As Libya descends into full-on civil war and protests spread across the rest of the Middle East, all eyes are focused on Saudi Arabia, which produces more than 10% of the world's oil.
So far, protests in Saudi Arabia have been limited. But our guest, Fadel Gheit, a managing director at Oppenheimer & Co., thinks that may soon change.
The root cause of the Middle East unrest, Ghait says, is inequality. Decades of autocratic rule have increased frustration that the vast wealth of the oil-producing countries in the region is in the hands of a small privileged few, and this frustration is finally boiling over. Although governments are making small concessions designed to quell this frustration, Gheit believes the yearning for freedom and democracy is unstoppable.
He says it is hard to predict whether the violence that consumed Libya will spread to Saudi Arabia and other countries, but he believes the protests will. And, eventually, he believes, the regime will fall.
- the Middle East