Another Saudi Blog Blocked


CITC is at it again, this time blocking Susie’s Big Adventure, a blog by an American woman married to a Saudi and based in Jeddah. I did not bother to seek a comment from CITC on why they blocked the blog because they never offered any reason for their arbitrary blocking decisions in the past. Is it because of this post about censorship? The post was so popular and got linked by the likes of The Insider, Idolator, and Perez Hilton (which is also blocked here).

You can help by going to this page and filling the Unblock Request form. As for Susie, if the blockage continues, she probably should contact NSHR to look into her case.

UPDATE 31/05/09: The blog has been unblocked. You can access the blog from Saudi Arabia again now.

44 thoughts on “Another Saudi Blog Blocked

  1. “Hey Susie, aren’t you on your way to having your blog blacklisted? I hope not.”

    This was my comment to her in her post before the last one.

    She replied “The things that I have written about are topics that are out there being discussed, so I would hope that I wouldn’t be singled out ”

    I was joking, but it did happen… I hope it turns out well for her in the end.

  2. i was on my way there yesterday and found it blocked, thought i typed in the wrong address…
    they’re just plain ridiculous.

  3. I thought she did tackle some hot issue that might get her in hot water, then again many other blogs tackle the same issues including yours. I don’t know maybe they made a mistake, and as far as contacting them to lift the block, I don’t think that will change anything.

  4. I suspect its just the pictures on the post not the content. I can imagine that their censorship bots are “smart” and can capture “immoral” pics like these and automatically add the site to the blocked list.

    I could be wrong though.

  5. It might make sense to block it, if it were in Arabic, but it is in English and written by an American. It is probably far kinder to Saudi Arabia than most sites written in English.

  6. I just want to thank you for your support. I have put in a request to have it unblocked, but who knows if they will. I admit that lately I’ve been a bit more outspoken, but I do try to be diplomatic, as there are many wonderful things I love about this country, as you can tell from my previous posts and my photo journal.
    The turning point for me came when two women who read my blogs accepted offers of employment to come here. I realize that I am not the sole reason for why they decided to come, but it hit me that I was presenting a lopsided optimistic view of the Kingdom. Both women came here and already left after short stays, finding their experiences not what they had hoped. I felt I was holding back on certain issues, but I realize that I am not in a place where I have freedom of speech like I have had and exercised all my life.
    I feel I have done my best to present many of the wonders of this mysterious country and to humanize its people. I would hope that those in authority can see that my intentions are well placed and reverse the decision to block me. Thanks again.

  7. Unfortunately it is easier for Saudi Arabia to punish its friends than to punish people who actually hate it!

  8. How does this work? I can see her blog from the US, so the bots only block inside the KSA? I am not at all in the know on these technicalities; but I like her blog; and yes she tackles what most everyone else tackles on various blogs.

  9. Unconditional support for you Susie. I’m really sorry and surprised to see your blog blocked.

    I can tell you for sure that you didn’t cross “the red lines”. It’s just a stupid decision by someone who wants to show what a great nationalist he is. And I’m sure they’ll unblock it as soon as they find what a stupid mistake they made.

    Fouad Alfarhan

  10. These types of actions are harmful to ourselves, in that they only serve to both reinforce the views of our most highly educated youth that emigration is desirable, and reinforce the view of foreigners that we are unreasonable.

    In Malaysia, for example, far more freedom is permitted, with no detriment to the views of pious religious individuals.

  11. I really like Susie’s blog, and I do not understand why its been blocked. Sometimes she dealt with polemic issues but hers was a very polite point of view, never attacking but showing what’s wrong, what can be improved, and what’s good and worth in KSA. I hope they unblock it soon.

  12. It really is a shame! To be honest I think you usually present the country in the kindest light! keep posting though, so us on the outside world are kept posted!

  13. I hope Susie will get unblocked soon!
    Inal, as far as I know they can only block it for KSA, because it’s on a server outside Ksa and so we can access it normally.

  14. A request to unblock was sent..I read susies notes ..
    Believe me she is more concern about the saudi lady than the Saudis themselves.God Bless Susie ..So sorry to hear that unblockage .
    A Saudi guy .

  15. “I am not in a place where I have freedom of speech like I have had and exercised all my life.”

    Although it is MUCH better than in KSA, the US of A is not exactly a let “the tongues start wagging with no consequences” country anymore.

