Friday, August 12, 2011

The Bravest Man in Saudi Arabia

Who is the bravest man in Saudi Arabia?

Many Saudis say that it is Khaled Al-Johani, a 40-year-old school teacher and father who has been languishing in a Saudi prison since March. His crime was speaking out in favor of freedom and democracy to a BBC News crew on the much touted (but fizzled) "Day of Rage" earlier this year on March 11 in Saudi Arabia. Although hundreds of protesters demonstrated in several cities in the Eastern Province of the country, Khaled Al-Johani is the only known person who actually showed up in the designated spot in the country's capital city of Riyadh to voice his opinions and his desires for change regarding the future of Saudi Arabia. An overwhelmingly strong and well armed police presence, along with threats of jail or loss of citizenship, discouraged other citizens from participating in the planned Day of Rage. In fact, no one at all in KSA's second largest city, Jeddah, took part. Criticism of the Saudi government is not permitted and is met with harsh consequences. While many Saudi citizens might agree with what Khaled said, they are too afraid of speaking out for fear of being jailed, tortured, or worse.

I am re-posting the below video called "Where is Khaled?" to keep his story alive. Khaled's family was not allowed any contact with him for almost two months. In May family members were allowed to visit him in prison and reported that "he had lost weight and was depressed." As far as I have read about the case, he is being detained as a political prisoner without any legal recourse.



In the video, Khaled says, "We need democracy. We need freedom. We need to speak freely. The government doesn't own us. There is no free media under a monarchy state. The media cannot report freely. They only report the statements of the Ministry of the Interior. They didn't expect that anyone in Saudi Arabia will dare to speak to the media because he or she will be jailed. We don't have freedom. We don't have dignity. We don't have justice. The whole world is free except us under this country."

My personal experience living in Saudi Arabia tells me that Saudis love their country and are extremely proud of their country. Khaled spoke out because he loves his country and wants it to be even better. Is this wrong? Should he be jailed for wanting his country to be better? A country that doesn't allow criticism of its government or policies is an oppressive government.

AOL News Article, "Imprisoned Father of Autistic Boy Called 'the Bravest Man in Saudi Arabia'"

Saudi Arabian security forces quell 'day of rage' protests (Guardian.co.uk)

25 comments:

  1. He is absolutely a hero, Susie, and thank you for reminding the rest of us of his story. I put myself in his shoes, and don't think I would have had his courage, knowing the possible repercussions he faced . . . By reminding people of what he is standing up for, and against, you are helping him and his family to know his efforts are not in vain. There are a lot of brave folks in Saudi Arabia - and I hope one day their efforts (present company included, Susie!) will be rewarded with ever-increasing dignity and freedoms. My thoughts are with Khaled Al-Johani and his family!

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  2. I don't see why anyone would be proud of Saudi Arabia. What is there to be proud about? Where are the human rights? Women rights? Democracy? They are simply not there. This is a very sad case, but it doesn't surprise me at all. May God protect Khaled from any harm, ameen.

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  3. If someone provides the e-mail or address for the American or UK Saudi Embassy, if everyone on this forum writes or e-mails demanding release of this man, the fact that his illegal jailing is internationally known will bring pressure on the Saudi government. Contacting our Senators will help, too.

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  4. This man's story is so sad, people need to speak up more to get him released!

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  5. the man is a modern day hero!

    P.S Susie I tagged you will you take the challenge lol

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  6. Ironic considering Saudi's are born and raised believing they are the standard by which all other Arabs should aspire too...and yet Arabs in Egypt, Bahrain etc have shown more backbone and courage than apparently all of Saudi. Rather hard to wave that superior flag when you don't even have the cajones to show up and be counted...while your "brothers in Islam" are being slaughtered elsewhere for daring to take a stand.

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  7. ‪Safiyah‬ said... ”I don't see why anyone would be proud of Saudi Arabia. What is there to be proud about? Where are the human rights? Women rights? Democracy? They are simply not there. This is a very sad case, but it doesn't surprise me at all. May God protect Khaled from any harm, ameen.’

    Safiyah is right on!

    The question is always what have the Saudis brought to the world that furthers the human condition in art, music, science, technology— or anything?

