By the time you read this post I (hopefully) will have attended the Ringling Brothers Barnum and Bailey circus with my Grandsons here in Charlotte. We have tickets for the circus but my participation will depend on my white blood counts since I’m still in active treatment for cancer. It will be the second time for me to ever have attended a circus. The first time was last year, also with my grandsons, when Barnum and Bailey came to Charlotte.
The circus is full of never ending excitement. It is mesmerizing to not only watch the performers and the circus animals, but I equally enjoyed seeing the rapt attention on the faces of my grandsons and others. The circa two hour show literally flew by way too fast.
But what about Saudi Arabia? Can Saudi families and expatriates enjoy a circus while they are in the Kingdom? According to a comment made December 2012 to a Jeddah based chat board, there are no circuses in Jeddah. My own continued research unearthed that there are no circuses in Saudi Arabia, period.
A database which keeps track of the location of circus elephants claims that there are four living elephants within the Kingdom. Not surprisingly their located is cited as the zoo in Riyadh.
While there may not be circuses inside of Saudi Arabia, Saudis have gone to the circus when opportunities permit. King Saud attended the circus in Baden Baden, Germany, with a full entourage in 1957. The article is accompanied by an embedded video showing the King and his entourage thoroughly enjoying the circus and the antics of the well-trained animals.
Would it be feasible to have a circus in Saudi Arabia? Socio-political analyst and writer, Tariq Al-Meeana shared, “No..I have never been to a circus in Saudi. Most likely the prevailing paranoia against mingling deprived most of us of clean family fare in our own country.”
There is no doubt that it would be interesting and provide another venue for family entertainment in the Kingdom. Yet, at the same time, would the circus animals be taken care of properly?
Princess Bessma raised a very good point as we were dialoging about this subject: “As for circus performance here I would be worried about how the animals would be treated. The acrobats would have to wear baggy clothes. Would they allow music? Not sure if a circus here would work! People will go for sure because we don’t have many options for entertainment but would it be a proper circus experience?”
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