Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Stuff Happening in My "Neck of the Woods"

Woods. What woods?!! Sand. Desert. There are no woods, here.

Seems a bit harsh. This punishment of two months in prison and 60 lashes "to be applied in three equal batches." Supposedly for threatening to burn an 18-year-old Saudi girl's face with acid and for threatening to publish her picture. The young man is a 23-year-old Yemeni. Important that we know that. The young man and the young woman were in some sort of "illegitimate relationship for three months," and when she tired of him and tried to break it off he threatened her. Doesn't she have some responsibility here? She has admitted to being in the relationship but she has, apparently, been absolved. As well as her family. They have been reprimanded by the court and she has taken a pledge "never to enter into such relationships again." Phew. The young man's version of the events are slightly different than what he is being accused of. No! He says he had her picture so that he could show it to his family as he was planning on marrying the woman. The woman, on the other hand says that he "started to blackmail her through mobile messages" and he says that his threats were only made verbally and "that he had no intention of harming her." Was there any proof otherwise on her mobile or on his mobile? I'm sure that doesn't matter. A "he said she said" case. With the end result being that the man is getting a far more severe punishment. The girl's family must be so proud. [I do find it disturbing that there was the threat of acid being used to burn her face - whether it was verbal or via mobile text messaging. There is that old saying, "Children learn what they live." It isn't like we don't know that this kind of thing doesn't happen in certain parts of the world...]

Are these one and the same? The facts are slightly different. [What a surprise!] In one report "two brothers and two sisters" have been arrested "for killing their sister and burying her body in the desert." This says that the young woman that was killed was 18-years-old and that it is believed that "the brothers took turns in beating" their sister to death after which they tied to hide the evidence in a "shallow grave." This says that "a man and his sister" have been arrested for beating their 20-year-old sister. It also implicates the beating-sister's son as one of the culprits: "The woman, the main suspect and assailant, confessed during investigations and guided the police to the location where she and her brother and son had buried the body." Good grief. What did the poor girl do to deserve this kind of treatment at the hands of her own brother and sister and nephew - or sister and two brothers depending on which version of the report you are reading? And, where are the girl's parents? They didn't realize she was missing? If they are still around and know that she met with such a horrid fate, should they not be held responsible, too? With no mention in either article as to the nationality of those involved, we can be certain...

With three simple words - said three times - a marriage can be done and over with. Of course, only the man is allowed to initiate a divorce as the woman has no right or say in the matter. What happens when your husband divorces you and you don't know it? An Egyptian woman was divorced a year and a half ago from her Saudi husband - who never bothered to inform her. Something isn't quite right about this, though. "The woman left the marital house a week ago when by chance she found the papers stating that she had been irrevocably divorced." Huh? What, she walked outside and found them stapled to a tree or something? The article seems to indicate that she had no idea that she was divorced and a judge "who has asked for anonymity said that if is proved the two had xes during that period, then the husband is guilty of adultery and must be punished..." How can you be in a relationship with someone that has divorced you eighteen months ago and not know? Nah. Like I said, something is not quite right about this.

Interesting albeit contradictory article about "Young Saudis willing to accept low paid jobs" here. It says they are willing to accept jobs such as "cashiers, tea boys, salesmen, waiters and taxi drivers." On young man, 22-year-old Abdurraham Al-Mohandis, says that he is "proud to earn some money during his free time so he can gain some experience and amass savings to be used in realizing his dream of becoming a pilot." Good for him. On the other hand, Mohammed Al-Tayyar says "I could never work as a taxi driver; this is unacceptable in our society." It is? Why? Umran Marghalana says that "his social status does not allow him to work in low-paid jobs. I'm educated, I will not accept a job that does not suit me or my family." Telling, isn't it? He is a 23-year-old business management student who obviously thinks that he is going to be a CEO as soon as he graduates. Let us know how that works out for you.


  1. I think the relationship only became illicit after the young woman tired of the young man and she cried about it. That is why there are two differing stories there. No surprise. She is Saudi. He is Yemeni. Superiorty vs. Inferiority. Plain and simple.

    As to the beatings and murder...two words..Family Honor. And the poor girl didn't have to do much to her merit her death. She may have had an unidentified number in her phone.

    A lot of MBA graduates in the US work at Mickey D's. Or sell shoes. Here in Saudi, that is NOT accpetable. What would the neighbors think?!? Much better to live off Daddy.

  2. Superiority vs. Inferiority? I know what you're saying, Linda, but I have my own opinion about that... Best kept to myself, I think.

    Yeah, family honor. 'Ya think? I'm waiting to read about the Saudi woman who had a relationship with the Yemani man suffering a similar fate.

    It's rather comical, really, about how image is so much of the persona, here, yet then you read about the Casanova and the man I posted on yesterday. Are the clothes beginning to fall off the Emperor? Perhaps they are. [Here, that is. Not that jug-eared-jack-ass one in the States.]

  3. "Seems a bit harsh."

    Um, not if he actually made threats. OK, spur-of-the-moment is forgiveable to some extent - but this seems to have gone on for longer than a single day.

    But I may be biased because a young woman I knew and liked was killed after such threats. "If I can't have her, noone can!"

  4. If you get a chance take a look at yesterdays Arab news, there is a very interesting article called saudi for saudis on the third page. I think you will find it very interestingly full of BS.

  5. Two brothers and two sisters, or one brother and one sister and her son: well, there could be a translation error in the english version between "sibling" and "brother" or maybe it was a very close family in which his mother-sister got counted twice, or because they arrested the corpse... I think i will go with translation error.

    I think that sixty days and sixty lashes is an appropriate minimum punishment for a verbal threat to throw acid in someone's face. But i do wonder if beating someone with a whip for a living is beneath Saudi dignity. Seems like there'd be a lot of employment opportunities there.

  6. If he did it verbally, John A., and if it was "spur-of-the moment" then I think he should get a pass. That comes down to "he said she said" and would be hard to prove. If, on the other hand, he has been threatening via text messaging, there would be proof and his punishment should be even more severe.

    Saw it Hermit. I actually posted on it a while back - when the "movement" started. I just tried to find it - it's there somewhere. Of course if I used "labels" like they are supposed to be used... "Interestingly full of BS." You hit the nail on the head there!

    "...if beating someone with a whip for a living is beneath Saudi dignity." Are you kidding, vd? That is a coveted position, here! As far as translation for brother - sister - mother... When you live in a country where many are able to say "my cousin is my father and my husband" it is easy to lose "who's who" in translation...

  7. "if it was 'spur-of-the moment' then I think he should get a pass."

    Agreed: perhaps I phrased it badly, but I thought I said as much. Several hours - arbitrarily, let me propose ten hours - OK. Nor would I object to some effort to contact the young woman for calmer discussion, perhaps with others of her choice present just in case. But threats after some point must be taken seriously.

  8. "But threats after some point must be taken seriously." No disagreement from me on that point, John A!


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