The developmental projects which Saudi Arabia is carrying out in the Masura neighborhood in Awamiyah are being confronted with intimidation from Iranian extremist cells and religious parties. Their aim is to provide safe havens for organizations in the abandoned houses whose dwellers left them or in the remains of ruined houses whose dwellers prefer to move out from towards developed neighborhoods and vital areas.
There’s no doubt that the old neighborhood is damaged. For the past three decades, human rights organizations have spoken about the Saudi government’s “intentional negligence” towards several areas including Awamiyah.
The government has been planning restoration and development works in Awamiyah for a while now. The terrorist phenomenon may have expedited the pace but the basis of the works is developmental and not security-related.Turki Aldakhil
When developmental projects were launched and when the government took it upon itself to develop the neighborhood in order to improve the city and provide its residents with a better living, those who had called for development opposed the projects under the pretext that these are security and not developmental projects!
Actually, this is all false. The government has been planning restoration and development works in Awamiyah for a while now. The terrorist phenomenon may have expedited the pace but the basis of the works is developmental and not security-related.
But who will convince overly suspicious rights’ organizations that are addicted to overturning the facts?
This article was first published in Okaz on May 14.
Turki Aldakhil is the General Manager of Al Arabiya News Channel. He began his career as a print journalist, covering politics and culture for the Saudi newspapers Okaz, Al-Riyadh and Al-Watan. He then moved to pan-Arab daily Al-Hayat and pan-Arab news magazine Al-Majalla. Turki later became a radio correspondent for the French-owned pan-Arab Radio Monte Carlo and MBC FM. He proceeded to Elaph, an online news magazine and Alarabiya.net, the news channel’s online platform. Over a ten-year period, Dakhil’s weekly Al Arabiya talk show “Edaat” (Spotlights) provided an opportunity for proponents of Arab and Islamic social reform to make their case to a mass audience. Turki also owns Al Mesbar Studies and Research Centre and Madarek Publishing House in Dubai. He has received several awards and honors, including the America Abroad Media annual award for his role in supporting civil society, human rights and advancing women’s roles in Gulf societies. He tweets @TurkiAldakhil.