Backstory: Saudi Arabia and the Arab Spring

As countries across the Arab World have been protesting in the streets and overthrowing decades-old regimes, Saudi Arabia has been trying to prevent the spread of unrest within its own borders. On today’s first Backstory, New York Times United Nations Bureau Chief Neil MacFarquhar explains how the Saudi royal family has spent billions of dollars to try to keep its people happy – and how well their efforts have paid off. He’s also the author of The Media Relations Department of Hizbollah Wishes You a Happy Birthday.