It’s International waffle day!

People of the Planet Earth will unite today on International Waffle Day!

Who doesn’t like a waffle? Americans and Saudis both indulge in this divine food.

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You can eat waffles flat, with cream and jam, or rolled up filled with clotted cream, or rolled in a cone filled with ice cream.

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Waffles rule!

What’s in a beard?

Beardy tweets have sparked controversy in Saudi Arabia

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A Saudi activist said that she would sue a religious scholar after he called for putting her on trial over a tweet in which he claimed she had insulted Prophet Mohammad . Suad Al Shimmari said that Shaikh Adel Al Kalbani wronged her by claiming that she had ridiculed the Prophet by denigrating the significance of beards that men are expected to grow as required by some religious schools.

Local news site Sabq Shaik Al Kalbani said: “I call for a swift trial of Suad Al Shimmari for her offences to the Prophet and her scorns in the tweet she posted,”

Suad Al Shimmari said in her tweet:  “one of the dumbest statements is that breeding beards is to be different from the heathens. These include past and present Orientalists, Jews, priests, Communists and Marxists beards. Abu Jahl (an enemy of the Prophet) had a beard longer than that of the Prophet.”

Saudi members of Committee for the Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice are seen during training course in Riyadh

In reaction to the tweet Al Kalbani prayed that Suad would lose the use of her hand and her eyesight.
Suad however rejected the charges and said they were part of a campaign to discredit her: “Those who reacted negatively to my tweet had isolated it from the other tweets raising the same theme. They maliciously clipped them to target me and to make me look as if I was scorning the Prophet,”
“I wanted to stress in my tweets that when we criticise bearded men, we do not mean to ridicule God’s teachings, verses and Messenger. In my tweet, I wanted to show that other religions also included breeding beards that are in fact longer than those that some Muslims have. This includes rabbis and clergymen,”. Buddhists in India are different from Muslims through, among other features, their beards, she added.

“The length of a beard does not define the degree of religious devotion or the piety of the person. Those who say they want to emulate the example of Prophet Mohammad should adopt his morals as well,” she said.

“I am shocked by all the insults and derogatory remarks. I wish Al Kalbani had really appreciated the significance of my tweets before rushing into cursing me,” she said. His negative attitudes have fuelled public antagonism against her according to Suad.

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Suad also said; “Al Kalbani did what he did because he wanted to gain some popular mileage and to reconcile with his group. I am now considering a law case against him for what he said against me. Islam teaches us not to rush into statements and conclusions until we are sure and certain about all the facts in order to be fair. I am responsible for what I say, but I am not responsible for what they understand or how they perceive things. I am not at all responsible about them if they want to put pressure on society or seek a deal with the state or target me because of my positions towards the Muslim Brotherhood,” .

Suad said that some people are using their beards to hide their true character behind them. “The Prophet would have never treated people unfairly or rushed into a conclusion without verifying the facts and making sure about them first. What they did is not part of the Prophet’s way of life. These people represent a political ideology hiding behind a beard to claim they are pious and live in good conditions,”.

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Read more:

Gulf News

Update:

To make the post more perfect, here is a photo of Shaik Al Kabani:

shaik al Kabani

And to make sure this post is fair to the Arab men in general, here is a really handsome bearded Arab man:

handsome Arab man

However, being this smoulderingly hot as a man is also a problem… This adorable man and his two equally alluring, attractive and appealing friends were thrown out of last year’s Janadriya festival due to their overwhelming handsomness which the haia thought would be too much for the Saudi women to deal with.
Although I never heard any report of these men being harassed by hordes of Saudi women, apparently they were just having a good time soaking in some culture and history.

The romance of Valentine in Saudi Arabia

Valentines day, the day dedicated to the celebration of love, is forbidden in Saudi Arabia, even for married couples. In Saudi Arabia any kind of interaction between people of opposite sex are forbidden, even just talking. Any public display of affection is taboo.

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Religious police ”Anti Valentine patrols” roam the malls and shops, they confiscate any red or heart shaped items days before the infidel ‘V-day”.
All this makes Valentines day especially romantic in Saudi. Imagine the dangers, trials and tribulations, not to mention he enormous costs your loved one has gone through to get you that contraband red rose, and heart shaped box of chocolates!

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From AFP Friday 14 2014

Red roses lurk hidden in flower shop back rooms and heart-shaped chocolates are sold under the counter, but Saudis still manage to buy Valentine’s gifts and defy the religious police.

Florist Hussein came up with a simple solution to a ban on red tokens of love: he filled his window with white roses, orange irises and violet hydrangeas.
“I’ve hidden everything red in the shop, so when a religious police patrol comes along, they find nothing to complain about,” he said.
Hussein’s shop window may be blooming with white, orange and violet, but he still has the real thing — red roses — out the back.
“I’ve sold at least 350 red roses at 20 riyals ($5, 3.90 euros) a pop. Many women call us on the phone to order roses, because they fear the religious police.”

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Kumar, another florist, was persuaded by a Muttawa visit not even to consider flouting the Valentine’s Day ban. However: “We’re going to sell these to a chocolate shop,” he said, pointing to bouquets of red flowers in a back room of his store.

Confectioners do have chocolate hearts for discreet sale, but only to the right people. “Of course we have them, but the religious police came by and warned us against selling them,” said one chocolate shop owner who asked not to be identified. “We hid them because we don’t want any problems,” he added, smiling, indicating that an illicit transaction involving the chocolate contraband would be more than acceptable.

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This year in Jeddah, a city more open and relaxed than most of the rest of Saudi Arabia, some florists have been openly selling red roses, and are unafraid to give their names.
“The religious police didn’t come. We’re doing nothing wrong anyway,” said Abu Zakaria, who runs a flower shop in the north of the city.

Another man, Thamer Hussein, said some people with romantic yearnings marked the Valentine’s festival a day in advance, to ensure the experience was hassle-free. “Some young people celebrated St Valentine’s Day on Wednesday evening, with small parties and exchanges of gifts,” he said.

Read more:

 Ahram online

To veil or to die, that’s the question

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Yesterday a student at the women only campus of a Riyad university collapsed and died of a heart attack. Allegedly the male paramedics had to wait for an hour before they were admitted due to ”modesty concerns”

The student, now identified as Amna Bawazir was known to suffer from heart problems.

Okaz newspaper said administrators at the King Saud University impeded efforts by the paramedics to save the student’s life because of rules banning men from being onsite. According to the paper, the incident took place on Wednesday and the university staff took an hour before allowing the paramedics in.

king saud university

However, the university’s rector, Badran al-Omar, denied the report, saying there was no hesitation in letting the paramedics in. He said the university did all it could to save the life of Amna.

Professors at King Saud University are demanding an investigation. “We need management who can make quick decisions without thinking of what the family will say or what culture will say,” said Professor Aziza Youssef.
One staff member, who witnessed the situation, said paramedics were not called immediately. She said they were also not given immediate permission to enter the campus and that it appeared that the female dean of the university and the female dean of the college of social studies panicked. The staff member spoke on condition of anonymity for fear of retribution from university management.

Al-Omar said the staff called campus health officials within minutes of Amna Bawazeer collapsing and that about 25 minutes later they called paramedics.

The students insisted that the officials who refused to allow the medical team into the college on the pretext they were men should be held accountable for the incident.
”Islam is a religion that facilitates practices, and the religious rule, in exceptional situations, are relaxed,” some of the students told the daily. “We do not see any necessity that is more pressing than rescuing the life of a human being from imminent death.”

Amna Bawazir’s death sparked a debate on Twitter by Saudis who created a hashtag to talk about the incident.  Thousands of Saudis vented their anger online. In the debate, many Saudis said the kingdom’s strictly enforced rules governing the segregation of the sexes were to blame for the delay in helping Amna Bawazeer.

In 2002, a fire broke out at a girl’s school in Mecca, killing at least 15
girls. The religious police would not allow the girls to escape, actually chased them back into the burning school, because they were not wearing headscarves or abayas.

Petition: Save my life, then my Modesty
Read more:

Al Arabiya

ABC news

Gulf News

No Woman No Drive

Bad luck for three women who have won the weekly raffle draw of two luxury cars, the prime attraction at the popular “Hayya Jeddah Shopping Festival.”

They may have won the cars, but being women they are not allowed to drive them!

There are six more cars to be won, now if they would only include a foreign driver with those cars won by women…

Read more:

Maktoob News

Clever controversy in advertisement?

ad

An advertisement campaign for  a snoring remedy, ”SnoreStop” has gained a lot of attention. Apparently because the ad shows a real life American soldier with a Muslim wife.

SnoreStop ”Be together”:

Is the ad controversial? Is it offensive? Fox talked about the ad on ”The Kelly File”:

One woman wrote that the mental state of her veteran husband with PTSD would be damaged by seeing the happy couple on the billboard.
If that is really true I suggest he remains safely locked up. In a nice place, with some trees, you know… But definitely locked up. There are more Muslim women walking around in America!

According to Fox, Florida and Texas have already said ”No” to the company in case they might want to show the billboards in these states.

The three people on the panel stated that they have no problem with the ad itself, but they do with the woman wearing niqaab on the billboard, as it being politicized and the face covering being suppressive, and it being a stereotyping of American Muslim women.

Megyn Kelly was upset because one of the billboards was on Time’s Square… some miles from ground zero!

Now I think the ad company is very clever, they are getting the kind of attention which normally only a huge outlay of money could procure. And I think that is why they choose to use a picture with the woman wearing a niqab, instead of a hijab on the billboards. On the ”The making off” video, you see some glimpses of the woman in different styles of hijab, pink top with white hijab, a pink hijab, purple hijab with black abaya and niqab, and in the video she is wearing a business type of suit and matching hijab. I think they went for he most severe style to shock people and get attention. They say they hope it will make people start talking about diversity. Of course, not just the product. Ahum.

The spokes person for SnoreStop ”There’s couples like these which do exist”:

The ad company’s video on ”the making of” the billboard:

Read more:

Mediaite

Old Mecca and the kaaba

Very little is left of the ancient city that is Mecca, and more is making way for modern buildings every year. Mecca used to be like a romantic dream city, full of beautiful elegant buildings.

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Far fewer people could make the actual journey to Mecca, so the area around the Kaaba was much smaller.

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Flash floods occurred from time to time, about every two years

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The Gold embroidered black cloth, Kiswa, which drapes the Kaaba is renewed every year,

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The kiswa used to be made in Egypt,

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The kiswa on a photo from the early 20th century, in front the crescent shaped wall, the hateem

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