Just some short commentary on some stories from Arab News today:

5 Women and Two Men Held in Buraidah
Saudi security forces on Thursday detained five women and two men in an incident that officials linked to weapons possession but which an activist said followed a sit-in by the women.

My friend Rasheed writes about the story that has been making the headlines in the blogosphere in the past few days. Unfortunately, they don’t offer much more than what we already know. Many people here are very disappointed with the way the government chose to deal with this issue. It is sad that none of the Arabic newspaper here has reported the story.

The Hospitality of Justice
I conclude this article with a request to my dear brothers and sisters. You must visit the general court in Jeddah to see for yourselves the truth of what’s happening there. And I’m sure that will only increase your trust in the judicial system and induce you to join me in my prayers for them to live long and remain always alert, concerned about people’s rights and making sure they are not denied justice. Amen.

When I read this column by Amr al-Faisal when it appeared first in al-Watan a few days ago, I immediately recalled my own suffering when I had to do some work at the court here two years ago. It was exactly the way he described it, if not worse. We have been saying for a long time that the whole legal system is in desperate need to be reformed. The new code that was released few months ago was a good, though small, step in the right direction, but we are yet to see a real change.

Citizens Complain About Poor DSL Services
A number of citizens are calling on Saudi Telecom Company (STC) and various service-providing companies to provide better DSL services. “We pay a lot of money but we get poor service and technical problems,” said one Saudi quoted in a report recently in Al-Watan daily whose name was not given.

They have been complaining about it for a long time and I’m afraid they will be for until other companies enter the market to end STC monopoly. As far as I can recall, the new telcos to operate in the kingdom soon will be allowed to build their own cable networks. So till then, I think STC will continue to cut their prices, and that’s as much as they can do because looking back at their history they have never been interested in improving their services.

TV Told Not to Promote Regionalism
Abdullah Al-Jasser, undersecretary at the Ministry of Culture and Information, has criticized Saudi owners of satellite channels for promoting regionalism in a recent press statement. He charged them with promoting narrow-minded regionalism.

This is not the first time Abdullah al-Jasser says something absurd, and most probably won’t be the last time. This is the same guy who described electronic media as “dangerous” and was very excited to take part in some Arab meeting to monitor the internet. The man seems irritated about the appearance of some local TV channels without his ministry’s permission, and irritated even more about the fact that he can’t ban them.

3 thoughts on “Quickies

  1. If it’s just an undersecretary who thinks electronic media is dangerous you’re lucky! In Germany we have a few ministers like that…
    Those people are everywhere – they are like weeds. And ill weeds grow apace…

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