Monday, July 07, 2008


"For God's sake... They're only human beings! They won't devour you!" - My father, upon my hesitation to enter a room full of screaming, sweaty men marked (you guessed it): "NO WOMEN ALLOWED."

How dramatic are the Wahhabis?
To this very second I do not understand the idea of separate areas for 'singles' (men) and 'families' (women are not officially allowed to go anywhere alone, they must be accompanied by a male guardian at all times. That law is, of course, flouted and largely ignored.)

It's a public place for God's sake. What are they afraid of? Public fornication?
I want to go out have have some damn ice cream somewhere nice and airy. Not in some cramped little room that smells like feet.
And what if I want to seduce the mens, anyway? That's my goddamn business.
What is the purpose of this segregation? They will never trick anyone into thinking that the opposite sex does not exist.
If they don't want to see any women they should stay at home and knit, or something. Ditto for the women who don't want to see any men.
I don't see why I should suffer for this sickness.

You'd think we're walking around in bikinis. They have us in head to toe black. If anyone finds Abayas seductive, they should seek psychological help immediately.
They all need to get out more. And lighten the hell up!



Anonymous said...

"How dramatic are the Wahhabis?"
And how pathetic to see a Muslim in Saudi Arabia calling other Muslims Wahabis . If you really knew who gave Muslims this label and what it means , you wouldn't be calling them that.
You don't like it when shia are called rafidah. But calling some people in your country wahabis and crazy religious is ok to you.
By the way, your country is not just famous by oil and Usama as your blog title says. There are Makkah and Madinah, and I don't know why you did not mention that.

Broke Saudi said...

The Wahhabis are dramatic. It's also a fitting label...since they're followers of Abdul-WAHAB's teachings, hence the name Wahhabis. You do know what sarcasm is, don't you (the oil wells, and bin laden bit)? I'm guessing that was uber's intention.

Enforced segregation is ridiculous. It should be left up to us if we want to mix with the opposite sex, it's a personal choice. Even though I respect certain people's decision when it comes to partitions, I don't get the whole point of going out and then boxing yourself kind of defeats the whole purpose of going out. Why I should be labeled as a "criminal" if I want to grab a cup of coffee with a friend, who happens to be a girl. People here sexualize everything.

Anonymous said...

Broke Saudi
".since they're followers of Abdul-WAHAB's teachings"
what are his teachings? and plz provide reference when telling what his teachings are.

Anonymous said...

"You do know what sarcasm is, don't you (the oil wells, and bin laden bit)?"
actually i do know what she meant, but maybe you didn't get what i said.

Broke Saudi said...

That we've got the holiest peice of land on earth? That's what we're famous for, and we should be proud of that...that's what you meant? That Islam is our idenitity, and we should be brimming with pride?...but you're probably right, I didn't get what you said, and I'm not too sure that I want to. I don't have to provide references to what his teachings are, because I didn't mention what he preached. Just that it's common knowledge that this region is dominated by his brand of Islam, or you don't agree with that?

Wahhabi...Abdul-WAHAB (I'm putting it in caps, so it can be easier for you to spot the connection) see the similarity? Kinda makes you think that it's as if Wahhabi stems from the name Abdul-Wahab? So don't say it's pathetic that she used the Wahhabi label, because it's an accurate label. Some view it with pride, while others view it negatively...apparently you're offended by it.

Anonymous said...

And since you don't know his teachings, then why did you say the label is accurate?. And by the way I did not know Islam had brands. That's really new to me.
Yeah I can see what you put in caps, abdu ALWAHAB. Isn't AlWahab one of the names of Allah?
Anyway, Wahabism does not exist. And why I said it's pathetic?'s because many Muslims do not know where the label came from and who gave this label. Ignorance is really a disease.
Those who feel proud calling themselves wahabis are wrong and so are those Muslims who call other Muslims wahabis.
So reading and thinking is better than repeating without thinking.

Broke Saudi said...

