Saudi arrested for a YouTube video about poverty!

By cartoonist: Carlos Latuff

A hobbyist Saudi movie maker has been arrested after publishing a video on YouTube he’d filmed in one of Riyadh’s poor neighborhoods.

The young Saudi movie maker ‘Firas Bugnah’ has just established his own show on YouTube through the channel Mal3ob3lena which translates to something like “We’ve been punk’d”, referring to the Saudi people.

The episode starts with “As long as you’re O.K….” – That phrase is usually seen on billboards greeting the Saudi King Abdullah Bin Abdulaziz “As long as you’re O.K, then we’re O.K”

At first, random Saudi men are interviewed, each completing the sentence “… We’re O.K” before the scenes shift to the inside of a poor neighborhood just 5 Kilometers from the main streets of Riyadh where another batch of interviewed people say “We’re NOT O.K”.

The video then shows how different Saudi people live in extreme poverty, citing families of 13-20 people living in small houses with income of 1500-5000 S.R = $400-$1300

Another notable segment of the video is an interview with the shiekh of the mosque in that neighborhood in which he speaks about the spread of drug use as a cause for poverty, the employment of children in distribution and selling of drugs, and also the prostitution business where he noted that some men prostitute their own wives and family members to feed themselves.

While the video was very well received by the Saudi people, it seems that it was not by Saudi authorities.

The Saudi community on Twitter is currently discussing the story under the hashtag #mal3ob3lena and #FollowFiras

Firas Bugnah is still in jail without specific charges, if he is not released Wednesday Oct 19th then he will have to stay in jail without charges at least until Saturday.

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