I assure you that neither are true, and neither are my intentions. In fact I think I'm gonna stay again, but this time, I want to take an extra second and explain.
First of all, stopping something pre-emptively is...well preemptive. And preemptive can be good, but it can also be a knee jerk reaction to paranoia. I hate knee-jerk reactions! But its more than that...
When I came here, I knew NOTHING about Saudi Arabia, I thought I knew very little, but knew even less than I thought...which in a roundabout way proves I knew nothing. After a year, I do know something, even if its just a little bit and some of the folks that read this blog now know something too, even if its just a little bit. This is a good thing.
Whether everybody is in agreement about that or not, sharing knowledge and experiences between cultures IS a good thing. Especially where the East and West are concerned. If for no other reason than the last time we had BIG world fights we were using less dangerous weapons. The stakes are a little higher these days. Understanding a little bit about the people you share the world with is a good thing. Remember were trying to pollute the world to death...not destroy it in war. (you never knew I was such a dirty hippie did you?)
The recent "Innocence of Muslims" trailer on youtube makes a good learning point. As far as I'm concerned, it was a cheap, poorly made movie designed to offend. Allowing yourself to be offended and reactionary is the crime, NOT the movie. HOWEVER, I now know that my completely reasonable friends, co-workers, fellow bloggers and people who have shown me kindness in this strange land...they who happen to be Muslim, have a totally different opinion. I'm not saying they're right, and I'm not saying they're wrong, but I am now aware that to them...insulting the prophet (PBUH) IS a big deal. Its a thing that they want classified as a crime, yes, even the non-violent super majority want it classified as a crime. They now know that I think that's overreach and I now know that its more than off limits, its WAY off limits.
So maybe, I'll tone it down a bit. Maybe I'll make sure that I don't do any insulting of religion or politics that I don't understand.
Maybe I'll say words like Bullshit less,
and I'll not talk about Rock and Roll like Led Zeppelin, Bob Seger, The Red Hot Chilli Peppers, (all available on youtube.com in case you were interested...)
maybe I'll talk less about the beautiful girls down on Bourbon Street (you should visit if you're ever in NOLA) or the lovely women all throughout the South (that's Georgia, Alabama, Louisiana, Tennessee, and South Carolina in case you wondered...some people say Texas and Florida, but most of us don't think they count! and wikipedia claims that it applies to Arkansas, Kentucky, Oklahoma, Virginia and a bunch more...I disagree) At least as far as women and food go, I say Mississippi down to Louisiana and over to Georgia. But who cares! I'm just some asshole blogger with stupid opinions! (I'll try not to say asshole anymore).
I won't talk about those golden pilsners and hearty wheat's that we make so elegantly back in the US and that my students drink in Bahrain.
I certainly won't discuss the scent of a woman (Thanks Mr. Pacino) or that feeling you get after a first kiss. I would never even think about mentioning afternoon delights (hmm...nice :)
The main reason I'm staying though is the original reason, I knew nothing about the KSA when I got here, and I want to keep learning and keep sharing. If you are seriously against someone sharing your culture, you are a closed minded, idiotic, child who does your people a great disservice. I want to keep sharing and documenting my experiences here. Every time a student threatens me, every time someone asks for grades they didn't earn, every time someone is kind, every time someone goes above and beyond my expectations. Every time these things happen, I want to write about it, and I think I will.
And if you hate me...just think about all the publicity getting kicked out of the kingdom for blogging will get me? I might turn a stupid little blog into a book...I might be on Letterman, The Today Show? Fox News? You never know...but you do know that turning some stupid little blogger into an actual author might be counterproductive...and considering that my writing is stored on a computer in Florida...it may just be something to think about. Your Kingdom, your rules. My life, my freedom, my prerogative to write.
Yep, think I'll stay.