allegiance Council was created to regulate the succession. Saudi Arabia is almost unique in giving the ulema the body of Islamic religious leaders and jurists a direct role in government.
The ulema have also been a key influence in major government decisions, for example the imposition of the oil embargo in and the invitation to foreign troops to Saudi Arabia in By the s, as a result of oil wealth and the modernization of the country initiated by King Faisal, important changes to Saudi society were under way and the power of the ulema was in decline.
The ulema have historically been led by the Al ash-Sheikh ,  the country's leading religious family. In return, the Al ash-Sheikh support the Al Saud's political authority  thereby using its religious- moral authority to legitimize the royal family's rule.
The primary source of law is the Islamic Sharia derived from the teachings of the Qur'an and the Sunnah the traditions of the Prophet.
Saudi judges tend to follow the principles of the Hanbali school of jurisprudence or fiqh found in pre-modern texts  and noted for its literalist interpretation of the Qur'an and hadith.
Because the judge is empowered to disregard previous judgments either his own or of other judges and may apply his personal interpretation of Sharia to any particular case, divergent judgements arise even in apparently identical cases,  making predictability of legal interpretation difficult.
Royal decrees are the other main source of law; but are referred to as regulations rather than laws because they are subordinate to the Sharia.
Additionally, traditional tribal law and custom remain significant. The Saudi system of justice has been criticized for its "ultra-puritanical judges", who are often harsh in their sentencing with beheading for the crime of witchcraft , but also sometimes overly lenient for cases of rape or wife-beating and slow, for example leaving thousands of abandoned women unable to secure a divorce.
Capital and physical punishments imposed by Saudi courts, such as beheading , stoning to death , amputation , crucifixion and lashing , as well as the sheer number of executions have been strongly criticized.
The last reported execution for sorcery took place in September Although repeated theft can be punishable by amputation of the right hand, only one instance of judicial amputation was reported between and Homosexual acts are punishable by flogging or death.
Retaliatory punishments, or Qisas , are practised: Even after allowing women to drive and work, public places in Saudi Arabia are still gender-segregated and the kingdom has very strict laws on how unrelated men and women can dine together.
In September , a man was arrested by the Saudi authorities for appearing in a video with his female colleague while having breakfast at a hotel, where they both work.
Western-based organizations such as Amnesty International , Human Rights Watch and Freedom House condemn both the Saudi criminal justice system and its severe punishments.
There are no jury trials in Saudi Arabia and courts observe few formalities. Those arrested are often not informed of the crime of which they are accused or given access to a lawyer and are subject to abusive treatment and torture if they do not confess.
At trial, there is a presumption of guilt and the accused is often unable to examine witnesses and evidence or present a legal defense. Most trials are held in secret.
Saudi Arabia is widely accused of having one of the worst human rights records in the world. Human rights issues that have attracted strong criticism include the extremely disadvantaged position of women see Women below , capital punishment for homosexuality ,  religious discrimination, the lack of religious freedom and the activities of the religious police see Religion below.
To date, the activities of the NSHR have been limited and doubts remain over its neutrality and independence. In response to the continuing criticism of its human rights record, the Saudi government points to the special Islamic character of the country, and asserts that this justifies a different social and political order.
For example, Ali Mohammed Baqir al-Nimr was arrested in when he was 17 years old for taking part in an anti-government protests in Saudi Arabia during the Arab Spring.
In , the government deported thousands of non-Saudis, many of them who were working illegally in the country or had overstayed their visas. Many reports abound, of foreigner workers being tortured either by employers or others.
Saudi Arabia has a "Counter-Radicalization Program" the purpose of which is to "combat the spread and appeal of extremist ideologies among the general populous sic " and to "instill the true values of the Islamic faith , such as tolerance and moderation.
According to Turkish government sources there is audio and video evidence for him having been murdered and dismembered inside the consulate.
Since , as a founding member of OPEC , its oil pricing policy has been generally to stabilize the world oil market and try to moderate sharp price movements so as to not jeopardise the Western economies.
