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My father – a Bedouin – was born in a tent.
He went on to have a successful army career, reaching a high rank.
My mother – who never attended formal school – married him at 16. Together they raised 13 sons and daughters. I was born in the middle and I, like my siblings, now live and work around the world – from Los Angeles to London.
My parents’ story and those of their children mirrors the trajectory of Saudi Arabia itself: from a formal, strictly hierarchical tribal society proudly aware of its importance as the home of Mecca to, through oil wealth, hard work and education, an unprecedented modernisation of the country.
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