It's Not the 14th Century, It's the 21st: The Changing Saudi Society
Ahmad Q. Al Darwish, author
Since 1970s, Saudi Arabia became the most conservative country in the Arab world, ruled by Islamic traditions considered systematically resistant to modernization. Unlike their parents and grandparents, the younger Saudis consider these customary and traditional norms to be outdated and incompatible with the current times. Furthermore, the present generation’s openness to outside views on religion, politics, education, society and women’s rights have polarized the Saudi society, triggered public debates and conflicts amongst conservatives versus liberals, traditionalists versus modernists, and the religious versus the seculars. **As Saudi youths strive to bring their society into the twenty-first century, more Saudi women are stepping up to be heard, not willing to be controlled and defined by what they consider oppressive. They dared to expand their roles and rights as well as embrace their emerging independence as they simultaneously live out both their professional and private lives. These empowered women champion freedom, equality, independence—and respect. **It’s Not the 14th Century, It’s the 21st is an intimate snapshot of brave and groundbreaking young Saudi citizens, visionaries who strive to create a new future for themselves, their families and their country. The author shares his observations on how life was, how life is … and how life can be in his transforming society.