So who cares if it's one of Allah's many names? It was the guy's name, you know the guy that I keep repeating his name to you..over and over again. I hate repeating myself, Wahhabism came from Abdulwahab's movement with, if I'm not mistaken, Mohammad Al-Saud. Abdul-Wahab came in a time when Arabia was filled with superstition, and some say he rid it of that with his those teachings (that movement) is wahhabism. That's why the term shouldn't be regarded as offensive...sensitive much? Islam does have it's brands, and there are many different ways to practice it...I don't know if you're naive, or just plain stupid. "Repeating without thinking" should practice what you preach haha

Anonymous said...

Since you seem to be intelligent and educated, plz educate me about these brands in Islam and these different ways of practising
Islam, and when telling that plz quote from the Quran or the sunnah so I know that you know what you're talking about.
By the way,you keep saying wahabism is derived from the shaikh's name.You can repeat yourself if you want but the shaikh's first name was Muhammad..maybe you should start thinking why the lable is wahabi and not Muhamaddi:D

Yawarakai said...

firstly, segregation in restaurants is completely idiotic!!! and yes broke saudi ur right, most things in Saudi are sexualised!! it's sickening..

i just had something to say about "wahabism".. i hate being labeled as a wahabi because i'm not.. Muhammad bn Abdulwahhaab did not create a new sect in Islam, he was a "salafy" who preached what Ahmad ibn Hanbal said.. he didn't come up with anything new..

Wahabis, on the other hand, were a sect of brutal people somewhere in North Africa who existed during the Ottamon Empire, they preformed masacars in the name of religion and people apposed them..

at the time the first Kingdom of Saudi Arabia was being created by Ibn Saud with the support of Muhammad ibn Abdulwahhaab, The Ottamon Empire feared that the Kingdom would expand and threaten their regions, so in order to keep people from joining the Kingdom, they labled it the Wahhabi movement because it was similar to the name Mohammad Ibn Abdulwahhab and Wahhabism was associated with brutal masacars and savages..

nowadays, it is just used to seperate Saudi Muslims from other Muslims, personally i concider myself neither Wahhabbi nore anything else.. I am a Muslim and that's that..

segregation in the kingdom, that's just men trying to keep women at home.. u would be surprised by how many people support this!!

sorry i've said too much..

unokhan said...

wow, your father is strong, and he wants his child to be as well.

Anonymous said...

I totally agree with yawarakai!Even with the segregation thing although I should have said my opinion regarding this from the beginning , but the word wahabi got my attention more.
I hope our dear brother saudi broke will read with an open mind and also hope he won't repeat and put words in capital letters.:D

Broke Saudi said...

His teachings followed the Hanbali school of thought, but it's known that Abdul-Wahab influenced our region's (Najd) view on religon. So yes they were his teachings, even if there was only slight difference, it was his teachings that brought on the Salafi revival in Arabia at that time. Again it holds both positive, and negative connotations...just depends who you're talking with. Even if it was used as a smear campain, my point is they're not inaccurate when it comes to using it when referring to Saudi Arabia. We may not like labels, but they exist. From the Sunni, Shi'ite, and Sufi labels...and the many small labels that fall under those three.

Mansour said...

this is stupid i cant understand how are we willing ourselves to be in control of the nomad culture and be enforced on it!! and not do a thing about it,,

Abbas Hawazin said...

you are funny.
i like you.
get out of Arabia every now and then.

Anonymous said...

i don't know how you may dress under the abaya so letting you out in public may be a highly dangerous endevour. having seen your sisters roam in western clothing (cleveages and bare midriffs!) around Paris on warm summer nights, i can only imagine what you are hiding under there and you gals are HOT! so, of course, we cannot let you out on your own because you don't have brains and we guys; our brains are between our legs. thus, we have to leave the thinking to the uber-smart clerics who live in their ivory towers so far removed from reality that it is funny.

oh well, one day, women will once again be able to go out alone and not having to wear some crazy-ass outfit, just the way Mohammed (pbuh) really wanted it.

أبو سنان said...

The term "Wahhabi" is a bit misleading when one looks at Islam or Muslim history.

