Want to Die Young? Be a Woman in Saudi Arabia

get-fat-free-get-healthyOkay, now that the title has captured your attention, as you might have guessed I am being a tad sarcastic. I had read the article that “Saudi Women Face Gyms Ban” and it raised my ire. You see, this article advises that private sports clubs and gyms for women may be shut down in Saudi Arabia because the government is only authorized to provide licenses for men’s establishments only in this regard. If that is not bad enough, to add further fuel to the fire, some leading Saudi clerics have described female fitness centers as “shameless” and an opportunity for women to abandon their husband and children! Saudi women are not meant to exercise.

Not all Saudi women are taking this edict laying down thankfully. A group of Saudi women launched a campaign opposing this ruling called “Let Her Get FAT.”

Too many Saudi girls have little to know opportunity for exercise at school. Many of the government schools do not have physical fitness (PE) for girls. Then at their homes the sedentary life continues. As a result, too many Saudi females grow up as sedentary beings which of course plays a major role on their health and lifestyle.

Saudi women are more prone to osteoporosis, high percentage of cancers, anemia, and seem to encounter the worse menstrual cramps and pains that I have ever observed. All of these to a degree are impacted by the lack of exercise and now for the few women who realize how important it is to be able to exercise, that opportunity may be taken away.

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102 Responses

  1. There is an expression in medicine for people who continue to smoke 3 packs a day AFTER the aortic graft, or gain 30 lbs AFTER becoming diabetic, and it is a “slow suicide”. In this situation, while not intended I’m sure, this type of thinking and action results in a “slow homicide”. And then given the negative impact of a sedentary lifestyle on mental health perhaps it is also a “slow assisted (or forced) suicide”.

  2. Maddening. :(

  3. Well, I am in the gym everyday for at least an hour. I must say when I heard about this 2 days ago, I was very mad & disgusted!!!! This is a human right violation. I hope something can be done about this.

  4. Carol, it’s soooo good that you posted this. Physical fitness has become a passion of mine, esp within the world of Muslim women. Everytime I put on my hijab and go out for a run I think of all the Muslim women in the world who would probably face certain DEATH for attempting such a “shameless” act of excercise. THOSE women are my motivation to rise above when I find myself thinking “Jeez, I probably just look silly running around in my scarf and long tops”. But when I think of Taliban-esque ***holes who want women to whittle away their whole lives in rooms without windows and excercise…..I swear, that pushes me even further.

    Why in the hell do men get so weirded out with the idea of their wives excercising?

    Wait, I think I have the answer: Fitness=Empowerment.

    And judging from the previous post about all the Saudi men with “soft hands” it seems it wouldn’t take much to get the upper hand against these guys.

    Such insecurity!

    Yuck.

  5. we had music classes at school too, they made them cancel those as well..
    along with the ballet classes, the gymnastic classes, the swimming classes…
    i went to a private school, but they still had power over them..

  6. Yet another senseless ban aimed solely at women here in this country.
    I linked this post to mine:

    http://susiesbigadventure.blogspot.com/2009/04/saudi-arabia-wastes-its-biggest-natural.html

  7. This is such a serious public health issue. The lack of sunshine from both the covering and fear of any darkening of skin is a major cause of osteoporosis–sunlight is essential to mental and physical health. Obesity and diabetes are rampant in the Middle East–30% of the population. This is equivalent to homicide–but then who needs women once they are over 30.

  8. @sabiwabi – mabrook to you for pushing yourself on those days when you
    don’t feel like taking that morning run! When I first came to Saudi
    after being accustomed to daily work outs at a gym and/or a run or
    brisk walk and then finding these practices cut off, I was in major
    withdrawal and not a happy or fun camper to be around. I started
    relying on exercise videos but to this day still miss those
    opportunities just being out for a brisk walk feeling the sun and
    breeze on ones face!

    Women can and do go out for walks and usually they are fully veiled
    and covered. And not suprisingly the most popular area where women
    like to go and walk along King Abdullah road in Riyadh has also become
    a popular place where young guys will go to check out the women who
    are out walking!

  9. @Asmaa – thanks for sharing but please I’d like to hear more…what
    were the reasons given for the cancellations? What grade? What ages?
    How sad.

  10. @sirius – I have written so many past posts about the detriment to
    women of lack of exercise, lack of natural sunlight, the impact of the
    Saudi female who prefers the nocturnal society…and sadly the men
    seem to further perpetuate these practices, particularly with this
    latest ban on female gyms and fitness centers. However I have no
    doubt that enterprising women will find a work around to be able to
    run a gym….it just won’t be called a gym or fitness center.

  11. to let others knows the truth:
    First:
    the government closed the unlicensed women health clubs because they caught a prostitute at one of the unlicensed clubs.
    That was the real cause. The government didn’t close all the clubs.
    Second:
    There is a law in the country; people must follow it if they want to have their business ongoing. The law requires all the private women health clubs to work under private health organizations and under their supervisions. I mean here private hospitals, specialized clinics and so on.

    Women are encouraged to go to licensed health clubs and practice their hobbies freely under the supervison of certified specialists and health doctors.

    Saudi Government is planning to have PE classes in schools soons.
    I heard Saudi men are intiating a new campaign opposing Saudi women campaign calling it

    ” let her stay at her family house” ” that was a joke”
    everyone wants to marry and have a healthy wife, sister, mother and relative but not everyone wants to read half of the story !!

    wish you good luck and if your husband is a doctor or has a private hospital, you have the right to owen and run a wemen health club.

  12. @suliman – can you please expand on this alleged prostitute being
    caught/apprehended at a women’s health club. I mean, who would she
    have been trying to solicit – other women? And why would a prostitute
    be the catalyst resulting in fitness centers closing rather than
    action against an individual -if- that person were engaged in unlawful
    acts? Who or what is the source of this information?

    And the media having such quotes that “Islamic clerics do not believe
    fitness centers are appropriate venues for women” is a disturbing
    statement.

    I do sense you are trying to add some explanation and appreciate that.

  13. Wow! Carol…how did you get my “before and after” pic…lol.

    Ive often wondered what is this deep seated fear some men have over women doing anything…and I seriously mean anything? From childhood to old age women are told over and over again what they “cant” do based merely on what men feel is “right and proper” for them. Men also have the nerve to throw God into the mix by seeming to know what God would find appropriate or shameful when it comes to women as well.

    Because we have breasts and a vagina we are “walking fitna”…and yet the world is headed for destruction and its not because women have the nerve to want to drive, exercise..or be treated like human beings with autonomy….men should worry more about what God finds appropriate or shameful in regards to their behavoir instead of trying to police women so much.

  14. @coolred – your comments always make me smile and nod my head!

  15. So a prostitute wants to look good too…whas the big deal. :mrgreen:

    Why dont the clerics go after the customers that are demanding prostitution be available in the Kingdom in the first place…

  16. This is really sad.Don’t even know what to say.This monsters must really hate their women and they always come up with lame excuses for destroying women in this place.I really feel bad about this cause we are dealing with health issues here.I just remember how women in South Africa had to fight for their rights,They had to walk naked to the parliament,some of them died,some imprisoned,but they had to fight with everything they had.to Saudi women,they are killing you in every way.atleast the stupid does’nt involve the compounds,cause i can’t even do four days without exercising.

  17. I can’t even believe what I’m reading. This is just too silly. There are streets in Jeddah that are said to be full of prostitutes…and yet they go after the ONE at a fitness center? Ha Ha Ha Did she tell someone’s wife that she’s sleeping with her husband or what???And who are the men that go to these prostitutes?

    Don’t you think that the other women in the center would inform the others what this woman is up to? I mean, give me a break. Saudi women would never put up with this. And are they sure that it’s true? Backbiting is worse than fornication in Islam. I think that those throwing the accusations should be sure of what they’re saying. Women in this country can be made to look guilty easily.

