Although there are about a million of citizens in the oil-rich Qatif region, in the Eastern Province of Saudi Arabia, it lacks for the expected development and even more it lacks many of the essential utilities.
During more than fifteen years, Qatifis had sent thousands of letters and petitions to the Saudi kings and royalties demanding the establishment of a university in their region. They, also, demanded this university in their articles, statements, religious speeches and cultural meetings. However, they had no respond of whatsoever in this regard.
King Abdullah bin AbdulAziz Al Saud has recently made an order of designating 81 billion Saudi Riyals (about 21,570 USD billion) for establishing universities in different Saudi regions. However, officials have nominated several regions other than Qatif as candidates for establishing universities in them. Some of those regions’ populations are much less than Qatif’s population.
People of Qatif have to go to other regions’ universities like King Saud University in Riyadh and King AbdulAziz University in Jeddah, west of Saudi Arabia, in order to finish their higher education. Due to this, they face many physical and financial difficulties. Moreover, they sometimes are abused as what had happened in AlJouf University, in the Northern Province, when three Shiite citizens from Qatif were subjected to attacks with swords and were beaten till losing conscience for sectarian reasons by a large group of Salafi students in the same university.
Qatifis feel that they are oppressed and are not provided the same development projects and opportunities as other regions. They demand making this region a priority in the developmental programs in a way that commensurate with the region’s area and population density.