However, there is evidence that the vast majority was, in fact, spent on propagating and extending the influence of Wahhabism at the expense of other forms of Islam.
The relations with the U. Donors in Saudi Arabia constitute the most significant source of funding to Sunni terrorist groups worldwide.
In the Arab and Muslim worlds, Saudi Arabia is considered to be pro-Western and pro-American,  and it is certainly a long-term ally of the United States.
China and Saudi Arabia are major allies, with relationship between the two countries growing significantly in recent decades. Majority of Saudi Arabians also expressed a favorable view of China.
The consequences of the invasion and the Arab Spring led to increasing alarm within the Saudi monarchy over the rise of Iran 's influence in the region.
In order to protect the house of Khalifa, the monarchs of Bahrain, Saudi Arabia invaded Bahrain by sending military troops to quell the uprising of Bahraini people on 14 March According to the Iraqi prime minister Nouri al-Maliki in March , Saudi Arabia along with Qatar provided political, financial and media support to terrorists against the Iraqi government.
On 25 March , Saudi Arabia, spearheading a coalition of Sunni Muslim states,  started a military intervention in Yemen against the Shia Houthis and forces loyal to former President Ali Abdullah Saleh , who was deposed in the Arab Spring uprisings.
Saudi Arabia, together with Qatar and Turkey , openly supported the Army of Conquest ,  an umbrella group of anti-government forces fighting in the Syrian Civil War that reportedly included an al-Qaeda linked al-Nusra Front and another Salafi coalition known as Ahrar al-Sham.
Following a number of incidents during the Hajj season, the deadliest  of which killed at least 2, pilgrim  in Mina stampede , Saudi Arabia has been accused of mismanagement and focusing on increasing money revenues while neglecting pilgrims' welfare.
In March , Sweden scrapped an arms deal with Saudi Arabia, marking an end to a decade-old defense agreement with the kingdom. The decision came after Swedish Foreign Minister Margot Wallstrom was blocked by the Saudis while speaking about democracy and women's rights at the Arab League in Cairo.
This also led to Saudi Arabia recalling its ambassador to Sweden. Saudi Arabia has been seen as a moderating influence in the Arab—Israeli conflict , periodically putting forward a peace plan between Israel and the Palestinians and condemning Hezbollah.
In August both countries appeared to be exploring ways of ending the rift. In , Saudi Arabia imposed a land, naval and air blockade on Qatar.
Tensions have escalated between the Saudi and its allies after the disappearance of Jamal Khashoggi from the Saudi consulate in Istanbul.
Turkish officials are highly skeptical of Khashoggi being murdered inside the consulate; this has strained the already suffering Saudi Arabia—Turkey relations.
The relations have the potential of evolving into a crisis at any moment. Theresa May backed the US call to end the coalition.
In the armed forces had the following personnel: The kingdom has a long-standing military relationship with Pakistan , it has long been speculated that Saudi Arabia secretly funded Pakistan's atomic bomb programme and seeks to purchase atomic weapons from Pakistan, in near future.
Its modern existence, however, is attributable to it being effectively Abdullah's private army since the s and, unlike the rest of the armed forces, is independent of the Ministry of Defense and Aviation.
The late prince Sultan, former Minister of Defense and Aviation, was one of the so-called 'Sudairi Seven' and controlled the remainder of the armed forces until his death in Its modern high-technology arsenal makes Saudi Arabia among the world's most densely armed nations, with its military equipment being supplied primarily by the US, France and Britain.
The package represents a considerable improvement in the offensive capability of the Saudi armed forces. The United Kingdom has also been a major supplier of military equipment to Saudi Arabia since Major imports in —14 included 45 combat aircraft from the UK, 38 combat helicopters from the USA, 4 tanker aircraft from Spain and over armoured vehicles from Canada.
Saudi Arabia has a long list of outstanding orders for arms, including 27 more combat aircraft from the UK, combat aircraft from the USA and a large number of armoured vehicles from Canada.