  18. Coolred you are one funny soul,and you sound like a very strong woman.

  19. Well, what I can say is there has to be a reasonable explanation for all of this… NOT!

    I’ve been livin here for 25 years now, and something like this would be labled as least suprising.

    DD

  20. you can’t see the advantages of this legislation until they apply it ;) .whether they – any oppose women or men – against or with this legislation, it is going to happen ……….unfortunately.

  21. I love the improbable stories given out when asked ‘why’. How would you know a particular woman in an exercise club was a prositute? Would that matter anyway, should’t prostitutes have the right to get legal exercise?

    We live in an age of mechanization, we don’t do the same chores or grandparents or great grandparents did. We need to get the exercise somewhere.

  22. I think the real issue here is that said prostitute was working out when she should have been with whatever prince, religious policeman, or other notable had her booked for that time slot.

    The solution so “Mr Wasta” doesnt have his prostitute abscound on him again? Shut down the gym.

    It is just as likely of an explaination in a place like Saudi as is anything else! }:>)

  23. AbuSinan! ROTFL!

    I wish one the the real creeps here would explain what the hell scares men about women?
    I mean, apart from me, most women are naturally sweet, caring, friendly and accomodating. What the hell is there to scare men só much that they make up nonsense about women being too emotional to:
    -drive
    -make decisions
    -study
    -work out
    -do anything at all???????

  24. The high precentage of cancer probably has to do more with the Gulf war rather than the lack of excercise. I’m not so sure about them closing all the health clubs that would be hard for them to do because most health clubs aren’t licensed (cheaper) and are ran through someone’s house. Most the gals I know that go to health clubs just go there for a few months to lose pounds for an upcoming event and then they give it up all together and put twice the weight on … Which has more to do with why my Saudi sistaz are ditching health clubs for other places. I mean why pay a fee when you can excercise in the: park, by the beach, at home, around the block, and let’s not forget about shopping (you burn a lot of calories doing that ;) Yes, we do have those places I listed above, and it isn’t against the law. Infact, you could see people (SAUDIS!OMG!) breaking a sweat with their friends, husbands, mos, ..etc.(if in public, with their abaya on) Not all gals find the abaya hard to deal with, you know. From all that dancing they do in gatherings, they aren’t about to get fat soon :P Ma sha’a Allah. toof toof toof. It’s nice to hear that they are planning to have PE in all schools now… Good luck with that xD. They tried oh so hard with us, we ditched the gym teacher and went to get food from the canteen LOL. Good ol’ days. (to whomever is reading, I’m not suggesting all saudis are as lazy as my fellaz n I)

  25. Ironic that after reading this I felt guilty about getting pissy with Gold’s Gym about my membership….(they are really ripping me off, but whatever.)

    I find this shocking to an extreme not because the government wants to restrict the “privileges” of its female population but just the sheer stupidity of the decision on a whole. I’m probably going to draw some fire for saying this– but when is this line between religion and public policy going to be erased? I know the difficulty here with Islam is due to the fact that life inextricably linked with religious observances and to alter anything about it is haram–but common folks 2000 years later and these bronze age mentalities and practices must find a way to change to accommodate 21st century lives.

  26. The only good thing they are for is swimming in the pool. But then again, you’ve got zara3ah or shaleih for that.

  27. Suliman

    First off, where are you getting your information from? In the article that Carol linked to there is NOTHING said about a hooker being the cause of the closures. Ans even if there WAS a prostitute in an ALL FEMALE HEALTH CLUB….IT WAS STILL IN AN ALL FEMALE CLUB! The chances that she was screwing a man in there is highly unlikely.

    I can just picture the conversation:

    The John: “Hey hooker, Here’s $100…so, where should we go?”

    Prostitute: “Well yeah, there is this great ALL FEMALE HEALTH CLUB, I am sure nobody will even notice us having sex in an ALL FEMALE, SAUDI ARABIAN FITNESS CENTER. It’s just the PERFECT place.

    Seriously, I think that the Saudi gov’t has a stash of hookers to plant anywhere and any place at anytime. Oh, look! The women are getting to physically fit….quick, call ‘plant-a-hooker’! Next thing you’ll hear about is women giving BJ’s in the voting booths. OOPS, THERE GOES THEIR RIGHT TO VOTE!!!

    Damn hookers always having to spoil the progress of women!

    (sorry if I was a little crass here… but I haven’t had my coffee yet)

  28. one of the first things i did when i moved to the usa was join a gym!! I love it. And yes, there are males and females there. So far, no orgies.

    Carol, you might add that saudi men are not fit as well. So many smoke, drink and eat waaaaaay too much.

    When i go home I cannot believe the misinformation about weight loss and fitness. Due to the lack of things to do, our big social times revolve around eating massive amounts of food. Frankly, i can’t stand parties – all the aunties are eating and all the young’uns are smoking so they don’t eat. It’s disgusting.

  29. This is not true
    I practice sports every day and currently the university( where i study ) establish a special place for students to exercise and there are special clubs for women only, and only trained women (I always go to one since 3 years) As for schools, we do not actually practice the Sport

  30. If I miss a few days of excercise I go crazy. The gym I go to is packed and I have to wait forever to use anything but a least it is something. I cannot imagine
    living without excersise.

  31. the funny is we are eleven friends
    ( girls) nine of us go to shopping and I and one other go to the club sports
    What I mean is that it is up to the awareness of that girl

  32. “sirius, on April 29th, 2009 at 6:21 am Said:

    This is such a serious public health issue. The lack of sunshine from both the covering and fear of any darkening of skin is a major cause of osteoporosis–sunlight is essential to mental and physical health. Obesity and diabetes are rampant in the Middle East–30% of the population. This is equivalent to homicide–but then who needs women once they are over 30.”

    Women is Saudi and other places where they are covered and/or never get sun MUST take Vitamin D supplements. They should take at least 2000 mg. New studies say this is mandatory and even more important than calcium for bone density and many other things. Lack of V. D affects the immune system also.
    I won’t get onto the subject of bread and white flour, copious amounts of soft drinks, sugary foods, etc, etc that can and does cause diabetes and heart disease.
    Add to all this a lack of exercise ……

  33. Suliman, How come you know so much about the ‘real’ cause of the closure?

    And if your logic were correct, they’d have to close every restaurant, hotel, pool, shopping mall, and grocery store that these women frequent as well.

    Men need to start blaming the real problem..other MEN!

    And with the misyar business supposedly booming in this country, why wouldn’t the women just get married?

  34. Make a home gym

  35. Wendy–even though Vitamin D can be converted in the liver many precursor steps are missed from the natural way it is converted by sun on skin. Post WW ll reductionism has not contributed to our health. And although low levels of Vitamin D are definitely related to increased cancer, Vitamin D supplementation has not yet proved to decrease the risk of that cancer. Vit. D could possibly be a surrogate marker–however, yes if women will not or cannot convert Vit. D the natural sunny way I think they should supplement.
    I guess I always wish people would eat well, exercise and not assume a pill will save them from all their bad habits!
    (like people who eat plates full of red meat and then take then take their statin!)

    Mimi–As a matter of fact, there is a very strong link between obesity and a large number of cancers. As well as type two diabetes and cancer and as well as lack of sunlight and cancer (minus skin cancer). Also the cancer and diabetes risk is increased because family intermarrying (too many cousins marrying cousins). I think more than the Gulf War the insane amount of pesticides will cause incredible cancer. Pesticide fogs, sprays, pesticides poured down drains directly into the sea. Buildings immersed in pesticides that have long been banned elsewhere in the world.

