Friday, November 25, 2011

Qatif: The Revolution Renewed

During the past week, the city of Qatif has witnessed major demonstrations that engulfed the entire city.  The trigger of this march was the death of the 19 year old Nasser Al-Mheishi at the hands of the Saudi Army (anti-riot forces) placed in the city since early this year.  Since then, the same forces have had their part in the deaths of at least three (confirmed) deaths and several other injuries.  To make matters worse, the army did not release the bodies to the families of the victims before requesting the ransom of pardoning the death.  All of this just a few days before the sacred month of Muharram.  A month that accommodates the activities of “Ashura”.

Whether it is a calculated plot against the Shiite community or an irrational action by the individuals involved in the shooting, it seems that the system is incapable of keeping up with the tide when it comes to treating its public.  The oppression of the public is no longer an option and the attempt to hide unrest within country borders is no longer as easy as it has ti compete with technology, a resource that has evolved to ensure all is capable of broadcasting the news live and on the spot.

Reading the Saudi MOI report [1], the blame again is (as usual) on foreign agents aiming to destroy the safe haven we live in.  Of course it seems that we in Saudi are the targets of all conspiracies. If there is unrest within the borders of Saudi, it is a plot by foreign powers that have injected their agents within the same.  It never seems to be a failure to relate to the many minorities in the Kingdom from the ruling class.  They are never required to stoop down to the level of the commoners and try to understand their needs.  Instead, the ruling class, being the “all wise leadership” that they propagate to be, have set the requirements and defined the problems of this common Saudi.  Sadly, none of these problems and needs have a requirement that expects action from them.

The Saudi ruling family is continuously failing to understand that by ensuring the rights of the Shiite public, they can win their loyalty.  By ensuring that these people are safe from attacks such as that which happened earlier this week (and condemning the individuals involved in harming this group of people) they can ensure that this community will provide them with their trust.  The “Divide & Conquer” strategy does not apply any longer in Saudi when people are no longer ignorant of each other.  In an age of technology and debate, people have the opportunity to share with each other and understand one another.  The “Dark Ages” of Saudi Arabia have passed and now we face a new age of enlightenment.

[1] Saudi Press Agency [2011], “Checkpoints and Security vehicles exposed to gunfire from rioters in Qatif”, Arabic Title: “مصدر مسؤول بوزارة الداخلية: تعرض عدد من النقاط الامنية و المركبات الامنية لاطلاق نار من معتدين في القطيف”, url:, Published on: 24-Nov-2011, Accessed on: 24-Nov-2011

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