Tag Archives: Arabian Peninsula

Saudi Women in a City Without Women: Making Arabia Great Again?……….

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Saudi women face a dilemma that nobody in the Kingdom without Magic can solve, not even the new power-to-be, the young Crown Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman. A serious problem of physical mobility:

  • A Saudi woman cannot drive a car anywhere in the country, she is not allowed. Illegal, verboten. Fatwas abound against it.
  • A Saudi woman can’t ride the country’s terrible public transport. She would have to ride a public transport bus with strange unrelated men, forbidden. Most of the riders of these public transports tend to be from among the millions of single woman-less laborers from other Third World countries.
  • A Saudi woman can’t ride a bicycle or a motorcycle, not allowed. Not even use a moped or roller skates.
  • She is not allowed to ride a horse or a mule or a donkey (or any unrelated jackass) or a camel either in the city.
  • A Saudi woman can’t walk to her destination, a very healthy exercise. Not really allowed: she can easily be accosted and even arrested by the Religious Police (Wahhabi Vice Squad) for ‘walking the streets’. Besides, it can be otherwise risky in a country full of hungry young woman-less men.
  • A Saudi woman can’t ride a taxi openly, technically. Since women are not allowed to drive, there are no women taxi drivers. She is not supposed to ride alone with an unrelated man, a strange male taxi driver (check this post on Mike Pence and dining alone with unrelated women and the Devil). She could be stopped and questioned if caught joyless riding with a strange man. Some of the cops will even look for the Devil in the back seat, literally.

One senior Wahhabi cleric warned several years ago that allowing women to drive would mean that there will be no ‘virgins’ left in the kingdom. I posted on that at the time here. That is how serious of a divide this issue is. A dilemma that exists in no other Middle East country, with all its economic and demographic implications. Can’t Make the Arabian Peninsula Great Again (MAPGA has a nice ring to it) without resolving it…….
Cheers
Mohammed Haider Ghuloum

The Overlooked Faces of Real Saudi Reform………..

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Since the creation of the modern Saudi state some hundred years ago there have been three constants. These three constants have defined the country that the ruling family arrogantly renamed after themselves. They called it the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

The three constants have been: (1) Wahhabism; (2) Absolute family rule and the subsequent kleptocracy; (3) Goateed kings and princes, from Abdulaziz through kings Saud, Faisal, Khaled, Fahd, Abdullah, and Salman, including several crown princes like Sultan and Nayef. The first two have been widely exported with plenty of Saudi money. Wahhabism now covers a vast area from Indonesia to Morocco, including AQAp and ISIS. It has noticeable influence in major European cities. This last expansion into Europe has led to the phenomenon of Islamophobia.

The last constant, the goatee beard (saksooka), did not take much hold outside the Arabian Peninsula. There are a few exceptions, for example Saad Hariri in Lebanon but he is the Saudi man in that country and sporting a goatee is like raising the Saudi flag. There might be one or two others in Lebanon with goatee beard, but I have not seen them nor heard of them. Inside Arabia, the goatee has ruled. Any prince worth his salt who aspired to reach the top of the hierarchy had to sport a goatee, preferably dyed jet black (Kiwi brand). Any minion who aspired to rise in the bureaucracy had to do the same.

Now King Salman has started his rule with a new face, literally. He has appointed a crown prince with no goatee beard, a first. He has appointed his son as deputy crown prince, also without a goatee, but with an Emirati style trimmed beard. It is worth noting that the crown prince apparently has no male heirs, comforting thought for his deputy.

That is the new future of the Arabian Peninsula, so long as the Al Saud rule it. That is the new face of Saudi reform, literally, and almost certainly the extent of it. No more goatee………….

(P.S: Now if they can get rid of the moustache, then they might have a slew of kings and princes who are as hairless as Francois Hollande or David Cameron or Angela Merkel).

    

Cheers
Mohammed Haider Ghuloum                          Follow ArabiaDeserta on Twitter
m.h.ghuloum@gmail.com