  36. Looking at statistics, I would say that Saudi women will not die young, but given the amount of money in the country one wonders why the people of KSA aren’t as healthy as those in Costa Rica?

    http://www.who.int/countries/cri/en/

    Total population: 4,399,000

    Gross national income per capita (PPP international $): 9,220

    Life expectancy at birth m/f (years): 76/80

    Healthy life expectancy at birth m/f (years, 2003): 65/69
    Probability of dying under five (per 1 000 live births): 12

    http://www.who.int/countries/sau/en/

    Total population: 24,175,000

    Gross national income per capita (PPP international $): 22,300

    Life expectancy at birth m/f (years): 68/73

    Healthy life expectancy at birth m/f (years, 2003): 60/63

    Probability of dying under five (per 1 000 live births): 26

  37. A couple of recent articles on Vit. D.

    http://www.thepeterboroughexaminer.com/ArticleDisplay.aspx?e=1544861

    http://www.cbc.ca/health/story/2008/05/16/f-health-vitamin-d.html

    Of course mega years ago when our ozone layer wasn’t being depleted it was safe to be outdoors without sunscreen. Now it is not so we are not so if we are using sunscreen we are not getting the D that we need.

    I agree that your Gulf War has caused/is causing major health problems. Environmental issues have long been overlooked because (IMHO) companies who produce the chemicals paid big time to keep the facts hidden.

  38. I’m not denying that obesity is linked to cancer, I just thought that there are other serious things as well that are a major cause of cancer. I mean, cancer is on the rise fee deirtna and no one can tell me exactly why that is. As for vitamin D and the sun, you could put sunblocks on and go in the sun but be aware that sunblocks can cause a more serious but rare form of skin cancer than that caused by the sun. And being covered up is not an excuse here, most of us know what a 7osh is… we might as well use it. I agree, many don’t want to get a tan and many simply dislike the heat and prefer to go out at night. All in all, the case of vitamin D, sunblocks, sun exposure, and supplements has more to do with the individual’s choice because there are so many things to weigh. It is also a known fact that the lack of vitamin D can trigger other kinds of cancer ( a bit complicated). Things are not as uniform as we’d wish they were. Anyway, if we are talking about excercise, there are many ways to get going; if we’re talking about the unfairness of the situation, it is indeed unfair to have health clubs for males only. I’m in no way arguing that :)

  39. There is prostitution not far from the Grand Mosque in Mecca. As a matter of fact, people used to brew alcohol in the tunnels underneath the Grand Mosque. Are they going to close it?

    Anyway, maybe the Saudi men were worried that the Saudi women were going to get into shape and look better than them? Opps, sorry to tell you Saudi guys, it is too late. Saudi women are naturally better looking than you and that is from birth so there is nothing you can do about it!

    Maybe they were worried that there were virgins at the gym who might injure their hymen and “spread fitna” because their future husbands might suspect they had married a “Sharmoota”(slut)?

    The TRUTH is that this, along with 99% of the ills of Saudi society can be directly traced back to the very poor self esteem and self image of the Saudi male. It all goes back to their ego and all of this nonsense is done to help protect it.

    There is one way to fix it, Saudi males need to become men and not spoiled, hurt and insecure little boys.

    Not all Saudi males are like this………..but a very large majority.

  40. Lack of exercise contributes to a multitude of physical and mental ills, including cancer whichis such a broad category of disorders with such a broad range of severity and outcomes that it would be hard to deal with all of them here.

    Hopefully Saudi women will find alternate ways to modify their diet, and establish an exercise regimen–maybe “music appreciation” get togethers in the home for a little “dancercise”, rather like those covert reading groups in Iran and Afghanistan ( a broad and flawed analogy, I know, but sufficiently apt).

  41. @ abu Sinan
    Easy on the boys there fella….ksroo 5a6ry :( 7ram

    Chiara, yup yup dancercises are the best. If you can’t dance, be prepared to be laughed at. I wonder if Fifi Abdo gives private lessons. There are people out there who could surely use some *whistles*.

  42. Mimi Ameer–thank you for introducing me to Fifi Abdo/ Abdou/ Abdu and her form of dancercise. I must say the spelling you chose emphasized the impact on the abdo-minal muscles. And did you intend the whistles to be “wolf whistles” to women with the somewhat canine name Fifi (a frequent name for a French poodle)? No matter, it was all very apropos and humorous! :D :D
    BTW I know many women Arab/Muslim and non who take up “belly dancing” as a form of dancercise especially postpartum. :)

  43. Dancercise? But music is HARAM!

  44. Abu Sinan, you are a Muslim, how could you start your comments with an Ignorant generalizing stereotypes phrases about your brothers. Anyway, It is all recorded and you will read it on the judgment day so be careful next time. Being a Muslim, you suppose to be an ambassador of Islam and Muslims to whom read your comments.

  45. @mimi – thanks for sharing! (smile)

    I hope my favorite gym will not be getting closed. It is within a spa
    and such a relaxing and fun place to go with aerobics, yoga, pilates
    and much more.

    I have noticed that many of the single Saudi women will stay in good
    shape and be watchful of their weight and appearance. On the other
    hand I see a lot of married Saudi women who seem to have let
    themselves go (weight wise but not appearance wise) after marriage.
    ):

  46. Firebrand – generally I am an optimist but I do not see a separation
    between religion and public policy happening in Saudi Arabia.
    Religion is simply part of the life and culture and customs and
    traditions of a Saudi whether he or she is in the Kingdom or not.

  47. @mariam – you are so correct that there are misperceptions on exercise
    and how to exercise among both men and women. At least though the
    mens gyms which I have seen which have the big windows do always seem
    to be pretty full of guys working out. The gym in my all-Saudi
    compound is empty most of the time. It’s a real shame as the ladies
    gym even has a fitness instructor/trainer full time but who spends
    much of her time reading a book or watching tv. Whenever I have gone
    to the gym there it is great like I have my very own exclusive
    personal trainer. We do aerobics and exercises together. She has
    shared with me how too few of the Saudi women will come or as been
    mentioned by someone else earlier, the Saudi women will come for a few
    sessions to try and lose some weight fast if they have an event coming
    up.

    A Saudi family member had a beautiful experience today. When in the
    States he would go to a gym and enjoyed it although he has always
    worked out by himself. While at the hospital, as able, all patients
    are required to go to exercise classes so it was a wonderful ‘group
    exercise’ experience and a first for him exercising in a mixed group
    and of all ages. This is a practice I wish could be adapted into the
    Saudi culture but fear it would not be anytime soon.

  48. المسلم من سلم المسلمون من لسانه ويده

    The Muslim is whom other left be in peace from his tongue and hand.

    فتح الباري بشرح صحيح البخاري

    http://hadith.al-islam.com/Display/Display.asp?Doc=0&Rec=17

  49. The Muslim is whom others be in peace from his tongue and hand.

    this is my personal Translation from the original Arabic

  50. Saudi Bedu–an excellent quote. If I may suggest an edit for style:
    The Muslim is he who leaves others in peace, both from his tongue, and from his hand.

  51. Are women allowed to workout at home?

  52. The high percentage of those cramps is all OVER the muslim world. And it produces infertility and everything else. It is related to the diet, drinking loads of tea with sugar, and zero exercise.

    When I ate solely Turkish food for two years, I had te worst cramps and 10 day periods. When I went back to my American diet and exercise, I was fine and back to 6 day periods.

    LOVE this blog! First time commenter. Been blurking forever!

  53. […] Continued here:  Want to Die Young? Be the Woman in Saudi Arabia « American Bedu […]

  54. Lynn–debatable, but definitely not if you sing, or are sung to! :D

    Aamer–only if their mahrem lets them! :P

  55. @Aamer – of course women can work from home if they choose and are
    able to do so. But many times women (and men) will work out better in
    groups which give each other energy and encouragements. Many fitness
    centers encourage a woman to bring a friend who in turn becomes the
    workout partner. They encourage each other as well as make an
    obligation for each other to be reliable and available for working
    out. Whereas a woman attempting to work out from home or just going
    to a gym by herself may not have the same level of motivation.