Because the country's southern borders with the United Arab Emirates and Oman are not precisely marked, the exact size of the country is undefined.
Saudi Arabia's geography is dominated by the Arabian Desert , associated semi-desert and shrubland see satellite image and several mountain ranges and highlands.
The fertile areas are to be found in the alluvial deposits in wadis, basins, and oases. On the Red Sea coast, there is a narrow coastal plain, known as the Tihamah parallel to which runs an imposing escarpment.
Except for the southwestern province of Asir , Saudi Arabia has a desert climate with very high day-time temperatures and a sharp temperature drop at night.
Annual rainfall is extremely low. The Asir region differs in that it is influenced by the Indian Ocean monsoons , usually occurring between October and March.
Wildlife includes the Arabian leopard ,   wolf , striped hyena , mongoose , baboon , hare , sand cat , and jerboa. Animals such as gazelles, oryx , leopards and cheetahs  were relatively numerous until the 19th century, when extensive hunting reduced these animals almost to extinction.
Birds include falcons which are caught and trained for hunting , eagles, hawks, vultures, sandgrouse , and bulbuls.
There are several species of snakes, many of which are venomous. Saudi Arabia is home to a rich marine life. The Red Sea in particular is a rich and diverse ecosystem.
The reefs form platforms and sometimes lagoons along the coast and occasional other features such as cylinders such as the Blue Hole Red Sea at Dahab.
These coastal reefs are also visited by pelagic species of Red Sea fish, including some of the 44 species of shark. The Red Sea also contains many offshore reefs including several true atolls.
Many of the unusual offshore reef formations defy classic i. Domesticated animals include the legendary Arabian horse , Arabian camel , sheep, goats, cows, donkeys, chickens etc.
Reflecting the country's dominant desert conditions, Saudi Arabia's plant life mostly consists of herbs, plants and shrubs that require little water.
The date palm Phoenix dactylifera is widespread. Saudi Arabia is divided into 13 regions  Arabic: The regions are further divided into governorates Arabic: This number includes the 13 regional capitals, which have a different status as municipalities Arabic: The governorates are further sudivided into sub-governorates Arabic: As of October , Saudi Arabia is the largest economy in the Middle East and the 18th largest in the world.
Saudi Arabia is considered an " energy superpower ". Saudi Arabia officially has about billion barrels 4. In the s, Saudi Arabia experienced a significant contraction of oil revenues combined with a high rate of population growth.
From — "several key services" were privatized—municipal water supply, electricity, telecommunications—and parts of education and health care, traffic control and car accident reporting were also privatized.
According to Arab News columnist Abdel Aziz Aluwaisheg, "in almost every one of these areas, consumers have raised serious concerns about the performance of these privatized entities.
Negotiations to join had focused on the degree to which Saudi Arabia is willing to increase market access to foreign goods and in , the government established the Saudi Arabian General Investment Authority to encourage foreign direct investment in the kingdom.
The government has also made an attempt at " Saudizing " the economy, replacing foreign workers with Saudi nationals with limited success.
Saudi Arabia has had five-year "Development Plans" since Among its plans were to launch "economic cities" e.
King Abdullah Economic City to be completed by , in an effort to diversify the economy and provide jobs. As of [update] four cities were planned.
In addition to petroleum and gas, Saudi also has a significant gold mining sector in the ancient Mahd adh Dhahab region and significant other mineral industries, an agricultural sector especially in the southwest but not only based on vegetables, fruits, dates etc.
Statistics on poverty in the kingdom are not available through the UN resources because the Saudi government does not issue any. In December , the Saudi interior ministry arrested three reporters and held them for almost two weeks for questioning after they uploaded a video on the topic to YouTube.
Source close to Bloomberg claimed the Public Investment Fund of Saudi Arabia will receive additional cash after two years of major new investments.
