Survey of Shia Life in Saudi Arabia


Washington, DC– The Institute for Gulf Affairs released a special report on Sunday, October 28. On Being Shiite in Saudi Arabia will offer a rare glimpse into the lives of Shia Muslims living in Saudi Arabia.

This special report, the first of its kind, examines the lives of the Shia people who live in the oil-rich eastern provinces of Saudi Arabia. Eighteen questions are asked to a sample of 22 Saudi Shia men and women, of varying ages. In their own words, these individuals share the trials of life within the Saudi state. IGA analyst, Bayan Perazzo has traveled to the homes of these people and has exposed the often neglected truth about the lives of minorities and women in this secretive and poorly understood country.

The eastern provinces of Saudi Arabia serve as the bases for a great number of Saudi Arabia’s critical petroleum refining and export infrastructure. On September 26, the Shia population who call these provinces home protested en mass against the systematic discrimination that is taught to Saudi school children and to speak out against the social tableaus that have made them second class citizens in their own country. This penetrating study, conducted in the summer of 2011, illustrates the frustrations that culminated in these historic demonstrations.

This survey of the Shia people in Saudi Arabia illuminates the difficulties of a large and maligned population living in one of Saudi Arabia’s most economically and politically sensitive regions.

Read full survey: Survey of Shia Life in Saudi Arabia

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