  56. @Lisa – Thank you for coming out of blurking!

    Yes….the lack of activity coupled with poor diet is a big pet peeve of mine!

  57. @Saudi Bedu,

    Why is it when confronted with uncomfortable truths often people choose not to answer the questions, rather dodge them?

    Sorry, but I can only speak of my experiences with most Saudi males. Lying will hardly see me better off on the Last Day now will it?

    It is my experience that Saudi men are often self serving, have very low self esteem and create a society around them to cater to these personal failings.

    I fail to see how you can want me to be positive about Saudi males, when universally my experience with them has been very negative! How do you deal with it? You turn around and add more fuel to the fire.

    Carols latest post about wasta goes a long way to explaining why things are so messed up.

    For me, one of the main reason I converted to Islam was the thirst for justice that I felt in the religion and from it’s prophet. I wont shut up for you or anyone else. But thanks for trying!

    Instead of trying to get people to shut up and forget about major failings in your own society, instead why not try and do something about it? Unless of course, your societies failings are yours as well?

  58. -“Why is it when confronted with uncomfortable truths often people choose not to answer the questions, rather dodge them?” <————( no one take whether it is truth or not but there is a ways as a Muslim to communicate your idea despite whether your have one or not )

    Sorry, but I can only speak of my experiences with most Saudi males. Lying will hardly see me better off on the Last Day now will it? <————— ( let’s not talk about the world experience with American in the end no one divine or perfect, and If I said all American are evil you are the first one who will say “not All”

    It is my experience that Saudi men are often self serving, have very low self esteem and create a society around them to cater to these personal failings. <——————– are you serious! are you going to bear this on the judgment day. If someone reading this will realize that you have an issue with Saudis.

    I fail to see how you can want me to be positive about Saudi males, when universally my experience with them has been very negative! How do you deal with it? You turn around and add more fuel to the fire. <—————- why are you saying “Saudi Male” is it because the woman in here or because your wife is a Saudi, now you are attacking the Saudi male. Anyway, my experience with American woman is good and my experience with American males is bad as it now with you, so should I say all the American “male” are bad and bear all that on the judgment day.

    Let me ask you how many Saudi you did met? 100 , 1000, 10 000, so do they represent the 25 000 000 Saudis

    can you see my point now

    Instead of trying to get people to shut up and forget about major failings in your own society, instead why not try and do something about it? Unless of course, your societies failings are yours as well? <—————- as I told you what made you think that what made me tell you what I did say, you are thinking too much of others people intentions just take my words at it is. If you were really want to help your brother – me – was it hard to tell me something productive. Tell me what do you want when you generalize things to cover the Saudis , sorry the Saudi males, do you know that there is a Saudi females who had the same principles or mentality as others would describe it, do they on your list.

    I promised myself that I won’t judge others based on my experiences hence I stopped the unproductive arguing so I hope you do the same.

    Anyway, what ever you say about me and my people, may Allah forgive you because I forgive you and I was happy when I knew that you are Muslim while I know that you were married to Saudi, as well as, respected you through your comments and still therefore If you saw one of my comment criticizing you, It will be because you are a Muslim that’s all as well as it doesn’t mean that all your comments are bad, no! still there is many comment I do agree with you.

    I am not collapsing here as my other understand and I hope you won’t. Everyone can be an asshole easily, but to be empathic and forgiving it is hard, with limits of course.

  59. @Saudi Bedu,

    I have never said I dont have an issue with Saudis, especially Saudi males and the Saudi government.

    What SHOULD be more important to you, as a Saudi, is that I didnt used to be like this. I entered my experience with Saudis and the Saudi government completely neutral.

    It is after years and years of dealing with the Saudi government and Saudi men that I reached the conclusions that I have. You can sit here and point to America all you want, it is a very nice way to AVOID responsibility for what I view as almost a failed state and failed society that you have in Saudi.

    I never said ALL Saudi males have these issues, just most of them. So when you say I have said “all Saudi males” you are lying, and I guess I could take the route you have and threaten you with punishment from God for your lie, but that tactic is rightly seen for the nonsense that it is.

    It is interesting to note that you do not even know the population of your own country, which you put at 25 million, but is actually 27 million, but I guess that is besides the point.

    You say I am wrong to judge Saudi men the way I do. I would ask you, what SHOULD I base my judgement on Saudi men on if not my interactions with Saudi males, and the Saudi Embassy here, the representitives of the Saudi nation in America?

    You promised yourself you wouldnt judge others based on your experiences? Are you serious? What ARE you going to judge them on? Newspaper reports? Anyone’s feelings, CAN and SHOULD be based on what they have experience personally, what the people closest to them have experienced, and then the information that they can gather.

    Based on all of these things my criticism of Saudi and Saudi males stand. Of course it isnt all Saudi males, I have met a few that are pretty decent fellows. They, sadly enough, tend to be the exception to the rule.

    You write “Everyone can be an asshole easily”. I am glad you have admitted one of your own faults at least.

    I have nothing to be sorry for, nothing to ask forgiveness for, at least not on this subject.

    The more I deal with Muslims the more I realise, like one local Imam said in his Khutba, that I came to Islam because of God and DESPITE the Muslim community, not because of it.

    As Bernard-Shaw once said, “Islam is the best religion, it just has the worst followers”.

    Ameen.

  60. I’m not intending to sound discourteous, but have you ever asked yourself AbuSinan why you in particular are not given one of your rights which is having your marriage recognized by the Saudi gov. Is there anything you’ve done that made the person(or persons) who are in charge of processing the application for Saudi/non-Saudi intermarriages to put you in their minds. I’m just here speculating, and I point no finger to you. I’m just trying to think for you out loud.

    There are other non-Saudis men who are married to Saudi women, and there marriage is approved by the Saudi gov. I personally, know a Saudi woman who is married to an American, and their marriage is recognized. We see her once every year with her husband and child in KSA. Believe me, I know this person, and I assure you that she has no “wasta” I have no idea how long it took her to have her marriage recognized, but for sure it wasn’t for many years, because the woman and her husband were both in KSA before having their 1st child.

    If it’s something on my hand, I’ll for sure will be willing to help you and have your marriage recognized (with nothing, nothing at all in return)

    I’ll share with you a story that might show you how some people think and act. I know a guy who studied in the same univ I was studying in. There is a certain course taught by only one prof. This guy failed this course the first time he took it. It was his first “F” and he didn’t know why he got F. He went to the prof, and talked with him. The prof told him, you’ll never pass this course, and the prof shut the door on his face. Being shocked and perplexed of what happened to him, the guy left the univ, and he took the course the next semester. Again he got “F” he took this course 4 times, yes 4 times he took this course, and each time he got F. Finally he fed up, and went to Makkah and performed Omra. He prayed and supplicated to Allah of the injustice of this prof. That was during summer.

    Then the new semester began, and of course, he had to take the course for the 5th time since he cannot graduate without taking this course. This time the prof was different. The news came that this prof (who gave this guy F four times) was killed while he was abroad. People entered his flat, stole everything, and stabbed him with a knife. His wife and his daughters were there, but they did nothing to them.

    I’d not believe this story BTW, if I don’t know both the student and the prof. Do you know why he failed him 4 times? It had nothing to do with the student himself. It happened that more than 20 years ago (before that guy who took F’s was born) the prof and the father had a fight between them.

