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Total number of comments: 4 (since 2013-11-28 16:50:25)


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  • Bahrain King forbids Protest Rallies
    • Juan, do you have any evidence that the proportion is now 60% and that it was reduced in any significant way due to naturalization?

  • Map of United Arab Emirates
    • Actually, "gutter" is closer to how the locals there pronounce it ("GIttar," in fact).

  • Saudi Arabia, Distribution of Annual Rainfall
    • Richard Miller,

      Saudi Arabia is not Iraq. There are not entire regions that are majority Shi'ite. There are basically two cities in eastern Saudi Arabia with major Shi'ite populations but these are surrounded by Sunnis.

      The first is the city of Al-Qatif plus its suburbs (appx 500,000), which is almost entirely Shi'ite but is only a 20 minute drive away from the mostly-Sunni metropolitan area of Dammam (appx 1 million).

      The second is an oasis called Al-Ahsa (or Al-Hasa), which is about 150 km inland. It consists of one small city (Al-Hofuf) surrounded by a constellation of towns and villages. Al-Hasa was historically about 40-50% Shi'ite (Sunnis dominated the oasis's main city of Hofuf and its neighbor Al-Mubarraz, while Shi'ites dominated the surrounding villages). In the last few decades it is believed that Shi'ites have gained a majority (perhaps 60%) in Al-Hasa. Again, Al-Hasa is a small region, about the area of a larg city, and its population is around 700,000.

      And yes, both Al-Qatif and Al-Hasa are located near the country's main oil fields, so it is perfectly correct to say that Saudi Arabia's Shi'ite populations are concentrated in the oil-producing region. But that does not mean that the oil-producing region are predominantly Shi'ite, as many outsiders seem to think.

    • Brian,

      I think you are reading the legend and the map incorrectly. Orange does not signify the highest precipitation; it signifies areas not covered by this map, i.e. the areas of the map that are not part of Saudi Arabia.

      The lowest precipitation is signified by purple. You will find that the southeastern part of Saudi Arabia is purple -- that is the Empty Quarter. The Empty Quarter extends into Yemen, Oman and UAE, but, since they are not part of Saudi Arabia, those regions of the Empty Quarter are colored in orange.

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