What is called "Wahhabism" by the West today actually owes more of it's roots to Ibn Taymiyyah than to Mohammed ibn Abd'al Wahhab. I guess it would be too hard for Westerners to say something like "Taymiyyahien" or something like that.

"Wahhabi" is a pejorative term for what is nothing more than an ultra strict form of Salafism.

Having said that, I agree with Uber girl. Even with all of the segregation the same things that happen in the West happen in Saudi.

It just isnt talked about and it is covered up, which adds hypocrisy to the mix.

Woozie said...

My my, I'm gone for a month or so and look at all this drama!

Fo0f said...

hey jat 3ala segregation bs ya3ne.. ma agool ela; ALLAH YEFREJHA!!

and to be honest, maybe it's our LUCK ano ma njls m3 hal wahabyeen :P YES I SAID WAHABYEEN TOO!!!

Anonymous said...

I read your blog frequently. I have always been curious about your culture. I wanted to tell you this evening here in the states I viewed on The Travel Channel about Jeddah. I was so excited, I saw Saudi culture such as what you write about. I thoroughly enjoyed it. Do you watch Anthony Bourdain / No Reservations? Please let me know if you have heard of this show?


Mochness said...

I agree with Foof's comment about us being lucky enough to not have to mingle with these people =P But seriously, we're supposed to have a choice in the matter =S

Salwa said...

The sad part is, upon my travels to neighboring GCC countries, this segregation does not exist. And no, I am not referring to the UAE or Bahrain. I visited Oman twice, and although it's not my number one destination (no offense), I had no encounters whatsoever with such ideas that enforce a separation based on sex.
One night, starving and alone at my sister's house, I decided to walk to the nearest plaza and grab a bite, upon reaching Hardees, I looked back and forth, left and right trying to find the families' section, because in my head afterall, it's still Oman. A very kind Omani in his mid 20s asked me if I needed any help, and I ask if he could direct me to the families' section. And after 10-15 seconds, ever so cluelessly, a faint "what?" appears out of thing air! And just before I could ask again, and indian woman walks in, and behind her entered 3 european-looking men. I managed to swallow my words and whispered a "thank you" and walked in.
This just further provide evidence into the fact that this segregation is a Saudi invention. If our neighboring GCC countries, with the same language, religion, tribal attributes, and relatively close accents wouldn't dare speak of such segregation, then why do we stand at the fore?
It's a fictitious invention, you can never completely segregate men and women, because in the end, humans will interact. They must.

Anonymous said...

i must admit that i am somewhat amused at times to read about practices, rules and regulations in muslim countries. not that there isn't a fair share of funny rules in the west either.

a few years back i read an article about muslim scholars in egypt who were discussing if it was proper for a man and a woman to be 1) naked together and/or 2) have the light on during sex and potentially see each other naked. they even discussed if there should be a sheet between the man and the woman during the act of sex (with a hole of course for the required tools to reach the other side). the man and the woman would of course be married.

just in case you thought gender segregation in the public square is a wee bit over the top..........

Anonymous said...

unislamic indeed;

treating his wife with TLC. tsk tsk tsk, gotta stop that stuff, gotta let 'em know who is the boss at home. beat 'em senseless, in a good islamic way.

ubergirl87 said...

Anonymous, Wahabbis are not offended by their label. And for some one who did not know Islam had different sects to say I am ignorant is laughable.
Maybe if your manners were halfway decent people would take your comments more seriously.
I am sick of people being rude on the internet. It's easy when you're ANONYMOUS,huh,tough guy?

Broke Saudi, <3 is all I gotta say, buddy.

Yawarakai, Actually many people argue that Abdulwahhab was quite violent and brutal, and that he did come up with some of what he preached. I'll have to read up on it though, I'm a bit rusty. I'll get back to you on it :-)

unokhan, ... lol yeah i guess.

Mansour, Our day will come, bro. We're all sick and tired, trust me.

