The Hajj is an annual Islamic pilgrimage to Mecca, and a mandatory religious duty that must be carried out at least once in their lifetime by all adult Muslims who are physically and financially capable of undertaking the journey.

As Saudi Arabia struggles to adjust to a drastic decline in oil revenue, Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman attempts to boldly transform the country and shift more power to the younger generation. At the same time, the U.S. and other countries point out Saudi Arabia’s lack of democracy, womens rights and human rights. They blame its promotion of Wahhabism, an extremely conservative version of Islam, for creating jihadists. Bipartisan criticism of Saudi Arabia is rising in Congress.

Both countries need each other, but they are at a crossroads in bilateral relations. How will it all play out?

The history of the region, an explanation of the real conflict between Saudi Arabia and Iran, and why the United States finds it so difficult to come up with a viable plan of stability and support will be covered in a program entitled “Saudi Arabia in Transition,” the Arizona Senior Academy’s fifth installment of an eight-part Great Decisions 2017 series presented by the Foreign Policy Association.

The discussion will be held at 3:00 p.m. Wednesday (March 1) in the ASA Great Room. The facilitator for this session is George Scholz.


More Info on attending an event
Academy Village is an active-adult community located off Old Spanish Trail six miles southeast of Saguaro National Park East. Its residents support the Arizona Senior Academy, a non-profit charitable organization whose mission includes offering free concerts and lectures to the public.

These events are held in the Great Room of The ASA Building adjacent to the Academy Village Community Center. Due to the popularity of cultural events, non-residents who wish to ensure priority seating are advised to make reservations by email at or by phone at (520) 647-0980. To learn more about the Academy, go to

Parking for visitors is in the lot behind the Community Center. All parking spaces in front of the Academy building are reserved.

Can U.S. Keep Ties With Saudi Arabia?: March 2017