Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Rajaa's On My TV!

Last night there was interview with Rajaa' Al-Sanea on TV. It was the first time I'd ever seen/heard her actually speak out about her book, or anything else.
I love that girl, I honestly do, and I respect her like hell.
But to tell you the truth, I was not impressed.

First off; the reason I hate Arabic television was clearly demonstared on the show she was on last night: The interview was well over an hour (way too long in my book), they asked the same questions approximately 54.7 billion times (and she answered them all that many times as well), and they did not at all justly depict the people who hated her work.
All they did was talk to Lebanese people who love her, and a select few Saudis who love her, too.
And when they did read the Anti-Rajaa emails, they read the most ridiculous, non relevant accusations against her! Not her book, her!
That is not what I want to see!
I want to see her in a heated (yet sophisticated) debate with an accomplished, conservative book critic! I want to see some ass-whoopin'!
I don't want to see her being all cute and giggling at accusations of secularism and non-patriotism!

Another thing that disappointed me was that she wasn't as honest as I imagined she would be.
She was so Saudi-ishly politically correct! Ew!
I'm not saying she should work towards social exile (which looks quite appealing to me right about now..), I'm just saying she's gone all out and written a controversial book, and everything that can be said about her has already been said! Why not go all the way!? To hell with conventionalism! Screw 'em!
She shouldn't have played it safe all that much.

Please allow me to quote some of Rajaa' Al-Sanea's more interesting satements throughout last night's nightmarish excuse of an interview: (My comments are in blue)

"We live in a male dominant society, and we're trying to change that. And this male dominancy is why people are against me."
"..We're trying to change that.."?
Last I heard I still can't drive.
Why isn't she honest enough to say "Things are still pretty bad out there."
Why this desperate need to sugar coat everything!?

When asked which of the characters in her book she relates to most, she replied with a giggle and: "I hate that question!"
My God. How lame is that!
I seriously have nothing more to say.

"The book is pure fiction, from beginning to end. There is, however, a small portion that is based on non-fiction, and that is something I will never reveal."

Then why the hell mention it if you're not gonna tell us what it is!? Lameness on a stick.

"The people of Saudi Arabia do not easily accept what is new and different."
You got that right sister. They also cannot accept honesty.

What a sad excuse of a society I live in.

The very disappointed,


Talal said...

Didn't see the interview but I have one issue with your first comment, that being "We live in a male dominant society, and we're trying to change that."

First if i was going to have this conversation with you 4 monthes ago my views would be different, but today I actually am starting to see a push for integrating women more and more in society i acknowledge that they are baby steps but atleast were moving.

1- the election of women into the chmaber of commerce for jeddah and dammam

2- New law that states that only the ministry of Work has the right to deside if jobs are suitable for women or not ( a clear sign to tell other agencies espically Hay'a that this is none of their business)

3- The employment of women in goverment agencies so that they can finish there follow ups without depending on a man

4- allowing women the right to start up a company without the need for a male sponsor

5- Capital Market Authority (CMA) implemented a new law that allows for a women to join in an IPO with her name even if her husband, father,....etc has tried to join for her (as he will not get stocks for her name)

All of these things happened in 4 monthes, I know this is not alot but you know how things are and I think this is just a little of what's more to come, but the sad part is the majority is against chnage that is why we cannot force it on them we can only easy them into it.

let me tell you this small story so that you know how people here think; there was this guy that got a mobile for his wife when it first came out and his friends found out and they started looking at him like a Dayouth (person who has no jealousy over his wife what so ever)and warning him that this will be a reason for her betraying him and all that crap.3 years later all of them have given their wives mobiles.

If that doesn't tell you how screwed up we are here then I dont know what will, but the point is with time and patience they will see the need and usfulness and they will also see the errors of their way, even if they don't acknowledge them.

Raed said...

In fear of not sounding the most stupid person over here, who is this person you speak of?

ruba duba said...

oh i saw it
i really like this person i swear i wanna be her
shes trying 2 make the 2 sides happy
ya3ny shes "wa9a6yah"
we need more ppl like her!

Sami said...

I'm reading the book these days. I still haven't seen a live feed of any of her interviews. I need links.

Rimyoleta said...

I agree with talal On everything :D

ubergirl87 said...

talal: Excellent comment.
I did feel that I was aiming for ridicule a bit too much with what I'd said.
What I meant was SOCIALLY, we are not changing too much.
What is "3aib" for me as a girl to do today was "3aib" for me to do 30 years ago, whereas had I been born male it would've been socially acceptable (now, AND 30 years ago) for me to do whatever it is that's "3aib" for me as a girl.
Lol, did that make sense?

Raed: Rajaa Al-Sanea's a writer. She wrote a very controversial book (Banat AlRiyadh). I posted about her recently.

Ruba: I think the whole fame thing's gotten to her head, though. It now appears as if it has. 5asara.

sami: I'll let you know if I find any. Links, that is.

