23 September

I want to thank King Abdullah, again, for his decision to make the national day a public holiday. Would this increase the national spirit of Saudis in a positive way? Since it is just the second time we live this occasion, it is still early to tell, but hopefully it will. Was this decision prompted by terrorist attacks, thinking that patriotism would discourage the so-called “misguided group”? Maybe, but this by all means is no excuse for not enjoying the day off.

During the long weekend, I had the chance to meet a fellow Kuwaiti blogger. It was around 11 pm, and we were stuck in the congested Olaya St. Next to us, there were a few young men waving Saudi flags cheerfully inside their car. Few minutes later, a police car appeared and blocked off the road of the flag wavers. They forced them to break out of the stream to a side street. I followed them, partly out of curiosity, but mainly to get rid of the tension of driving very slowly in a crowded street. There they were, the officer was questioning the boys, while I was trying to imagine what kind of conversation they were having. “These boys are struggling to express their patriotism,” I told my friend, who was rather amused and entertained by the previous scene.

For years, Islamists have opposed celebrating the national day, because according to them “Muslims have only two occasions to celebrate: Eid Al Adha and Eid Al Fitr.” They also use the same lame excuse to ban celebrating any occasion related to dates such as birthdays and anniversaries. However, two years ago they surrendered to a middle ground solution: it is permissible to celebrate the National Day provided you won’t call it “National Eid,” which was totally fine with the rest of us, because if a play on words is all what it takes to make these stubborns change their wicked minds, then be it.

The National Day is a time of pride and joy, but it is also a time to read our history and think about the future. Abdul Aziz was an extraordinary man, and unifying this huge country was a tremendous achievement; this is something we all agree on. That was 74 years ago, and we have gone a long way since then. However, we need to admit that some mistakes were made, and turning a blind eye to these mistakes did not, and will never, do us any good. The domination of a certain extreme mindset on many life aspects here has delivered many problems, including terrorism, which we saw first exported to different parts of the world, and later we found it hitting us in the heart of our homeland.

Many people would disagree, and that’s alright. We would be much, much better off if we can disagree, but still respect each other regardless of our differences. And no matter how hard the disagreement can get, no one should be allowed to question the loyalty of the rest of his countrymen. As I said before, Saudi Arabia is huge country, where people come from different origins and backgrounds, therefor, diversity is inevitable. No one should be denied the right to maintain his heritage, and no one should be allowed to force others to his own agenda. In this case, our differences does not matter, because I believe we have one much more important thing in common after all: we love this country.

Looking forward to the future, I wonder: do we dare to dream? I, for one, do. I dare. And I don’t have only one dream; I have many dreams actually: I want to live to see the day when this country becomes a real democracy with a fully elected parliament; when freedom of expression is guaranteed to all, and no one is afraid to speak his mind no more; when women have their full rights and stand on equal foot with men. This was to name a few. Call me a dreamer. Maybe I am. I know one thing for sure, however: change is coming. This country is changing, not as quickly as I wish maybe, but it is changing nevertheless. Probably I’m just a young lad who can’t wait for this to happen, but who can blame me? If it wasn’t for the young to push change then who would?

My friend and I went to Java Cafe on King Abdul Aziz Rd., and on the other side of the road, we could see the building of the Ministry of Islamic Affairs. He was amazed by how big and stylish this coffeehouse was. “Revolution is coming to Saudi Arabia,” my friend said. I was startled by the word revolution. The increase and popularity of coffee shops means that people want to talk, he explained, and this is how the French Revolution was started, one cup of coffee at a time. It was getting late, so I dropped my friend at the hotel. Meanwhile, my head was turning between the ideas of revolution and my mentioned above dreams.

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26 thoughts on “23 September

  1. I luckily left before the national day as my mother was telling me that the traffic was CRAZY. They were apparently stuck in Tahlia for hours cause all these guys started dancing.

  2. The French Revolution devolved into the Reign of Terror, where one neighbor turned against another and masses of innocent people were killed for no good reason at all. That sounds like a Wahhabi solution.

    You would be better off to hope for an English revolution, where the citizens acquired their rights peacefully. A conservative revolution like the English made makes a more stable government than a liberal revolution like the French suffered. No English lost their heads in their revolution.