    Education is limited. People do not obey laws. Saudis throw trash everywhere. There is sewage running in the streets. They come to blows on the road, in queues, in offices, on the street and just about anywhere because each believes he has more rights than the next person. Women cannot go anywhere or do anything without permission from mahram and then are harassed wherever they go. Saudi produces virtually nothing other than oil and needs expats to do even that. Expatriates are treated with great disdain and often are abused. Even when Saudis travel, they are notorious for their bad behavior. Saudis demand the respect of the world for themselves, but they seem to respect no one, not even themselves.

    Everyday Arab News publishes one scandal after another. Anything that is positive in AN is typically nonSaudi. The negativity never seems to end. The disdain and non-caring for their brothers and the rest of humanity is a constant.

    What exactly is there to be proud of?

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  9. Hi Susie
    most comments "I Think" get carried away a little ..As a Saudi I see my people are conservative by nature ,even the liberal ones are conservative and afraid to be exposed .Saudis are brought to be religious since childhood . Most of whats happening in Saudi do not relate exactly to politics alone .Most people know little about politics .People love family atmosphere and very keen to losing it through women rights or whatever " They are afraid that women liberty might break families get together as funny as might this sounds " .They love people of all races and love to have some fun with whatever including what western media through at them in the net or TV .Life goes by like this .Just let us understand Saudis some more .Thank you all.
    A Saudi engineer

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  10. Great post , Susie! And my heart goes out to Mr. Al Johani, he is certainly brave! But my vote for the bravest Saudi rest with Fatima Al Mutairi, the young girl who was martyred in 2008 for her Christian faith by her own family. I'm glad Arabs, including Saudis, are trying to get more freedom, but it is a farce if it doesn't include freedom of speech regarding religion and freedom to change religions (to AND from Islam)!
    Only then do people have true freedom.
    --Simone

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  11. A Canadian ReaderAug 20, 2011, 4:25:00 AM

    Has Amnesty International taken up his cause?

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  12. Dear Susie,

    I watched this footage a while back. It is chilling, especially the unsuccessful attempts to later make contact by phone. It reminds me of George Orwell’s book 1984, where the ‘Thought Police’ ‘vaporise’ any perceived opponents of the regime. It was clear that Khaled placed himself at serious risk of arrest speaking so openly to the journalists. Khaled is certainly brave.

    I wonder if the BBC is continuing to publicize this case and push for the authorities to release Khaled, especially as their journalists encouraged him to tell his story. Note that part of the footage indicated the crew had spent hours trying to find a person to speak to and take photos of. While part of me sympathises with the crew’s desire to tell a story and capture footage of any political protest, I also feel annoyed by the approach they took in such a hostile environment for dissenters: so easy for foreign journalists to encourage a person to speak freely when it is they who are free to leave the country, the free speaking local person left to languish in jail.

    I hope that Amnesty International does take on this case, as Khaled was certainly making political statements about the system of government, its lack of free speech and lack of support provided to parents of children with disabilities. I hope that the authorities can be persuaded to soon safely reunite Khaled with his family.

    Regards

    Kristina

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  13. ‪Bravery does not seem to be a Saudi trait, otherwise the whole nation would be protesting the lack of human rights in the kingdom.

    A Free Spirit‬ (A Saudi engineer) said…”most comments "I Think" get carried away a little ..As a Saudi I see my people are conservative by nature ,even the liberal ones are conservative and afraid to be exposed.”

    I wonder if the Saudi engineer recognizes that for the rest of the world, ultra-conservative means bigoted, mysanthropic and often misogynistic? Saudi Arabia is seen as a very bigoted nation with unfair policies toward almost everyone, but especially toward women and nonMuslims. Saudis are completely out of step with most all of humanity.

    “They are afraid that women liberty might break families get together as funny as might this sounds " .They love people of all races and love to have some fun with whatever including what western media through at them in the net or TV .Life goes by like this .Just let us understand Saudis some more. “

    Based on what is written in Gulf papers and the behavior of Saudis they do not love all races and they are very disrespectful of all women from 9 to 90!
    Allowing women their God-given equal rights would break families? Does the Saudi engineer recognize that Saudi Arabia has the second highest divorce rate in the world? All of the claims of superior family life by Saudies are simply untrue. All over the world people get together in family groups. The West, Europe and the U. S. have all sorts of family gatherings all the time. However, it is not the only thing that they do because there are other offerings such as: Parks, museums, concert halls, amusement parks, outdoor recreation to name just a few. People go to these with friends as well as with clubs and organizations. Saudis get together with family all the time because they do not trust anyone else and there is nothing else to do.