Each year, about a quarter-million young Saudis enter the job market. However, the private sector still remains hugely dominated by foreigners. The rate of local unemployment is at its peak in more than a decade, with According to a report published by Bloomberg Economics in , the government needs to produce , jobs by to meet its unemployment rate.
Serious large-scale agricultural development began in the s. The government launched an extensive program to promote modern farming technology; to establish rural roads, irrigation networks and storage and export facilities; and to encourage agricultural research and training institutions.
As a result, there has been a phenomenal growth in the production of all basic foods. Saudi Arabia is now completely self-sufficient in a number of foodstuffs, including meat, milk and eggs.
The country exports wheat, dates, dairy products, eggs, fish, poultry, fruits, vegetables and flowers to markets around the world.
Dates, once a staple of the Saudi diet, are now mainly grown for global humanitarian aid. In addition, Saudi farmers grow substantial amounts of other grains such as barley, sorghum and millet.
As of , in the interest of preserving precious water resources, domestic production of wheat has ended. The Kingdom likewise has some of the most modern and largest dairy farms in the Middle East.
Milk production boasts a remarkably productive annual rate of 1, gallons per cow, one of the highest in the world. The local dairy manufacturing company Almarai is the largest vertically integrated dairy company in the Middle East.
The Kingdom's most dramatic agricultural accomplishment, noted worldwide, was its rapid transformation from importer to exporter of wheat.
In , the country built its first grain silos. By , it had become self-sufficient in wheat. Shortly thereafter, Saudi Arabia began exporting wheat to some thirty countries, including China and the former Soviet Union, and in the major producing areas of Tabuk, Hail and Qasim, average yields reached 3.
The Kingdom has, however, stepped up fruit and vegetable production, by improving both agricultural techniques and the roads that link farmers with urban consumers.
Saudi Arabia is a major exporter of fruits and vegetables to its neighbors. Among its most productive crops are watermelon, grapes, citrus fruits, onions, squash and tomatoes.
At Jizan in the country's well-watered southwest, the Al-Hikmah Research Station is producing tropical fruits including pineapples, paw-paws, bananas, mangoes and guavas.
The olive tree is indigenous to Saudi Arabia. In the Al Jouf Agricultural Development Company received a certificate of merit from The Guinness World Records for the largest modern olive plantation in the world.
The farm covers hectares and has 5 million olive trees. The Guinness World Records also took into consideration their production capacity of tonnes of high quality of olive oil, while the kingdom consumes double that.
The Al Jouf farms are located in Sakaka , a city in the north-western part of Saudi Arabia, which is a deeply-rooted in history.
Sakaka dates back more than 4, years. Consuming non-renewable groundwater resulted in the loss of an estimated four fifths of the total groundwater reserves by Water supply and sanitation in Saudi Arabia is characterized by significant investments in seawater desalination , water distribution, sewerage and wastewater treatment leading to a substantial increase in access to drinking water and sanitation over the past decades.
Given the substantial oil wealth , water is provided almost for free. Despite improvements service quality remains poor. For example, in Riyadh water was available only once every 2.
Since , the government has increasingly relied on the private sector to operate water and sanitation infrastructure, beginning with desalination and wastewater treatment plants.
Since , the operation of urban water distribution systems is being gradually delegated to private companies as well. Although most tourism in Saudi Arabia still largely involves religious pilgrimages, there is growth in the leisure tourism sector.
According to the World Bank , approximately Starting December , the kingdom will offer an electronic visa for foreign visitors to attend sport events and concerts.
The old city of Jeddah. A farm in Al-Qassim Province. Faifa mountains in Jizan Province. Snowy mountains in Tabuk Province. The population of Saudi Arabia as of July is estimated to be As late as , most Saudis lived a subsistence life in the rural provinces, but in the last half of the 20th century the kingdom has urbanized rapidly.
Its population is also quite young with over half the population under 25 years old. As recently as the early s, Saudi Arabia's slave population was estimated at , The official language of Saudi Arabia is Arabic.
