TQ Chāt | # 26

Mar 2015

This week in history:

Three decades after its discovery in Iran, and nine years after its discovery in Iraq, on March 3rd, 1938 oil was struck in Saudi Arabia.

Plagued by political instability and the global effects of the Great Depression, the newly formed Kingdom of Saudi Arabia had turned to Western prospectors for the search of oil in its territory. Via a series of transfers of the permit to prospect,  California Arabian Standard Oil Company (CASOC) a subsidiary of the well-established American oil company, Standard Oil of California (SOCAL), discovered oil in Dammam, present day Dahahran

The United States was firmly attentive to the significance of oil after the First World War, and the Saudi Kingdom saw oil as a means of ending its dependence on Hajj revenues . Both were eager to nurture the partnership. This discovery was to inaugurate a continuing American-Saudi nexus that has dramatically altered Middle East and South Asian politics since.

At Tanqeed, we are sometimes accused of criticizing American imperialism and igoring that of Saudi Arabia. While we stand against the degradation of Arab culture as barbaric, a position popular among liberal circles,  our stance on the Saudi influence in Pakistan is clear: the Saudi monarchy has been an imperial power in Pakistan, and has alongside the United States, extinguished the lives and livelihoods of ordinary Pakistanis in the quest of its  imperial ends.

This week’s Tanqeed Chāt is in memory of that fateful moment in 1938 when an American prospecting company discovered oil deposits in the Kingdom, allowing an ascendant global superpower to shepherd the rise of a regional power, both of which have supported retrograde and pernicious elements of Pakistani society.

On March 3rd, 1938, oil was discovered in Saudi Arabia.

On March 3rd, 1938, oil was discovered in Saudi Arabia.

This week in the Internet:

Sayyida al-Hurra, the Beloved, Avenging Islamic Pirate Queen

Clicking on rape

Creating a mythical past

New Afghan militia sets its sights on ISIL

Audre Lorde, “The Uses of Anger: Women Responding to Racism”

A life’s constant fear

Forget the World Cup and listen to music instead! Check out the latest episode of the Pakistani music podcast Jamaat-ul-Mausiqi

The Bigger Beast

Rethinking “South Asia” in a New Imperial Age

The Music of Malcolm X

We Seek Full Equality for Women

Mir Mohammad Ali Talpur on the role of youth in society at large and in social and political movements.


This week at Tanqeed:

Selective Mourning After Peshawar

Jeff Redding on khwaja siras, gender and state suspicion | TQ Salon

Trampled Rights in Balochistan 

Women in Urdu Literature

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