    The Saudis are a tiny portion of the world’s population, a mere 25 million people, a people who, for the most part, are still living in the dark ages, but using Western technology, driving a Mercedes and texting; a people who have done very little to enhance the progress of the human race, yet, they wish to dictate to the world of almost 7 billion people how everyone should behave and live their lives. It is the Saudis who should understand the rest of humanity more and not vice versa! Because once the oil runs out, Saudis will remain in the dark ages and will be ignored by the rest of the world unless they lift themselves up and out.

    The Saudi supremacist attitude along with their gender and religious apartheid system is not exactly winning hearts and minds. Polls show that most people, even brother Muslims and fellow Arabs, have a very negative opinion of Saudis because they believe themselves to be superior to all people yet, behave very badly toward their fellow humans and all other creatures. Treating adult women like imbecile children and nonMuslims like lepers makes their system seem one of the least appealing in the world. When will Saudis sign on to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and reject the discriminatory Cairo Declaration on Human Rights in Islam?

    One has to wonder when the Susan B. Anthony, Martin Luther King and Nelson Mandela of Saudi will appear? Saudis do not seem to have much courage. They wallow in their indolent negativity and conspiracy theories while waiting for their allah to do something. Will it be another 1400 years in darkness and dependency?

    Allah only helps those who help themselves!

    Perhaps the whole nation should consider some courses in self-actualization? Positive affirmations might go a long way toward changing the negative, self-destructive attitudes of Saudis into something more in line with the thinking of people who actually accomplish positive things in and for the world.

    Marianne

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  14. I read Marianne comment..I carry all the respect to what she said .Can't everyone see there are unfair statements and generalizing attitude there ..Saudi are not that bad as she and some other might jump to conclusion for .Not all Saudis good but not all bad ..You can't say they live in the dark ages and hate everyone else .I have American friends and Susie herself got married to a Saudi..let's not get carried away .Let's try to build bridges instead of putting curtains infront of our eyes . let's build future for the good to all .About the dislike of Arabs and Muslims to Saudis ..That is not exactly precise .Most of other Arabs dream of living in Saudi Arabia..They feel there is stability and there is money ofcourse, no one can deny that..let's not stop the good things from flowing . i will talk more later ...thanx Susie.

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  15. @ A Free Spirit

    I never said that all Saudis are bad! What I said was that Saudis do not appear to be very brave since Susie’s post is about the bravery of one, single person. After all, the human rights of all Saudis are suppressed, more so than in any Islamic land. People with courage would protest such treatment. Saudis appear to be like sheep, all watching each other and doing what the others do while being led over the cliff.

    Certainly Saudis live in the dark ages. Believing in witchcraft and jinn, while actually, formally punishing people for this superstition is not exactly modernity.

    Saudis produce nothing to speak of themselves. They are known for being indolent and nihilistic. There are constant articles on the laziness of Saudis with countless comments corroborating that statement. Saudis hate the West, but they send their children to be educated there because there are no world-class universities in KSA. Everything Saudis use for their modern lives is imported: Cars, food, medicines, technology, clothes, luxury goods. Skyscrapers are of Western design, as are hotels, restaurants and almost everything else. In the meantime, historic neighborhoods are being razed to make room for yet another shopping center for conspicuous consumption. Without the oil money Saudis would be forced to live as they did a thousand years ago because they have not developed their society or their economy.

    Half of the population, the women are treated like property; first the property of their fathers and brothers and then their husbands. That is medieval or even further back to tribal Arabia. Children are forced (sold) to marry old men, while men trade wives like others trade in cars. Women get cheated by men in divorce and child custody cases. Women and children have no rights while men have everything and still the country is a dismal failure on the world stage. Their only leverage is oil money. Once the oil is gone, Saudis will have no influence in the world.

    Gulf papers print that other Arabs do not like Saudis they find them imperious, ignorant and rude. Arab News prints about terrible Saudi behavior both in KSA, in other Arab nations and abroad. Saudis do not seem to like to work. Article after article shows that. They treat expats unfairly with lesser salaries and often by cheating them. They harass women. They throw garbage in the streets and even in mosques. They drive like maniacs not obeying traffic laws and thus, have the highest car accident rate in the world. They come to blows in public because each Saudi believes that he has more rights than the next person.