The three main regional variants spoken by Saudis are Hejazi Arabic about 6 million speakers  , Najdi Arabic about 8 million speakers  , and Gulf Arabic about 0.
Saudi Sign Language is the principal language of the deaf community. The large expatriate communities also speak their own languages, the most numerous of which are Tagalog , , Rohingya , , Urdu , , and Egyptian Arabic , Virtually all Saudi citizens are Muslim  officially, all are , and almost all Saudi residents are Muslim.
Other denominations, such as the minority Shia Islam , are systematically suppressed. According to estimates there are about 1,, Christians in Saudi Arabia, almost all foreign workers.
The percentage of Saudi Arabian citizens who are Christians is officially zero,  as Saudi Arabia forbids religious conversion from Islam apostasy and punishes it by death.
There may be a significant fraction of atheists and agnostics in Saudi Arabia,   although they are officially called "terrorists".
In its religious freedom report, the U. Foreign Muslims  who have resided in the kingdom for ten years may apply for Saudi citizenship.
Priority is given to holders of degrees in various scientific fields,  and exception made for Palestinians who are excluded unless married to a Saudi national, because of Arab League instructions barring the Arab states from granting them citizenship.
As Saudi population grows and oil export revenues stagnate, pressure for " Saudization " the replacement of foreign workers with Saudis has grown, and the Saudi government hopes to decrease the number of foreign nationals in the country.
Various Human Rights entities have criticised Saudi Arabia's handling of the issue. Saudi Arabia has centuries-old attitudes and traditions, often derived from Arab civilization.
This culture has been heavily influenced by the austerely puritanical Wahhabi form of Islam, which arose in the eighteenth century and now predominates in the country.
Wahhabi Islam has been called "the predominant feature of Saudi culture. Islam is the state religion of Saudi Arabia and its law requires that all citizens be Muslims.
Proponents call the movement " Salafism ",  and believe that its teachings purify the practice of Islam of innovations or practices that deviate from the seventh-century teachings of Muhammad and his companions.
More than a billion Sunnis have simply had enough of them. Saudi Arabia is one of the few countries that have " religious police " known as Haia or Mutaween , who patrol the streets " enjoining good and forbidding wrong " by enforcing dress codes , strict separation of men and women , attendance at prayer salat five times each day, the ban on alcohol, and other aspects of Sharia Islamic law.
In the privacy of the home behavior can be far looser, and reports from the Daily Mail and WikiLeaks indicate that the ruling Saudi Royal family applies a different moral code to itself, indulging in parties, drugs and sex.
Until , the kingdom used the lunar Islamic calendar , not the international Gregorian calendar ,  but in the kingdom announced its switch to the Gregorian calendar for civil purposes.
Daily life is dominated by Islamic observance. Businesses are closed three or four times a day  for 30 to 45 minutes during business hours while employees and customers are sent off to pray.
As of [update] approximately half of the broadcast airtime of Saudi state television was devoted to religious issues.
In contrast, assigned readings over twelve years of primary and secondary schooling devoted to covering the history, literature, and cultures of the non-Muslim world comes to a total of about 40 pages.
Because of religious restrictions, Saudi culture lacks any diversity of religious expression, buildings, annual festivals and public events.
Proselytizing by non-Muslims and conversion by Muslims to another religion is illegal,  and as of [update] the distribution of "publications that have prejudice to any other religious belief other than Islam" such as Bibles , was reportedly punishable by death.
Saudi Wahhabism is hostile to any reverence given to historical or religious places of significance for fear that it may give rise to 'shirk' idolatry , and the most significant historic Muslim sites in Mecca and Medina are located in the western Saudi region of Hejaz.
In June , the Council of Ministers approved a law that gives the Saudi Commission for Tourism and National Heritage the means to protect Saudi Arabia's ancient relics and historic sites.
Within the framework of the National Transformation Program, also known as Saudi Vision , the kingdom allocated million euros to preserve its historical and cultural heritage.
