A First-Hand Look at Saudi Arabian Life as Few Outsiders Have Seen It
It's like watching a movie - just better, Dr. Elisabeth Kendall, Oxford University, Arabic and Islamic Studies.
#1 Bestseller on Saudi Arabia and 2020 Finalist Sarton Women's Literary Award for Nonfiction
Witness the mysterious world of Saudi Arabia. Understand Saudi culture, politics, history, human rights, and women s rights as seen through the intimate and insightful experiences of an award-winning journalist.
Few Westerners have been allowed a closer look at the inner workings of Saudi Arabia. Susanne Koelbl, prize-winning journalist for the German news magazine Der Spiegel, strips away the veil covering many secrets of this mysterious kingdom. For years she traveled the Middle East, and recently lived in Riyadh during the most dramatic changes since the country's founding.
Peek inside the black box that is Saudi Arabia. Koelbl has cultivated relationships on every level of Saudi society and is equally at ease with ultra-conservative Salafi preachers, oppositionists, and women from all walks of life.
- Listen to intimate conversations with women about their newly offered freedoms
- Have breakfast with Royal Highnesses, meet Osama bin Laden's bomb-making trainer, enter palaces of secret service chiefs
- View an in-depth portrait of the all-powerful Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman (MBS)
If you have an interest in books such as Robert Lacey's Inside the Kingdom, Bradley Hope's Blood and Oil, or Kim Ghattas's Black Wave; expect unique insights into the new Saudi Arabia, travel through the rapidly changing kingdom, and be a witness to very personal encounters with the citizens of Saudi Arabia in Susanne Koelbl's Behind the Kingdom's Veil.
About the Author
Susanne Koelbl is an award-winning journalist and a military and foreign correspondent for the German news magazine Der Spiegel. Her stories highlight the intricate dynamics in conflict areas and wars around the world, including the Balkans, Central Asia, the Middle East and Africa. Koelbl is known for her probing reports from Syria, Afghanistan and North Korea. Her highly acclaimed book Dark Beloved Country: People and Power in Afghanistan. was published in 2009.
Always close to the people, Koelbl uses their voices to make complicated political and societal contexts accessible. For her in-depth and thorough reporting she received several industry recognitions, including the Liberty Award and the Henry-Nannen-Price award. In her exceptional interviews with state leaders, intelligence-chiefs and Islamic extremists, Koelbl repeatedly challenges the powerful, including the Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, the Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir (wanted for genocide with an international arrest warrant), or the underground Hamas leader Khaled Mashal. Koelbl has excellent contacts in all political camps in the Middle East.
Koelbl is a fellow of the Bertelsmann Foundation's German-Israeli Young Leaders Program, a Knight Wallace Fellow at the University of Michigan and was named a Media Ambassador with the German-Chinese Exchange Program of the Bosch Foundation at Tsingua University in Beijing. As a Knight Wallace Fellow, Koelbl gave guest lectures in 2012 on the war in Syria and the forty-year Afghanistan crisis. As a Knight Wallace alumni Koelbl is connected and tied into top influential media outlets in the US.
The author has been travelling to Saudi Arabia since 2011. Most recently she lived in Riyadh during 2018-2019. She currently resides in Berlin, Germany.
Karen Elliott House (1947-) was born in Matador, Texas, population 900. She earned a BJ degree at UT Austin where she discovered the world of news reporting on the student newspaper. She was a reporter, foreign editor and finally publisher of The Wall Street Journal, where she won a Pulitzer Prize in 1984 for her reporting on the Middle East. Her first book, On Saudi Arabia: Its People, Past, Religion, Fault Lines--and Future, published by Knopf in 2012 is a portrait of Saudi society and culture and examines the fragility of the ruling regime. The book repesents three decades of reporting in this shrouded kingdom. She currently resides in Boston, MA.