Seriously though, it seems every time I figure something out about the world, or people in the world, someone comes along and proves me wrong. This happens constantly here! For whatever reason, my brain is always trying to establish a baseline for things, including cultures I guess. It wants to be able to say that "the mean is this and with the exception of a few outliers, the rule holds true". Except that it doesn't. Almost never does it work out to be a "safe" and "general" description.
To prove that to me today, a writer in Arab News, who I generally don't like, in fact that I generally really don't like wrote an op-ed piece that I like. Not only do I like it, but I agree wholeheartedly with what she has to say. Sabria S. Jawhar writes this piece http://www.arabnews.com/don%E2%80%99t-get-too-excited-about-jeddah%E2%80%99s-new-aquarium and while it brings Jeddah's new aquarium to the attention of people who didn't know about it (such as myself!) it more directly pokes at the Haia for their ultra-conservatist views on morality and the ways in which they must enforce their world view. This is the type of behavior that gets bloggers arrested, expats kicked out, and my comments on the online article erased. And yet, she wrote it, published it and it made the final cut of a state or VERY close to state owned newspaper.
So, back to the box...barring the article disappearing tomorrow and the author suddenly getting fired for incompetence...these things happened. An author saw a possible problem in Saudi society that she wanted to address. She then wrote about it and submitted it, her editor let it run, the printer printed it and the distributor distributed it.
You just can't put Saudi's in a box, no matter how much that joke makes me giggle sometimes, it's true. Stereotyping and categorizing human beings with free will is impossible.
**Note to my newer ESL readers, that second part is a joke, it's sarcasm based on a "play on words" and concepts.
**Also, this was first brought to my attention from another bloggers post, http://www.nzpounamu.com/2013/01/dont-get-too-excited-about-jeddahs-new.html?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+KiwiLivingInSaudiWhatToDo+%28Kiwi+Living+in+Saudi%3A+What+to+do%3F%29 She can be found at the link listed and writes a great blog from a totally different city, generation, gender, background and angle than I do. Check her out!