    Look at this article on the behavior of Saudis both in the kingdom and out. The comments are eye-opening and very, very true:

    Local Press: Changing lifestyles and behavior of some Saudis http://arabnews.com/saudiarabia/article487656.ece?comments=all

    Here is another recent article about the patriarchal culture:
    Local Press: A vicious culture we must do away with http://arabnews.com/saudiarabia/article486774.ece

    Here is yet another article in today’s AN on giving women their rights:
    Breaking down the social barriers http://arabnews.com/saudiarabia/article491430.ece

    Susie may have married a very nice Saudi and she must love him dearly. Still, he took her back to KSA and she must now live under their 7th century laws. She cannot even leave her house, cannot wear what clothes she wants, cannot go shopping, to the doctor or even for a walk, cannot drive a car, cannot work, cannot vote. In short, she has no rights and cannot live a normal life.

    I, and others have often said, that we could not, would not give up our God-given rights for love or any man.

    I keep asking what is positive about Saudi and no answer ever comes from those who claim to be proud of KSA but they incessantly criticize the West. It sounds like Hell on earth, especially for women and expats. You seem to find positives and things to be proud of in KSA, please tell us what they are Mr. Engineer. :)

    Marianne

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  16. Marianne;
    I lived in Riadh , the capital of Saudi Arabia since childhood .It was a small town with couple of hundreds people living in it .Life was normal like anywhere else in the world .MY Father didn't stop anything . We were open to the world . All my brothers went abroad to get degrees in education .My sisters were not enforced to wear Hijab, but it was the norms to wear Hijab.Infact he was against the cover of faces and sometimes he shouted at his girls for wearing covers and not being able to see traffic. Men feel extra protective here for the girls .They don't want troubles with norms or the world .They don't want to send their girls to the unknown . Now, to say this is wrong is an unfair statement. My father ,I remember was even raising the boys tougher than the girls . Nowadays , things are changing . More and more girls are outdoors with faces uncovered .More and more of them are going abroad to have degrees in education .King Abdullah felt the pulse of the world. He asked his government to open more opportunities for women to have jobs.
    Marianne;
    Your comment makes it sound that Saudi Arabia is the worst country in the world.I ask you .What about North Korea who bans everything even the internet .In Saudi Arabia you can open YouTube and watch people talking all kinds of things about Saudi and Saudis with no much of censorship .
    Marianne;
    Saudi Arabia is part of the Arab world .It is not seeing itself as the best in the world as you indicated .Saudis are not so keen either to seeing anyone adapt their way of lives, but all they want is some respect .That is all .Is that much to ask !! . Saudis are being changed negatively or positively by the huge flux of foreigners who came to build the country.All that happened without them having a say or opinion to this situation .This is a huge impact to be withstood , and they withstood it safely .I agree that there are those extra religious people who don't like anything but theirs likelihoods ,but those are minority and are being dealt with .those people can't even stop the clock of modern times . Thanx Susie for letting me speak out some more .

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  17. @ A Free Spirit The problem, as I see it is that you are equating your personal way of life with what goes on in the country as a whole. While you and your family might be open, the country is certainly not.

    Life in KSA does not seem remotely normal to many people including the human rights organizations which constantly cite Saudi about human rights violations, especially against women and expatriates. Why do adult women not have the same rights as a male child? Why are expats treated like slaves? Why should men feel extra protective toward girls unless Saudi men are sex-obsessed, harassing lechers? As an extremely well travelled Western woman I can walk down any street, anywhere in the world alone, especially in the West and never have a problem with being harassed. Not so in the Muslim world, where men are especially disrespectful to women who are alone.

    Regarding hijab. What I know is that when women, even nonMuslim women come to the kingdom they are issued an ugly, black-sack, an abaya that they must wear because Saudi men cannot behave themselves. Why can men dress comfortably while women must wear a shroud in the heat of the desert? Why should nonMuslim women be forced to wear abaya or even a scarf? Why can women not go out of their houses without mahram? Why can they not study or travel to the next town, much less out of the country without a man’s permission?

    Why do you compare KSA with N. Korea of all the States in the world? N. Korea is a pariah State that is starving its own people. Their economy is not even statistically relevant.

