The diary of a Saudi man, currently living in the United Kingdom, where the Religious Police no longer trouble him for the moment.

In Memory of the lives of 15 Makkah Schoolgirls, lost when their school burnt down on Monday, 11th March, 2002. The Religious Police would not allow them to leave the building, nor allow the Firemen to enter.

Saturday, November 26, 2005


I'm sure there are times when we all want to be somewhere else, doing something else, or indeed being someone else. The recent tragic death of soccer legend George Best, (who was sadly an alcoholic and managed to get thru two livers by the age of 59), strikes a note with many males like myself, who would have given anything to be soccer superstars, were it not for a complete lack of ability.

However some ambitions are more achievable.

Three American women, who converted to Islam recently, want to live in Saudi Arabia in the vicinity of the holy mosques.

The word "convert" is not strictly correct. Islam actually uses the term "revert", because of its vanity that it is the one original religion into which we are all naturally born, until some of us do silly things like becoming Southern Baptists or Scientologists or Buddists. It claims to be the original religion, in spite of the fact that it was only founded in 622. I never could really figure that out, but then, people keep telling me I'm a Bad Muslim.

Something else I couldn't figure out, was the motivation of one of the "reverts". Now I've no problem with anyone finding their spiritual home wherever, thru whatever experience. For St Paul, it was the road to Damascus. For one of these ladies, it was the road to Manhattan.

Aysha came to the fold of Islam after the Sept. 11 attacks in the United States. The kamikaze attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon ignited her interest in Islam.

That's what put her on to "The Beauty of Islam". Hmmm. It struck me as being like the vegetarian who started eating meat after watching the "Hannibal" movie.

Here's a more understandable wannabe.

A Yemeni man was arrested recently after being caught cross-dressing inside a female educational institution

The "Arab News", bless it, is charmingly innocent and naive about why he did it.

Police are still trying to find out the man’s motive for dressing up in an abaya.

It's not rocket science, they could have asked any long-time reader of this blog. For newer readers, it goes like this - the only women whose faces an adult male will see, are those of close female relatives that he cannot marry, like his mother or his sisters. Now one way he can look at Saudi girls' unveiled faces, is to get his parents to start matchmaking for him. However he will only get to see two or three at most, before he is expected to agree to marry one. The easier way to see many girls' faces is to kit yourself up in an abaya (long black shroud) and niqab (veil), and start wandering around a girls' school, because they go around unveiled in there. However, before you rush off and do that, there are some other things to remember. You don't need to shave your face, because it's veiled, but you do need to shave the backs of your hands, and your arms and legs where they stick out. And walk like a lady, don't swing your arms and roll around like Popeye. Otherwise...

A teacher who noticed his manly movements and hairy legs, confronted him.

Anyway, that's the difference between our cross-dressers and yours. Yours are real pansies. Ours are real men.

Another aspiration is when women get to be a certain age.
They want to go off and get a job, have their own apartment, go out shopping with their friends, meet fellas, go on vacation with a bunch of mates, generally enjoy their youth and freedom while they still have it.

However, in Saudi Arabia, we do not approve of that sort of thing. Young women are expected to live with their families until they get married off. And if our 20-year-olds get other ideas and get independent, they're in trouble.

Riyadh police had received a report from a family that their 20-year-old daughter was missing for several weeks. The CID took the descriptions of the woman.

It's a serious matter. It leads to a full scale (wo)manhunt.

They raided a number of localities and arrested a boy with her.

Caught her! And there was a boy involved as well. Not his fault of course, she obviously led him astray with her female wiles, so

The girl was placed in the women s prison in Al-Malaz

...as is right and proper...

while the boy is being questioned.

...OK, I just hope they're not being rude to him, and bring him lots of nice cups of tea.

Just in case there are any other wannabe Bridget Jones in Saudi Arabia, be warned...

...surveys conducted by Riyadh police have shown that women are lured by youths into escaping from their families and then at gunpoint they are made to take drugs. After that they are put into prostitution.

...and sometimes they get lost in the wood but find a Gingerbread House. Or an empty house with bowls of steaming porridge. Or one with a furry Granny in the bed....

So you see why we need to keep our daughters at home until we find them a husband. We keep them in prison until we find them a new prison, otherwise they go to prison.

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