A motorcyclist waits Feb. 17 to buy gas in Caracas, Venezuela. President Nicolas Maduro increased the price of gasoline for the first time in 20 years, as he faced growing pressure to ease an economic crisis in the oil-producing country. Juan Barreto/AFP/Getty Images hide caption

toggle caption Juan Barreto/AFP/Getty Images
Cheap Oil Usually Means Global Growth, But This Time Seems Different
  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/469594301/469757760" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

Saudi artist Abdulnasser Gharem poses in front of "Generation Kill," a piece made with rubber stamps, digital print and paint, at the opening night of his exhibition titled Al Sahwa (The Awakening) at Ayyam gallery in Dubai in 2014. Aya Batrawy/AP hide caption

toggle caption Aya Batrawy/AP
A New Generation Of Saudi Artists Pushes The Boundaries
  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/465574953/465819207" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

Mohammed al-Nimr is the son Shiite Sheikh Nimr al-Nimr, who was executed by Saudi Arabia. Courtesy of Mohammed al-Nimr hide caption

toggle caption Courtesy of Mohammed al-Nimr
Shiite Sheikh Executed By Saudi Arabia Preached Against Violence, Son Says
  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/462827000/462848886" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

Saudi Arabia's King Salman (left) speaks with his son Mohammed in the capital Riyadh in 2012. The king was the crown prince at the time. When he assumed the throne last year, Salman named Mohammed, now 30, the deputy crown prince and defense minister. They have pursued a much more aggressive foreign policy in the region, particularly when it comes to confronting Iran. Hassan Ammar/AP hide caption

toggle caption Hassan Ammar/AP

Family members of Shafqat Hussain, who was convicted and hanged in Pakistan in August for killing a boy in 2004, waited to receive his body outside the central jail in Karachi. Pakistan executed more than 300 people last year. Fareed Khan/AP hide caption

toggle caption Fareed Khan/AP
Fewer Countries Are Relying On Death Penalty, But They're Executing More
  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/462288401/462293461" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

An Iranian woman in Tehran holds up a poster showing Sheikh Nimr al-Nimr, a prominent opposition Saudi Shiite cleric who was executed in Saudi Arabia on Jan. 2. Vahid Salemi/AP hide caption

toggle caption Vahid Salemi/AP
Journalist Says Iran-Saudi Showdown Comes At A 'Really Dangerous' Time
  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/462250478/462278598" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

Shiite rebels hold posters of late Shiite cleric Nimr al-Nimr at a protest Thursday in Sanaa, Yemen. The cleric's execution by Saudi Arabia on Saturday sparked a dramatic deterioration in relations between Saudi and Iran. Hani Mohammed/AP hide caption

toggle caption Hani Mohammed/AP

Iran's president Hassan Rouhani addresses the nation in a televised speech last July. He has condemned the attack on the Saudi Arabian Embassy in Tehran, but the episode gave the appearance that he's unable to keep hardliners in check. Ebrahim Noroozi/AP hide caption

toggle caption Ebrahim Noroozi/AP

President Obama meets Saudi Arabia's King Salman in Riyadh in January 2015. The Saudi monarch, in power for a year, has adopted more confrontational positions toward Iran, the kingdom's longtime rival. Carolyn Kaster/AP hide caption

toggle caption Carolyn Kaster/AP
Under King Salman, Saudi Arabia Takes A Harder Line With Iran
  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/461944919/461944920" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

Iranian women in the capital Tehran demonstrate against the execution of a prominent Shiite Muslim cleric Nimr al-Nimr (seen on the signs). He was among 47 people beheaded by Saudi authorities on Saturday, a move that escalated tensions between the two countries. Atta Kenare/AFP/Getty Images hide caption

toggle caption Atta Kenare/AFP/Getty Images

An Iraqi protester holds a poster of Shiite cleric Nimr al-Nimr, who was executed in Saudi Arabia, during a protest Monday in front of the gate of the Green Zone in Baghdad. Ali Abbas/EPA /Landov hide caption

toggle caption Ali Abbas/EPA /Landov

Iranian security forces stand guard as protesters demonstrate outside the Saudi Arabian Embassy in Tehran. The crowd was decrying the execution of Nimr al-Nimr, a prominent Saudi Shiite cleric, by Saudi authorities — an execution that has heightened sectarian tensions in the region. Anadolu Agency/Getty Images hide caption

toggle caption Anadolu Agency/Getty Images

Iranian riot police block a street leading to the Saudi Embassy as protesters hold portraits of prominent Shiite Muslim cleric Nimr al-Nimr during a demonstration against his execution by Saudi authorities on Sunday in Tehran. Atta Kenare /AFP/Getty Images hide caption

toggle caption Atta Kenare /AFP/Getty Images

Iranian security stand guard to protect Saudi Arabia's embassy in Tehran, Iran, while a group of demonstrators gathered to protest execution of a Shiite cleric in Saudi Arabia late Saturday into early Sunday. Ebrahim Noroozi/AP hide caption

toggle caption Ebrahim Noroozi/AP
Listen: Leila Fadel on 'All Things Considered'
  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/461791618/461794433" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">

A Saudi man walks past a pump at a petrol station Monday in the Red Sea city of Jeddah. Saudi Arabia said it plans to reduce subsidies on power, water and fuel as part of new measures introduced in the face of low oil prices. Amer Hilabi/AFP/Getty Images hide caption

toggle caption Amer Hilabi/AFP/Getty Images
Higher Gas Prices, Long Lines: What Cheap Oil Means For Saudi Arabia
  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/461554803/461568505" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

A veiled woman and a man embrace in this work by Mohammed Labban at the recent art exhibition "LoudArt," an annual event in the Saudi Arabian city of Jeddah. The exhibit, curated by a woman, often challenges conservative traditions in the kingdom. Deborah Amos / NPR hide caption

toggle caption Deborah Amos / NPR
In Ways Big And Small, Saudi Arabian Women Are 'Pushing Normal'
  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/460946605/461519878" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

Saudi women vote at a polling center during municipal elections in Riyadh earlier this month. Aya Batrawy/AP hide caption

toggle caption Aya Batrawy/AP
Women In Saudi Arabia Can Finally Vote, So Why Is Turnout So Low?
  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/459491653/460353506" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">

Candidate Sameera abu al-Shamat votes in Saudi Arabia's municipal elections on Saturday. Shamat did not win a seat. Deborah Amos / NPR hide caption

toggle caption Deborah Amos / NPR
Saudi Women: Elections Are One Step Forward On A Long Road
  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/459683623/459718310" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript