Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Powerful Words about Saudi National Day

I try to focus on the positives about living here in Saudi Arabia.  Admittedly there are many things I must suck up, overlook, or ignore - otherwise it would drive me crazy.  September 23rd is Saudi National Day here in Saudi Arabia - the day when in 1932 the country officially became a unified kingdom under King Abdulaziz. In the seven years I have lived here in Jeddah, we have never partaken in any facet of the joyful celebrations, which have grown by leaps and bounds every year.

http://www.skyscrapercity.com/showthread.php?t=1445301&page=5

Surprisingly enough, this holiday was not really even celebrated here until just a few short years ago.   The reason why lies in the question of whether or not such celebrations are forbidden by Islam.  This question was an ongoing debate amongst religious scholars until the current king and his government voiced their support of the holiday.  With each passing year since then, the nation's birthday celebrations have gotten bigger and better, with fireworks, speeches and ceremonies, impromptu street parades, face painting, special events, shouting in the streets, special shopping sales, and a general sense of happiness and pride.

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After being bombarded lately with images of proud citizens hanging out of their car windows waving Saudi flags and seeing the city awash in a sea of emerald green (the color of the national flag), I felt the need to share an astounding article written by a young Saudi female university professor named Bayan Perazzo entitled "Why I Refuse to Celebrate Saudi National Day."  

http://beliefinunseen.blogspot.com/2012/09/saudi-national-day.html

On her Twitter account, Bayan describes herself as "a liberal feminist and excellent driver stuck in the wrong country."  She is a PhD candidate in International Law and Human Rights, holds a Master's Degree in Middle Eastern Politics and Islamic Law, and a Bachelor's degree in Sociology.  It is because of Saudi women like Bayan that I continue to have hope, as many here in Saudi Arabia do, that one day, among other things, this country will treat its women and foreign workers with the respect they deserve. The sheer gumption and courage this articulate young woman shows by speaking out like she does in a country that does not have freedom of speech and denies women their rights will amaze you.

This article will educate you and wow you.  Do yourself a favor and read it.  Your brain will thank you for it. 
Follow Bayan on Twitter: @BintBattuta87 

CLICK HERE to read "Why I Refuse to Celebrate Saudi National Day."  

To read more thought provoking articles by Bayan, CLICK HERE.  

8 comments:

  1. I agree with Bayan. There is nothing to celebrate in Saudi Arabia.

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    1. Hi Anonymous - I definitely have a love-hate relationship with Saudi Arabia. I think many people here do...

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  2. I think Saudi Arabia needs to stop making excuses about itself. Tomorrow never comes.

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    1. Hi Jerry - You are so right. You have no idea how tired I have gotten of hearing the term "Inshal'alah" around here - it means "If it's God's will." It has lost all meaning and is just empty words.

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    2. So all these things happening over yet there come across that such things are not allowed. I'm confused about this whom Saudi thing...come again. There don't follow the religion at all from what I am reading, where the hell this national day has come from.
      If any one remember cat Steven who I know as Yusuf Islam who argued with the Saudi for not joining there national celebrated day..

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  3. A Canadian ReaderSep 26, 2014, 5:40:00 PM

    It looks like the post was removed from her blog.

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    1. Hi Canadian Reader - The post is still up on the Muftah website. I'm not sure if it was on her personal blog yet.

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  4. Living here 16 years like life in bounded walls just amazing is that all the laws in ksa is as same for rich different n for people like us different i have seen with my own eyes women living there life as they wish inside compounds even some beaches thn wen u come inside city like Jeddah u see all differences

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