Saudi Arabian dress strictly follows the principles of hijab the Islamic principle of modesty , especially in dress.
The predominantly loose and flowing, but covering, garments are suited to Saudi Arabia's desert climate.
Traditionally, men usually wear a white ankle length garment woven from wool or cotton known as a thawb , with a keffiyeh a large checkered square of cotton held in place by an agal or a ghutra a plain white square made of finer cotton, also held in place by an agal worn on the head.
For rare chilly days, Saudi men wear a camel -hair cloak bisht over the top. In public women are required to wear a black abaya or other black clothing that covers everything under the neck with the exception of their hands and feet, although most women cover their head in respect for their religion.
This requirement applies to non-Muslim women too and failure to abide can result in police action, particularly in more conservative areas of the country.
Women's clothes are often decorated with tribal motifs, coins, sequins, metallic thread, and appliques. During the s, cinemas were numerous in the Kingdom although they were seen as contrary to Wahhabi norms.
From the 18th century onward, Wahhabi fundamentalism discouraged artistic development inconsistent with its teaching.
In addition, Sunni Islamic prohibition of creating representations of people have limited the visual arts, which tend to be dominated by geometric , floral , and abstract designs and by calligraphy.
With the advent of oil-wealth in the 20th century came exposure to outside influences, such as Western housing styles, furnishings, and clothes.
Music and dance have always been part of Saudi life. Traditional music is generally associated with poetry and is sung collectively.
Censorship has limited the development of Saudi literature, although several Saudi novelists and poets have achieved critical and popular acclaim in the Arab world—albeit generating official hostility in their home country.
Football is the national sport in Saudi Arabia. The Saudi Arabia national football team is considered as one of Asia's most successful national teams, having reached a joint record 6 AFC Asian Cup finals, winning three of those finals , , and and having qualified for the World Cup four consecutive times ever since debuting at the tournament.
Scuba diving , windsurfing , sailing and basketball which is played by both men and women are also popular with the Saudi Arabian national basketball team winning bronze at the Asian Championship.
A stadium in Riyadh holds races in the winter. The annual King's Camel Race, begun in , is one of the sport's most important contests and attracts animals and riders from throughout the region.
Falconry , another traditional pursuit, is still practiced. Women's sport is controversial due to the suppression of female participation in sport by conservative Islamic religious authorities  , however this restriction has eased slightly in recent years.
Segregated seating, allowing women to enter, has been developed in three stadiums across major cities. Saudi Arabian cuisine is similar to that of the surrounding countries in the Arabian Peninsula and the wider Arab world, and has influenced and been influenced by Turkish, Indian, Persian, and African food.
Islamic dietary laws are enforced: Flat, unleavened taboon bread is a staple of virtually every meal, as are dates , fresh fruit, yoghurt and hummus.
Coffee, served in the Arabic style , is the traditional beverage but tea and various fruit juices are popular as well.
The earliest substantiated evidence of either coffee drinking or knowledge of the coffee tree is from the 15th century, in the Sufi monasteries of Arabia.
Women do not have equal rights to men in the kingdom; the U. State Department considers Saudi Arabian government's discrimination against women a "significant problem" in Saudi Arabia and notes that women have few political rights due to the government's discriminatory policies.
Under Saudi law, every adult female must have a male relative as her "guardian" wali ,  As of , a woman was required to have permission from her male guardian in order to travel, study, or work.
The order however also stated that it should only be allowed if it doesn't contradict the Sharia system. According to a leading Saudi feminist and journalist, Wajeha al-Huwaider , "Saudi women are weak, no matter how high their status, even the 'pampered' ones among them, because they have no law to protect them from attack by anyone.
Women face discrimination in the courts, where the testimony of one man equals that of two women in family and inheritance law. The average age at first marriage among Saudi females is 25 years in Saudi Arabia,  with child marriage no longer common.
Obesity is a problem among middle and upper class Saudis who have domestic servants to do traditional work but, until , were forbidden to drive and so are limited in their ability to leave their home.
