Having lost the cushion of Gulf support, many Arab states are looking for external financing from international financial institutions and other donors such as China (particularly in North Africa) and the United States.
COVID-19 creates specific challenges for Muslim religious authorities pertaining to assembly, practice, and policy. With public health measures affecting Muslim worshippers the most during the month of Ramadan, authorities must answer questions from individual citizens and political actors alike.
The kingdom’s national history, geopolitical competition, and future vision have all shaped its approach to the coronavirus. The Islamic holy month will underscore how long-standing traditions have changed.
Frederic Wehrey is a senior fellow in the Middle East Program at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. His research deals with armed conflict, security sectors, and identity politics, with a focus on Libya, North Africa, and the Gulf.
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