Rima: Then read the reply I wrote for Talal, lol :-)

pinkbling said...

I've never read her book or seen her in an interview but respect her for her accomplishments, however, your post made me ask a few qusetions like, Is the book THAT reveiling? How old is she? Why is it such a big deal?

mariam said...

I wish i could find the book - i'm in the usa right now - any ideas?? It kind of seems inane to send to Lebanon for it - maybe online??
Anyhow, I really enjoy your blog, uber!!
Just the fact that she was on TV is a huge difference, no? We all know she has to be "careful" - I am assuming she has family in ksa and they are employed or in school, etc.
LOL Talal, please note your quote "3 years later they have all GIVEN their wives mobils" That really does say it all. Plus ca change, plus c'est la meme chose.
Come visit me, uber, if you get to usa for a vacation. Take care everyone.

Anonymous said...

Mariam I got it online from
for like.. 8 bucks and they'll ship it on DHL in a week

Baroque said...

i loved her..
she is so clever and educated..
7asayt'ha a very good example of saudi women and khaleeji women as a whole ;)

Jo said...

I saw her interview with Turki Aldakheel on Alarabia. I can't really remember how I felt about it LOL. But, I don't think how she behaves in interviews is relevant. The point is she wrote a fictional book o bas. If some parts are fact then so what. Most fictional books out there have some truth in them.

I didn't see the interview you saw, but on Alarabia she did face some tough Qs (I think, my memory sucks!).

Talal: The change you are talking about affects women who come from liberal families. This is what people just don't get. It really doesn't matter how much bloody crap they tell us is changing, because women who come from conservative families will NEVER get to experience it! Giving SOME of the women in this country rights is NOT good enough and as long as people continue to be all smiley about the pathetic change taking place NOTHING will ever change.

I have yet to see one damn change in MY (and the women around me) life and unless I do then plz ppl stop with the BS!

PizzaQueen said...

you think they'd allow her to publish or to be interviewd if she wasn't so politically correct ?
You must accept some compromises in life to reach your goals.

Talal said...

Change is not something that happens over night, our society is known to be a slow adapting slow changing society, the example I gave previous is a good example another good example is the internet and the way it progressed from being a taboo until what you see today. You have 3 companies competing to bring better and faster internet connectivity in Saudi Arabia. Who would have thought that was ever possible, especially the way the internet was marketed as the great devil? (irnonicly religious people are the heaviest users of this technology)

Now your saying that liberal or moderate families (I consider myself moderate) are the only people benefiting from these changes, maybe your right, but everything in life needs pioneers. The undeniable fact remains that even they were not allowed to do these things until recently which shows that they were also restrained from doing these things.

The point you bring up about most families not benefiting for these changes is a valid one, but who said change takes a day or two? Change takes time, but with persistence and perseverance change will be a fact of life, people need to be eased into things that go against years of brainwashing, it cannot be forcefully imposed on anybody. For change to be eefective it must be done in increments not in bold huge jumps.

Do I have to remind you how people reacted to the prospect of girls going to school back in the days of Faisal? There will always be those who oppose change, still it’s their right if they don’t want to utilize something that was put into place for their benefit.

What we need are the laws to allow for change to happen, actual change will rely on how we utilize these laws for the greater good of our country, our society and our kids.

I came across this quote that sums up what I want to say.

"If you don't like the way the world is, you change it. You have an obligation to change it. You just do it one step at a time." ~Marian Wright Edelman

Talal said...

I came across this article, look at how some women are standing against change:§ion=0&article=76521&d=20&m=1&y=2006

Talal said...§ion=0&article=76521&d=20&m=1&y=2006

Talal said...

connect these two parts


ubergirl87 said...

Pink bling: To tell you the truth the book isn't all that revealing. I think it was made into a big deal because the book tackles issues that no book has dared tackle before.
I think Rajaa's in her mid/late 20s.

Mariam: Hey there :) I'm glad you're enjoying my blog.
About her getting on TV being a 'huge difference', no I don't think it is. Especially since the networks probably knew before hand that she'd play it as safe as she did. And about being 'careful' this is just MY personal opinoin; but she went all out and wrote a controversial book that she knew MANY MANY people will find offensive. What's the harm in a little more bravery and honesty?
And I'll look you up whenever I'm in the States :P

Anon: Thanks :)

Charisma: Yeah.. I didn't like her too much :P

Jo: No I do think it IS relevant how she behaves on TV. She's made herself into the poster child for the tormented youth of SA, in my opinion. She should have been less artificial.
She sis 'just wirte a book', but however trashy novel-ish the book is, it is the first of it's kind in Saudi Arabia. And the fact that it's gotten so much attention is a given.
Now, she wrote the book knowing it would cause a stir (she said it herself), shouldn't she have been prepared for that? Like, if she can't handle being honest, and if she's afraid of what might happen if she IS honest, she shouldn't have released that book in the first place.

Thanks for you comments, everyone :)