    Respect? If Saudis want respect then they have to behave respectfully. I have known many Saudis in my life, both men and women, not a single one of then ever behaved in a respectful manner toward either nonMuslims or their brothers in Islam. Some pretend, but if one really talks to them, their bigotry and hatred of everything nonMuslim, everything nonSuni soon comes out. Every day on Arab News Saudis have derogatory things to say about the expatriates who have built their nation, about the West, the Pakistanis, the Turks, the Malays and Filipinos, the Indians. Saudis seem to believe that their poop does not stink while they call the Western way of life filth and claim that all of our women are whores who walk about in bikinis and have sex in the streets. Why all the lying-negativity since Saudis are not very accomplished in comparison to other cultures, especially the hated Jews, Europeans and Americans?

    Few countries have a worse human rights record: ”Human rights conditions remain poor in Saudi Arabia. King Abdullah has not fulfilled several specific reform promises; reforms to date have involved largely symbolic steps to improve the visibility of women and marginally expand freedom of expression.

    Authorities continue to systematically suppress or fail to protect the rights of nine million Saudi women and girls, eight million foreign workers, and some two million Shia citizens. Each year thousands of people receive unfair trials or are subject to arbitrary detention. Curbs on freedom of association, expression, and movement, as well as a pervasive lack of official accountability, remain serious concerns…The government has not fulfilled its 2009 pledge to the United Nations Human Rights Council to dismantle the male guardianship system…Women and children who are victims of domestic violence face societal and governmental obstacles in obtaining redress. Saudi Arabia made no progress reforming the restrictive kafala (sponsorship) system that ties migrant workers' residency permits to their employers; …The system fuels abuses such as employers confiscating passports, withholding wages, and forcing migrants to work against their will…” Full Report here:
    http://www.hrw.org/world-report-2011/saudi-arabia

    Why should anyone in the world respect Saudis given the above? Susie stated that Saudis ”love their country and are extremely proud of their country.” Perhaps you can tell us why? Marianne

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  18. Response to Marianne , Positive things about Saudi Arabia and Saudis,
    1- They shared their wealth with you.
    2- They contributed to world stability through oil exports .
    3- They host the two holly mosques and gladly allow other Muslim to safely come and do their worships.
    4- They live moderate and peaceful Islam and hence give a vision to other radical countries to ease and follow moderation .
    5- They allowed so many people from all over the world come ,work and make money and help their families in the process.
    6-They are giving fossil fuel to the world and hence preventing other dangerous source of energy to propagate .
    7- They have art and folklore to show to the world.
    8-Saudi is a major contributor to the stability of the Arab and Islamic world.
    9- They exported wheat to Russia.
    10-Saudi is the largest producer of oil and dates.
    11- Saudi is a heaven for those who wants to work, make money and save it as well.
    12-Many achievements of world class are backed by brilliant Saudi minds and wealth.

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  19. ‪A Free Spirit said...Response to Marianne , Positive things about Saudi Arabia and Saudis,

    I must tell you Mr. Engineer, no offense, but I burst out laughing when I saw the list. Your hubris and level of delusion is classically Saudi. Therefore, let’s address that list one by one.

    
•1- They shared their wealth with you.
    Really? I work for a living as does everyone I know. I do not recall any Saudi ever giving me a cent. A few have bought me dinner, but of course, they wanted a little “something” in return which I, being a decent, moral woman, refused to give them.
    I purchase petrol for my car, electricity and the gas for my home as well, which is actually produced in my country. I know who discovered oil in Saudi and who developed Aramco. Hint: It was not the Saudis!

    2- They contributed to world stability through oil exports .
    Ah, the curse of oil contributes to world stability according to you. LOL Except of course, it is just the opposite. Wars are being fought over oil. There will be more of those in the future and water will also be fought over. You are aware that Saudi does not have enough water and will run out of oil?

    
•3- They host the two holly mosques and gladly allow other Muslim to safely come and do their worships.
    Discrimination does not count? …”Saudi Arabia does not tolerate public worship by adherents of religions other than Islam and systematically discriminates against its religious minorities, in particular Shia in the Eastern Province and around Media, and Ismailis (a distinct branch of Shiism) in Najran. Official discrimination against Shia encompasses religious practices, education, and the justice system. Government officials exclude Shia from certain public jobs and policy questions and publicly disparage their faith…”

    Safely? Perhaps you have forgotten about all the fatal stampedes during Ramadan when hundreds were killed? What about the prices increasing when Muslims come to worship?

