Pop culture, funny lawyer, summer festivals

  • Saudi Dawn aka the Eternal Philosopher thinks Saudis are brainwashed with a certain pop culture that “is filled with half-truths and out of context religious information that is promoted to control the masses.” I agree.
  • Lawyer Ahmad Al-Rashid said he will sue Riyadh’s summary court after it refused to consider his lawsuit against MBC for what he called “encouraging deviant behavior in Saudi society.” The court told him to contact the Ministry of Culture and Information’s media violations committee, but he said he won’t. Funny. As a lawyer he should be well aware of this. Citing the example of Mazen Abdul Jawad case doesn’t make much sense here. That case was against Abdul Jawad not LBC, although the channel later got punished for operating without a permission (which is also funny because none of the other non-Saudi channels working in the Kingdom have such permission).
  • Lou K has another good post. This time about so-called Saudi tourism and its so-called summer festivals. “Basically, our summer festivals are nothing but shopping festivals.. There’s nothing more to it..” he says. There is a lot of truth in what he says, but there are also exceptions. The local summer festival here in Al-Ahsa, known as Hasana Falla, tries to mix culture (folklore, arts, traditional crafts, etc.) with entertainment and some shopping. I made a short visit last night to the event, ironically to meet some American visitors, and I thought it was okay. In the words of a Hassawi girl on Twitter, it’s “not half-bad, but nothing much to do.”
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Dude, What’s with the Lashing?

Another day, another outrageous lashing sentence.

On Saturday, a court in Jeddah sentenced 22-year-old female journalist Roazanna al-Yamai to 60 lashes for her alleged involvement in the infamous case of Mazen Abdul-Jawad, aka the TV sex braggart. Few minutes ago, AP reported that King Abdullah has waived the sentence and ordered the case be referred to the legal committee at the Ministry of Culture and Information. Well, this should have happened without a royal intervention, but I’m relieved the sentence will not be carried out.

This case aside, I am astonished by the very liberal use of lashing sentences by our right honorable judges. Is this some sort of fetish, as Asmaa once said? Do these sentences say something about struggle to reform the judicial system? Personally, I think that except for the few cases explicitly specified in Quran, lashing should be stopped once and for all. No human being should be given the power to inflect this kind of punishment on another human being, simply.