Even Saudi Arabia might not be immune to the political unrest rocking the Arab world, writes Simon Henderson at Foreign Policy. Saudis were confronted with a blatant display of government mismanagement and ineptitude this winter when intense rains devastated the coastal city of Jeddah for the second time in just over a year. At least 10 have died in floods of water and sewage, but the government response has been ineffective, despite King Abdullah’s promise to provide the city with adequate sewer services.
The disaster sparked an outcry against the Saudi government, which is viewed by many as corrupt and ineffective.
Conventional wisdom holds that Saudis are conservative and not looking for political upheaval. But if the royal family fails to provide basic services like infrastructure, education and healthcare, political upheaval might be the only recourse for ordinary Saudis.
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