Dean Rohrer

Der saudische Frühling?

LONDON – Anfang der 1970er-Jahre soll König Faisal von Saudi-Arabien hochrangigen Mitgliedern der königlichen Familie seine Befürchtung anvertraut haben, dass in seinem Land, das innerhalb einer einzigen Generation von „Kamelen auf Cadillacs umgestiegen ist…die kommende Generation wieder auf Kamelen reiten könnte“. Seine Warnung scheint angebrachter denn je.

Saudi-Arabien, das seit langem an einer der rigidesten Gesellschaftsordnungen der arabischen Welt festhält, befindet sich im Wandel. Seine Beziehungen zum Westen – insbesondere zu den Vereinigten Staaten – haben unter den Turbulenzen gelitten, die der Arabische Frühling im Nahen Osten und Nordafrika ausgelöst hat. Unterdessen hat sich eine Gruppe von Aktivistinnen über das Fahrverbot für Frauen im Königreich hinwegsetzt und so das jüngste Zeichen für innersaudische Aufsässigkeit gesetzt.

Saudi-Arabien ist zwar nach wie vor die größte arabische Volkswirtschaft, der weltweit führende Erdölproduzent und -exporteur und der Hüter des sunnitischen Islam, doch in den letzen Jahren hat das Land erheblich an politischem Einfluss verloren. Von Anfang der 1980er-Jahre bis Mitte der 2000er-Jahre war Saudi-Arabien der Koordinator der panarabischen Politik, und die politische Führung der gesamten arabischen Welt traf in den Palästen von Riad und Dschidda zusammen.

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