Simple Things

abeer21_Arab News offers this glimpse into the lives of some Saudi girls who are studying in the Netherlands. They talk about adapting to life in a liberal society; about how does it feel to be independent and free. They also talk about things like riding a bicycle or doing their own paperwork. Simple things, sure, but are they going to accept being denied of these things, let alone other much more important things, when they come back?

When I wrote about the scholarships girls back in November and suggested that they will play a pivotal role in reforming the country, some people disagreed and argued that this will not happen because the girls are simply as hypocrite as the guys. I think that’s a possibility, but I’d like to remain optimistic.

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We Would Like to Breathe

For some reason, Arab News chooses not to name KSU when they write about the stifling restrictions Saudi Arabia’s oldest university impose on their female students. Considering how this country is obsessed with segregation, there is no surprise here. And the ironic thing is, they say the university “is supposed to be a place where young women experience greater freedoms.” Says who? Wake up girls! This is freakin’ K of SA you are living in. The university, as you may expect, claim that the point of these restrictions is to protect the students. Again, no surprise. Welcome to Saudi Arabia, where everyone claims moral authority over the rest.

In the other hand, the newspaper chooses to name another university in Riyadh, Imam Mohammed bin Saud Islamic University, which supposedly is even more strict than KSU. It is said that IMSIU is to launch a new college of medicine, but according to Ali Al Mousa in Al Watan daily, the university president could not answer the question of whether female students would be accepted in the new college. Al Mousa tends to cut the president some slack because answering that question might put him in confrontation with the extremists who would, for sure, use the ‘segregation’ card. Let’s wait and see how this drama is going to play out.

And in case you didn’t know, the extremists are not only controlling the campuses in Saudi Arabia, but they also managed to extend their notorious control to the press in neighboring Kuwait, where this article by Dalaa’ Al Mufti was banned from Al Qabas daily, apparently because Al Mufti dared to comment on the ridiculous decision of the Committee for the Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice to spend SR 700,000 on a study that examines the mingling of the sexes and its “harmful effects” on the society. I’ve told you that these people are obsessed, right?

Jeddah: Gurlz vs. Guyz

jeddah_boysI have said it before and I shall say it again and again: those Jeddawis never fail to impress me. Their latest is a 12-minute documentary featuring young men and women who talk about their views about the opposite sex and dating.

As I have said in a recent post, dating is a risky business in Saudi Arabia, and to have a documentary discussing it this way is truly amazing. The short film is produced by Izzaty Islamy, a two-year-old girl’s social club that sponsors monthly discussions and has conducted debate events at Dar Al-Hekma College and the International Medical Center. I can’t wait to get my hands on the film and watch it; and since it’s only 12-minute long the group might consider uploading it to YouTube or something like that.