    How did this guy know? The guy was so depressed, and after he took the 4th F, he went to the prof to talk with him, and to tell him “haram alik” why you are failing me each time!! The prof replied, since your father is … you’ll never graduate from the univ even if you spent 20 years in this univ. The guy told him, I’m going to Makkah and I’ll pray to Allah “eno yakhod haqi menk” the prof replied saying, Go to Makkah, go to any place you want, you’ll never pass my course.

    So after taking the course 4 times, the guy knew why he were getting F each semester.

    that is the End… I know this story is not really related to your problem, but I thought to share since you can know how some people think. Also there maybe a reason, that you are not aware of, so think of the matter again, and try to approach things differently (hopefully things will work for you better) I wish you all the best in your endeavors. Allah ma’ak

    Back to the health clubs for women: I’m sorry but it seems there is over exaggeration in how some people perceived the matter. They cannot close down all health clubs. Some of them already have licenses, and the only problem are with those who got a license for beauty salons or so , and then open a gym in it. 3 of my female relative go to 3 diff health club for women, and they told me that still they are working, and no one at the health club mentioned to them that they are threatened to be closed. So I’m not sure whether to believe what is mentioned here, or to believe those who work in some of those health clubs for women ..

    BTW, I don’t want to die young, and I don’t want any of my family to die young too :)

    A quick advise to you, SB: please try to avoid using disrespected words (such as a..h… in a respected places and with respected readers. You can practice English to your heart’s content without necessarily using such words.

    P.S. sorry for the long comment AmericanBedu :)

  61. Khalid,

    It is about luck of the draw sometimes, other times it is about wasta. The real problem is that there is no set procedure in place so you can know where the process is.

    I have seen it all over the place. I know one Saudi lady married to an American, she lives here in the DC area. She comes from a well known family with wasta and the marriage was recognised quickly, never mind the fact that the guy converted to marry her, wasnt a Muslim before he met her, and speaks not a word of Arabic.

    I know another guy married to a Saudi lady. He is a PhD and is a professor at a University here in the USA. His wife is from a well known religious family, it took them six years to get their marriage recognised, even with the wasta.

    My SIL married an Egypt, still not a Saudi but not Western, and my father in law was able to walk into the Prince’s office at the Embassy here and it was taken care of in five minutes.

    Unlike a professional and rational government process, there is no tracking number to the request, no way to follow it up, no standard procedure to find out where it is in the process, what more you need to do. It is really a nightmare of inefficiency.

    Anyways, I realise that being as outspoken as I have been on the subject that our chances are probably minimal of getting our marriage recognised.

    Of course freedom of speech is not valued nor recognised, but more importantly what bothers us is that the Saudi government basically puts it’s laws over God’s. We are married in Islam and according to Islamic law. What right do they have to make haram what God Himself has made Halal?

    It’s not like we want to move to Saudi to live, it’s not like I am trying to steal my wife’s non existent fortune. We simply want to be able to travel to Saudi to visit family and do Hajj together.

  62. @Khalid and Abu Sinan I just added a story to the Nicest Saudi blog–
    You both are such delightful gentlemen and I appreciate Khalid’s reminder to SB.
    Now about women’s health–It has been shown if the significant male in a woman’s life is supportive and positive and exercises (even walking) with her it is really he helps a woman stay on an exercise program and diet. Men can sometimes unconsciously sabotage a woman’s willpower by requesting unhealthy food for meals. Giving a woman delicious chocolate on Valentine’s day of course does not count as sabotage. ;)

  63. You would think that the amount of children Arabs (some, not ALL of them) tend to get, the women would get their exercise.

  64. Saudi Bedu–

    Instead of chastising Abu Sinan, perhaps you should consider why these stereotypes are prevalent? If one just rejects these observations, one does nothing to prevent the perpetuation of the stereotype (rather than feeding into it).

    If you haven’t noticed, being so defensive when no insult was directed toward you is a clear marker of insecurity and issues with one’s self esteem. Just leave it alone and don’t fight.

    And I won’t even start on the treatment of women in heavily patriarchal societies (for the mere fact that they are patriarchal).

    Carol– Great post.

  65. @Aamer,

    Your point would be valid if they chased after them all over the place but that doesnt seem to be the case. I didnt see that in the Middle East and there is a running joke amoungst the Arabs I know here in the Metro DC area. “If you see a large group of small children running around, crazy, loud with no parental supervision, they MUST be Arab children”.

    My wife even had to warn one of her Saudi friends about this when the lady moved here from Riyadh. My wife told her you cannot let your children run crazy here like you do back home…….kids are sometimes kidnapped here never to be seen again.

    @MayaNoor,

    Thanks. He complains about my comments about the low self esteem and insecurity of Saudi men……….by being insecure and showing low self esteem.

  66. @Abu Sinan–(and please people don’t take this wrong–I know many Arabs with beautifully behaved children!)
    When I had to live in a big hotel complex in Abu Dhabi for 2 months whole families would come into town to stay and shop–the children ran wild day and night around the whole hotel and the hotel staff was expected to look after them. There was absolutely no parental supervision–so the expats decided to design a trap and release, spay and neuter program for feral children called Hellion Friends. We had many enthusiastic volunteers but luckily I moved out of the hotel before the program was instituted. ;)

  67. @Abu Sinan:

    Where exactly did the brew alcohol in the tunnels under the grand mosque? The only tunnels there is the zamzam well?

    And seriously, ease up. You just basically called Saudi men “Ugly”, “Insecure” and “failures” and then wondered why Saudi Bedu was angry and then chastised him for getting a number slightly wrong when Saudi Arabia’s true population is always an estimate.Why? what did that fact serve to the discussion other than show you want to humiliate him? BTW, 5.5 million of the 27 million are expats so the true number is 22 million Saudis of which we can assume half are male so 11 million.

    Am I nitpicking too much?

    ————————

    Back to the discussion on the topic, it was decreed a couple of years back to institute PE classes in girls schools though I can’t recall when it would start.

    But even in boys schools there’s barely any PE. Just a single 30 minute session a week where we get to kick a football around. Sometimes schools wouldn’t even hire a PE teacher, just one of the other teachers would supervise us.

  68. I have never said I dont have an issue with Saudis, especially Saudi males and the Saudi government.

    What SHOULD be more important to you, as a Saudi, is that I didnt used to be like this. I entered my experience with Saudis and the Saudi government completely neutral.

    It is after years and years of dealing with the Saudi government and Saudi men that I reached the conclusions that I have. You can sit here and point to America all you want, it is a very nice way to AVOID responsibility for what I view as almost a failed state and failed society that you have in Saudi.<——————- well your government is responsible over this by protecting those who you call Saudis. As I said your concluison is pointless because it based on one man who had some Issue with the ” Saudis”.

    I never said ALL Saudi males have these issues, just most of them. So when you say I have said “all Saudi males” you are lying, and I guess I could take the route you have and threaten you with punishment from God for your lie, but that tactic is rightly seen for the nonsense that it is.<——- I didn’t say that you said all the saudis, but also you didn’t say some ot them , you just said the saudi males so you are labeling all the saudis if you didn’t specify. So I should held you countable of lying on me.in the last Alah knows what my inttentions was.

    It is interesting to note that you do not even know the population of your own country, which you put at 25 million, but is actually 27 million, but I guess that is besides the point.<—————- what is your population number now abu sinan without searching in google. My saudi population is 28,686,633 and 23,110,557 without the non-saudi nationals, but who is going to remmeber this number while it is change every year, I am sure if I asked all the american the majority won’t get the exact number, so why mentioning this AbuSinan ?

    You say I am wrong to judge Saudi men the way I do. I would ask you, what SHOULD I base my judgement on Saudi men on if not my interactions with Saudi males, and the Saudi Embassy here, the representitives of the Saudi nation in America?<————— resolve your issues without sticking the “Saudi males” in it, becasue you start saying the Saudi males, the saudi males……..you are repeating the same label.

