Saudi Arabia is well known across the world for its wealth, strict faith and oppression, but while Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman has decreed that it wants to reform, the world is startled by the murder of journalist Khashoggi and other human rights violations.
We follow the developments from the inside, through the eyes of the inhabitants themselves. Are they just empty promises or is Saudi Arabia actually able to change?
Episode 1: In Search for Freedom
We travel across Saudi Arabia and follow the reforms from within for a year. The country wants to diversify its economy by opening its borders to tourism.
In Jeddah, many young people hope for change, demanding greater equality between men and women, but the conservative opposition is enormous. One wrong word and they can be arrested. How far do they go in the fight for freedom?
Episode 2: Under the Control of the Royal Family
In the second episode, we enter the Saudi Arabian elite, where it becomes clear that the killing of Khashoggi does not impact their loyalty towards the royal family.
We are invited to Diriyah where religion and the House of Saud coincide, leading us to the mosque of Wahab, which is said to be a birthplace of extremist ideas.
Episode 3: The Power of the Holy Cities
The two holy cities of Mecca and Medina give Saudi Arabia enormous religious power.
We follow the trail of the pilgrims, from the port of Jeddah to the Holy Kaäba. There is a call for a more moderate Islam, but do religious leaders really support this?
Episode 4: Travelling to Reality
After the murder of Khashoggi, the question is what will happen with the reforms. Is the support for Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman crumbling?
We travel to the rarely covered conservative South, on the border with Yemen, where the population’s resistance to change is the fiercest.