Frank Gardner's Return to Saudi Arabia

Frank Gardner's Return to Saudi Arabia


In 2004, filming in Riyadh, BBC correspondent Frank Gardner was shot six times by militants and left partially paralysed. His cameraman was shot dead. This first trip back is to report on the shockwaves from the Arab Spring.

There are scenes that disturb – a cleric arguing that a husband may beat his wife (“The beatings must not make her ugly”) – and alarming stats: 90 per cent of private sector jobs are done by expats; youth unemployment is at 30 per cent; and two-thirds of the citizens are under 30. It’s a measured view of a country that is a time-bomb.


In June 2004, the BBC security correspondent was shot in a Riyadh suburb by al-Qaeda sympathisers and left partially paralysed and dependent upon a wheelchair for life. In this documentary, he returns to Saudi Arabia for the first time since that attack to explore how the country has so far avoided being affected by the wave of uprisings in the Arab world.