Saturday, July 12, 2008

Commission for Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice in the News, Again

As I've said in the past, my own personal experience in dealing with the Commission for the Promotion of Virtue and the Prevention of Vice has been limited to only one time some three or four years ago - being chased through the Rashid Mall for not wearing an abeya - so I don't have quite the opinion of this group that others may. Here is a short but interesting article. Apparently, one of the commission's top guys, Sheikh Ibrahim Al-Ghaith said that he "was afraid of the emergence of a new generation that hates the commission." So the older generations, then, appreciated the commission? Okay...

The commission has played a role, according to this, in "fighting drugs and tackling terrorism."
[What do the police do? We know what the Traffic Police don't do...]

Here's the most interesting part: "...the commission causes Saudis to leave the country for vacation - so they can eat in restaurants or interact in shopping malls like everyone else does. Imagine the millions of riyals we lose each summer as Saudis head off to neighboring countries to spend their leisure time." Yes. Imagine. And why is it that Saudis can happily and easily interact in all other countries - eating in restaurants where there are not separate sections for men and families - or go to offices and clinics where there are not separate areas for men and women - but not be able to do so, here?

I, for one, refuse to do any but the most basic shopping here - groceries - there is nothing I need at the malls or downtown at the little shops and quite frankly being out and about in June, July and August covered in black and racing around to get the simplest errands done because nothing is open after mid-morning prayer makes for a hellacious "shopping" trip, to put it mildly. If I need something that cannot wait until one of my thrice-yearly trips to the States - I'll go to Bahrain to get it. I am not alone. I spend a lot of money on shoes and clothes every year - mostly in the States - but occasionally in Bahrain. We've purchased quite a few pieces of furniture in Bahrain. I would even rather do my grocery shopping there, but it isn't quite practical since getting across the causeway can take hours [with everyone else headed that direction to avoid "shopping" here, too!]. Yes, I would bet Saudi does lose a lot of riyals making conditions so non-conducive the we all go elsewhere to shop and eat. But then, Saudi is losing a lot of riyals by not enforcing traffic rules and laws, either. Good thing oil is making lots and lots of money...


  1. How about crossing into Bahrain to watch a Movie? I have done that with my husband. We live in Riyadh, go and visit my family in Shargiya, and cross the border to watch movies, go hassle-free shopping (where I can try things on in change rooms!) then go on to sitting in a restaurant and simply enjoying our meal!

    Nice blog!

  2. Thank you for visiting, L.I.Riyadh. I'm glad you think I have a nice blog.

    My DH has gone to see movies in Bahrain. There is a group of women here who regularly go over and go out to lunch and then go to see a movie. Not a bad idea, but I, personally, would much rather shop and then have a nice dinner somewhere with a bottle of wine! There is not one movie that I can think of that I just had to see that played in a theater that I absolutely had to see and couldn't wait for it to be on Showtime or out on DVD.


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