Desert state on the abyss – English

How can a repressive regime survive? [Guideline]

Story starten
Saudi Arabia, Riyadh

Crown prince


Für Lehrende: Je nach Entscheidungspfad können Situationen auftauchen, in denen die Hauptperson der Story über einen Suizid nachdenkt. Obwohl dies nicht der Fokus der Story ist, bitten wir um einen sensiblen Umgang mit dem Thema im Unterricht. Beispielsweise kann auf die auf der nächsten Seite aufgeführten Hilfsangebote verwiesen werden.

Für Lernende: Je nach Entscheidungspfad können Situationen auftauchen, in denen die Hauptperson der Story über einen Suizid nachdenkt. Obwohl dies nicht der Fokus der Story ist, bitten wir dich, vorher darüber nachzudenken, ob du gerade in der Lage bist, dich mit dem Thema auseinanderzusetzen. Auf der nächsten Seite findest du eine Auswahl an Hilfsangeboten. Bitte zögere nicht damit, diese zu kontaktieren, solltest du Hilfe benötigen.


Hilfsangebote können verschiedenen Formen annehmen, von anonymen online Chats, Kontakt über Mail oder Telefon oder persönlichen Beratungen. Sie können bei ALLEN Problemen und rund um die Uhr kontaktiert werden. Hier findest du eine erste Auflistung bekannter Angebote:

(Telefon, Mail, online & vor Ort Beratungen).

(Telefon, online Beratung): 116111.

(kurze Auflistung weiterer Angebote, u.a. Datenbank von Selbsthilfeunterstützungsangeboten, Internetforum).

Ich habe die Informationen gelesen und verstanden

“I can’t do it anymore. I feel trapped, without hope. Oppressed by people of your gender. I love you anyway. May God forgive me.”

So those were her last words before she killed herself. You never noticed how much women are discriminated against in your country. But now that this beautiful girl, with whom you had an affair, is gone from this world forever, the scales have fallen from your eyes.

Delete message

You have never thought about what it is like to be dependent on a male guardian, to not be allowed to show your face openly, to have to make yourself invisible.

This must come to an end. The state needs a reform that will finally bring women full equality.


The fundamentalist religious scholars will not like this. They have a lot of power and are fuming over any law that makes Saudi Arabia more like “the West.” You’ve provoked them before, but a reform this significant could put you in serious danger.

Forget what happened
Push the reform through
Saudi Arabia, Riyadh

2 years later

The doors of the luxurious shopping mall open and two veiled figures in black enter the glass building. Filled with disgust, you look after the women. The scholars say that rampant consumption is a sin….

Your fingers wrap around the explosive belt under your clothes. Half an hour ago, you were convinced that you would sacrifice your life to avenge your sister, restore your family’s honor, and go to paradise. But now your life instinct is calling.


You think of your sister who killed herself two years ago. Everyone knew that the crown prince had made a move at her and dishonored her. You hate that man. Giving women the same rights as men is, in your eyes, just a pitiful attempt by the Crown Prince to atone for his guilt.

Make a decision

Other people are also unhappy with the regime. You could join one of the protest movements. But the scholars and your whole family would ridicule you as a coward.

Storm into the mall and detonate the bomb
Join the protest movement
Saudi Arabia, Riyadh

10 years later
Crown prince

The voices of the protestors are so loud that they reach inside the royal palace. They are demanding the abolition of the death penalty and a Saudi Arabian democracy! If you had known what the consequences of the reform would be for women’s equality, would you have gone for it anyway?

Peep out of the window

Crowds of – unveiled – women parade past the palace, with deeply devout Wahhabis marching alongside them. Who would have thought that the religious would come to terms with women’s rights and make common cause with women to depose the Saudi royal family?


Giving up power is not easy. You and your family, you would all lose your privileges. Besides, you’ve seen weak rulers literally torn apart by their people often enough.

Give in to the demands of the protestors
Squash demonstration
Saudi Arabia, Riyadh

40 years later
Granddaughter of the Crown Prince

You hardly believe it when you enter the royal palace from which your grandfather and your relatives had to move out 40 years ago.

In the meantime, this palace has become the heart of the “Islamic Democracy of Saudi Arabia”: Here you will find the Chamber of Deputies and the office of the President of the State – your office, because you are the first woman in the history of Saudi Arabia to be elected to head the state.

Enter the plenary hall

You are proud of yourself and of your country. But most of all, you are grateful to your grandfather, who died a few months ago. Without his foresight and insight, your dream of leading a free state and guiding the destiny of the Saudi people would never have come true.

And so you begin your speech to the deputies, “In memory of the last crown prince of our country…”

Story abschließen
Saudi Arabia, Riyadh

10 years later
Crown prince

After the brutal suppression of the protests, your people have bowed to your iron rule. No one dares open their mouths anymore when a woman leaves the house without a veil or a man and woman show themselves together on the street.

On the other hand, no one dares to criticize the dissolute life of your relatives.

This makes it difficult for you to fight the rampant nepotism and massive waste of money.

Go up and down

There’s a time bomb ticking in the background: oil wells are drying up, money is running out, climate change is hitting the country harder, and tensions among the population are rising.

You suspect it’s only a matter of time before protests erupt again. This time, the population is ready for anything….

Story abschließen
Saudi Arabia, Riyadh

1 week later
Crown prince

A disturbed youth’s gruesome attack on the famous women’s department store in downtown Riyadh has turned public sentiment on your side and put pressure on radical religious scholars.

Clench your hand into a fist

Your wife and three-year-old daughter also died in the terrorist attack. The hypocritical condolences of the clergy infuriate you. But you need the scholars in resolving conflicts among the people, which are becoming more frequent because of the constant drought and water shortages.

