Pop culture, funny lawyer, summer festivals

  • Saudi Dawn aka the Eternal Philosopher thinks Saudis are brainwashed with a certain pop culture that “is filled with half-truths and out of context religious information that is promoted to control the masses.” I agree.
  • Lawyer Ahmad Al-Rashid said he will sue Riyadh’s summary court after it refused to consider his lawsuit against MBC for what he called “encouraging deviant behavior in Saudi society.” The court told him to contact the Ministry of Culture and Information’s media violations committee, but he said he won’t. Funny. As a lawyer he should be well aware of this. Citing the example of Mazen Abdul Jawad case doesn’t make much sense here. That case was against Abdul Jawad not LBC, although the channel later got punished for operating without a permission (which is also funny because none of the other non-Saudi channels working in the Kingdom have such permission).
  • Lou K has another good post. This time about so-called Saudi tourism and its so-called summer festivals. “Basically, our summer festivals are nothing but shopping festivals.. There’s nothing more to it..” he says. There is a lot of truth in what he says, but there are also exceptions. The local summer festival here in Al-Ahsa, known as Hasana Falla, tries to mix culture (folklore, arts, traditional crafts, etc.) with entertainment and some shopping. I made a short visit last night to the event, ironically to meet some American visitors, and I thought it was okay. In the words of a Hassawi girl on Twitter, it’s “not half-bad, but nothing much to do.”
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Today’s Links

  • CITC has blocked islamlight.net, the website which hosted the infamous fatwa by Shaikh Abdul-Rahman al-Barrak. Although the fatwa can be considered hate speech and a call to violence, I’m generally against such censorship. CITC should stop this practice of making decisions on our behalf on what we should, or rather should not, read on the web.
  • Corinne Martin is an artist who lives in Saudi Arabia and makes these awesome paintings based on vintage pop culture icons.
  • Music concerts are rare in this country. Music concerts in universities are super rare. But hey, what do you know? Jeddah Legends, the band of which Qusay is the lead singer, have recently performed a concert in KAUST. Why oh why KSU never hosted any concerts?