A Prince's Stern Warning
By Ali Alyami
Prince Turki bin Abdul Aziz Al Saud recently warned the Saudi royal family to flee the country before an internal uprising overthrows the monarchy. While this advice may seem premature, it cannot be ignored. A Saudi uprising is inevitable unless the government undertakes drastic reforms of Saudi institutions to pave the way for measurable and transparent democratic processes. Prince Turki is a member of a defunct group of Saudi princes, the Free Princes, who called for a constitution in the early 1960s that would have reformed the relationship between the monarchy and its repressed subjects (ra-e-yah, or herd).
The princes, considered a threat to their family’s domain and denounced as Communists by the West, had to flee for their lives to Cairo, Egypt. They were joined by political activists like Naser al-Saeed, a former Aramco employee hunted by the Saudi government’s intelligence branch until he was ultimately gunned down in Lebanon some years ago. Some of these princes are still advocating for a constitutional monarchy, which remains the best and safest solution for this important but unstable country. The Saudi royal family should heed Prince Turki’s advice to “leave this country to its people, whose dislike for us is increasing.” Prince Turki is correct in that the majority of Saudi people and the international community do not want to see Saudi Arabia continued to be ruled by aging men and religious extremists whose institutions and fortunes produce and finance suicide bombers and extremist groups around the world.