Thursday, October 27, 2011

White Samurai & Black Ninja


When first arriving in Saudi Arabia, you will notice two major clans: The White Samurai and The Black Ninja. Unlike the Japanese Samurai and Ninja, Saudi's clans are living together with a common understanding. Upon further observation, you will notice that the Samurai act as guardians to the ninjas as it seems that they are incapable protecting themselves.  There are a lot of complications between the two clans in Saudi Arabia that has provided the conditions to arrive at this type of relationship between the two.  One such complication is the role the two played traditionally and the role they wish to play given the circumstances provided by the modern age.

According to Saudi culture the Ninja is still viewed as a fragile jewel and a vulnerable being that needs to be protected against all harm.  To play the role of protector, a Guardian Samurai is appointed (through fatherhood, brotherhood or marriage).  This creates a problem for them as it cripples them from managing their lives efficiently and effectively.  To support the Samurai in his role, the legal system has placed limitations on the Ninja's choices in life by requesting the approval of their Samurai guardians.   The limitations practiced against them have affected their commuting, travel, marriage and even their income.

The situation between the two has grown in complexity as the traditional relationship is being challenged by New Age values and opportunities. In Saudi Arabia the two do not understand the limitations of their interaction and they are required to interact in the modern day.  They do not understand the obligations they have for each other and they are required to define these obligations.  They are incapable of defining their rights and they are required to understand these rights.  

Given the situation, there is a solution. The legal system needs to establish a system where the two are considered as human beings with equal rights.  They both should be considered as responsible for the choices they make and they should both be protected equally by the system against other parties.  Once the two parties are viewed as equals in the eyes of the legal system, the two will be equipped to play their roles in society effectively.  To support this further, the legal system should relax its restrictions against the inter-mixing of the two.  This will aid the two on understanding each other.  It will also help them in building a platform were they can share a level plane of mutual respect. Once this is done they can both play an effective role in building their community.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Saudi, Awamia and Loyalty


During the past week an uprising in the small town of Awamia, Qatif rocked the stability of Saudi Arabia.  The trigger of this small uprising was the imprisonment of an old man in an attempt to extract his son.  From another angle, it was the authorities acting as mafia goons by taking hostages to force others in doing their bidding.  Whether this action has been approved by the Ministry of Interior or not, the aftermath of this action has shown us the level of wisdom our “wise leadership” has.  If they issued they did not issue the order, then the actor should be punished accordingly.  If not, a public apology needs to be issued to the individual.

Qatif has always been a problematic and tension filled region for the Wahhabi regime of Saudi Arabia.  Yet, it seems that the regime has never attempted to eliminate or at least reduce these tensions.  At the beginning the regime injected many non-Shiite (the primary Islamic sect in the Eastern Province) within the borders of Qatif and its surroundings in an attempt to reduce the Shiite percentage in the region.  They then attempted to erase the Shiite identity by closing down their mosques and prohibiting their traditions.  The event mentioned above has re-triggered another famous card and that is the public doubting of the loyalty of this minority. 

My only question here is what has the Saudi regime done to gain the loyalty of this minority?  Has it guaranteed their rights as citizens? Or has it maintained their dignity and self-respect? Has it implemented any legislation to prosecute against their discrimination? Or has it seriously punished against their public slander?  In truth, there was no serious action by the regime to answer any of the questions mentioned above.  Till this day there is no law that is put in place or is implemented to ensure this group’s contribution to the success of Saudi Arabia.  And a country which distances some of its public because of faith or tribe cripples itself in its progress.

To enable Saudi Arabia in ensuring the events of Awamia do not repeat, it should seriously reconsider its policies with regards to minorities.  The old war games that were played thirty years ago will no longer work as technology has enabled people to connect and contribute to each other’s experiences.  No longer is the public hiding behind its geographical were they are told by the regime of what is going on outside.  The influence that the regime had one day on its people no longer applies as the same people can confirm the information from various channels.  Unless the Saudi Regime revaluates it treatment towards its common public it will struggle to maintain its legitimate hold on its people.