Abbas, Thanks :-)

Anonymous (2), Yeah, we are pretty hot...
lol Thanks buddy :-)

Abu Sinan, Absolutely! A friend of our family told me that a crime is committed every three seconds in Riyadh. He knows this because he works at a hospital, as the government would NEVER admit to this statistic (if it is accurate.) Personally I take this man's word for it.
Can you imagine, though? That's the rate in Johannesburg, I think. And what is shocking is that Saudi Arabia in general has this reputation of being safe and quiet!

Woozie, Yeah you need to check back more often. We are pretty dramatic over here.

fo0f, Lol :-P
Bkaifhum ma ab3'a ashoofhum, bass widdi ashim shawayat hawa, man! :-|

Amira (anonymous), Yeah I do watch No Reservations occasionally :-D
Thanks, btw.

Mochness, EXACTLY!

Salwa, That's what frustrates me the most! In the end, men and women actually do mix. All this (attempted) segregation is just an inconvenience.

Anonymous (#3..? I lost count, lol), NOOO! YOU'RE JOKING!
... That sheet trick is pretty kinky, though. LOOOL

Anonymous (the last one), Actually, I don't like Noor either. The lead (while the article calls her "independent") is very Mary-Sue. That is, a character that is so idealistic, so morally high, that she is unrelatable. If Noor is showing people an independent woman and a caring husband, that's great. My fear is that it shows them that a woman must be this perfect creature that does no wrong and looks perfectly made up after being abducted and raped by a crazy stalker (yes, I saw that episode, lol.)
Thanks for the link. Interesting :-D

Thanks everyone! :-)

persona_non_grata said...

Well first of all Ubber I think you might have overstayed your welcome in Riyadh, and should consider moving to western region “Alhjaz”, Jeddah in particular where people are gentler, and kinder.

Personally I had a terrible experience in Riyadh, where they made me feel like a stranger in my own country (hence the nick). One month of work was like hell on Earth, rejection of others is what got us into trouble in the first place, it’s the seed that all the terrorist element try to place on the mind of their young recruits. And I’m not other, my family, and I are deep rooted within the fabric of this country, descendant of the prophet Mohammed. Still they reject me, because they don’t know to love, and accept.

Segregation doesn’t make sense, it’s unnatural, and it defeat its own purpose, the result of it, the men of Riyadh act like wild beasts (not all of course); and the women act like the ladies cast of desperate house wives. I see it all every summer if I’m lucky enough to be in Jeddah. They call the people of Jeddah of loose morals, and when I see some of those who come from Riyadh looking for relief of the strict enforcement of segregation act, I keep wondering if they have any morals at all. And another thing why should not woman go out alone to a public restaurant, it doesn’t make any sense they are pushing the young ladies to bring out a date. When you make everything unattainable, and very hard to get, you create the forbidden fruit syndrome, it’s a natural thing people always want what they can’t have. And if you keep people caged up in the name of Islam, they will rebel, and that is what’s happening in Riyadh, a huge and full underground party scene, unequal in its magnitude to any other city in Saudi Arabia. Our friends the Wahahbis “ the ultra conservative” and the people who are running the show on Squat force of the religious police should be aware of one thing you cant force people to do thing that they don’t want, an appropriate saying comes to mind here “you can lead the horse to water, but you can never make him drink”.

And finally if you want to box yourself in, eat from underneath your veil, and look at everyone around you with suspicions, stay home for God sake; they call it a public restaurant because it’s in public.


maha said...

LOL! i sooo understand how persona_non_grata felt in riyadh! i have family living there (who love it) and friends who did too.. but i always felt like an alien. and i agree, you SHOULD move to this part of the country. yes we do have crappy streets and almost non-existent sewage, but they're "working on it". What matters most of all, is that the people are friendly. you walk into the "singles" section of dunkin donuts because you cant be bothered to go up the stairs to the family section for your takeaway order and no one bats an eyelash. You can go out in large groups of friends and cousins to have dinner or a sheesha without stressing that someone will abduct you and throw you in jail. I'm not saying its all peachy here, i'm about to explode with frustration half the time, but at least the Fear isn't there.
Its the FEAR and aggression in the air that really gets to me.