SAUDI ARABIA: Change in a Feudal Land

The Mecca siege inspires reforms—and fears

Of all the countries in the troubled Middle East, none is more important strategically to U.S. interests than Saudi Arabia, which now provides 16% of U.S. oil imports. To see how the ruling House of Baud is coping with the country's external and internal crises, TIME Correspondent William Drozdiak visited the desert kingdom last week. His report: s is our democracy," explained Saudi Arabia's royal chief of protocol, Ahmed Abdul Wahab, as he led his guests through the opulent marble palace in Riyadh to a thickly...

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