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.

Sunday, December 25, 2005

Women, again 

Congratulations to Alia Hayel Aboutaiyh Al-Howaite on becoming the first Saudi woman to compete at international level as a jockey.

Saudi Woman Becomes World-Class Jockey

Alia, who is being sponsored by Kingdom Holding Company Chairman Prince Alwaleed ibn Talal, participated on Thursday in the 120-km World Endurance Championship for the Sheikh Hamdan Al-Maktoum Challenge Cup in Seeh Al-Silm near the Dubai International Village. Alia placed seventh among the 90 jockeys from around the world who took part in the global event.

That's great. She trained in Jordan and has now competed in Dubai. I look forward to seeing her come and compete in Saudi. We will have women jockeys here about the time that we have the first Christian Church.

And also about the time we get women drivers.

Women Driving a Family Issue, Says Sultan

Crown Prince Sultan, deputy premier and minister of defense and aviation, yesterday emphasized the government’s readiness to open the way for women driving once they get consent from their families.

That's great, as well. Mrs A has my immediate permission to drive. But there's a catch, naturally.

“When fathers, husbands and brothers ask us for women to drive we will look into it, but if they ask us the opposite we can’t force them (to let women drive),

It has to be a collective family decision, otherwise the government won't act. So for Mrs A to drive, not only do I have to agree, but lots of other men, including "Mister Progress" in the top right-hand corner, also have to agree. As the King said on this subject earlier

I believe the day will come when women will drive. I believe it will be possible and I believe patience is a virtue.

It's a good job we're a nation of Believers.

Not so good news for yet another Indonesian housemaid victim.

Indonesian Maid’s Tragedy Continues

In March, Miyati was brought to a hospital in Riyadh by her sponsor in a critical condition suffering from gangrene to her fingers, toes and a part of her right foot. Doctors had to remove some of her fingers and toes.

"Her sponsor" means her employer. A Saudi, of course. So when Indonesian Miyati accused him of mistreating her, she made a Big Mistake.

At first Miyati claimed that her sponsor tied her up for a month in a bathroom and beat her severely injuring her eyes and knocking out several of her teeth.

So the Police persuaded her that she was "mistaken".

....Miyati later changed her testimony....

But you can't go around accusing your Saudi employer of such things! You must face the consequences....

....and was subsequently charged with making false accusations of torture against her sponsor....Saudi authorities imprisoned Miyati while she was still being treated at the Specialist Hospital in Riyadh for her wounds and amputations.

Well, they are very good in prison at treating wounds and amputations. People fly here from all over the world to be treated in our prisons for wounds and amputations.

Fortunately justice later prevailed.

Following complaints by her lawyer, Dandani, and the Indonesian Embassy, Miyati was released to the care of the Nahda Women’s Charity Society by orders of Riyadh Gov. Prince Salman.

And what happened to her employers? What is your sentence when you cause someone to lose fingers and toes through gangrene, not to mention looking like they are Mike Tyson's sparring partner? Well, if it's 750 lashes for "mocking religion", and 300 for "encouraging homosexuality and adultery", then they should get....

A judge later sentenced the sponsor’s wife, who admitted to beating Miyati, to 35 lashes. The husband was found innocent due to lack of evidence against him.

Well, that wasn't quite the number I had in mind. But we have lost our 14th-Century pre-eminence in Maths. And we are dealing with a crime against an Indonesian here, and they are Third World, and she is a woman, and there are plenty more on the next 747 from Jakarta.

But that's not all. After all, didn't the Indonesian woman change her testimony? That just shows you can't trust these people. And she must be punished for changing her testimony. So more Maths. If you get 35 lashes for causing someone to lose fingers and toes, and knocking out several of their teeth, then for changing your testimony, you should get....

A Riyadh judge sentenced an Indonesian maid, who accused her sponsor and his wife of torturing her, to 79 lashes yesterday.

So I got that wrong, as well. And the ironic thing is that, if we lashed people across the hand instead of across the back, then she wouldn't feel it, because she's lost her fingers. But Indonesian housemaids never seem to have any luck.

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