    Exorbitant rents leave many unable to spend Ramadan in Grand Mosquehttp://arabnews.com/saudiarabia/article484865.ece
    Ramadan in Makkah: Hotels that offer luxury and proximity to the Grand Mosquehttp://arabnews.com/lifestyle/travel/article486540.ece

    
•4- They live moderate and peaceful Islam and hence give a vision to other radical countries to ease and follow moderation .
    Now, this one must be a JOKE!? The fundamentalist/Wahhabi Islam of Saudi is considered the least moderate in the world. Did you even read the Human Rights Watch report that I posted? That report speaks of draconian Saudi extremism, not moderation.
    "…Detainees, including children, are commonly the victims of systematic violations of due process and fair trial rights, including arbitrary arrest and torture and ill-treatment in detention. Saudi judges routinely sentence defendants to thousands of lashes…In August a judge in Tabuk considered sentencing a man to be surgically paralyzed after convicting him of paralyzing another man in a fight two years earlier. In March a Medina court reaffirmed Lebanese television presenter Ali Sibat's death sentence for “witchcraft”...Authorities rarely inform suspects of the crime with which they are charged, or of the supporting evidence. Saudi Arabia has no penal code and prosecutors and judges largely define criminal offenses at their discretion…" (Susie has posted the story of poor Khaled Al-Johani, who is being held unjustly.)

    Fifteen of the nineteen 9/11 hijackers were Saudi citizens. Naturally, ”Prince Nayef said Saudi Arabia is not responsible for the actions of the hijackers.” Individual Saudis and charitable organizations, such as the Wafa Humanitarian Organization, have been sued and accused of sponsoring and funding extremists.

    If the whole of the Islamic world lived as Saudis must, in a nihilistic, indolent, gender apartheid system, the West would have to give even more aid. Marianne
    ___
    Continued below:

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  20. 
•5- They allowed so many people from all over the world come ,work and make money and help their families in the process.
    Human Rights report: . . .8.3 million migrant workers legally reside in Saudi Arabia; an unknown number of other migrant workers are undocumented. They fill manual, clerical, and service jobs, constituting more than half the national workforce. Many suffer multiple abuses and labor exploitation, sometimes rising to slavery-like conditions. . . Saudi Arabia made no progress reforming the restrictive kafala (sponsorship) system that ties migrant workers' residency permits to their employers; workers cannot change employers or exit the country without written consent from their initial employer or sponsor. The system fuels abuses such as employers confiscating passports, withholding wages, and forcing migrants to work against their will…"

    
• 6-They are giving fossil fuel to the world and hence preventing other dangerous source of energy to propagate .

    Giving? They SELL oil, which they cannot get out of the ground without the assistance of expats. You are apparently not aware that the Saudis are planning to use (dangerous) nuclear fuel?
    
•7- They have art and folklore to show to the world. How so? Saudi Arabia has practically no museums and fewer theaters. Saudi art and folklore is hardly known internationally as is the art and folklore of the Persians for example, (whom Saudis consider their enemies.)
    
•8-Saudi is a major contributor to the stability of the Arab and Islamic world.
    Right! The world saw how Saudi sent troops into Bahrain for er “stability.”
    … “the kingdom joined others in supporting a crackdown in Bahrain on peaceful political dissidents and human rights activists ahead of elections there in October.” Note how the Saudis contribute to stability during the current Arab Spring. Thousands are being slaughtered. Where are the Saudis?
    Where are the Islamic relief organizations? http://arabnews.com/saudiarabia/article323869.ece

    
•9- They exported wheat to Russia.
    Russia is a wheat exporting nation, Saudi is an importing nation. Saudi has proposed a joint venture to export Russian grain to KSA and then sell it to neighboring middle eastern States: “...The Saudi delegation visited the Russian Agriculture Ministry. "Investment in Russian agriculture and export of Russian wheat and barley is a royal initiative," … http://www.interfax.com/newsinf.asp?id=259886
    
•10-Saudi is the largest producer of oil and dates.
    Hmmm, do you suppose Saudis can drink oil and eat dates as their sole source of sustenance? What will they do when the oil runs out? A diet of dates might get boring, not to mention being rather unbalanced.
    
•11- Saudi is a heaven for those who wants to work, make money and save it as well.
    So, all those stories in Arab News about Saudis cheating enslaved expats out of their pay are not true?
    
•12-Many achievements of world class are backed by brilliant Saudi minds and wealth.
    Such as funding Wahhabi mosques around the world? Somehow that does not count as world class.
    What have the brilliant minds of the Saudis done in world class science, art, music and technology to further the human condition? How many Nobel Prizes have Saudis won? How many Olympic medals?

