Awamiya, a small town in Qatif, became a focal point of unrest since protests in early 2011. The escalation of youth protests there, led to continuous clashes between gunmen and security forces, and since then Awamiya has been bleeding. As any part of our beloved country, the crisis should be addressed and not used as a mean to fuel sectarianism, revenge and incitement.
Awamiya is located between neighboring towns where pipelines to oil exporting ports on the coast of the Arabian Gulf pass through. It is connected to other cities and towns by a narrow street which has been paved since the era of King Saud in 1960’s.
The population of this town exceeds thirty thousand and known of their interest of science and knowledge. Awamiya includes many prominent academics, doctors, poets and scholars at the national level.
Two youth trends dominate this town: the first one has chosen crime as a way to terrorize innocent people, spreading corruption and tampering citizens’ and state institutions. People in the community have realized the seriousness of this trend which took advantage of the environment such as impassable road that make entering the town difficult in addition to the existence of a lot of farms in order to practice various forms of crimes away from the eyes of security.
It is worth mentioning that many community leaders and social figures demanded authorities to take strict measures in order to guarantee security and to control smuggling and sale of arms and drugs.
The second trend influenced by the Arab Spring and adopts social demands through organizing peaceful demonstrations which gained interaction in various cities of the province. After one year, this trend stopped from confrontation in a response to the state measures as well as to the demands of social and religious figures.
The problem is in the overlapping between the two trends and the attempt of criminal groups to utilize national demands as a pretext to continue their criminal actions. Moreover many innocent citizens pay heavy costs as a result of their opposition’s attitudes. The continuation of this overlapping, will lead to a negative impact on security of the society and the state together.
many preachers, scholars and writers in the region have been continuously talk about refusing all forms of violence and the use of weapons against citizens or against security forces. Several statements in this regard were issued by well-known and respected notional figures including the one which was issued last week after killing a member in security forces.
It is important to reach a serious solution in order to address this issue away from confrontation. The use of security solution alone causes heavy cost for everyone; statements and national speeches are no longer useful.
We condemn any form of violence and terrorism, yet we demand the state to communicate with community leaders and religious scholars to put an end to bloodshed.