Thursday, May 21, 2020

Life in Saudi Arabia

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Saturday, October 26, 2019

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Saturday, July 22, 2017

A girl arrested by Police for wearing mini-skirt in Saudi Streets

Saudi Arabia is indeed a conservative society when it comes to women. Women here are not allowed to drive cars as they cannot hold a driving license. Women here cannot dress as they want; they are to cover themselves properly. In public, a woman shall be wearing an abaya. An abaya is a loose garment which is worn by females here so that they are covered properly. The Abaya and driving rule applies to Saudi as well as foreign women irrespective of their religion. In Saudi Arabia, the huge billboards have men all over them. If a female oriented product is to be marketed, either the women face is blurred or is cropped off. 

In a society like this, a young girl became headlines when a video of her went viral on the social media. The lady, who is identified as Kholoud was arrested as she was seen wearing a miniskirt. The 27 years old model was filmed wearing a highly immodest dress (according to Saudi culture). She had contrasted her miniskirt with a sleeves crop top. She was seen at the historical sites and the red sea of Saudi Arabia.  Her video made quite a buzz in social media and thereby within hours, the police became active. The girl was arrested because of her liberal dressing. The Ministry of Culture and Information and the Riyadh Police revealed that the girl is a model. The news of her arrest became international. A woman arrested because she went in Public wearing a miniskirt in Saudi Arabia! The matter got serious.

However, the woman after several hours of the investigation was released. The claims are that no charge was levied on her, she was set free without the imposition of any fine. The model told that the video was uploaded on the social media without her consent. Her quick release and the fact that she hasn’t been charged assures that there was international pressure. Of course, the news was in the international media and the authorities knew that the international press was looking into the case as well. So if the girl was charged, it would have portrayed a very negative image of Saudi Arabia.

While some are applauding and cheering that this is a step towards women rights, some have heavily criticized it. Even when the video was uploaded, people bashed at the girl saying that she has dressed immodestly and should not have come into the public like this. She has violated the Kingdom’s cultural, traditional and religious norms. While others view that it is her choice and she has the right to do what she wants as long as she is not imposing any harm to others.

Whatever the views be, several questions have arisen:  can Saudi women now dress the way they want? If this woman is not charged, have we opened up a new trend for Saudi women? Can we now see Saudi women dressed “Immodestly” in public?

Source: Arab News

Friday, July 21, 2017

4 Major Reasons Why Children are being kidnapped in Saudi Arabia

Recently, newspapers have reported numerous cases of kidnapping. This is quite alarming. If you go into the details of this news you would find out that most kids were kidnapped at the grocery stores. This has caused a panic among the parents. They feel that their children are not safe anymore. This is quite obvious from the past two months; we have been listening to cases where a number of children have been kidnapped or disappeared. It is not that only a few locations are insecure, cases show that kidnapping occurred at different locations in Saudi Arabia, however the most common being the grocery stores.

As the cases of kidnapping have immensely rose, we thought of providing you with some safety measures. These measures are an advice coming from the experts. So the experts have jotted down four reasons why the kids are being kidnapped and how parents can prevent their child from being kidnapped.

Weak Social Ties: We say that the world is a global village; we are in-contact with the people around the world but unfortunately not with the ones who are near us. We have developed societies where people do not know about their neighbors. The weak social ties have let others take benefit of it. Any outsider can come into the society and people won’t even notice.  A psychologist at family issues, Dr. Hani Al-Ghamdi, says that weak social ties have weakened the security levels. Parents need to check their children themselves and they cannot rely on the neighbors for it. 

Training to Children: You must keep an eye on your child if he is playing in the neighborhood; also you need to tell them not to trust any stranger. Your child shall be told repeatedly not to go with any stranger or to talk with anyone. If a child feels that a person is keeping an eye on him or is being friendly, he shall report to parents. Parents need to tell all these important measures to their children.

Irresponsible Parents: Al-Ghamdi stressed that parents have become quite irresponsible. They let their children fetch a grocery item from a nearby grocery store all alone. This is very unsafe for the child.  Also if you are at the store, make sure that you have an eye on your child. Not let anyone take advantage of your neglect.

Running Away from their Home: Also, parents shall understand that there is a difference between kidnapping of a child and running away from the child. Many children tend to escape from their houses because of various reasons. You can prevent a child escape as there are signs that child is planning an escape.

Hawazin Al-Zahrani, who is an educational consultant and holds specialization in children's rights, warned parents to keep an eye on their children as the kidnapping of our young ones is a serious case. Children can be kidnapped for various purposes like sexual abuse, human trafficking, and even terrorist activities. Parents, your children are your biggest responsibility. The state is trying its best to prevent such cases, but you are ought to be careful and responsible!
Source: Saudi Gazette

Thursday, July 20, 2017

Prince Saud arrested on the orders of King Salman for torturing normal citizens

Sometimes when people are given power and authority, they tend to misuse it. They believe they can do anything they want and they won’t be held accountable for it. This is a worldwide phenomenon, some powerful people tend to use their powers to oppress others and get involved in inhumane activities. Power, authority, and status are sometimes misused by those who owe it.

An unfortunate event also took place in Saudi Arabia where a prince used his powers wrongfully. A few days ago from now, a video went viral where a Saudi prince along with some of his associates was seen abusing citizens. Not only the victims were verbally abused but also they were physically harmed by using guns. The guns were used to frighten people or to beat them up with. The blood was spotted on the victim's clothes as well.  This is brutal and cruel act undertaken by a Prince. He had no right to abuse someone like this.

The video went up on social media and people started sharing it with a message that such activities and that too by a Prince are simply not acceptable.  The prince has been identified as Prince Saud Bin Abdul Aziz Bin Musaed Bin Saud Bin Abdul Aziz. People were of the view that the Prince should not have done this. His powers are not meant for this very purpose. Is he made a prince to openly frighten others, abuse them and physically harm them? Is this his duty? Justice was the call.

If Prince Saud Bin Abdul Aziz has committed the crime, which is very clear in the video, he shall be made accountable for it. He shall be arrested and be answerable for his actions. He shall face punishment for his unjust behavior. Hearing the news and getting its conformity, King Salman Bin Abdul Aziz Al Saud, issued a legal notice demanding the arrest of Prince Saud Bin Abdul Aziz Bin Musaed Bin Saud Bin Abdul Aziz and his associates involved in an unjust act.

The royal prince, therefore, is arrested. According to the notice issued by The King, the Prince and his associated cannot be set free until the court hearings are completed and the matter is finalized.  The King assured irrespective of the fact that Saud is a Prince, he is accountable for his acts. A law must hold everyone equally: if he is found guilty he shall be punished. So the prince s to be in Jail until the court gives out a verdict after viewing the matter. Recommended: “Even I am not above the Law” – Says Saudi King

As much as we are disappointed by Prince Saud Bin Abdul Aziz’s behavior, we are very much glad at the decision of King Salman. We hope that the justice will be upheld and we would be proudly proclaiming that Saudi Arabia is a country where your status cannot allow you to be unjust. we hope that the courts will give out a sentence that will reflect justice!
Source: Arab News, an online solution for all your household requirements

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Wednesday, July 19, 2017

“Brother, don’t kill me” – An Iraqi woman buried alive by her brothers

The number of women being killed by their own family in the name of honor, in some countries like Iraq, Pakistan and Jordan has arisen immensely. Even though the human rights campaigns have been initiated there and people have been repeatedly told that this is a severe crime but the crime is being practiced at a large scale most probably because the criminals there are not subject to harsh punishments. Education and campaigns are fruitless as 68% of the Iraqi men believe that it is okay to kill women (either be a mother, sister or wife) who dishonors them. This has reveled in a survey conducted on Iraqi youth in 2009.

Although both Iraq and Jordan treat honor Killing a crime, yet the criminal of honor killing is dealt differently than a murderer. There is a separate category for a person who commits honor killing and a separate one for one who commits murder.  Isn’t honor killing a murder? The United Nations took a notice of Honor Killings and in 2015 the UN Human Rights Office demanded Iraq to change its criminal code that provides a defense to the one who commits honor killing. However, the problem remains there. The UN recently revealed that two girls aged 15 and 20 were killed by their own relatives like brother and father. These girls were brutally killed and their murderers enjoy a free life.

The northern region of Iraq namely Kurdistan is a place where most women are suppressed in the name of honor. One of the female parliamentarians, Parwa Ali, claims that Kurdistan enjoys the honor killing of women due to government neglect. She has dealt with a lot of honor killing cases in the area. She briefed that the honor killings and violence against women cases are not registered and brought to courts. The tribal nature of the area does not allow for it, instead, people tend to solve such matters through tribal agreements.

Unfortunately, nothing genuine could be done till date as the political parties do not go for such reforms. They know that these tribes are great electoral support and they do not tend to interfere in their matters.  Our Iraqi sisters are not safe at the hands of their own family. Recently a girl was buried alive in the Kurdish area of Iraq by her own brothers. The brothers claimed that the sister had dishonored the family as she was seen with a man in the car after she left her job. So the family decided that such a girl has no right to live and was buried alive in a grave. She was tied but was lucky to push out some mud from her chest to allow oxygen pass by. He lawyers brother-in-law helped her to come out of the grave.

She was then taken to her home but wasn’t allowed to go out for 18 months. She did escape and now feels unsafe and insecure. Her brothers might be searching her and looking forward to killing the girl for good. She knows she would be killed but wants to live freely until then. This is really sad and we hope that people will understand that honor killing is a major crime. We hope that our Iraqi sisters will get justice and safety.

Source: Al Arabiya

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

A Saudi columnist suspended for extensively praising King Salman

Leaders hear appreciation for their good actions and deeds by the general public. The world also makes the leaders a subject of criticism when leaders do not take wise steps and are not able to make good decisions.  The newspapers and social media are full of such stories. Every day and now we tend to hear a piece of appreciation or criticism for our leaders in newspapers, magazines, TV and even on Facebook and twitter.  Saudi King Salman Bin Abdul Aziz Al Saud is indeed a great leader. He had taken some very rationale steps for the country. He is keen to make Saudi Arabia a prosperous country. The people on social media praise him for his qualities. Also, newspapers and TV channels speak out in his favor.

Yet sometimes people go far beyond limits and so did a Saudi columnist Ramadan Al Enenzi. Ramadan Al Enenzi writes columns for a Saudi newspaper named as Al Jazeera. Al Enenzi got his article published in the daily newspaper that praised the great leader. There is nothing bad in appreciating our leaders but Al Enenzi praised heavily. His article shouts out some praises for King Salman Bin Abdul Aziz that are attributes of God only. How can God Like attributes be declared for a king? Isn’t this more than disrespectful? Everyone has a right to declare his opinion regarding a leader, but one should understand the boundaries. One should choose appropriate words while both appreciating and criticizing. Some words and characteristics, good and bad, are not for humans.

The Saudi king himself, Salman Bin Abdul Aziz Al Saud, took notice of the column. He wrote a formal letter to Awad Bin Saleh Al Awad, who is the Minister of Information. The subject of the letter was the very column. It was stated in the letter that the title and the column itself was quite shocking. The words that have been chosen by the column writer are inappropriate. These words have been used by Allah SWT to describe His (Almighty) Attributes or Allah had addressed those characteristics to Prophet Ibrahim. 

King further added that this is not a matter we shall remain lenient upon. It has disturbed us and is not at all welcomed. It is a serious matter and we can for-see its dangers. Taking notice of the complaint, the Interior minister suspended the columnist Ramadan Al Enenzi. The newspaper itself was notified and has been warned for publishing such content. All the newspaper shall comply with rules and regulations. The newspapers shall have authorities looking into the content before being published.  

The newspaper has accepted its fault declaring that the words chosen by the columnists were not correct. The newspaper has issued an apology.  This is a great step that was required for the betterment of the nation. King Salman has shattered the columnist at the right time.

Source: Gulf News

Monday, July 17, 2017

Illegal Expat died a day before returning home out of Happiness

Illegal expatriates have been residing in Saudi Arabia since long. Most of these were leading a miserable life as they were jobless: they would undergo an odd job to satisfy their hunger. With the announcement of amnesty time period by the then crown prince Muhammad Bin Naif, many were relieved. They were happy that they would go to their own country, live as free citizens and enjoy life with their loved ones. Living as an illegal expatriate isn’t easy at all.  Although they came with high hopes, not all are lucky enough to fulfill all their dreams. Sangi Yellaih, our dear brother came into the kingdom to accomplish great dreams. He was the father of two young daughters and wanted to earn well to fulfill their wedding expenses.

