CROSSROADS ARABIA: These jobs are all critical to society – they are honest jobs. The one thing they don’t carry, however, is status.
CROSSROADS ARABIA: The Saudization plan is in place but it appears that foreign workers are being actively demonised in the Kingdom.
CROSSROADS ARABIA: There is a huge problem with third level education in the Kingdom. But will anything ever be done about it?
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.
CROSSROADS ARABIA: English is vital in today’s interconnected world. The problem: in Saudi teaching it is not treated seriously.
AMERICAN BEDU: Several thousand families will have their homes razed for villas and apartments in central Makkah. Has commercialisation gone too far?
CROSSROADS ARABIA: It’s a matter of great sensitivity for the authorities but it appears that the time is drawing close when everyone in Saudi Arabia will have to pay for this precious resource.
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.
ABU MOHAMMED: The initiative to limit the amount of money expats can send home is another diversion away from the real issues.
AMERICAN BEDU: It’s an issue that is constantly debated – whether music is haram according to Islamic principles. A new fusion of poetry and musical instruments is, however, making waves.
SAAD AL DOSARI: After the floods of the last two years Jeddah residents have developed a compulsive disorder – constantly checking for rain.
STEVE ROYSTON: Received wisdom portrays a backward, oppressive society, dominated by religious extremists and a monarchy whose main mission is self-preservation.
CROSSROADS ARABIA: This was the election before ‘the Big One’ – the 2015 Municipal Elections where women can vote and stand for office. So was it a damp squib, as some have suggested?
LAYLAH: The decision to allow Saudi women to vote is truly historic. A pity that celebration was interrupted by a very strange announcement.
CROSSROADS ARABIA: King Abdullah’s announcement seemed to catch everyone by surprise. It’s clearly a very welcome step but will women in the Kingdom be satisfied with what they’ve been granted?