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  • johnpi 5:15 pm on January 20, 2010 Permalink
    Tags: , royal family, , ,   

    This story is a few weeks old but we never blogged it here at TI: Saudi royal family member produces a rap video, then disappears.

    The video is against suicide and encourages troubled people to find solace in God.

    In a country in which music and dancing are forbidden, the public screening of any film results in a strict crackdown and suicide is the most taboo subject imaginable, it would be difficult for Prince Faisal Bin Mansour bin Thunayan Al Saud to have transgressed more cultural fault lines than by making an MTV-style rap video.

  • johnpi 11:57 am on December 16, 2009 Permalink
    Tags: Allah's punishment, , Jeddah, , royal family,   

    Last month in Saudi Arabia, flash floods in Jeddah killed 120 people and destroyed thousands of homes. Unprecedented criticism is breaking out there now directed at government incompetence and negligence for not building a functioning sewer system despite the country’s wealth.

    A Saudi opposition group called for elections in the Gulf monarchy and criticized royal family members after heavy flooding devastated the Red Sea coastal city of Jeddah.

    The level of open criticism is unusual in Saudi Arabia, an absolute monarchy established in 1932 by King Abdul Aziz, where political dissent isn’t tolerated by the royal family.

    This blogger, a medical student based in Jeddah, is imploring against those who have argued that the flood may have been a punishment or signs from Allah (swt), and are thereby dilluting the campaign to hold officials accountable for negligence.

    What happened could and might be a result of our sins. It could be a wake up call to return to Allah. It could be hidden messages to guide some people or whatever. But we mostly forget that it was the result of negligence coming out from people who had powers and trust to fix things in this city.

    …please, stop saying we deserved Allah’s punishment and just sit there as if you’re an Imam or something. Allah’s punishment it is, but it doesn’t mean that there are people we shouldn’t draw our attention to sue!!!

    • Willow 1:06 pm on December 16, 2009 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      Reminds me of that parable…during a great flood, a religious man retreated to the roof of his house and prayed to God for a sign of deliverance. A neighbor came by in a rowboat and offered to take the man to safety. The man refused, saying he was waiting for a sign from God. The flood waters rose. Two more rowboats passed by, and twice more the man refused rescue. Finally, he drowned. In Heaven, he asked God why He had not sent him any sign. God said “…I sent you THREE!”

      The Jeddahites are right; this was a sign. Just not the sign they were hoping for.

      • bingregory 9:53 pm on December 16, 2009 Permalink | Log in to Reply

        I love that joke and have tried to tell it in front of muslims before and it flopped. Similarly jokes with “man dies and goes to heaven”, Jesus at the gates of heaven etc. What I’m wondering is is there any equivalent in traditionally muslim societies for that sort of irreverent but not anti-religious humor? There’s Mullah Nasruddin etc but that’s not the same thing.

    • islamoyankee 8:39 pm on December 16, 2009 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      The New Yorker had an article about the sewage system over five years ago:

      Lawrence Wright, “The Kingdom of Silence,” The New Yorker 2004: 48-73.

    • islamoyankee 8:39 pm on December 16, 2009 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      Sorry, it’s January 2004 for those interested.

    • saudimedic 10:43 pm on December 17, 2009 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      I lived in Jeddah for four years. Everytime it rained, even a light rain the streets would flood. So this is an old problem in Saudi. With the royal family taking the majority of the oil wealth for their own use. There is little left over for public works. Coruption and bribes is normal buisness practice in Saudi. A read a good book by an American paramedic who was on the medical staff of king Abdullah. It is called “Paramedic to the Prince” http://www.paramedictotheprince.com” Well worth a read

  • thabet 3:35 pm on May 22, 2009 Permalink
    Tags: , , , politice, royal family, ,   

    The Football Association and Buckingham Palace are underfire for invting the BNP to their respective functions.

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