ROB L. WAGNER: If you’re subtle you can enjoy a surprisingly festive Christmas in the Kingdom. Many Saudis also quietly acknowledge Christian friends’ celebration.
ROB L. WAGNER: The moves have been under-reported in the Kingdom but they mark a significant change in thinking about how to deal with petty crime.
ROB L. WAGNER: A teacher, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, said there are significant differences in safety features between boys and girls schools.
ROB L. WAGNER: Charlie Hebdo’s editors abuse the privilege of being journalists. Their behavior strengthens the argument anti blasphemy laws are necessary
ROB L. WAGNER: A recent ruling by the Shoura Council in Saudi Arabia has brought the issue of black magic to the fore again. Its influence is huge.
ROB L. WAGNER: Shopkeepers easily transition from Turkish to Russian, Polish and German. Yet Hebrew, once among the languages, is virtually non-existent.
ROB L. WAGNER: “We find ourselves sometimes forced to hire Saudis who aren’t qualified,” Jaad says, noting that some Saudis simply walk off the job without finishing their contract…
ROB L. WAGNER: ‘Unseemly’, ‘undignified’ and ‘a threat to players’ virginity’ in the eyes of religious conservatives but women’s football is making major strides in Saudi Arabia.
ROB L. WAGNER: Saudi Arabian and Indonesian intransigence has put maids needing work and Saudis help between a rock and a hard place.
ROB L. WAGNER: Conservatives anonymously attack outspoken women by questioning their morals and beliefs in Islam.
ROB L. WAGNER: Most notable in pointless speculation, Islamophobia and conflating pop culture with the life, is Jezebel, the U.S.-based feminist website.
ROB L. WAGNER: Guaranteeing rights for women has taken a backseat to what the government sees as the more pressing issue of economic stability…
ROB L. WAGNER: Religious conservatives’ disruptive behavior at the Riyadh Book Fair illustrates the Saudi government’s acceptance of intolerance as long as it doesn’t interfere with its push to modernize the country.
ROB L. WAGNER: The U.S.’s reaction to Khalid Aldawsari’s terrorism-related charges could play into the hands of conservatives in the Kingdom.
ROB L. WAGNER: Western analysts are engaging in wishful thinking that Saudi Arabia is ripe for a revolution. The Kingdom is no Egypt or Tunisia.
ROB L. WAGNER – Go outside the major population centres in the Kingdom and you will find it common to see women drivers.