Suggestions Box

comments_boxMy friend Carol Fleming has recently moved her excellent blog from MySpace to WordPress. In case you don’t know, Carol’s blog offers some really interesting views on Saudi Arabia through the eyes of a former US diplomat who is now married to a Saudi and living in Riyadh. She has a lot of good ideas and I thought I would steal one of them: is there any topic that you would like to read more about on Saudi Jeans? Mirela, one of my readers, has asked me to write about handicapped people, accessibility, religion and marriage. What about you? You can leave a comment below, contact me here, or email me: ahmed at saudijeans dot org.

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15 thoughts on “Suggestions Box

  1. Ahmed,

    Thanks so much for the kind words. As you know I am one of the greatest fans and followers of your blog and think it is great that we can also share the male/female and east/west perspectives via our respective blogs on so many issues of interest.

    Here’s a query for you…. where do you hope to see yourself and your blog one year from now? Five years from now? What would be the greatest accomplishment you could achieve via your blog?

    All the best,
    Carol (American Bedu)

  2. Ahmed, very good idea indeed. Could you please address the subject of the death penalty in Saudi Arabia? I noticed that in 2007 127 people have been executed so far (14 in the last week) while in 2006 only 38 suffered that penalty. What is going on in Saudi Arabia that the death penalty has increased more than three fold in one year?

  3. Since you asked for what topics readers would be interested..I thought I would let you that I am particularly interested in the lack of freedom for people of other faiths. I always ask Saudis why the Kingdom doesn’t allow people of the book to openly practice their faith, and yet the Saudis enjoy the freedom of worship given to them in the West, you know what I mean? Just some food for thought. :-)

  4. Not really a whole subject but I always wonder what would happen to me if I’d walk in the streets of Riyadh (say with a star of david chain around my neck) and I would answer to people asking me where I come from “Israel”.
    This truly, truly, truly makes me very curious. (Not enough to try it out though :P )

  5. Her blog is excellent. I used to visit in on “MySpace” but never liked that venue. I am glad she has moved.

    I am sure there is lots of good stuff to follow!

  6. The sense of change. And its reality.

    Few countries have changed faster than Saudi Arabia. I’d love to see this as a recurring theme. The change in Riyadh, and in the countryside. The change in the morals of the inhabitants, and their outlook. How much nostalgia is there for the “old days,” and how eagerly is the future embraced.

  7. I think that is an excellent topic for observations and discussion abutaza. As a relative newcomer to the Kingdom (1 year plus) I always enjoy asking my Saudi family members these very questions and the answers are always quite diverse depending on the generation who is responding.
    But you know, while on one hand no country has changed faster than Saudi Arabia in some respects, on the other hand, no country has remained standing still for so long either!

  8. tsedek and “saudi wanna be”,
    a man doesn’t wear a chain around his neck! only women do!
    After all, woul you wear a T-shirt with the palestinian flag in the streets of Tel Aviv?

  9. A chain with a star of David isn’t nationality related, but religiously: like a cross pendant is a symbol for christians this is the jewish version :P
    But yes, sure. I wouldn’t be afraid to wear a T-shirt with the palestinian flag in tel-aviv if I would want to.

  10. I’d love to explore the topic of Saudi Arabia’s double-standards regarding its own views on Islamic society.

    For example, how Saudi Arabia justifies an extreme interpretation of Islam one one hand (i.e. khulwa = an unrelated man and woman in a car together, even though the car has windows and everyone can see in so it really isn’t khulwa) while conveniently looking the other way on other issues (interest-bearing financial mechanisms are legal and widely available in Saudi Arabia even though Islam clearly and unambiguously forbids interest as an economic mechanism).

    Double standards lie that are one of the most annoying things about the society because on one hand it tired to uphold the most absolutist view when it’s convenient to do so (keeping women in their place by claiming to be upholding Islamic values) but on the other hand dismisses Islamic values and adopts “evil” and “forbidden” actions when money is involved (Samba credit cards are clearly and unambiguously haram in Islam).

  11. >> After all, woul you wear a T-shirt with the palestinian flag in the streets of Tel Aviv? <<

    Actually, there is a small but vocal group of pro-Palestinian Israelis. I don’t agree with Israeli policy vis-a-vis the Palestinians, BUT you cannot equate the repression of freedom in Saudi Arabia to that of Israel. The truth of the matter is that in Israel it is NOT ILLEGAL to wear most anything you want on a T-shirt. If you wore a “Got Jesus?” shirt in Saudi you could very well be detained by religious police.

    That is an important difference and it’s disingenuous for you to make such a comparison.

    Put it this way: would you rather wear a T-shirt that has a Palestinian flag on it in Tel Aviv, or a shirt that says “Proud to be a Keffer” (in Arabic) in Riyadh. Which one would likely get you injured by some crazy local? Or arrested?

  12. I was wondering how are overseas nationals working in Saudi Arabia are seen and treated vis-a-vis Saudi nationals in similar or related fields =] our country, the Philippines, has thousands of workers working in your Kingdom, They tell mixed experiences when they get back here. I’d like to know if they register in the realm of your experience =] Thanks!

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