This YouTube video has been making the rounds online lately. The video allegedly shows a group of SABB employees dancing to a song in what looks like a party held by the bank. The short clip has caused an uproar on some blogs and forums, between those decrying the deterioration of morals and those who deemed it insensitive to thousands of people who lost their money in the stock market crash.

Reasonable people may ask: so the bank was having a party, what’s the big deal? Frankly, it is not a big deal, except for one problem that my friend Abdul-Majeed eloquently put here: a party like this shows that we have two different sets of rules in this country, one for the poor and commoners, and one for the rich and powerful. “It is only the poor and commoners who get watched, monitored and prosecuted by the Hay’a, while the others have their own places that the Hay’a don’t dare to even get near them,” he said.

Let me be clear, I have nothing against such parties. I am not social by any stretch of the imagination, but I enjoy a good party, and as we can see in the video apparently the guys were having loads of fun. Good for them, but the question is: why they can shake their bums freely in a fancy hotel like it’s 1999, but those who want to enjoy a concert of acoustic rock get raided by the Hay’a?

It is this kind of hypocrisy and double standards that I can’t stand.

25 thoughts on “Untouchable

    • Saudi Standards? How about Islamic standards? I know that in many cases “saudi standards” don’t go with “Islamic ones” but… hey, music and dancing (for men) is forbidden in Islam. So… it is a very simple equation here: people are not just to religion thus they are not just to themselves. Ones will be partying and others will be just watching.

  1. Exactly, Jerry..
    Ahmed any one can do any party and bring any number of singers that he wants as long as it goes with Saudi Standards.

    Of course no need for Government Permission as long no Female attendees. However, if they will, it has to be in separate room different door:) ..

    We know, life is not easy sometimes in term of people freedoms, but I am so optimistic that we will have all these going to be changed soon,, how soon… really cannot tell :)

  2. If you lived in America, you would have enjoyed the bizarre spectacle of Congressmen, who ride private jets paid for by the taxpayers, chastising bank executives for using private jets paid for by themselves.

    Hypocrisy is universal, it seems.

    • As personal failure stated… That happened all over the world… the bankers take lavish vacations in exotic places, while the rest of those get the bad end of it… they do this on wall street all the time, just as they were laying off people the executives got big bonuses in millions… nothing new.

      Those who were mad, were mad because its “the bankers”… those that “eat ribba” and that is why they act like that… these guys were just employees having fun at a company party… that is it.

      • Qusay –I agree. There is quite a difference between a staff party and the excesses of the CEOs who have bankrupted their companies and contributed to the US and world recession.
        However, I take Ahmed’s point about the distinctions in who is allowed to do what based on social class. An all male party wouldn’t seem to be Hay’a worthy though, or maybe I am missing something.

        Personal Failure–I think the point about the Auto executives who arrived on Capitol Hill in 3 separate jets from their nearby company headquarters to beg a government bailout was that the jets were paid for by the company ie eating the shareholders dividends, and the worker’s wages.

  3. Uhmmmm…I don’t understand. Normal people in Saudi Arabia can’t dance in parties and rich people can ? What’s the problem? :)

  4. I am so sorry that you can’t just go to listen to some music and enjoy yourselves.

    And yes, ofcourse some people can.

    I think it’s really evil to starve people from culture.

  5. Thi sitem, like many others that one could cite, shows yet again a real challenge of our society.

    We are regularly told that our society is solely guided by laws that are based on divine law.

    yet, our reality is that divine law makes no such distinctions between the poor and the rich.

    It forms yet another reason why we should not be ruled by the clerical establishment.

  6. the difference between SA and any other country like the U.S is that in the U.S for example someone would stand up and say that is enough. Media and people, then, would start investigation and interrogation. In SA, however, we all know the consequences if one does. It is not about partying or shaking hips, it is about classifying people as first class and second class and then reacting to them breaking the laws accordingly.

    Some years ago, I watched an episode in Tash ma Tash and in that episode Nasser was playing an officer role. The first question he would ask to a driver when pulled over is “what do you do?”. Later on, I personally experienced exactly the same. I was pulled over by an officer and he did ask me the same question. It was shocking to me. Of course this was in Riyadh and I think this can be seen in Riyadh more than anywhere else.

  7. If I want to have a party at my home in the US, I invite all the neighbors and in that way avoid complaints to the police.

    Ever considered inviting the Hay’a? Hmmmmm……I’m trying to imagine it.

  8. is’nt a concert in a secure compound also limited to the elite, the “rich and powerful”? i don’t see the difference.

  9. Ofcourse there is a difference, some people can have a party with electrically enhanced music, dancing, fun ànd in a poublic location, while others can’t have concert with music and fun.
    I’d say there is a very clear difference.
    Apparently it all depends on whom you know and who you are.
    And that’s the beauty of having no written laws; you can make them up as you go, securing fun and freedom for your own clique, enhanced by the pleasure of making sure nobody else is allowed to enjoy culture and have a good time.

    • LOL. A Seinfeld fan I see. :)
      And to think we used to memorize children’s poems about frolicking gaily in the meadow, or the gay rites of spring, or that the early 18thC writer John Gay published under his real name. LOL :)

  10. That’s kinda cool.

    These guys aren’t shy; but they sure are awkward!

    In Canada, a party with no women is called a “sausage party” or a “sausage fest”.

    Generally not recommended.

  11. PF, most senators and congressmen ride in ordinary commercial passenger jets. A few very rich ones like Kerry can afford private jets, but even Edward Kennedy rides the air shuttle – he has a favorite seat, get in his way at your peril! Those running for President sometimes have corporate jet time donated to them.

    The primary perk Congress has in air transportation isn’t aircraft, but reserved parking spaces at Washington’s National Airport.

  12. Canadian I was going to make the same “sausage fest” quip! lol, beat me to it. Those guys sure did have a good conga-line going tho. Good work boys, good work….

  13. I can confirm Solomon2’s comment about Congressional Reps riding commercial. I live in DC and when I fly home to Tennessee I usually run into a Representative (they love to fly wearing their Congressional lapel pins so you know they’re o-so-important).

    …and they coach. lol Which I found amusing.

  14. So Saudis can’t enjoy their happy hour?
    I don’t understand all the hype behind this video, is it because it took place in a bank? Because there is a lot of videos on Youtube that shows Saudis going wild (partying).

  15. There’s nothing wrong with the party.
    Except for everyone hypocritical mindset.

    And mind you, music and dancing is not forbidden in Islam, do not try and make up your own ignorant rules.

    It’s atrociously stupid enough that people are debating the moral of a group of people having a little corporate fun. Grow up.

  16. As hard as it is for some people to believe, the Haya aren’t an omnipotent ever present being that knows what you’re doing at all times of your entire life.

    That would be the London Police. :P

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