Saudi Arabia’s Plans for Utopia – Intercessors for America

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The government of Saudi Arabia, which has been building a utopian desert city called Neom and a related project called the Line, has authorized lethal force since 2020 to clear land for the construction. One local tribesman has already been fatally shot for protesting, according to a Saudi colonel who has escaped to the U.K. and spoke out recently.

Have you taken your place on the wall?

The Howeitat tribe has indicated unwillingness to relocate to accommodate the futuristic plans. The Line is a pair of mirrored walls 650 feet apart and spanning 106 miles. The strange founding vision is to locate 9 million inhabitants inside this “smart city,” with no cars, only rail and foot traffic being allowed. It is an extreme embodiment of the “15-minute city” touted by the World Economic Forum. The long, unbroken span cuts people off from north-south travel and has been predicted to damage the natural environment. The grandiose plans may be scaling down, due to the arrogant unrealism of the design.

Last year the UN Human Rights Council denounced a criminal conviction and death sentence for three Howeitat protesters. But the court process has apparently been waived in favor of enforcement by military on the spot. About 40 people are now in detention, with five on death row, some for publicly mourning the shooting victim.

Pray that city planners everywhere will not become ruthless or blind in their attempts to improve cities, but rather count costs before starting and exhibit humility at all stages of urban development.

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Leah Farish (, B.A., Duke; M.A., Vanderbilt; J.D., Baylor, is a civil-rights attorney. She is also host of the Conversation Balloons podcast. Photo Credit: aboodi vesakaran on Unsplash.

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