    Whatever you do, you need to do it now. When Saudi Arabia maintains a covert foreign policy of religious imperialism implemented with terror, it’s likely your future may be decided by others, such as the nations where you have drawn blood for Wahhabism.

    Tantor

  3. It was a great time. We really need to do something during the day next time. I keep seeing you and Riyadh at night and it just feels strange.

    Is there a road where all the events and celebrations happen? Like when Saudi wins at a Football game? Cause that will be the main road for next year.

    Also I wonder if there were any parades in Jeddah or Dammam. Cause in Kuwait it is known to do all this stuff in the Gulf road starting from Messila to the Towers

  4. Ahmed, I salute you. I loved every word. You are inspiring and empowering me day after day. Seriously. Thing is, I get so excited and pumped up and no one at college really wants to discuss this stuff with me :-( I end up bothering you all day.
    So, what do you say you and I discuess this “revolution” over a cup of coffee? ;-) Just let me know when and where! I swear, I agree with EVERY word in this post. Oh, the mistakes made and their outcomes… that ALL could have been avoided. The lies we were fed, and what we were left to work with.. everything.

    نعم و سنحتفل بعيد بابا نويل و المولد النبوي الشريف و سنقوم بمسيرة فخر لمحاربة رهاب المثلية.
    :-D
    -مبارك عليك الشهر يا بعدي يا أحمد و كل سنة و وطننا (وطن السنة و الشيعة و “الليبراليين و العلمانيين” و الإسلاميين على السواء) بألف خير

    :-) تحياتي

  5. “You would be better off to hope for an English revolution”___The English Revolution was the Civil War in the 17C, when the King was executed, a dictator took over, and thousands lost their lives. Since then, there has indeed been slow and mostly peaceful progress, with just one coup (in 1688) and a few bad riots.

  6. Let’s hope Arabia can have a peaceful political development toward a constitutional monarchy, such as several European countries enjoy. That system can work very well, as the King is not from any one political party, so he acts as a neutral referee.

  7. I totally agree with you that Saudis need a feeling of patriotism around which they can rally. Celebrating the National Day is thus important, just as long as we don’t sink into mindless nationalism.

  8. I used to live and work in Saudi. (Dammam) in the early to mid eighties. It sounds like not a lot has changed in terms of attitudes and mindsets. Will it ever?