Cooperate with the enemies to solve the water problems
Destroy your enemies and revenge your family
Saudi Arabia, Riyadh

2 years later
Crown prince

“We caught a suspected terrorist!” the head of intelligence informs you, “He tried to set fire to an oil field. He’s Shiite, probably commissioned by Iran. He claims he’s a camel driver from the south and won’t tell the truth even under torture. We should eliminate him.”


You stare after the intelligence chief. By suppressing your opponents, you have made many enemies. In the last two years, the country has become extremely insecure. With the systematic torture, your paranoia of one day being tortured by your enemies yourself also began. The U.S., which praised you decades ago for equal rights for women, expresses horror. You think this is hypocritical because you know they execute and torture people themselves.

Drink a glass of brandy

You are unhappy with the whole situation. Many people are fleeing the country, either from the consequences of climate change or from fear of your rule. But you don’t know how to reverse your decisions.

Story abschließen
Saudi Arabia

30 years later
Granddaughter of the crown prince

It is the day of your accession to the throne. You will rule the country as the first queen of Saudi Arabia. You step to the window of the palace. A large crowd has gathered below you to cheer you, but you are not fooled.


The population is suspicious. Although women fight for their rights, the influence of the clergy is still strong, especially the elderly look at you with skepticism. With the help of the clergy, environmental problems have been better addressed; Saudi Arabia is now a modern country, draws electricity from renewable sources, and is the first country in the world to obtain drinking water from the sea on a large scale.

Smile into the crowd

The price your grandfather had to pay for supporting the clergy is that there is still a huge gap between women’s equality on paper and in reality. However, you will carry on your grandfather’s legacy and make sure that changes very soon.

Story abschließen
Saudi Arabia, Riyadh

3 years later
Crown prince

You stifle a yawn. Meetings with the environment minister have always been anathema to you. “I have bad news,” he says. It’s to be expected. “If we want to meet our climate goals, we can’t keep pumping out our oil fields. We should be putting oil revenues into renewables.”

Wave him off

Unfortunately, he’s right. Saudi Arabia is already struggling with extreme heat and water problems. But renewables are full of risks. Your country doesn’t have the technology to develop them. Oil, on the other hand, is a secure source of income. Oil prices are high, and demand is increasing daily.


Your most important partner, the USA, depends on your country’s oil. You must not disappoint them, otherwise your rule is in danger.

Continue to expand oil production
Invest in renewable energies nevertheless
Saudi Arabia, Riyadh

4 years later
Crown prince

There is a tentative knock. You ask the Chinese ambassador for an audience.

He politely takes two sips of the strong black tea you serve him, then gets to the point: The People’s Republic of China is offering to become the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia’s protecting power.

Stand up surprised

They promise to help you develop renewable energies. However, they also want to build some military bases on your territory.


When you decided to get out of the oil business, the U.S. tried to topple you from the throne with flimsy reasons like the lack of gender equality.

Having the new global superpower China at your side sounds tempting, especially since the expansion of renewable energies is sluggish. But how will the U.S. respond to this provocation?

Agree to the offer
Reject the offer
Saudi Arabia, Riyadh

5 years later
Crown prince

The People’s Republic of China resented you for not taking up their offer. They are now helping the country’s archenemy, Iran, develop renewable energy, and have stationed troops in the country.

Read through situation report

Your intelligence agency writes that Iran has already built a nuclear bomb. Of course, Iran denies everything, but you don’t believe a word they say. Meanwhile, the U.S. supports you again, and has positioned medium-range missiles on the Saudi border. It makes your stomach hurt, but you feel powerless against this arms race. Everything points to a third world war.

Story abschließen
Saudi Arabia, Riyadh

30 years later
Crown prince

The revenge of the USA after your betrayal was perfidious: One by one, the American secret service killed all your male heirs. It is true that the Chinese helped you to convert the power supply completely to renewable energies and to build huge greenhouses in the Arabian desert. But all your power is lost, because your remaining daughter is not allowed to succeed you.

Story abschließen
Saudi Arabia, Riyadh

10 years later
Crown prince

Lately, you can’t stand your second cousin, the minister of economy, either. He keeps coming up with bad news: The oil fields are drying up, the price of oil is falling, the economy is going down the drain.

Stare at the palace floor

The lavish monetary benefits you used to be able to offer people have long since been cut. The population is suffering. The royal family, on the other hand, still wallows in luxury and is willing to commit murder to maintain their lifestyle.

Cut your relatives’ money off
Abandon your citizens
Saudi Arabia, Riyadh

2 months later
Crown prince

Veiled women in the streets, bustling oil fields – everything seems the same as always. But the view is deceptive. In the meantime, the world has switched to renewable energies, and no one wants oil anymore. And in the households, women are beginning to rebel against their husbands.

Ignore headache

After you took money away from your relatives and used it to support the population, someone tried to poison you. You had all your relatives arrested, even your own children. Now the country is under control, but you are old and alone and don’t know what to do with your life.

Story abschließen
Saudi Arabia, Riyadh

10 years later
Crown prince

You lie on the hard concrete floor and stare at the ceiling of your cell. The population endured the decline of the economy and the consequences of climate change for a few more years, then there was a rebellion against your rule. Now a revolutionary council is in power and you are spending your last days in a desolate cell. You regret that during your reign you never thought of abolishing the death penalty.

Story abschließen

Story abbrechen?

Willst du die aktuelle Story wirklich abbrechen?

Dein bisheriger Fortschritt geht dabei verloren.

Story abbrechen