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A Saudi woman can’t even report harassment by a man without having a or male guardian, by her side.

A group of traditional Saudi women, skeptical of any sort of liberalization, recently started an organization called My Guardian Knows What’s Best for Me.

The warrior al-Sauds got religious legitimacy; the anhedonic Wahhabis got protection.

To this day the Koran is the constitution of Saudi Arabia, and Wahhabism its dominant faith.

Three years after 9/11, in 2004, the Kingdom decided to give the tourism business another try, this time hiring a public-relations firm to get things rolling.

The Web site of the resulting Supreme Commission for Tourism was “a disaster,” one Saudi official abashedly recalls, shaking his head.

The news cut to the very character of the Saudi state.

Back in 1744, the oasis-dwelling al-Saud clan had made a pact with Mohammad bin Abdul Wahhab, founder of the Wahhabi sect, which took an especially strict approach to religious observance.

Leslie Mc Loughlin, a fellow at the University of Exeter’s Institute of Arab and Islamic Studies, led tours to the Kingdom in 20, and both groups included affluent and curious Jewish men and women from New York.

But on 9/11 the passageway narrowed again as Saudi Arabia and the United States confronted the reality that Osama bin Laden and 15 of the 19 terrorist hijackers were Saudi nationals.

” asked Abdullah Hejazi, my boyish-looking guide in Old Jidda.

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