He was 44 years old and belonged to India: he was a native of southern Indian state Telangana’s district named as Jagtial. He came here as a mason. He worked as a mason for some time but then quit as the construction activities in Saudi Arabia fell down. He could not continue to work as a mason and ran away from his sponsor to find another job. His sponsor had informed the passport department about Sangi Yellaih’s running away. He was titled as huroob by the passport department.  Sangi Yellaih’s life became miserable. He was jobless and could not find a good job as he was now living as an illegal resident. He could not even return to his country. He tried to arrest himself but failed. 

He wanted to go back to India: we wanted to meet the family there and earn a living there, he wanted to live freely. Yet he couldn’t find a way to do so until the amnesty time period as announced. Sangi Yellaih was very relieved when he heard of the 90 days long amnesty time period announced by the government. This is what he wanted, to go back home! So he availed the opportunity. The Saudi government gave him the clearance exit after the Indian embassy successfully provided with the travel documents Sangi Yellaih had applied for.

He was to leave the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia on May 29 after fulfilling all legal requirements. He was very excited to meet the family, to meet his loved ones and to enjoy a life as a free citizen. He had admitted that he could not carve a bright future in Saudi Arabia, but he was hopeful to do so in India. On 28th May he was all ready to leave the Kingdom; he could not wait for the next day. He was over-excited! Yet the poor soul died the very day, yes Sangi Yellaih died just a day before his departure from Saudi Arabia.

Doctors claim that he died of a heart attack. Such a heart attack occurs when a person is very depressed or very happy. In Sangi Yellaih’s case, he died of excitement and joy! He was found dead at his residence in Riyadh’s outskirts.  What is more heartbreaking is that Indian embassy hasn’t come up with documents that would allow the Saudi government to send his dead body to India. His dead body still lies here waiting for departure before amnesty ends!

Source: Saudi Gazette

Sunday, July 16, 2017

I took a loan when I was 25 and continued repaying it till 59 – Story of an Expat

Everyone has dreams: a dream of earning well and leading a good life. Not everyone is born with a spoon of gold in their mouth, people have to work really hard to let meet the two ends. People leave their loved ones, their city and even their country to accomplish their goal of a happy life.  So did Rasheed. Mohammed Mustafa Rasheed who is an Indian Nations and belongs to the Kollam district of Kerala was only 25 when he arrived at the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to fulfill all his dreams: This story date backs to 1983. Now Rasheed is 59 years old.

The 59 years old Rasheed has left for India now but has disclosed his heartbreaking story. The poor soul who was full of passion for earning a good living left the kingdom with unaccomplished dreams. He worked hard here. He lived for 34 years in Saudi Arabia and never, not even once, went back to meet his family! Yet his hard work never paid him off.  25 years old Rasheed came to Saudi Arabia and provided services of driver and plumber in his initial years. Soon he left these services and started his own business. He took loans from people he knew in the kingdom and initiated a business. His Saudi sponsor also provided him with financial help.

However, the unlucky guy could not become a successful businessman. His business ran into losses. He needed help: he needed money to cover up he loses and had to repay the loans as well. Adding to his misfortune: his sponsor died! The sponsor’s legal heirs had personal disputes which proved unlucky for Rasheed: they did not owe Rasheed’s sponsorship. Poor Rasheed could not find a new sponsor and his Iqama (the residency permit) expired.

Alas! Rasheed lost all hopes and became an illegal expatriate in Saudi Arabia. He had been living in the kingdom as an illegal resident since 1993. He would undergo unstable and odd jobs to pay off the loans he took when he was only 25. All these years he had lived in Rawdah: a place in Riyadh. His life was miserable: he could not earn enough to pay off the loans all these years, his family could not see him for 34 years, his youth expired while repaying loans, he could not send a single penny back home!

Mohammed Mustafa Rasheed, who lived 34 years in the Kingdom, has now left for India. He did not want to go back, but he had to. He wanted to die in the Holy Land, yet it was his love for his mother that forced him to go back. His eyes wanted to see his aged mother who wished to die after seeing his son who had departed 34 years ago and never visited!

Shihab Kottukad a social worker helped Rasheed to go back home. He told him that if he died here, many problems will arise as he was an illegal expatriate. Also, he shall avail the amnesty time period to freely move towards his home-country. We hope that Mohammed Mustafa Rasheed’s life would take a great turn! All the best strong man!
Source: Saudi Gazette


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