  9. حديث الصيام
    دأب الكفار منذ فجر الإسلام على الكيد للمسلمين وفتنتهم عن دينهم، وكاد المسلمون من الأوس والخزرج يقتتلون بعد أن حرّض ذلك اليهودي بينهم مذكرا إياهم بما قاله شعراء الأوس والخزرج يوم بعاث في الجاهلية، لولا أن تداركهم رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم وذكرهم قائلا “أبدعوى الجاهلية وانا بين أظهركم” فتراجعوا وبكوا واستغفروا الله على ذلك. وتتالت مكائد الكفار للمسلمين على مر القرون وحفظ الله هذه الأمة إلى هذا الزمان، رغم أن ما مكره الكفار لها كفيل بفنائها. ومنذ قرنين لم يفتر الكفار عن الكيد للمسلمين لتمزيقهم وتفريق صفهم مستخدمين في ذلك كل ما أوتوا من دهاء ومكر، فرموا الأمة بالروابط القومية التي سبق أن حفرت أخاديد لم تندمل بين دول أوروبا، ثم زادوا الأمة تمزيقا باسم الوطنية، فأصبحت كل مزقة تحتفل باستقلالها وتحمي علمها وحدودها من المزقة الأخرى، وها هي أميركا تكيد للأمة فوق مكائدهم السابقة من القومية والوطنية ويضيفون إلى ذلك كله _وهي في طريقها لإعادة الإسلام الى معترك الحياة من جديد_ بذور شطر الأمة مذهبياً بعد تحلقها حول إسلامها؛ ليعطي ذلك الشطر ثماراً خبيثة هي أدهى وأمَرّ مما أنتجته القومية والوطنية والطائفية، وليست أقل تلك النتائج الحيلولة دون قيام كيان مخلص يمثل المسلمين كافة دون أن يحول شطرٌ من المسلمين دون حصوله باسم الإسلام.
    أيها المسلمون..
    إن أمتنا الإسلامية هي خير أمة أخرجت للناس، وهي أمة واحدة ما دام أبناؤها موقنين بأصول العقيدة الإسلامية، لا فرق في ذلك بين من يطلق عليهم أهل السنة أو الشيعة، فكلهم مسلمون إلا من أضله الشيطان، فانحرف عن أصول العقيدة الإسلامية.
    إن الله سمانا بالمسلمين، ولم يطلق علينا ألقاب الشيعة أو السنة، روافض أو نواصب، وينبغي أن نعمل جميعا على تحطيم أية حواجز تقف أمام بقاء أخوتنا في الإسلام، فلا يصح لمسلم مثلا أن يشتم أو يلعن مسلما، فكيف لو شتم مسلم أو لعن صحابياً؟ فأمر معاوية بن أبي سفيان بلعن علي كرم الله وجهه على المنابر هو كلعن الشيخين أبي بكر وعمر رضي الله عنهما أو سبهما وكل ذلك معصية لله، أو فسق حال الاستمرار على تلك المعصية. وليس من يطلق عليهم بأنهم شيعة للادعاء بمشايعتهم لآل بيت النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم بأولى من علي كرم الله وجهه ممن يطلق عليهم بأنهم أهل السنة. وليس من يطلق عليهم بأنهم أهل السنة بأولى بسنة نبينا محمد صلى الله عليه وسلم ممن يطلق عليهم أنهم شيعة. ولا يصح لمسلم أن يفسِّق أو يكفر مسلما لمجرد اتباعه لمذهب أو تقليده لمجتهد من المجتهدين، ولو حصل خلاف في فهم الحكم الشرعي بين أولئك المجتهدين. فللمسلم أن يقلد الإمام الشافعي أو الإمام أبي حنيفة أو الإمام زيد أو الإمام جعفر الصادق أو أي مجتهد من المجتهدين، ما دام ما يتم تقليده هو فهم ذلك المجتهد للحكم الشرعي. أما اختلاف علماء المسلمين في بعض الأفكار العقائدية مثل عصمة الأئمة من آل البيت، ومثل ظهور المهدي والدجال، ومثل مسألة كون الله في السماء (حديث الجارية) ومثل اختلافهم في تفسير كثير من متشابه القرآن فالاختلاف في كل تلك الأفكار لا يُخرج من الملة، وهي مسائل قابلة للنقاش والتصحيح، أما من يضل لغلوه فإنه يخرج من ملة الإسلام إن لم يرجع كمن يصر على القول بوحدة الوجود أو نقص القرآن بحذف آيات تذكر آل البيت بالثناء.
    أيها المسلمون..
    إن أميركا الفاجرة قد جعلت ضمن مشروعها لما يسمى بالشرق الأوسط الجديد تفتيت بلاد المسلمين المقسمة أصلا، ويعتمد ذلك التفتيت باسم الفدرالية على التجزئة باعتبارات مذهبية أو طائفية أو عرقية أو جغرافية، ولذلك فهي تعمد جاهدة للفصل بين المسلمين الذين ينبغي عليهم أن يتمسكوا بالاسم الذي ارتضاه الله لهم وينبذوا ما يشير إلى انشطارهم، وأن لا يقبلوا أن يطلقوا على أنفسهم ألقاب: سنة أو شيعة، وأن ذلك هو الخطوة الأساس في إفشال ما تخطط له أميركا؛ لأن رفضهم لتلك الألقاب هو رفض لوضع حواجز بين الأخوة، حيث يجهد الأعداء في تثبيت تلك الحواجز لأنهم يدركون أن انسياق المسلمين وراء فتنتهم إنما هو تمزيق لوحدتهم وتمكين لأعداء الإسلام من بث سمومهم بين أخوة العقيدة، وانتصار من الكفار على المسلمين باستعداء بعضهم على بعض وسفك دمائهم بينهم مخالفين حكم ربهم بحرمة دم المسلم على المسلم، وبخاصة وأن دم المسلم عند الله أغلى من الكعبة التي يحجون إليها قادمين من كل فج عميق.
    أيها المسلمون..
    هل تساهمون في إنجاح خطة أميركا بشطركم إلى معسكرين متقابلين متشاحنين أم تفوتوا الفرصة على رؤوس الكفر وتتقوا الله، فتكونوا يدا على جمع الكفار وأذنابهم وتغيظوا صدورهم برد كيدهم إلى نحورهم؟؟.
    هل يقبل أبناء خير أمة أخرجت للناس أن يتركوا ما كلفهم به ربهم وميزهم به عن سائر الأمم من الأمر بالمعروف والنهي عن المنكر؟؟ وهل أفظع من ترك المسلم أمر أخيه بالكف عن إتباع خطوات الشيطان والتنابز بالألقاب بنعت الأخ لأخيه بأنه رافضي أو أنه من النواصب، إشارة إلى من أطلق عليهم البعض: شيعة، أو سنة؟!!. وهم يدركون ما يكيد لهم به أعداء الله من فتنة يريدونها أن تأكل الأخضر واليابس لا قدر الله تعالى، ولا يستخفن مسلم بنهيه عن مثل تلك المنكرات المؤدية إلى الفتن ومحاربتها ببيان زيفها وبيان أن من يفعل ذلك إنما يمكن أعداء الله من إنشاء ما سبق أن أعلنوا عنه (الهلال الشيعي) والذي يعني أن ما يقابله هو (الهلال السني) رغم أنه لا فرق في الولاء لأميركا بين حكام بلاد المسلمين، ولا فرق في خدمة أولئك الأذناب لبوش وإدارته سواء أكان من يحكمهم أولئك الأذناب ممن يطلقون عليهم بأهل السنة أو الشيعة.
    َوجَاهِدُوا فِي اللَّهِ حَقَّ جِهَادِهِ هُوَ اجْتَبَاكُمْ وَمَا جَعَلَ عَلَيْكُمْ فِي الدِّينِ مِنْ حَرَجٍ مِّلَّةَ أَبِيكُمْ إِبْرَاهِيمَ هُوَ سَمَّاكُمُ الْمُسْلِمينَ مِن قَبْلُ وَفِي هَذَا لِيَكُونَ الرَّسُولُ شَهِيداً عَلَيْكُمْ وَتَكُونُوا شُهَدَاء عَلَى النَّاسِ
    الثلاثاء 4/رمضان/1427هـ حزب التحرير
    26‏/9‏/2006م