  16. you know, although i don’t support or condone the blocking of her blog, I have to say that i never liked it. I appreciate her effort but she writes about a lot of things she doesn’t understand. the image on her banner alone makes me angry (it reinforces the idea of orientalism).

    • Sara – I am the first to admit that I write about a lot of things I don’t understand. How many times on my blog have I said “I don’t get it!” or invited people to correct me if I’m wrong? Well, you probably don’t know because you don’t like my blog, so I doubt that you have read much anyway. My blog clearly states that I am trying to understand and I invite people who have answers to enlighten me. I have written about my impressions and my experiences – and these are MINE, not yours.
      And as far as the image on my banner, I’m glad you said that it makes you angry because it just shows that you have no sense of humor at all. Perhaps you would prefer a more realistic image of all the garbage piles around the city or plastic bags caught in the barbed wire fences? I publish more photos on my two blogs than most people in this country, and you take issue with my header that my 16 year old son lovingly made for me? You and I are from different cultures, and I write my blog to try to bridge the gap between them – I’m sorry that you can’t see that.

  17. @Sara

    I cannot address whether she understand everything she writes about but her banner image is supposed to be funny. Most Americans would be familiar with images of Rudolph Valentino as a Hollywood version of an Arab. Maybe real Arabs will find it odd and a bit off-putting but it has nothing to do with Orientalism and all too do with Western fantasies.

  18. Then you should complain on Susie’s own blog, not on somebody else’s blog.
    Besides, a small developement in your sense of humour and fun wouldn’t hurt either.

  19. @ Sara

    “the image on her banner alone makes me angry (it reinforces the idea of orientalism).”

    And the lustful Arab man or maybe the whole Lawrence of Arabia deal. Your right. A few pics of the Jeddah coastline would be nice. :)


  20. The silliest thing is that even though I live in Syria, the Internet cafe is using a proxy that makes it look as if I’m coming from Saudi so I can’t see her blog either! The cafe does this to get around Syria’s many internet blocks, but then we have to deal with Saudi’s bans. I filled out an unblock request anyway.

  21. Orientalism refers to the construction of “the Eastern Other,” including so called “fantasies.” Jerry is wrong, the banner has everything to do with Orientalism. And it’s not even that funny.

  22. Suzie’s banner uses an image of Rudolph Valentino, it has nothing to do with Lawrence of Arabia. If the word Orientalism means bad Hollywood movies, than it has been stretched beyond any useful meaning.

    I am glad that some jerk wants to attack me without supplying a name. That does show the value of the attack.

  23. Regardles how each feel about the blog; regardless of the disection of its content- the matter is that any blog is up for grabs in KSA- our personal likes or dislikes bears no wait on a group bot technologically impaired silencers. But even if this is their version of Farenheint- someone is bound to not only continue to air the dirty/clean laundry-others will read it from the outside of said “silenced” group and the word continues to get out.

    In the USA silencing is aimed at the person; not what they produce.

  24. Suzie’s banner uses an image of Rudolph Valentino, it has nothing to do with Lawrence of Arabia.

    Who cares who it is? It is an image of “the other” that is unrealistic.


  25. Good news, the block was just lifted. See it was just a misunderstanding….no harm done….

  26. Orientalism–as defined by Edward Said–is the political construction by the West of the Eastern “other” through political, historical, and literary discourses.

    Susie’s banner is more a humourous take on Occidental/ Hollywood stereotyping than anything else. Most American’s realize that Valentino’s Sheik of Arabie is as unrealistic as the Crosby and Hope Road movies–at least the ones who would bother to find and read Susie’s blog do.

    Quoting Victor Hugo’s “Lui” [in translation] on Napoleon, as Said does as an exemplar:
    “Sublime, he appeared to the dazzled tribes. / Like a Mahomet of the Occident.” –now that would be Orientalism!

    Perhaps Susie’s Arab-American teenaged son is insufficiently familiar with the French 19th Century literature Said bases most of his book Orientalism on, to do an appropriate send-up. No matter, spoofing his parents as the Sheik and his beloved works for me! :)

  27. There are too many stories similar to this lately? Stupid reasons and even more stupid rules to be honest. Good to see it finally got unblocked :)

  28. People share different views and beliefs. I guess it just so happens that they do not like what Susie has posted. Although I think they are somewhat violating the freedom of expression, we all know that the country does not support it.

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