Saudi Arabia Then and Now

The latest research of our Distinguished Fellow, Professor Jeffrey Kaplan

The history of Arabia from the time of Jahaliyyah (pre-Islam) to that of Mohammad bin Salman and the present day is long and complex. It does, however, manifest consistent tropes, social and political patterns, which are clearly discernable. This article offers an introduction to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia from both a historiographic perspective and, at times, from personal observation, having lived in the Kingdom in the two key periods of its recent history: the era of the Mecca Mosque seizure in 1979 and in the present day era of reform.


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