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One step at a time

Mar 31,2018 - Last updated at Mar 31,2018

There is more to Riyadh's recent decision allowing women to drive a car or choosing their wardrobe than meets the eye. To drive a vehicle or wear a dress rather than the traditional  "Abayya" is not a big deal in themselves, but what they symbolise and stand for is something much bigger and infinitely more profound than appears at first glance.

What King Salman Bin Abdulaziz of Saudi Arabia and his Crown Prince Mohammad Bin Salman must have wanted by these symbolic moves is to usher in a new age for their country and a complete transformation from an "old and archaic" era to a new stage of modernity that goes beyond the mere physical manifestations and extends to a new chapter in the country's life that is based on enlightenment, open-mindedness and catching up with the contemporary metaphysical dictates and requirements of modern science and technology.

What better way to start this new era than to free women from the bondages of archaic times and traditions, and this is what the new order in the country wanted to begin with in the long haul to the new age.

Saudi Arabia had been at a standstill and motionless period of time for much too long, and it was time for a change, a big change for that matter. And when several key princes were rounded up for questioning regarding their business deals and how they acquired their wealth, the new regime in Saudi Arabia must have wanted to send a message, loud and clear, not only to the people of the Kingdom, but also to the outside world that the old days of doing business are gone forever and the conduct of the country will hence forth be on a new footing.

It is very brave of King Salman and his son to break ranks with the old traditional way of governing their Kingdom that had become cemented during the last century and cast in stone and iron. It is always risky to attempt to change the order in any given country, but it is doubly so for Saudi Arabia, where time was at a standstill and literally frozen for decades.

To be sure, there are many forces within the country which detest the far reaching changes because they have developed vested interest in status quo and in the old order of doing things in the country. Crown Prince Mohammad Bin Salman is the driving force behind the Saudi revolution and he must have a lot on his plate to complete the journey that he began. To transform a feudal monarchy to a modern nation is no small order and it must come with a price.

The change must come therefore one step at a time. As the saying goes, one must learn how to walk before he or she can learn to run.  

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