I’m losing count of how many times a Female Western reporter comes to “cover the region” and walks away with her hit piece being about “Life behind the Veil”. It’s getting a bit redundant, but I have nothing else to do so I might as well give my stab at an article that has been in circulation this month.

In Saudi Arabia, a view from behind the veil

As a woman in the male-dominated kingdom, Times reporter Megan Stack quietly fumed beneath her abaya. Even beyond its borders, her experience taints her perception of the sexes.

By Megan K. Stack, Times Staff Writer
June 6, 2007

Riyadh, Saudi Arabia — THE hem of my heavy Islamic cloak trailed over floors that glistened like ice. I walked faster, my eyes fixed on a familiar, green icon. I hadn’t seen a Starbucks in months, but there it was, tucked into a corner of a fancy shopping mall in the Saudi capital. After all those bitter little cups of sludgy Arabic coffee, here at last was an improbable snippet of home — caffeinated, comforting, American.

I wandered into the shop, filling my lungs with the rich wafts of coffee. The man behind the counter gave me a bemused look; his eyes flickered. I asked for a latte. He shrugged, the milk steamer whined, and he handed over the brimming paper cup. I turned my back on his uneasy face.

Crossing the cafe, I felt the hard stares of Saudi men. A few of them stopped talking as I walked by and watched me pass. Them, too, I ignored. Finally, coffee in hand, I sank into the sumptuous lap of an overstuffed armchair.

“Excuse me,” hissed the voice in my ear. “You can’t sit here.” The man from the counter had appeared at my elbow. He was glaring.

“Excuse me?” I blinked a few times.

“Emmm,” he drew his discomfort into a long syllable, his brows knitted. “You cannot stay here.”

“What? Uh … why?”

Then he said it: “Men only.”

As if a seasoned reporter in this region, would not know that women do not sit in the open men areas. Why is it that, these women like to come and test the waters and then play dumb about it? I actually think she may have exergerated the reaction, because if she were in a Starbucks at the mall it is not unusual for the women to go in and order drinks. I do it all the time and I am never treated in the manner she mentioned. I really wish she had video taped this, because I can only imagine how she might have waltz in and did not get the reaction she expected or desired and then had to come up with a story that would sell.

He didn’t tell me what I would learn later: Starbucks had another, unmarked door around back that led to a smaller espresso bar, and a handful of tables smothered by curtains. That was the “family” section. As a woman, that’s where I belonged. I had no right to mix with male customers or sit in plain view of passing shoppers. Like the segregated South of a bygone United States, today’s Saudi Arabia shunts half the population into separate, inferior and usually invisible spaces.
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Okay y’all, it really is nothing like what she makes it sound like. I took these pictures today, at Burger King. If anything is inferior, it’s the men’s section. The family areas are usually spacious, well lit, and with play areas. The family sections are not segregated and not only for half of the population (women). This is the area that women and men sit in together. Usually families. There is nothing unfair about it for women. If anybody wanted to complain it should be men, because they are the ones that are actually segregated, if they are not accompanied by family.

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My husband can take the children out and either sit in the men’s only section or he can go in the family area. If he is alone he goes to the men area. I love this concept. I am American, I have not forgot the rude looks families get in restaurants and how we are usually relegated to the back so not to disturb customers. I don’t even see what she be trippin about.

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Did she and others like her even consider for a moment that we veiled women, like the privacy that the curtains give us. If it were not for that curtain, I would have had to wait to get home and remove my veil before I could eat that Chocolate Hershey cake! That would not have been good!

At that moment, there was only one thing to do. I stood up. From the depths of armchairs, men in their white robes and red-checked kaffiyehs stared impassively over their mugs. I felt blood rushing to my face. I dropped my eyes, and immediately wished I hadn’t. Snatching up the skirts of my robe to keep from stumbling, I walked out of the store and into the clatter of the shopping mall.

Look how dramatic she is. I’m telling you this chick wanted a show and did not get it. She got dissed! Ignored! I wish I were there, I’m sure it was a funny site to see her get all bent out of shape thinking how she shattered the cultural norms.

By the time I boarded the plane, I was in a temper. I yanked at the clasps, shrugged off the abaya like a rejected embrace. I crumpled it up and tossed it childishly into the airplane seat.

Then I was just standing there, feeling stripped in my jeans and blouse. My limbs felt light, and modesty flashed through me. I was aware of the skin of my wrists and forearms, the triangle of naked neck. I scanned the eyes behind me, looking for a challenge. But none came. The Saudi passengers had watched my tantrum impassively.

 

Yeah, just as I thought….Drama Queen and attention seeker. It’s a long article and really not worth the read, so I’ll cut it short here. People in the West should know that not everyone has to or wants to live exactly like them – not even other Westerners. I know many Western families, both Muslim and Non-Muslim that love living in Saudi and have no complaints about all these issues that get blown out of proportion in the media.

Not to mention, I have NEVER met a Saudi youth that choice to abandon Islamic and/or cultural norms after being liberated with western views, that did not go buck wild. Here are a few blogs that give you insight on the type of lifestyle that you will find in many of the Saudi youth that wish their country was not so conservative:

Wasted Chix

Good girlz go to heaven …Naughty girlz go EVERYWHERE! we’re 2 saudi girlz from middle-upper class families probably just like yours .. we LIVE in saudi ..but that doesn’t mean we have to Live by thier rules. we have our own lives, adventures, stories that will SHOCK you …enjoy :”)

I wanted to cry when I stumbled on to their blog. It’s by two Saudi girls who would put video hoochies to shame!

This is a poor rich Saudi who lives in The U.K

IF HEAVEN IS GONNA BE FULL OF NUNS AND PPL THAT PRAY AND VIRGINS AND ALL THE SO CALLED GOOD PPL IN THIS WORLD, WELL ID RATHER BE IN HELL WITH ALL THE BRITNEY SPEARS AND NAWAL AL ZOGHBI AND HAIFA WEHBEs OF THIS WORLD. I WANNA BURN FOR ETERNITY WITH A JACK DANIELS IN ONE HAND AND SURROUNDED BY ALL THE PROSTITUTES OF THE WORLD.

Those are just a few examples. There are many Saudis who blog in English that are an embarrassment to their religion and their country. The common factor – all WESTERNIZED! Read and weep and know that Allah speaks the truth when He says:

  • The Noble Qur’an 2:120Never will the Jews nor the Christians be pleased with you till you follow their religion.

  • The Noble Qur’an 68:9– They wish that you should compromise (in religion out of courtesy) with them, so they (too) would compromise with you.

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