The Weak End

It wasn’t unexpected at all, at least not to me: several members of the Shoura Council decided to use the religion card against a proposal to change the Kingdom’s official Thursday-Friday weekend to Friday and Saturday. It is truly a pity how some people in this country would shove religion in everything even when it has nothing to do with it. The weak arguments raised by these right honorable members of our esteemed council are “baseless,” just like one of them described the economic reasons cited for the change.

Frustrated, although absolutely not surprised, I find myself repeating what Tariq al-Maeena has said earlier this week: “Are they trying to frustrate efforts toward a more progressive and productive society? It seems to have worked in the past on other issues such as the liberalization of laws relating to women.” It seems to me that this is exactly the case: when you can’t find a reason to halt the change, hey, you can use religion. But you know what I’m eagerly waiting for now? A fatwa by the religious establishment here declaring that changing the weekend is going to make this nation go to hell in a handbasket.

18 thoughts on “The Weak End

  1. just cant understand the way those people think!
    how do they like to make a big deal from such silly things!
    What is the problem if the weekend moves one day?
    maybe its a devil’s step (خطوات الشيطان) to hell?!!!

  2. Okay, you’ve just tickled just one more button after a whole day of crap like that.

    Now take this: We SaudiBloggers are the symbols of kafirness and disgrace to Saudi Arabia! Change is evil! Liberalism is Satanic! YEAH! And I’m Iblees because I still believe that even Hell has room for progress, but Saudi Arabia doesn’t!!

    Great post, man; my boat has officially tipped.

  3. it’s the same idiology of not wanting to change what we found our fathers on! … complete waste of time and effort…
    how can this be something to do with religion can someone enlightens me since it seems that people like me have not understood religion the way we ment to !

  4. Blast.

    And here I was imagining exactly what I would post in my blog once the (what seemed to me at the time) inevitable change became official; nostalgically lamenting the obsoleteness of Mohammad Abdo’s “Laylat Khamis”.

    Sugar honey ice tea! Foiled again…

    RE: Sulaiman
    “not wanting to change what we found our fathers on!” is ironically the same reply Quraish gave the prophet when he first preached Islam. Some people really need to read up on their history.

  5. While I do understand and share your sadness I don’t understand your surprise with the decision of the Majlis Al Shoura. Can you imagine Saudi Arabia sharing its holidays/weekend with the Jews?. I am afraid that sometimes you are too optimistic about the way things are handled here. Let’s hope in the near future (i.e. after 100 years) the Majlis Al Shoura will take the issue to discussion again.

  6. I’m looking for a Saudi partner to corner the market on hand baskets. There seems to be a growing demand for them.

    Any takers?

  7. What’s the purpose of a “national weekend” anyway? Can’t companies and public organizations have their weekend whenever they wish to? Why does the government have to regulate everything?

  8. Crispal, who says I’m surprised? I’m not, as I stated above, at all. Yes, sometimes the Shoura Coucil make me get my hopes very high, only to be crushed later by their absurd discussions and decisions.

    John, I would sign the partnership contract right now.

  9. Re: anon

    Simple. They need to be government weekends as well, since plenty of important government agencies are needed for successful trade which means we need they to have Saturday as a weekend as well.

    I remember I worked as a consultant for a government agency supervising the install of a new IT system made by a multinational. Since the system itself was being made in China (and managed from France, oh the joys of outsourcing!) that meant there was a four day down time every week. Only Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday was anything being done. And if you know anything about government agencies you know that Wednesday doesn’t even count…

  10. Sorry, Ahmed, I thought you were surprised. I like your blog very much but sometimes I have the feeling that you (and other bloggers like you) are too optimistic about change in Saudi Arabia. I wish it happens but after living for a while in Riyadh I have no hope for optimism. (But, hey, I will be the happiest man on Earth if reality proves that I am wrong). ;-)

  11. Question: if you’re Jewish, are you allowed to visit Saudi Arabia; to work there in a private (rather than official capacity as, say, with a foreign government’s embassy)?

    My understanding from a few years ago was that you’re not, but I can’t find anything to document that.

  12. Paul, Saudi Arabia does not ban people based on their religion, but it does not allow public practice of religions other than Islam.

  13. you know wat they say
    first you change the weekend
    and then god forbid, you start thinking for yourself!!

    there just trying to prevent disaster…

    (el7mdela welshkir)

  14. IIII AgReEeEeEee

    Did you see them, when they argued about Commercial Signs and posts on Taxi Cars? for the benefit of poor TaXi Drivers?
    some of them says Nooo,this will bring up car Accidents’ rates in Saudi Arabia, cause drivers might keep looking on the commercial Posts insted of looking at the road?!!

    what about all the resturant cars allover the Kingdom with their commercials?
    They Sucks Mannn

  15. Yet one more in an infinite string of fatuous-wahs. There are stories here of young 2nd generation Middle Eastern immigrants sitting in the back of the mosque, huddled together over a Koran or two, as the imported Wahabbi imam rails against the evil West.

    But actually they’re playing Game Boy or handheld computer games, and couldn’t care less about his ranting.

    Maybe more Saudis should buy Game Boys.

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