Some friends have visited Qatif last week to experience Ashura Commemorations. I wanted to be there as well, but unfortunately my final exams this semester coincided with the occasion so I had to stay in Riyadh until the 15th of Muharram. Shiites in Qatif, unlike their counterparts in Ahssa (aka Hofuf), enjoy more freedom when it comes to celebrating religious occasions like Ashura. This is probably because Ahssa is a mixed area while Qatif is amlost purely Shiite. Although some say Qatifis are enjoying this freedom because they are more rebellious, but that’s another story.