The networks of the Broadcasting Board of Governors are providing comprehensive Persian, Arabic and English language coverage on the soaring tensions between Iran and Saudi Arabia following the Saudi execution earlier this month of a prominent Shi’ite cleric, Sheikh Nimr al-Nimr, who was critical of the Saudi kingdom. For many in Iran, Saudi Arabia and throughout the Middle East, these networks are the only source of accurate and unbiased information on the developments.
Alhurra and Radio Sawa provided thorough coverage of the Saudi municipal elections on Dec. 12, 2015. These were the Kingdom’s first ever nationwide elections in which women were able to stand for office and vote. There were 978 female candidates and 5,938 male candidates vying for 2,106 seats on 284 councils whose powers are restricted to local affairs. The pledge to allow women to vote and run was made by the late King Abdullah following the 2011 Arab Spring political upheaval in the region.