    In truth, the Saudis are known for just a very few things: Oil, a dark-ages mindset, sexual obsession along with the subjugation of women, supremacism, bigotry, racism, shopping, shopping and more shopping along with excessive consumption as well as world-class rudeness.

    In the age of the internet and social media, everything comes into the open— and fast! You cannot even fool some of the people some of the time. If Saudis want to change how they are perceived in the world they should get to work. ___

    Susie, I want to thank you for hosting these discussions. There is nothing quite like exposing falsehoods and delusions of grandeur. Marianne

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  21. Susie
    Marianne is breaking your laws
    she is offensive using rude words and filthy language talking in negative sense .

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  22. I really don't like getting into discussions like this - I can see both sides of the argument and there will never be a winner.
    Marianne, you seem to be accusing all Saudis with your generalizations, and that is not fair. Every Saudi that I have ever met is a generous, kind and caring person.
    I am closing this discussion.

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  23. Susie, you can close the discussion. That is your prerogative. However, it will not make this issue go away, especially since you, yourself open these discussions with virtually every post that you make. The more Saudis refuse to give everyone their rights, the more the world will see them as a negative, draconian, unfair pariah-State.

    Saudi feminist Wajeha al-Huwaider has said the same and then some. In fact, she once stated that the clerics and men in power are her enemies.

    I have posted facts with supporting documentation from both Arab/Saudi sites as well as information from Human Rights Watch. I can post from a multitudes of sites, including Women Living Under Muslim Laws: http://www.wluml.org/ That website, which features Muslim women scholars, is an eye-opener if there ever was one. I am not accusing every Saudi. However it is a fact that Saudis as a group are not doing much of anything to free themselves. Who else can one blame for Saudi draconian sharia laws but the Saudis themselves?

    According to reformer Ibrahim Al-Buleihi, it is absolutely the fault of Saudis that things are the way they are. You should google him and read the many things he has to say about Arab/Saudi culture and the fact that credit is taken where it is not due.

    Al-Buleihi calls on the Arabs to acknowledge the greatness of Western civilization, and to admit the deficiencies of their own culture. He states that such self-criticism is a precondition to any change for the better.

    "If It Were Not for the Accomplishments of the West, Our Lives Would Have Been Barren”…
    http://directed-by.blogspot.com/2009/05/ibrahim-al-buleihi-full-interview.html


    Proselytizing is illegal in Saudi, but Saudis demand to the right to proselytize in the world:
    Saudi state is based on Islam http://arabnews.com/saudiarabia/article335132.ece

    Islam is relevant to all places and times: Makkah governor http://arabnews.com/saudiarabia/article408461.ece
    New drive to spread Qur’an message in North America http://arabnews.com/world/article107116.ece
    ‘Use modern media to propagate Islam’ http://arabnews.com/saudiarabia/article371894.ece
    And tons more articles like the above.

    The Saudis do not have a positive image as worldwide polls show because of their behavior. This is a fact and you must know it.

    Mr. Engineer came up with a whole lot of fantasy nonsense, that I showed to be untrue. You post truths about Saudi Arabia and many people get upset with you for airing the “dirty” laundry. Where is the positive aspect? Is there one, one that is based in facts and truth?

    It appears that Mr. Engineer can tell lies, but if one posts facts with supporting documentation that is considered “filthy language”? This is a constant red-herring that Muslims and especially Arabs put forth. Next he will start screaming “Islamophobia.” If Mr. Engineer has some contrary facts to post then I would welcome those.

    The bottom line is that Saudis have contributed little to human progress and are not doing much today other than clamping down even harder to deny their people, especially women, children and expats their rights.

    Half the country begs for citizenship rights http://arabnews.com/opinion/columns/article379387.ece

    It is not about winning an argument. It is about TRUTH vs. fiction and educating people.
    Safiyah said it best: “I don't see why anyone would be proud of Saudi Arabia. What is there to be proud about? Where are the human rights? Women rights? Democracy? They are simply not there.”
    It is sad that there are people who are duped into believing this is the most superior way of life on earth when all the facts point to the contrary.

    King Abdul Aziz bin Saud, c. 1930 said: ” My Kingdom will survive only insofar as it remains a country difficult to access, where the foreigner will have no other aim, with his task fulfilled, but to get out.” — Marianne

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  24. Thanks for reminding us about this story Susie! And excellent comments Marianne and Coolred!

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