Sunday, April 23, 2017

What happened in Saudi Arabia to trigger the series of Royal decrees and appointments

It is not easy for Saudis to communicate with the outside world but some still do using What'sup and Signal for their high levels of encryption--I am told.  Young Saudis have become experts in such matters of communication and follow the tweets of Snowden very closely.  Anyway, this is the what I gathered from my Saudi contacts:  there was a lot of government anxiety and nervousness in the three days prior to the announcements yesterday.  Saudi police was everywhere in Riyadh and helicopters were hovering over the city in anticipation of protests or demonstrations.  They were afraid that public anger over the dire economic situation would spill over into the streets, and that women would launch protests.  The MBC News program by Dawud Shiryan a week ago indicated the levels of public dissatisfaction.  There have been many layoffs in companies and even Saudi newspapers (mouthpieces of Princes really) like Al-Hayat, suffered financial problems which is why the offices are being moved from London to Beirut.  The firing of the Minister of Information was due to two matters: 1) young Saudis posted a video of him on Youtube in which they said he seemed drunk; 2) it was punishment because a Jordanian critic of Saudi regime was hosted on a Saudi regime channel (Al-Ikhbariyyah).  The Minister of who will be investigated was fingered by young Saudis on Twitter. In Saudi regime, criticisms of non-royal ministers have become allowed (but not in foreign affairs).