    You promised yourself you wouldnt judge others based on your experiences? Are you serious? What ARE you going to judge them on? Newspaper reports? Anyone’s feelings, CAN and SHOULD be based on what they have experience personally, what the people closest to them have experienced, and then the information that they can gather.<———–again I promised myself I won’t judge other americans based on my experiance with you as an example.

    Based on all of these things my criticism of Saudi and Saudi males stand. Of course it isnt all Saudi males, I have met a few that are pretty decent fellows. They, sadly enough, tend to be the exception to the rule.<———-your understanding of how decent is based on your opinions and beleives, and realy you need to solve your issues with the ” saudi males “.

    You write “Everyone can be an asshole easily”. I am glad you have admitted one of your own faults at least.<———– really, are you sure you are out of your circle.

    I have nothing to be sorry for, nothing to ask forgiveness for, at least not on this subject.<——- I am sorry for your experiances

    The more I deal with Muslims the more I realise, like one local Imam said in his Khutba, that I came to Islam because of God and DESPITE the Muslim community, not because of it.<——– you are absolutly right, and I hope no one tal kto you before geting to know Islam, no offense

    As Bernard-Shaw once said, “Islam is the best religion, it just has the worst followers”.<—– I am not arguing on this as al saudis agree on that and that is the first thing islamic teachers told us about.

  69. @Aamer — but Aamer, most of the women have housemaids who tend to the children!

  70. @MayaNoor – glad you are enjoying the post!

  71. Susanne430 wrote: ‘maddening’.
    It is exactly that. Maddening. And there’s not much to say because at the end of the day it’ll just be talk, talk and some more talk. And that’s tiring, when we go about talking and forget the putting into practice of all those golden words.
    Nothing happens and nothing will continue to happen. It seems as if people are truly asleep and never want to wake up! And those who are awake are too weak to create any change!

    There is always hope though, that with time more people get educated and more people become aware of their social issues and with conscience on their side, start working on developing a better life for themselves, one with equal rights for both genders, equal education and work opportunities, and frankly, the list is endless.
    Hope. It’s certainly alluring.

  72. @ AB that wasn’t my point. My point was don’t they get enough exercise while working towards having children. (i am being a little indirect here)..

  73. Aamer–pre-conception or during labour and delivery? or did I misunderstand completely? :)

  74. pre conception.

    One other curioisty I had was, I know that working out for healthy body is not that popular in non-western country (Unless its for body building). is that still true or is the trend changing?

    cuz lot of people in that region still think that working out is for over weight people only.

  75. @Mohammed S,

    You are unaware there is a vast network of tunnels and rooms under the Grand Mosque? I guess you then also missed the siege of the Grand Mosque a few decades ago where a large amount of Sunni extremists (Saudi government tried to claim they were Shi’a) attempted to take over the Grand Mosque and many ended up getting trapped in these underground tunnels and rooms under it.

    Saudi forces, trained armed and backed by Western troops, then had to go room to room fighting the extremists to clear them out of the tunnels. I guess it is no surpise that not that much is known about this as the Saudi government has done A LOT to cover it up.

    Fortunately some information has gotten out, and I also had a Father in Law from Mecca who was in the Saudi military and a diplomate who made the story well known in the family.

    @Saudi Bedu,

    You seem to be completely happy to continue to be the poster child for why Saudi males are so disliked in the Muslim and non Muslim world. Enjoy!

  76. @Aamer, naturally when I go to a gym where one has to pay for
    membership I will see more serious Saudi women who do take pride in
    working out and keeping themselves in shape. But when you look at the
    country as a whole, it seems that this group is a very small minority
    overall.

  77. @Abu Sinan:

    I know about the seige but you still haven’t explained to me how they were brewing alcohol in these mystery tunnels of yours.

    Of course, you’re not relying on facts but rather “I heard from my father in law” and some anonymous diplomat.

  78. @Mohammed,

    My FIL was the diplomat, I dont know where you pulled the anonymous part from.

    As to facts, I’ll have to get the title of the book for you, but about a year ago I read a book by a historian about the siege of the Grand Mosque and the same statement was listed in that book that echoed what I have heard from other sources.

    Of course the Saudi government will never come out and say that alcohol was brewed beneath the Grand Mosque, but I dont see why you find that so hard to believe.

    Heroin, Hashish, prostitutes and alcohol are readily available yards from the Grand Mosque in Mecca, why is it so hard to believe that people looking to make alcohol and distribute it might not use the safety of the numerous tunnels under the Grand Mosque to do so?

    It makes perfect sense even if it certainly does offend our sensibilities as Muslims.

  79. Because you used the word “and’ there I thought you were talking about another person.

    And why is it hard to believe? Because it makes absolutely zero sense! What’s the benefit of building an illegal brewery in the holiest site of a religion that bans the use of drugs and alcohol and in a country that punishes trafficking with the death penalty? NOTHING! Illegal activities don’t go happening around areas with heavy police (both regular and religious) presence but rather in places much farther away or isolated.

    That’s like saying it makes perfect sense for rabbit to hide her young in a foxhole.

    And also, please don’t say outrageous things like how I can get a prostitute,hashish and alcohol right outside the grand mosque without giving a shred of proof to support this outlandish claim.

  80. On the subject of the female gyms, I’ve asked my mother about it and she had an interesting theory:

    The gyms being closed down (I think it was three at the time of writing) are not in hospitals that are not targeted. Women have been shying away from these gyms located in hospitals (called “health centers”) because of high prices (nearly 1000SR a month) and apparently because the people who own hospitals have a large degree of “wasta” so to speak they convinced the government to eliminate the competition.

    This echoes a recent decision that requires you to go through extra hoops to renew the istimara for your vehicle if it is older than 10 years old (protesters made a “let it get rusted!” campaign. nyuknyuk) because the car dealers were losing money to the used car market. We had to sell our 10 year old car.

    I loved that car and the adventures we went on it. :(

    Of course, this is just a theory and I’m not claiming it’s 100% true or anything.

  81. @Mohammad,

    You write ” What’s the benefit of building an illegal brewery in the holiest site of a religion that bans the use of drugs and alcohol and in a country that punishes trafficking with the death penalty?”

    The benefit is that the labrynth of tunnels and rooms under the Grand Mosque is huge, and exactly because of what you said. Who would look there for such illegal items.

    Such a location is actually the perfect place! Do you think the Saudi police wonder around the large sections of tunnels underneath the Grand Mosque? Nope…….that makes it the best place. Sometimes the fox hiding right underneath the nose of the fox is the best idea!

    If you think that nothing illegal happens in places with a heavy police presence it means you have never been in an area with a heavy police presence or you dont understand criminals.

    I will say that you can get hash, prostitutes and alcohol right outside the Grand Mosque, it is fact.

    I guess you missed the various reports of the drunk Saudi leading the Saudi police in a chase around the Grand Mosque a few years ago. Where do you think he got drunk? In Bahrain and drove to Mecca really quick? He actually crahed into the court yard of the mosque and injured four woshippers.

    Let me guess, the Arab News story below about it is unfounded propanda? Just because you havent heard about something doesnt mean it is false.

    http://www.arabnews.com/?page=1&section=0&article=81573&d=2&m=5&y=2006

  82. Abu Sinan

    Which book: Trofimov’s The Siege of Mecca or Wright’s The Looming Tower. Both are interesting in showing the relationship between the siege by fundamentalists and the Saudi government’s crackdown and institution of greater conservatism to appease their sympathizers.

    French special ops were converted by Saudi officials to be able to retake the Grand Mosque, BinLaden Group doing the renovations provided the architectural plans, and Osama’s half brother had helped the fundamentalist revolutionaries with equipment from his father’s company. “Miraculously” he largely escaped punishment. :mrgreen:

    Carmen bin Laden also dealt well with the topic, and the transformation of Saudi after 1979.