The religious police , known as the mutawa , impose many restrictions on women in public in Saudi Arabia. Although Saudi Arabia imposes a strict dress code on women throughout the country by using religious police , female anchors working for Al-Arabia news network which is partly owned by Prince Abdulaziz , the son of the late King Fahad , are prohibited from wearing a veil and are encouraged to adopt a Western dress code.
A few Saudi women have risen to the top of the medical profession; for example, Dr. Ghada Al-Mutairi heads a medical research center in California  and Dr.
On 25 September , King Abdullah announced that Saudi women would gain the right to vote and to be candidates in municipal elections, provided that a male guardian grants permission.
In August , a law was passed that criminalized domestic violence against women. In April , bin Salman announced a project to build one of the world's largest cultural, sports and entertainment cities in Al Qidiya, southwest of Riyadh.
The square kilometre city will include a safari and a Six Flags theme park. As of February , Saudi women can now open their own business, without a male's permission.
In March a law was passed allowing Saudi mothers to retain custody of their children after divorce without having to file any lawsuits.
In April the first public cinema opened in Saudi Arabia after a ban of 35 years, with plans to have more than 2, screens running by In June , King Salman issued a decree allowing women to drive , lifting the world's only ban on women drivers.
Other domestic reforms include significant regulations restricting the powers of the religious police and establishing a national entertainment authority that has hosted comedy shows, pro wrestling events, and monster truck rallies.
Further cultural developments include the first Saudi public concerts by a female singer, the first Saudi sports stadiums to admit women, and an increased presence of women in the workforce.
Education is free at all levels. The school system is composed of elementary, intermediate, and secondary schools. A large part of the curriculum at all levels is devoted to Islam, and, at the secondary level, students are able to follow either a religious or a technical track.
The rate of literacy is Higher education has expanded rapidly, with large numbers of Universities and colleges being founded particularly since Institutions of higher education include the country's first university, King Saud University founded in , the Islamic University at Medina founded in , and the King Abdulaziz University in Jeddah founded in Other colleges and universities emphasize curricula in sciences and technology, military studies, religion, and medicine.
Institutes devoted to Islamic studies, in particular, abound. Women typically receive college instruction in segregated institutions.
The Academic Ranking of World Universities , known as Shanghai Ranking, ranked 4 of Saudi Arabian institutions among its — list of the top universities in the world.
According to critics, Saudi curriculum is not just dominated by Islam but suffers from Wahhabi dogma that propagates hatred towards non-Muslim and non-Wahhabis  and lacks technical and other education useful for productive employment.
Memorization by rote of large parts of the Qur'an, its interpretation and understanding Tafsir and the application of Islamic tradition to everyday life is at the core of the curriculum.
Religion taught in this manner is also a compulsory subject for all University students. That's not generally what Saudi Arabia's educational system delivers, steeped as it is in rote learning and religious instruction.
The religious sector of the Saudi national curriculum was examined in a report by Freedom House which concluded that "the Saudi public school religious curriculum continues to propagate an ideology of hate toward the 'unbeliever', that is, Christians, Jews, Shiites, Sufis, Sunni Muslims who do not follow Wahhabi doctrine, Hindus , atheists and others".
This radical teaching takes place in Saudi funded mosques and madrasas across the Islamic world from Morocco to Pakistan to Indonesia.
According to the educational plan for secondary high school education — Hijri , students enrolling in the "natural sciences" path are required to take five religion subjects which are: In addition, students are required to take six science subjects which are Maths, Physics, Chemistry, Biology, Geology and Computer.
The approach taken in the Saudi education system has been accused of encouraging Islamic terrorism , leading to reform efforts. It also aims to create an education system which will provide a more secular and vocationally based training.
As of , Saudi Arabia ranks 28 worldwide in terms of high-quality research output according to the renowned scientific journal Nature.
Saudi Arabia has a life expectancy of From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. For other uses, see KSA disambiguation.
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