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The Boston Globe


Unemployment, booming population spur hidden poverty in Saudi Arabia

RIYADH, Saudi Arabia — A few miles from the blinged-out shopping malls of Saudi Arabia’s capital, Souad al-Shamir lives in a concrete house on a trash-strewn alley, with no job, no money, five children under 14, and an unemployed husband who is laid up with chronic heart problems.

‘‘We are at the bottom,’’ she said, sobbing behind a black veil that left only her eyes visible. ‘‘My kids are crying and I can’t provide for them.’’

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