A rare commentary on Saudi Arabia's Eastern Province, with a Shia majority, who can have an unhappy relationship with their rulers. Interesting to see some Sunni-Shia dialogue.


Ends with:
Finally, many in the province point approvingly to a sweeping investigation into the disturbances of the East published last year by the King Faisal Center for Research and Islamic Studies and leaked to an opposition website. Based on extensive interviews, the 125-page document is remarkable for its objectivity and detail in identifying the roots of dissent in the Eastern Province as an entrenched social, economic, and political problem—rather than as the usual explanations of criminality or Iranian-assisted subversion. “It is Saudi Arabia’s own Bassiouni Report,” noted one Shia activist in Safwa, referring to the Bahrain Independent Commission of Inquiry. Sadly though, the document may suffer a similar fate as its Bahraini counterpart; it seems unclear as to whether or not Saudi authorities have the power—or even the will—to act on its recommendations.