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Saudi Arabia Youths React To The Anti- Corruption Sweep Across Their Country- Details In

With Saudi Arabia as yet reeling from an influx of captures of some of its most elevated profile figures, youngsters in the kingdom are watching the unfurling show with extraordinary intrigue.

It is an energetic nation – six out of 10 Saudis are younger than 30, and the Crown Prince behind the cleanse is only 32 years of age himself.

The underlying response on Saudi online networking was overwhelmingly positive after the captures of the royals and other previous and serving clergymen.

As news broke, the hashtag #The_king_fights_corruption was shared around 1.4m times by Twitter users. Tens of thousands identified this as the “#November_4_Revolution”.

Mohammed bin Salman launched an ambitious economic programme, Vision 2030, 18 months ago – soon after his father took the throne.

It envisages a modernised Saudi Arabia, no longer dependent on crude oil revenue, and the creation of a new $500bn mega-city by the Red Sea.

But sustained low oil prices have left the country struggling to balance its finances.

Many government contracts have been frozen and unemployment continues to rise – a big concern for young Saudis.

The crown prince’s latest actions tap into public resentment of how much of the country’s wealth has long-remained in the hands of royals and their close associates.

“It’s a big step towards curbing corruption in Saudi Arabia,” a student, Firas al-Matri, told AFP news agency at a cafe in Riyadh.

“The beautiful part of it is that now no-one will dare to repeat the bad things that have been done before.”

Another Saudi, Um Alia, said”It makes things right and we’re thankful. It will create a better future, free from the impurities and evils that hinder our beloved country.”

With many critics of the crown prince detained in recent weeks, as well as the high-profile royals, it is unsurprising that dissenting Saudi voices are easiest to find online.

A satirical cartoon suggests Mohammed bin Salman is just consolidating his own power – laughing as he locks his royal cousins in a cage.

“God has sent an oppressor to jail the oppressors,” the caption reads.

A short video shared on social media shows an insect spray being used against the crown prince – indicating it is his behaviour that needs cleaning up.

A prominent Twitter user, Mujtahid, who often posts information relating to the royals, gives his identity only as “a Saudi”. We chatted via a messaging service.

For him, this was “no fight of corruption” but “a cover to getting rid of the last obstacle to MBS’s rise to the crown,” the head of the national guard, Prince Miteb bin Abdullah – one of those arrested.

He claims the crown prince also wants to take over the valuable assets of some of the richest Saudis who are now being held without formal charges.

Only part will go to plug the Treasury deficit – he believes.

I ask whether other steps being taken by Mohammed bin Salman to loosen social restrictions are at least proving popular.

He has said he wants his country to follow “moderate Islam”. A ban on women driving is due to be lifted in June.

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