  10. If you guys call cafes, resturants, mixed gatherings and socalites revolution and progress, than i still feel for saudi. Al Saud kept it backward for 100years, and now Mashallah, to see the understanding of modernist about modernism.another 100years…

    A society is not revolutionised, if it has huge cafes, resturants and a club in every corner.

    The progress of a society is weighed by the advancement it makes. How self sufficient it becomes, and how progressive thinking its people are. God gave the man from the desert who was riding camels and living in tents, God gave them oil, what did he do? Changed the camel to a Chev, and the tent to a villa. But nothing else changed

    Today Allah has made technology available to you, are you going to waste it, as your fathers wasted oil? So that your children can sit behind a some optic fibre sensor, and complain to some american how sex is so slow in saudi.

    Let me inlighten you about advancement. I went to singapore, that country has no natural resources, it doesnt even have natural water. It has to import its water from Malaysia. However today it is an economical hub. It develops water for itself in a plant, and also that plant is a tourist attraction. It reclaims land from the see because it is so small in size.

    I was speaking to some of the people there, and they mentioned to me “if we only had one of the resources you people have” the rest i could imagine, asia pacific would be their chess table.

    That is advancement, cafes, resturants does not add to the progress or decline of a society. Nor does it mean a society is free or not.

    It is so sad to see the cycle repeat itself, and this is by those people who are crying out for progress and freedom.

    I believe it is important to know what those things are before one can ask for it. It is like a little baby calling out for Prozac, and he has a toe ache

  11. You’re blog borders on inspirational during these times. But don’t listen too heavily to talk of revolution…and you can ignore tantor’s comments on an English ‘onservative’ revolution as they’re completely innaccurate.

    Revolution always causes suffering and never runs smoothly.

    Just keep talking.

  12. Some people might think having coffee and tea houses does not render a society liberal – ok, I can see where you are coming from.
    It takes a lot more.

    BUT:
    A society NOT having coffee and tea houses and clubs is for sure ILLIBERAL.
    The first things oppressors forbid is such social gatherings. They forbid the mingling of more than 3 ppl in public (I am thinking of Metternich’s regime in the German speaking world of the first half of the 19th century).
    It could not prevent the revolution(s) for all times, but made them bloodier.

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