Saturday, October 24, 2009

Interesting Directive

Interesting in that it outlines that Saudis traveling abroad must adhere to whatever the rules and laws are of that country regardless of how different they may be from what the rules and laws of their country are. Telling in that it speaks volumes about the disregard for the rules and regulations that other countries have, that the Ministry must issue guidelines. Foreigners coming to this country must adhere to the rules and regulations - no ifs ands or buts about it. But for some reason some think that the same does not hold true for them if they visit another country?

Apparently so, as the "Ministry of Foreign Affairs has produced guidelines," one of which "deals with how servants must be treated in accordance with the laws of the country they are in." Yeah. A lot of countries are kind of funny about this - the U.S. in particular - which outlawed slavery in 1865 - where it is not okay to not pay your help and where you can't beat your help... Trivial little details.

As to whether or not "corporal punishment on their children," is okay or not, I guess would all depend on what the definition of "corporal punishment" is. Chances are good that if you simply swat your child on the behind to get their attention after time-outs or whatever else you've tried doesn't work, that you are not going to be arrested in thrown in jail. Beating your child, on the other hand, is not okay. But kissing your child on the lips? "They [Saudis] are also advised not to kiss them on the lips in public places [huh?] or talk to children they do not know, which could lead to accusation of child molesting." I can see why a guideline like that would be issued. Many countries frown on 8 and 10-year-old little girls being old enough to be considered as marriagable.

The guidelines have been issued "following a series of high profile incidents involving Saudis in a number of countries." Specifically, the case of the man in Colorado who was convicted for "xesually assaulting his Indonesian housekeeper and keeping her a virtual slave for four years." Good grief. What would make someone think that that is okay ANYWHERE in the world? Or this, getting intoxicated, "stripping naked and chasing a 36-year-old woman through the streets." Ahh, newsflash: Just because a woman is not covered head-to-toe in black really doesn't mean that she is asking to be xesually violated. Perhaps in your mind, but not to most sane and rational people.

"Such cases are an embarrassment..." Interesting that the shame of the country seems to be more important than the violation of human rights. "Anwar S. Ahmed, an Egyptian mediaperson... said some Arabs do not acknowledge the concept of human rights elsewhere and they too often travel unaware of the law in foreign countries." Well, there you go.

One 28-year-old Saudi student tells of how there is no law requiring car seats for babies and small children in the Sandbox, and that she "forgot" to strap her two-year-old in one day and got a ticket. Those pesky child safety laws in the States. You forgot?! You chose to disregard the law and got a ticket and now you're whining. Same for her husband who "forgot" to pay the rent. She says, "We found a letter on our door saying that if we didn't pay the next day, then we would be sued in court... laughing on how laws make a difference." Umm-hmm. Nonpayment of rent is something a lot of landlords laugh about.

Apparently, it really is necessary to issue guidelines. Very telling. Just my opinion...


  1. The locals here aren't well received in Jordan either.

    I bet those for who the directives are intended are going to be in a hurry to study up on the laws of the countries they are planning to soon visit, or currently residing in. Yep. I can see it now.

  2. Yeah. No kidding, Linda. "I forgot" to strap my kid in a car seat. "I forgot" to pay the rent. "I forgot" I'm not supposed to chase women nekked down the street...

  3. Try forgetting where the end of the line is in my grocery store and i will forget to use my inside voice. Forgetting the speed limits and stop signs kills people, and we have cops with good memories to fix that sort of problem; for every thing else, there's cranky, middle-aged people who are just plain sick of your crap and you'll here about it when you jump the line at the commissary. And so will the cell-phone twit at the register.
    Woo Hoo! Amma go yell at those damn kids to get off my damn lawn now.

  4. You know me too well, vd!!!

  5. I had two reactions when I read that the other day.

    First was that they find it necessary to point out those things because they are such a contrast? Meaning they are OK to do at home but not abroad?

    Second was the lack of mention of that pesky little honor killing thing. It just doesn't seem to be going over very well abroad, well, except in the UK, where there seems to be a growing "understanding."


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