Archive for the Social Category

Keeping America Clean! – Good Job

Posted in News, Social on April 5, 2008 by Arabilluminist
**Personal thoughts to be added soon..**
From my university e-mail box:
“All sorts of names have been changed”
Letter# 1
From: Chief of Police
Sent: Wed 02/04/2008 03:23 PM
Subject: Crime Alert – Suspicious Person

At approx. 1:45 PM today, Wednesday, 4-2-08, a female student reported that she was approached by an unknown Middle Eastern male on Salem St. in the vicinity of the Salem St. apartments at approx. 1:20 PM. He tried to engage her in conversation, talking first about religion and Darwin’s theory of Evolution, and then made several sexually explicit remarks giving the student the impression that he was attempting to solicit sexual favors.
The subject, who was last seen walking east on Salem St., is further described as being approx. 30 years old, dark complexion, mustache, thick Middle Eastern accent, wearing a tan sweater, dress pants and was carrying a camera. He also mentioned that he had a sister who lived in an apartment in nearby.

Anyone with information concerning this subject is asked to call the University Police Dept. at 555-4202

Chief of Police

Letter #2
From: Chief of Police
Sent: Thu 03/04/2008 03:41 PM
Subject: Update to Suspicious Person Crime Alert issued on 4-2-08

The suspicious person described as a Middle Eastern male, approx. 30 years of age, in the Crime Alert issued on 4-2-08 has been identified and issued a Trespass notice banning him from campus. If he returns to campus he is subject to on-sight arrest for Criminal Trespass in the First Degree.
Since no criminal charges have been filed we cannot release his identity and photograph at this time. He is scheduled to return to his native Pakistan on Friday, 4-11-08, and it is not believed that he poses any further threat to the University Community.

Chief of Police

**Personal thoughts to be added soon..**


Posted in Only in Saudi Arabia, Personal, Social on March 17, 2008 by Arabilluminist

I was touched by a response to one of my posts,

Dear Muslim Brothers:
Aslam-o-Alaikum, I am very sad after listening this news but did not see yet. I am also Bangali but can you think, all bangali muslims can be same? I cant dare to do such sin even in my own country due to fear of Allah. Please dont discriminate us due to such incident and punish all our nation by such animal behavior of only 5 Criminal Bangalis. Even in Bagladesh, We have Good and Bad people & even in Saudi Arabia, Good and bad people are there. So, dont push our poor people back to our own country with empty hand. I request you to treat us as Muslim not Jews. We have lots of hopes here for support and help because culturely we have been surrounded by Hindus and Budhs. Our country is very poor and it will go into bad economic conditions after deporting us from Kuwait and Saudi Arabia. May Allah give us Haddayat. Ameen (A Bangali’s Appeal)

To clarify, I am not against Bengalis working in Saudi Arabia or anywhere else. Let me assure you that Bengalis are usually viewed as peaceful people, but the fact that Bengladish some how exports low-wage workers from their prisons is not a good idea for the image of the good people of Bengladish. There are many Bengali workers in foreign countries, and they should be rewarded with good living conditions and hospitality to insure that they feel greatful to the countries in which they work. Treatment of foreigners -and especially low wage workers- by the general public plays an important role in strengthening the ties and reduces the rate of crimes committed; clearly, the people of the GCC countries have a high rate of discriminating against foreign workers. If this problem is treated and people start respecting low-wage foreign workers, then the workers themselves will have less motives to commit crimes against the citizens.

More on the anonymous girl rape video..

Posted in News, Only in Saudi Arabia, Social with tags , , , on February 27, 2008 by Arabilluminist

It looks like the best way Saudis improve their life and their country is through public shock, anger, and internal pressure. This has been the case with “The Qatif Girl” rape incident which shook the world when the victim was sentenced to 200 lashes and prison time and then pardoned by King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia; well, Saudis were never more furious as this time with the “The anonymous girl” raped by 5 Bengalis because this time there was a heartbreaking video (I’ve received the video long before, but did not want to be the first to publicly display it on the internet)

Soon after the news was made public, Saudis created a facebook group labeled The national campaign for the struggle against Bengalis“, shared related articles and news, and suggested cures for the mass trauma caused by individuals belonging to an ethnic group which has been long thought of as “poor peaceful people”. Around the 11th of Janurary, many Saudi journalists, newspapers, and online news websites published articles which concluded that:

  • The Bengali council: “Our citizens count 1.5 million in Saudi, and the number will double soon”
  • The bengali council: “We have recieved no official complaints regarding our citizens status or behavior”
  • The Bengali council accused Saudi journalists of demonizing Bengali workers

Clearly, the intent of such articles -especially that they were published soon after the rape video case- is to further intimidate the Saudi public and persuade Saudi officials to do something about the illegal Bengali aliens whose crimes became almost impossible to fight. Eventually, the pressure caused by Saudis -along with journalists, campaigns, and bloggers- succeeded to convinced the authorities to completely stop all further importing of Bengali workforce.

  • The ministry of labor prepared a “secret?” study to temporarily stop importing Bengali workers, leading to a complete prohibition.
  • Bengali engineers and doctors only will be allowed to work in Saudi
  • Companies and firms will only be allowed a maximum of 20% of Bengali employees.

While the ministry of labor’s decision was a relief to Saudis since it will help stop the increase of crimes, many rejoiced as this will hopefully provide more work for unemployed Saudis in their own country.

“The Master of Saudi Bloggers”.. Arrested!

Posted in News, Social on January 10, 2008 by Arabilluminist

Fouad Alfarhan is the name of the Saudi blogger who was arrested for blogging about Saudi political detainees, placing support banners linking to the activists’ web blogs, and criticizing Saudi figures.. He is considered to be among the first bloggers to exercise freedom of speech on the internet revealing his identity in Saudi Arabia, a country which claims to follow the great religion of Islam -which completely respects freedom of speech- yet arrests everyone who talks, writes, or even thinks about politics or demanding human rights. What is interesting in Alfarhan’s case is that he made a post prior to his arrest in which he says that he was informed of his arrest which was orderd by “a high ranking official”..

The current maintainers of the blog have published an English version of that post:

This a letter sent by Fouad a few days before his arrest to his friends:I was told that there is an official order from a high-ranking official in the Ministry of the Interior to investigate me. They will pick me up anytime in the next 2 weeks.The issue that caused all of this is because I wrote about the political prisoners here in Saudi Arabia and they think I’m running a online campaign promoting their issue. All what I did is wrote some pieces and put side banners and asked other bloggers to do the same. he asked me to comply with him and sign an apology. I’m not sure if I’m ready to do that. An apology for what? Apologizing because I said the government is liar when they accused those guys to be supporting terrorism?To expect the worst which is to be jailed for 3 days till we write good feedback about you and let u gothere may be no jial and only apologizing letter. But, if it’s more than three days, it should be out. I don’t want to be forgotten in jail.”

The case has taken the world by storm since the arrest was made public through his blog.. News agencies, bloggers, and high US and Saudi officials were in contact through the American embassy in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. Further more, Arab and international TV stations have given Alfarhan’s case good coverage and promoted discussion and helped build support for Alfarhan while he is being jailed with no official charges. Alfarhan’s friends -who are currently operating the blog and asking for his release- have displayed clips of Arabic and Englis news reports and interviews:
Visit Alfarhan’s blog for all tv coverage links

Aside from the intense and media coverage and the intimidated public opinion, Alfarhan’s friends and supporters have started an online petition demanding his release which can be viewed and signed here. More over, around 650 ~current number~ sympathizers and supporters of Alfarhan have gathered in a facebook group named “Free Fouad” discussing his case and demanding his release.