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Marginalized Saudi youth launch virtual protests

Some Saudi youth have taken to social media to express their grievances with Saudi government policies.
Saudi students gather at an outdoor cafe at King Saud University in
Riyadh October 30, 2002. The university is one of several major
educational institutions turning out thousands of graduates every year
in search of jobs. The government is stepping up efforts at
"Saudization" in a country where a third of the workforce is foreign
and unemployment among Saudis is running anywhere between eight to 12
percent. REUTERS/Ali Jarekji

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Saudi Arabia today faces something more challenging than a revolution — a sporadic and frustrated youth protest thus far expressed only in the virtual world. More than half a dozen men and women in recent weeks began to post videos on YouTube in a desperate move to attract attention to their economic and political marginalization and to warn against its consequences.

The protesters have identified their tribal origins by showing their identity cards, which revealed that they belong to a variety of groups, among them the Dosaris, Harbis, Jahnis, Malikis and Shammaris. Their language projects a deeply rooted feeling of having not been incorporated as citizens with rights and responsibilities. Rather, they appeared as excluded tribal men and women on the margins of wealth and prosperity. They do not invoke a sense of belonging to the nation-state as Saudis.

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