Dennis Ross’ testimony

Dennis Ross spoke the truth. Will Western and Arab ambassadors follow suit?

Turki Aldakhil

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In an op-ed about Saudi Arabia published earlier this month in the Washington Post, Dennis Ross, the famous American diplomat and international expert, wrote: “I came away feeling hopeful about the kingdom’s future. In fact, the Saudi Arabia I just visited seemed like a different country from the one I’ve been visiting since 1991. There is an awakening underway in Saudi Arabia, but it is being led from the top.”

In the article, entitled “In Saudi Arabia, a revolution disguised as reform,” Ross explains why the new Saudi Arabia amazed him. He notes that Riyadh has transformed into the capital of activity and work in the region “with several ministers telling us 80-hour workweeks are now the norm.” This means that the daily work rate of the minister in Saudi Arabia currently exceeds 11 hours throughout the entire week.

A reader commented saying that we are confident in ourselves, so why rejoice in politicians’ statements about us?

The point though is not about seeking additional confidence but rather directing blame toward posing Arab media and some Western media outlets which have a blinkered view of the new Saudi Arabia and attempt to propagate baseless intimidation either in the name of human rights violations or violations related to the Yemeni war. All these are baseless fabrications!

Dennis Ross spoke the truth. Will Western and Arab ambassadors who see the new face of Saudi Arabia follow suit without envy?

This article was first published in Okaz on Sept. 11, 2016.


Turki Aldakhil is the General Manager of Al Arabiya News Channel. He began his career as a print journalist, covering politics and culture for the Saudi newspapers Okaz, Al-Riyadh and Al-Watan. He then moved to pan-Arab daily Al-Hayat and pan-Arab news magazine Al-Majalla. Turki later became a radio correspondent for the French-owned pan-Arab Radio Monte Carlo and MBC FM. He proceeded to Elaph, an online news magazine and Alarabiya.net, the news channel’s online platform. Over a ten-year period, Dakhil’s weekly Al Arabiya talk show “Edaat” (Spotlights) provided an opportunity for proponents of Arab and Islamic social reform to make their case to a mass audience. Turki also owns Al Mesbar Studies and Research Centre and Madarek Publishing House in Dubai. He has received several awards and honors, including the America Abroad Media annual award for his role in supporting civil society, human rights and advancing women’s roles in Gulf societies. He tweets @TurkiAldakhil.


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