My Op-Ed in the New York Times today

Last week, the New York Times asked me if I would be interested in writing for the newspaper about the Obama visit. Of course I was. Today, NYT publishes my article as part of seven views from the Middle East about what Obama should say in his much anticipated speech in Cairo tomorrow. Check it out. Here’s a picture of the voting paper that I mention in the last paragraph:


The Broken Frame

Here’s yet another piece about joy riding, aka drifting, aka tafheet, aka total nonsense. Yes, we are bored. Yes, we are young and we are not amused. And yes, we live in a place that severely lacks proper entertainment outlets for the youth. But is this a good reason for you to go drive your car recklessly in public roads? I hate to repeat myself, but here it goes:

Bored? Go read a book, rent a movie, go swimming, or even go wank yourself for all I care, but please oh please don’t get behind the wheel to jeopardize our lives. Driving in these roads is dangerous enough, and we already have seen much blood spilt on the asphalt, we don’t need idiots killing themselves and others just because they were trying to have some fun.

Oh, and a word to Robert Worth and other foreign journalists who fall for the usual traps and fail to see the big picture: instead of trying to fit everything you see here in your ready-made frames, please go and try to find some new frames for your Saudi stories. Or, even better, how about no frame at all? We are really, really sick of being pictured like aliens. It is probably much easier to write about car drifters than write about people like Waleed Abul-Khair, Najla Barasain, Hashim al-Refaie, and Amna Fatani, but that’s a lame excuse.

Maybe we are not what you would call a normal country, but I think there is more about us than this.