Riad El-Rayyes Books in Beirut, Lebanon, has recently published a book in two volumes entitled “The National Movement in Eastern Saudi Arabia; 1953- 1973 AD” by the late Sayyed Ali AlSayyed Baqer AlAwwami. In this book, Sayyed AlAwwami, who was born in Qatif region, dates an era of national struggle in the Eastern Province of Saudi Arabia since its beginning in 1953 till 1973.
The author, in his book, reviews the events which he had experienced, and reveals the political history in the east of Saudi Arabia. He clears how the region’s general situation was prior and after oil discovery; then, he indicates the first initiatives in the national struggle.
Alwwami indicates the first labor movement that occurred in the fifties of the last century. He tells that how a group of employees of Aramco “The Saudi Oil Company” were facing harsh and oppressive work conditions. These conditions made some individuals of those oppressed employees form a committee for demanding their rights.
However, the government and Aramco’s representatives did not respond to the demanded rights, and this, eventually, made the workers go on a strike. AlAwammi, also, demonstrates how the government and Aramco representatives had responded to the strike, and explains what had happened after it.
In the second volume, the writer reviews the events that occurred in the sixties. He mentions how a group of citizens from different Saudi regions had formed a national reform organization that called for developing the ruling system in Saudi Arabia by transforming it from an absolute monarchy to a constitutional democratic one.
He mentions that those calls were for enabling the citizens of participation in making political and administrative decisions through an elected parliament or an elected council and for enabling them of constituting public institutions, political parties, craft and labor unions and cultural institutions.
Moreover, the author indicates how the government negatively dealt with this organization. He, also, says that many citizens who demanded for their rights had been arrested, tortured and accused of different things including communism.