March 1st, 2019

“Saudi Arabia: Kingdom of Secrets,” Hosted by CNN’s Fareed Zakaria, Premieres Sunday, March 3 at 8:00pm Eastern

The Fareed Zakaria Special examines the history of Saudi Arabia’s influence on the United States, the Kingdom’s rise in the Middle East, and the ‘rogue’ murder of Jamal Khashoggi for CNN & CNN International


CNN’s Fareed Zakaria, host of the global public affairs program Fareed Zakaria GPS, will host a global primetime special for CNN about the complicated history and politics of the relationship between the U.S. and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, and the death of journalist Jamal Khashoggi.  The one-hour Saudi Arabia: Kingdom of Secrets premieres on CNN Sunday, March 3 at 8:00pm and 11:00pm.  It will air CNN International Sunday, March 3 at 10:00pm and Monday, March 4 at 5:00am. All times Eastern.

Kingdom of Secrets explores the origins of the Kingdom, the history of its relationship with the United States, its record of religious extremism and autocratic rule, and examine the murder of U.S.-based journalist Jamal Khashoggi.  Zakaria reminds viewers that just two years ago, the ascension of the Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, amidst a flurry of publicity surrounding images of seeming reforms, was cautiously regarded as a signal of modernity that could  change perceptions of the enigmatic desert kingdom after the dark legacy of 9/11.  The Crown Prince stripped the religious police of much of their power, arrested some clerics, and began an aggressive campaign against corruption.

The Crown Prince’s support from the new Trump Administration seemed cemented when Saudi Arabia was the first destination of the first foreign trip of the President, and he appeared to develop a close friendship with Jared Kushner, Trump’s son-in-law and senior advisor.  But, beneath the shiny surface, Zakaria explains the consolidation of power, the sweeping arrests of hundreds of Saudi princes, and the crackdown on political dissension that may have reached into America through the assassination of Khashoggi in a Turkish consulate in Istanbul.

Zakaria challenges Ali Shihabi, founder of The Arabia Foundation, a Washington, DC-based think tank that is presumed by Saudi watchers to often speak for the Kingdom, for answers, and speaks with Hala Aldosari, PhD, Saudi scholar and activist, columnist for The Washington Post and Scholar in Residence at the Center for Human Rights and Global Justice at the School of Law at New York University; Richard Clarke, chairman of the board of governors for the Middle East Institute; Thomas Friedman, columnist for The New York Times; Ali Soufan, chairman and CEO of The Soufan Group; and, Tarek Masoud, PhD, professor of public policy and international relations, Harvard University, about the future of the Kingdom’s relationship with America, and what justice to expect for Khashoggi’s family.

During the March 3, premiere on CNN and CNN International, Saudi Arabia: Kingdom of Secrets – A Fareed Zakaria Special, will stream live for subscribers via CNNgo ( and via CNNgo apps for AppleTV, Roku, Amazon Fire, Samsung Smart TV, and Android TV) and on the CNN mobile apps for iOS and Android.  The special will also be available on demand via cable/satellite systems, CNNgo platforms, and CNN mobile apps, beginning Monday, March 4, 2019, and will encore Thursday, March 21 on CNN at 10:00pm.


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