The flash of purple abayas at a conference in Saudi Arabia’s second-largest city, Jeddah, was more than a fashion statement. It’s a sign of the changes Jeddah is embracing as King Abdullah slowly loosens restrictions on women in his conservative land.
The Saudis making the biggest splash on social media aren’t the youthful, secular activists who led protest movements elsewhere in the Arab world last year. They’re religious scholars like Salman al-Oadah.
Matthew Lobner, head of Thai operations for HSBC Holdings Plc, lugged his furniture upstairs and moved his wife and three children near his office in downtown Bangkok to escape floodwaters on the city’s outskirts.