Here and there

  • The Guardian sent their south Asia correspondent Jason Burke to Saudi Arabia for a special series on the country. While I think the overall reporting of the series leaves something to be desired, it was the third part of the series that made the headlines locally. Sheikh Saad al-Shethri (remember him?) said he intends to sue the paper because he claims that they misquoted him.
  • The families of detainees protested earlier today outside the ministry of interior. A number of men, women and children have been arrested. ACPRA condemend the arrests and repeated their call on the minister and senior officials to be fired and tried.
  • Rasheed Al-Khiraif notes the decrease in fertility rate in the country and asks if Saudis need to use contraceptives. I think the answer to that question is pretty obvious.
  • It’s funny/sad how local media are finally able to discuss things like closing shops during prayer. I wrote about this here on the blog six years ago.
  • Eman al-Nafjan takes a moment to reflect on what happened regarding the issue of women driving over the past few weeks. Good read.

My op-ed in the Guardian

I wrote an op-ed for the Guardian today that was published as part of their coverage of the Middle East unrest. You can read it here. They misspelled my first name, though. They used an a in the middle instead of e, which is a common mistake. I asked them to correct it, but I have not heard back from them.

CPA and their PR puff, MFA and their tracking system

  • The Saudi Consumer Protection Association (CPA) would like to inform you that they have joined Consumer International (CI), a global federation of consumer groups. The head of CPA said this membership will help them do a better job. I would really like to believe it, but this sounds to me more like a PR puff than anything else. CPA has almost nothing for local consumers in the past. I know they don’t care about a tiny consumer like myself, but here is my little piece of advice to Dr. Mohammed Al-Hamad and his agency: stop talking to the press and do some real work. Kthxbai.
  • Saudiwoman: “I am currently on a family vacation in Italy but I had to post what the Ministry of Foreign Affairs sent my husband. Apparently they have a new service where they send the male guardian a text every time a “dependent” leaves the country. They don’t state which country the dependent left for but simply state that they did leave.”