    I leave to Mohamed S to deal with the non-sequitur between one drunk driver driving around near the Grand Mosque and underground breweries. LOL :D :mrgreen:

  83. Aamer–pre-conception, then. Good, more fun, and more exercise given rates of conception as against the limited no. of labour and deliveries. :D
    Elsewhere in the Arab world the pattern you describe of waiting until health problems (eg. diabetes) require weight loss do seem to prevail for all. Hopefully there is change among the young.

  84. @chaira,

    Mohammed said that alcohol, drugs and the like were not to be found near the Grand Mosque. Unless the drunk man drove in from outside of Mecca, then clear Mohammed is wrong.

  85. Wouldnt be the first time police forces looked the other way when something illegal was going on right under their noses….thats where the word “kickback” comes from Im guessing.

  86. I find it ironic that women in Saudi are treated as if they’re invisible.

    If women who go to gym are viewed as “shameless”, how are they going to keep their husbands from marrying other women? It’s worse if their husbands refuse to buy them the necessary gym equipment!

  87. @Firdaus – it is very contradictory!!

  88. Abu Sinan

    Strictly as a question of logic, the “gentleman” in question could have purchased alcohol illegally from elsewhere in Saudi other than a Mecca- based under the Great Mosque tunnel brewery/distillery, in Jeddah for example (42 miles away), and drunk it when closer to Mecca, or kept drinking it while enroute, or he could have bought it in Bahrain, and not drunk it until closer to Mecca, or not drunk it again, until closer to Mecca.

    Back to books (more interesting): Trofimov’s “The Siege of Mecca” or Wright’s “The Looming Tower”? Which do you recommend?

  89. Abu Sinan–PS “home brew” LOL :D :mrgreen:

  90. Salam
    (( Hello ))
    sorry i was busy and i didn’ t expect your comment on my words. It was actually the second of third time for me posing a comment on a blog.

    this link support what i mentioned on my first post about closing the unlicensed women health clubs:

    http://www.daoo.org/news.php?action=show&id=6266

    You can see most of them were opned in an illegal way and under different licenses !!
    It also shows that the closing was not related to Mottawas at all.

    here is the other link which shows the women who was looking after ladies trying to hair and employ them for her illegal prostitution work.
    May be I didn’t use the correct word on my first comment and that because i am still learning English.

    http://www.alweeam.com/news/news-action-show-id-9294.htm

    The women ” Um Rami ” was paying young ladies who uses Health Clubs to go out with men and pay them up to 1200$.
    May be that women was the owner of that health club ? May be she didn’t give her real name to all her customers ?

    Anyone had lived or is living in Saudi right now, knows the real mess that we are in. As I said on my first comment, the government is trying to reform almost everything,, especially private businesses,, women health clubs are one of the things that need to be controlled and organized. A few months a go the government caught some women trying to emply Saudi wmen and engage them Illegal things ! and no one wants to see that again in the whole world.

    “Islamic clerics do not believe fitness centers are appropriate venues for women”
    I don’t believe everything i read that has no name on it !
    who said that ? where is the source ? name ? person, department ?

    As long as that statement was not produced by the General Presidency of Scholarly Reaserch and Ifta then it is not an offical one and the government of SADUI Arabia won’t apply it. That statement could be writen by one of the Saudi writers who have or had a problem with Saudi Mottawas. If you are a saudi newspaper reader then you know what i mean.
    There is a big war between some of the SAUDI JOURNALISTS, newspapers and General Presidency for the Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice.

    May be that was produced by someone who is seeking help form Human Rights for that issue and other issues as well !!

    I am not saying Saudi Clerics are perfect and don’t have mistakes, and they are not the ones who closed Women Health Clubs. There are clear evidences that are enough to exclude them from this issue.

    I am going to blame the Mottawas when i make sure that they are related to shutting down women health clubs and they are working hard to put obsticles for not reopening them.
    I am with Women on all their issues (especially driving, health clubs, having strong rights in saudi courts, having the option to get married to the one they want or like,,,,etc) , as long as their claims are not conflicting with Islam.

    Someone was asking: how come i know that much of information ?
    Reading newspapers is one of my hobbies. When I read something I like to see if it is on any other website or newspaper for several reasons, one of them is to know which one is faster, accurate, and copying from the other one.

    The good news is :
    There is a new plans for women health clubs, and there was an announcement by the Vice President-General of Youth Welfare about introducing PE classes in ladies schools:
    here is a link for someone was talking about that

    http://www.alwakad.net/inff/articles.php?action=show&id=2055

    It took the U.S almost 200 years to reach what it has today. U.S nation came from different parts of the world ; they were looking for a change and they had suffered till they reached what they have today !.

    Saudi is alomst 73 years ol.
    Most of the Saudis have dry culture, racism in tribes, and the fear of new ideas although most of the new ideas don’t have any conflict with Islam.

    Give us sometime people. No one was born educated.

    ** I know there are many mistakes in grammer and words usage. I am still learning English and your comments are welocme.
    Thanks for reading and allowing me to post SaudiBedu

  91. @suliman,

    Thanks for your response. You’re right…the Saudi press can often be
    so distorted and what makes it worse is that one inaccurate report
    will be published and then others pick it up and replicate it further
    perpetuating at times what is fact and what is fiction. That is why I
    like to follow articles from Caryle Murphy (Christian Science Monitor
    or Abu Dhabi’s “National” or Donna Abu Nasr as I know their articles
    are always well sourced and validated. Tariq Al-Meeana of Arab News
    also writes good articles well worth following.

  92. i’m a lebanese who married a saudi man and to be specific ,from al qassim,.
    i face and still am ,so many difficulties with him and his family.we met on the net and fell in love.my parents refused to let me marry him and they gave me so many convincing reasons.
    1-he was married and got divorced
    2-he is older than me
    3-saudi men especially in riyadh tend to have a more strict attitude
    4-he wanted me to live with his parents(which i did for only 2 years)
    5-i would have to wait for him until he comes back from work to take me out
    6-im a lebanese,we do not know how to stay in one place
    7-he lost his money in the stocks so they were not sure if he was able to afford a good living
    8-we do not dress the same way they do
    9-we r a free spirit-my parents did not want me to stay locked at home
    10-saudi people especially the sisters,really did not accept me in the family.we r always getting into fights.

    i am saying this because ive been there and all of this and much more happened to me.

    it is true that its a strict society in riyadh,but you have everything going on.dating,parties,drugs,lesbians,gays,women and children abuse……….saudi men who are not living abroad,cannot openly date though it does happen.they travel to lebanon to the states to morrocco,london.,syria in order to meet women and have fun(…………………….)
    saudi woman with no offence to anyone,tend to submit to their lives as prisoners in their houses,,,,,i repeat ,most of them and not all.
    he wants a woman with a point of view and a cause.he loves renewal.
    because saudi men are marrying forign women,the government is making the it harder day by day to give the approval.
    i have a daughter and she is obviously a saudi citizen.,so i am not trying to injure anyone in any way.

    im proud to be lebanese but im also proud of my saudi husband and saudi daughter.

  93. im sorry i posted this comment here.it was supposed to go on the WHY SAUDI MEN CHOOSE A NON SAUDI WIFE..BUT I COULDNT POST IT!!!

