Man-oh-man I don't even know where to start. Outrage abounds!
This will upset many - it has upset the mothers and that is a good start. Is there any good reason why an eight-year-old girl has to go to school fully covered in head-to-toe black? Don't most of the schoolgirls already wear uniforms? And, since the schools are fully segregated - girls go to girls' schools and boys go to boys' schools - why would it even be necessary for little girls to wear abaya's with full head and face coverings?
While shopping at the Commissary yesterday, I saw a little girl - probably about ten years old, maybe a little younger, in a long [very, very long!] gray jumper. She was skipping down the aisle in a happy-go-lucky manner with her arms at her side and her little hands clenching the long fabric of her uniform - under which she had brand-spanking new bright white sneakers on. The skirt of her jumper was so long that she had to hold it up to do her skipping or she surely would have tripped on the fabric and fallen to the floor flat on her face. It was one of those sights that I had to stop and watch - and I did. Part of me was smiling with her that she could so nonchalantly be skipping in the aisle - as though she had not a single care in the world [um-hmm, sure - she is a little girl here, a child - and she, no doubt, is clueless that her carefree life in just a few short years will be over!]. The other part of me, realizing that the little thing had a skirt so long it was dragging around her and thus the reason she was clenching fabric at her sides, wondered what kind of childhood little girls here in the Sandbox have that is dictated by such strict societal constraints that they cannot even run and play freely without worry of being tripped up by fabric. As much as I smiled with her, I was also sad for her.
These are children - these little eight and nine and ten-year old girls - and they should be outside playing tag and riding their bicycles or skipping rope. Normal "kid" things. And those normal "kid" things are about impossible to do in skirts that drag on the ground. What about recess at school? Do little girls have recess at school, here? Exactly HOW are they going to be allowed to play - anything - if they are covered from head-to-toe in black. Somehow I just can't picture a class of little girls outside playing tag in their abayas and head-coverings. It certainly would take the challenge out of the game, though, that's for sure. You simply run up behind a classmate and grab hold of a handful of black fabric and "tag, you're it!" How do you play kickball if you are dressed like that? You don't.
Some of the mothers are standing up to the authorities and questioning the new rule for the little girls at the school in Asir and want to know why their daughters are being ordered "to dress in ways that go far beyond the demands of Islam." Good for them, I say! School authorities, however, "justified their stand by saying that the practice would help develop the culture of Islamic dress at a very early age in girls. A school principal, speaking on [the] condition of anonymity, said young girls who wear [a] full abaya and veil throughout the year are awarded prizes as encouragement to other girls." The little girls are obeying the order of wearing the full covering "because they [are] afraid of punishment."
Interestingly enough, one school officials says "that the practice was not an obligation from a religious perspective. Instead, that "the new dress code was an effort to make girls get accustomed to the idea of wearing the complete veil in advance of the time it was actually required." Kind of like playing dress-up then, I guess. [Hmmph. If that is how "dress-up" is played, here, then it is played a whole lot differently than it was from the side of the world which I grew up on!]
The article is here. Read the whole thing. But even if you don't read the whole thing, let your blood boil on this statement, "The school official added that this would prevent the more attractive girls from being harassed by men." [Emphasis, mine.] WTF?!? What kind of man harasses an eight or ten-year old little girl??? I'm not even going to go there...
A young Saudi male nurse who attempted to rape a woman patient by posing as a doctor has been arrested. This is just scary, on two levels. Scary on one level that the Saudi nurse attempted to rape a woman. Scary on a second level because the woman was so gullible. The article says that the "male nurse, an employee at the hospital, told the woman, a teacher, that he was a specialist doctor and needed to carry out a detailed examination to diagnose whether she had an abdominal disease. The nurse asked the woman to come for an examination the next day and to come alone and send her driver away as he would drop her off at home." Hello! Didn't red flags go up all over?!? And, bells and whistles and sirens, too? Are there women "out there" that are so sheltered by life that their naivety knows no bounds? Apparently there are.
The Saudi nurse "told the woman that she was suffering from a rare and serious disease, and that he had the correct medicine for her but that it was at home. He then asked the woman to come to his apartment where he tried to rape her." Thankfully, he wasn't successful, but not for lack of trying on his part, and lack of brains - or something - on her part. After the failed attempt to rape the woman, the Saudi nurse "then contacted the woman and tried to blackmail her into starting an illicit relationship." Unbelievable. Well, no, it isn't. But, still... "The woman then contacted the Commission for the Promotion of Virtue and the Prevention of Vice and explained her situation. Commission members asked the woman to arrange to meet the man at an apartment. As soon as the woman entered the apartment, commission members entered and arrested the nurse." Yes, entrapment at the very least, but probably more than worth it to get the man out of the medical profession and save the rest of the women out there from falling prey to his advances no matter how flimsy.
I want to know why it is that the names and nationalities - along with photos - of rape victims can be printed in the newspapers, here [and no, I cannot find the specific example I was looking for] but that the name and photo of a Saudi man who has been arrested for rape is not being published? Why is it that some people - men and women, alike - are afforded the shroud of secrecy, but others are not? Double standard, perhaps? Glaring!
Justice does prevail in this matter. Some justice... A father who tortured his nine-year-old daughter, along with his wife, the child's step-mother, has been sentenced to death. I thought I had blogged on the story - and I still think I did - but I can't find it. No matter. A father - and the term "father" should be used in the very loosest sense of the word as a real "father" doesn't do this - has been convicted of torturing his nine-year-old daughter to death; the man was sentenced to death by a court yesterday. The little girl's stepmother was sentenced to five years in jail for taking part in the murder. The little girl's real mother is appealing the five year jail sentence - which does seem rather minimal under the circumstances. The nine-year old died last year. "Officials from the Red Crescent Society discovered her body outside her home and, suspecting she had been tortured, informed police." Kudos to the officials from the Red Crescent Society for being so keen and aware! The father and stepmother were arrested and later confessed to torturing the girl to death and said that they had beaten her and pressed a hot iron on different parts of her body. Why?!? What could the little girl possibly have done to deserve such horrific torture? I will never understand. [Child abuse is rampant, worldwide. It knows no boundaries...] The "couple confessed to throwing the little girl from an upper-floor window of their home. It was suspected that the girl was already dead at the time."
The father originally denied torturing his daughter and said she "had committed suicide by jumping from the building." WHAT NINE-YEAR OLD CHILD COMMITS SUICIDE!?!? The police, as well, deserve commendation for not allowing the father and this wicked stepmother to explain away with a snow-job and excuses the "signs of torture" found on this little girl's body and for interrogating the couple in whatever manner and method they deemed appropriate in getting the couple to admit that they "had tried to hide the cause of death." The "Police say they recovered items used to torture the girl, including hoses, a heavy stick and spoons that were heated over a fire."
Now that the father has been sentenced to death, we can only hope that this little girl's real mother is successful in appealing the trivial five-year sentence which was handed to the wicked stepmother who deserves nothing less than twenty years in jail with a lifetime of suffering to follow.
I'd say that is enough outrage for one day...