Trouble and Transition in the Gulf
by Robin Wright
King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz of Saudi Arabia was born into a backwater of desert outposts and mud-walled compounds almost a decade before his kingdom came into existence. He was one of (and more than fifty daughters) of Ibn Saud, a tribal warrior who forged the kingdom from rival fiefdoms. Abdullah’s death earlier today, of complications from lung disease, ended two decades of rule over one of the world’s top twenty economies, now a country of opulent palaces and glass-and-steel high-rises. His death comes at a time of trouble and transition across the Gulf region, from poor Yemen and the sultanate of Oman to war-ravaged Iraq--all, notably, on Saudi Arabia's borders.
Here's the link: http://www.newyorker.com/news/news-desk/postscript-king-abdullah