Friday, January 16, 2009


Some quick - and not so quick - takes of news in The Sandbox, today...

The count is up to five now. Oh, and the total for last year, according to this, was 102. Beheadings, that is.

An unknown, suspected South Asian, woman has been found dead on the street. Fingerprints have been lifted. Surely she will be identified in that manner, right? Fingerprints - along with blood and bodily fluids - are required by every single foreigner that enters The Sandbox. Probably just a discarded housemaid. Nothing to see, here, folks. Move along...

More on the economics of "supply and demand" here. And, here, too. If there wasn't a demand then there would be no supply. Well, that is how I learned the policy, anyway. But, then, it has been a long time since I was in accounting classes. Perhaps "supply and demand" doesn't mean the same thing now as it did then. [See the very end of this post for what someone else has to say about "supply and demand," here in The Sandbox.]

This was probably meant to be "cute." I don't find it "cute" at all. In fact, I find it quite degrading and disparaging and distasteful. What's that saying? "A picture is worth 1000 words?" Something like that.

This story has been in the paper for the past few days. I didn't post on it because - because - I don't know why. Just because. I guess it didn't strike me as being all that interesting. More "ho hum" kind of "just another day" and "same old, same old." Must have caused some interest somewhere, though, because it is getting quite a bit of attention. The gist of it is that a man has kept his 20 and 22-year-old sisters locked in a room in squalor for the past ten years - since their elderly father became paralyzed and could no longer take care of them. Supposedly the two sisters "were completely shut away from the outside world, existing in complete darkness, playing only with mice, and communicating in their own language." It was the "playing only with mice, and communicating in their own language" that did it for me - something is wrong with this story. Very wrong. I'm not denying that it could happen, I just think that perhaps some "literary license" was applied to make this a "tug at your heart-strings" kind of story. The brother - or half-brother - supposedly kept them locked up because he had to "protect them from the evils of this world since they had a psychiatric illness from childhood." He "feared for the girls as they would rip off their clothes and break windows because of the psychiatric condition." Okay. Stranger things have happened... "The brother, identified by the authorities only by the initials A.M., categorically denied that he had meant to cause his sisters physical or mental harm." [Duh. Well of course he denied everything! Oh - and isn't it interesting that the brother is only being identified by initials and that his name isn't being published; but steal a couple of sheep and your full name will be published!] The brother says, "I've never ever beaten them despite their aggression - they would break the doors, windows and electric appliances." Hmmph. You know what? I think I'd be just a little aggressive, too, if I'd been locked in a room for TEN YEARS! The brother "decided to lock them up after neighbors advised him to protect their family's reputation and image." [Emphasis, mine.] Bingo! There we go. The real reason he locked them up. All to protect "their family's reputation and image." When there is something newsworthy to report about the asshole brother who locked the two girls up, I'll post on it.

Another item that was in the paper earlier this week I purposely chose not to dissect and post on - although I really kind of wanted to - just because what the author had to say was, in my opinion, so ridiculous. It was an article written by a woman, who at one time I, quite mistakenly, thought would offer a perspective that would be worth-while and be a breath of fresh air in an otherwise dusty environment. The more I read her columns, the more I realized that she was anything but a breath of fresh air. She's gotten herself a good "take down" by commenter's with her column, this week, on how she thinks that the Saudi government should give her an allowance toward the purchase of an abaya that she is required to wear in The Sandbox. She doesn't want to wear just any old inexpensive, plain black bag covering. Nope. She wants a designer abaya that probably costs more than what most domestic workers make in an entire year. The article is here. Her reasoning - that she should be given an "abaya subsidy" is that since she isn't required to wear it in the United Kingdom she's adapted and goes without and now has to remind herself that she needs one when she visits family at home - here in Saudi. The woman is studying to get a doctorate - although in what field she doesn't say - and she gave away all of her "lovely abayas" before she left home to go to school abroad, keeping only one. [I own only one and it is the ONLY one I will ever own! I wear it to cover my clothes and myself because I have to.] She moans and complains about going to a store with SR700 [$187.66] to buy another abaya, and that she was "looking for something fashionable and to keep with my newly acquired social status as Dr. Jawhar in the making. After all, if I am going to earn a doctorate degree and become indispensible to Saudi
Arabia then I must dress the part." She kids, not! Apparently she believes she is "sadly" outdated, and says, "Imagine the humiliation when the salesman knew more about abaya styles than I." Oh, the horror! No. I can't imagine. The salesmen know more about make-up here, than most women, too, but I don't find it humiliating. I find it amusing. She goes on about sticker shock and the new styles and how it used to be that abayas were only black blah blah blah and now they are "glittery" blah blah blah and the new way to wear them blah blah blah so that "you are the cat's pajamas (a Western expression for looking cool)." [The expression is from the 1950's! If you want to be cool you need to wake up - by a half-dozen decades.] She inanely drones on and on and on believing she has to spend 1,500 or 2,000SR [$402.14 or $536.19] to "not only look respectable but not make a fool" of herself [too late!], because after all, "Saudis don't want their national treasures walking around in dish rags. Don't they want us to outshine those Emirati girls across the border?"

The comments that were left on-line to her column are what are worthwhile posting, here. No one was at all impressed with what she had to say, this week. Some of the best lines from the comments include: "Do you have any idea of the purpose of an abaya? It is to cover yourself... not show yourself off. ...the ignorance of some of those born... never ceases to amaze me." "What an absolutely pathetic article. It frightens the hell out of me that a doctor could be bothered to write such nonsense... I hope I never end up being a patient of yours!" "This is a disgusting and inappropriate article. What does it take for Muslims to have some respect for themselves and their deen?!" [Deen = religion, as best as I can determine from my Arabic dictionary.] "By going to the West some of us not just leave the abayas but also our deen. The reason, being apologetic, ignorant & arrogant." " you are one of those... who whip off their abayas as soon as the plane... approaches England. And you wear it so little that you actually have to remind yourself to wear it again! What a thing to write in a national newspaper." "Reading this I can realize this Sister... is infected by the worst disease, more severe than AIDS but unidentified in the Medical books... Doctor, I urge you to treat this first!" "Wow a doctor wrote that. scary." "This article shows the author's ignorance of the very purpose and benefits of the hijab." "This person is a sad example of a stupid, arrogant, spoit brat who is a liability to the Saudi image with such vain ideas. She is certainly not 'a national treasure' but an example of what a national treasure should [sic] not!" There are more. You can read them all, here, and leave your own comments as well.

In other news...

Here is an article on domestic violence, "No end in sight as women left to suffer." Domestic violence knows no boundaries. It occurs world-wide. Is it such a far stretch to think that perhaps if domestic violence - in all countries - were to be absolutely and finally curtailed that someday there might, in fact, be world peace? Yeah. Never mind.

Another construction accident has killed three laborers, injured 14, and possibly burried two beneath the rubble. Sad. And to think, these accidents could be prevented...

Interesting article,"We live in Utopia," here. It is 404 words and it will take less than two minutes to read. It speaks volumes and says an awful lot for six short paragraphs.

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