The Bystander is a mystery thriller set in Saudi Arabia where rivalries in the Saudi royal family, religion, and oil money intersect. In a kingdom built on sand, an ambitious and devious prince uses terrorism to disrupt the succession and become the next king.
At the Department of State spent twenty-one years inspecting embassy operations around the world. Traveled to over 130 countries including Iraq and Afghanistan with over 200 total trips. Overseas living included Peru, Thailand, England, Germany, Saudi Arabia, and the Cote d’Ivoire. Served four years in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia at the U.S. Embassy. Worked as a management analyst at the VA for nine years. One of first 20 women accepted in Air Force Intelligence School, and the first female Air Force Intelligence Officer to serve in the Vietnam War. Born Milwaukee, Wisconsin, lives in Colorado, BS University of Oregon, MHA Trinity University, San Antonio, Texas.
For Saudis in the middle class, the changes Mohammed bin Salman, known as MBS, has made are remarkable. Movie theaters allow men and women to sit together, (there is one in Riyadh), women may attend sporting events, and women may drive. Why now?
MBS knows if the kingdom is to wean itself off of oil, women must become more productive in the society.
What outsiders should realize is that these changes can only come from the King (or his crown prince MBS).
The people are not trusted and must not advocate for change. Some things have yet to change.
“Today is women’s day at the museum. If we wait a few minutes, we can avoid the crowds. We have until prayer time at noon, when the museum closes. The dates are in season and the coffee is hot,” said Hassa, pointing to small tables in front of a food bar.