ARAMCO

I am in the middle of The Battle for Saudi Arabia: Royalty, Fundamentalism, and Global Power (2004) by As’ad AbuKhalil, a Lebanese-American anarchist and former Marxist-Leninist.  It is an unabashed polemic against the Saudi Arabian regime, as well as of the US-centered imperialist system that sustains it.  There are a lot of good passages, such as this one:

The story of ARAMCO [Arabian American Oil Company] is also a story of a new apartheid system in the kingdom.  Its oil facilities employed thousands of people (many were Shi’ites, as the eastern region is predominantly Shi’ite), and the workers lived in dirty slums and were rigidly separated from the “white areas”.  Eating and drinking facilities were segregated like the old American South.  The turnover rate of Arab workers was around 75 percent.  Both the government and ARAMCO were fighting common enemies: Arab nationalism, trade unionism, class-consciousness, and socialism/communism (90).

This was just an aside; I hope that he does get into the politics and conflicts in the eastern, oil-rich, Shi’ite dominated regions of Saudi Arabia.

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