    SORRY AGAIN..

    i’m a lebanese who married a saudi man and to be specific ,from al qassim,.
    i face and still am ,so many difficulties with him and his family.we met on the net and fell in love.my parents refused to let me marry him and they gave me so many convincing reasons.
    1-he was married and got divorced
    2-he is older than me
    3-saudi men especially in riyadh tend to have a more strict attitude
    4-he wanted me to live with his parents(which i did for only 2 years)
    5-i would have to wait for him until he comes back from work to take me out
    6-im a lebanese,we do not know how to stay in one place
    7-he lost his money in the stocks so they were not sure if he was able to afford a good living
    8-we do not dress the same way they do
    9-we r a free spirit-my parents did not want me to stay locked at home
    10-saudi people especially the sisters,really did not accept me in the family.we r always getting into fights.

    i am saying this because ive been there and all of this and much more happened to me.

    it is true that its a strict society in riyadh,but you have everything going on.dating,parties,drugs,lesbians,gays,women and children abuse……….saudi men who are not living abroad,cannot openly date though it does happen.they travel to lebanon to the states to morrocco,london.,syria in order to meet women and have fun(…………………….)
    saudi woman with no offence to anyone,tend to submit to their lives as prisoners in their houses,,,,,i repeat ,most of them and not all.
    he wants a woman with a point of view and a cause.he loves renewal.
    because saudi men are marrying forign women,the government is making the it harder day by day to give the approval.
    i have a daughter and she is obviously a saudi citizen.,so i am not trying to injure anyone in any way.

    im proud to be lebanese but im also proud of my saudi husband and saudi daughter.

  94. 2em reina,

    No problem….your comment is equally applicable to many posts which
    discuss the challenges simply of being a woman in the Kingdom and even
    more so perhaps as a foreign Saudi wife.

    Wow — that is something learning that the two of you initially met on
    the net. I’m curious..when meeting a Saudi man “virtually” how were
    you able to ascertain and believe him when he said he was divorced? I
    ask this as I have met too many foreign women who would learn that in
    fact their husband already had a wife or two but of course they
    learned the hard way as he would say he was divorced.

    I do wish you all the best on your life in Riyadh. You’re
    right…everything does go on in Riyadh (as well as the rest of KSA)
    but there are also many positive aspects of life there too!

  95. american bedu:\

    yes,there are positive aspects i must say,but i still didnt experience them yet to a certain extent…
    i dont know why i chose to believe my husband but thank god i didnt meet a liar!!!!i gave it a shot and he came to lebanon to meet me,and i was scared that he might have sent me the wrong picture…but thank god he didnt…
    what made me grow fond of him is that he had a tear in his eye when we said good bye at the airport along manyyy other things.yes it was a risk!but i chose to take it.

    so far i have only seen that a lebanese working with other lebanese for instance gets severely back stabbed.they dont want intruders…and they were able to get me out of the school i was teaching in!!!!on the other hand,they told me that if you get the saudi nationality your salary would directly increase at least a 1000 riyals,not to mention that the school actually does not pay for the maternity leave if i am still a lebanese,while if im a saudi they would pay!

    my husband left his work,where are the responsible people to give my husband another decent job or at least a monthly salary.,,,,HE IS A SAUDI FOR GOD’S SAKE!!!
    their government is only good in helping other countries while the saudi people are dying of hunger.is it fair?
    and if a saudi asks for help from the king or his ministers or any prince,u have to write a petition,,and u will be very lucky if you got 20,000 riyals(an amount they would spend on 18 bottles of beer)not to mention that you will have to wait manyyyyy months so u can receive the amount..
    so far,what is positive>nothing

  96. @2em reina – it sounds like you have had your challenges and I do hope
    that all works out. If your husband is out of work, I also hope that
    he finds the right opportunity soon for him.

    If you have been teaching, one can usually find teaching jobs
    routinely either at a school or as a private tutor.

    Good luck!

  97. Chiara replied well to your allegation of that drunk driver Abu Sinan. Do crimes happen in Mekkah? Yes they do and we need to admit that. Crime happens in Mecca since the days of the Prophet(PBUH) but to claim that Alcohol,Drugs and Prostitutes right outside the grand mosque (You know, not hiding in these mystery tunnels of yours, so the police can clearly see them) is wrong. It is not fact and you have given no proof whatsoever to support it.

    And no, risking selling in that place is stupid, not “perfect”. How many millions of muslims go to the grand mosque every year? You’d think not even 1 of them will tell the large number of police around that only a few feet away someone is selling illegal goods?! I’d have better chance selling drugs in a police station!

    And these huge underground breweries are still unsupported by facts. In fact, from how big you tell me they are, I’m surprised the multimillion ton building (filled with millions of worshipers) hasn’t collapsed from all the tunnels underneath it!

  98. Mohammed,

    “Mystery Tunnels”? They are well known Mohammed. Do you live in Mecca? I have pointed out a book where they are mentioned, it is also well known fact that the insurgents that took over the Grand Mosque hid in these tunnels and fought the Saudi security from them.

    Several of my wife’s family work in the Grand Mosque and the tunnels are well known to them.

    There is no question that there are tunnels and rooms underneath the Grand Mosque. The ONLY issue here is whether or not alcohol was ever brewed in them.

    Obviously you NOT an engineer. A place such as the Grand Mosque most certainly CAN have millions of worshippers and still have tunnels. A quick glance at history can show you that many historical buildings were built largely, or even almost entirely, on top of underground rooms and passages. The coliseum in Rome would be a great example of that.

    As to millions of Muslims going to the Kabbah every year no one doubts that. If you think local outlaws brewing and selling alcohol are going to try and sell their product to poor Africans coming for Hajj you are way off. The stuff was sold to locals in Mecca. The brewing of alcohol there stopped back when the insurgents were killed and removed from the tunnels and then they were shut.

    Look, my wife’s family comes from Mecca. My mother in law and father in law were both raised in Mecca and a large chuck of their family is still there. The FACT is that drugs, prostitution and the like is found all over Mecca. It is no secret to those who live there. I think your issue is that maybe you think somehow it speaks ill of Islam to accept this fact. It doesn’t. Talking about things in the open is the best recourse….the truth. Try it sometime.

    I suggest you try reading the news more. Let me guess, the link below I made up too?

    Vice Cops Arrest Drug Dealer and Pimps in Makkah Raids

    http://www.arabnews.com/?page=1&section=0&article=94427&d=1&m=4&y=2007&pix=kingdom.jpg&category=Kingdom

  99. Hi everyone,

    I really have to agree with Abu sinan’s views regarding the only men existence in Saudi Arabia. Honestly, this is really pathetic to see everyone nit picking and over rationalizing words and phrases they say in order to satisfy their ego. Maybe thats why us Muslims are seen as useless and just fanatic extremists who run around proving their point through chaos. Saudi Bedu, please grow up, i know your ego is hurt but you need to civilize yourself as well as others around you. This is not about your ego, so try to understand the “point”. I know your frustration Abu sinan regarding your marriage. and YES SAUDI ARABIA IS POOR IN UN ORGANIZING EVERYTHING. I mean,.when i landed in Dammam last week,..i had to stay for two hours in the lineup for the immigration, and the immigration officer was just socializing and talking on the phone for most of the time. How unprofessional and illeterate!,..and only someone who is a non saudi can understand the frustration, because they have to deal with the discrimination. You can fight all you want for your ego, but at the end what ever Allah wants that is the fate for every thing, Verily, he is the best planners for all. Therefore, hurting someone, discriminating, robbing them from their HUMAN RIGHTS in the name is Islam will only hurt people, especially your so called muslim brothers saudi bedu,..which are non saudi’s but are muslims.

  100. Hannah–just out of curiosity, how long have you been in Saudi?

  101. Some comments have mentioned the diabetes epidemic, but this illness have another in it : kidney disease. And the number of patients with end stage renal failure is growing rapidly. And allthough it’s easy to keep patients alive it’s very costly.
    It’s doubtfull if Saudia Arabia in the long run can afford not to change just a little bit in these matters.

  102. @Niels – good point.

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