Wednesday, January 16, 2013
The recent change in governors in Saudi Arabia's restive Eastern Province is drawing considerable attention, given the relatively rare reshuffles among senior figures in the Royal Family. The replacement of Muhammad bin Fahd, who had been governor since 1985, and the appointment of Saud bin Nayef to replace him, suggests the Kingdom is concerned about its dissident Shi‘ite minority. A leading expert on the subject, Toby Matthiesen, has a piece at Foreign Policy worthy of your attention, "Saudi Royal Family Politics and the Arab Spring." He also notes the rise of the sons of the late Crown Prince Nayef, since Muhammad bin Nayef, long the country's anti-terrorism chief, is now in his father's old job of Interior Minister, while Saud bin Nayef know controls the Eastern Province.