All interviewees were asked how they expected their own lives, and Saudi Arabia as a country, to change over the next five to ten years. There were some stark contrasts. Some separated the middle-class graduate husbands and their wives, who usually lived in villas, from the traditional class where the husbands were usually not university graduates. Other differences juxtaposed the perspectives of men and women. The gender differences were clearest within the middle class. Then there was a difference which cross-cut both class and gender between those who insisted that Saudi Arabia should retain its Islamic customs and rules, and those who looked forward to ‘liberation’ from these constraints as Saudi Arabia became more like neighbouring Arab states.
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