Read Me/Disclaimer

Read Me/Disclaimer: This is a non-political/socio-political blog. It's a running tale of my Saudi Arabian adventure, great, good, bad, and ugly. It is uncensored, and I don't really care what you think of it, read it or don't. I don't care. I did not decide to do this as a means to an end, but rather to document the means with which I occupied my time while waiting for my end... All that being said, I'm an American Expat in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. The opportunity to help build this system and the salary that accompanied it were to good to pass up.-Geoff

"The views presented here are just the views of some asshole named Geoff, they are not necessarily the views of my employer, my co-workers, my family or anybody else. First hand knowledge and second hand accounts were used to compile the information. These are not scientific facts and figures. These views are not necessarily supported, endorsed or even appreciated by the KSA the USA or any other country for that matter and the author makes absolutely no claim that they are."**

Monday, February 4, 2013

Technology moves faster than the muttawa...

Serious bloggers and reporters (not me!), have had a lot to talk about in terms of women in Saudi Arabia and gender segregation lately.  Saudi is going through growing pains you see.  The traditional Islamic thinking folks want to maintain the role of religion and modest behavior in the country.  The more "progressive" thinking sect wants to open it up a little more, wants women to be able to work, drive and maybe even allow men and women to mix in society.  There are fringe "extremists" off both of these groups, on one side they want every woman in full Burkha and strict gender segregation, on the other they want to build the equivalent of hooters and nightclubs on every corner and allow women to wear whatever they want, the less the better. 

As an expat, a foreigner and a "semi" culturally sensitive one, I don't take much of an opinion on this...not really at least.  As far as I'm concerned, the Western version of universal human rights are a bit skewed...and maybe shouldn't necessarily include women driving or working for the matter. 

I find it slightly amusing that International non-profits work tirelessly to free the women of Saudi Arabia from their "chains", and yet little is said about the destitute Pakistani, Phillipino or Bangladeshi man picking up trash in 110+ degree heat to make a living and feed his family for 500-1000 SAR/month ($133-$266 USD).  

I think as far as I'm concerned if the women of Saudi Arabia want change, they should fight for it themselves (as many do) and change it from within.

So all that being said, let me assure the reader that their are folks who break the rules here, Their are Saudi folks who live on compounds and drink at embassies.  Others date and dance and party.  Some are wild and some are just not quiet "traditional".  Among my student population, I definitely have some boys and young men who are down to party, which makes me believe even more that they aren't alone in that desire.  

China has it's own version of facebook, North Korea is considering one...Saudi, while banning users from accessing certain websites, allows facebook, twitter, snapchat, whatsapp and everything that goes along with them.  Including...wait for it....wait for it....the newest sex app..."BWF".  I'm not going to name it, first of all I don't want any trouble with its owners or the CPVPV, and second of all I've never used it.  I don't know if it's the best idea or not, but I'm not judging at this point.  It will however give some of the young people around here a whole lot of interesting things to talk about and trouble to get into...The same way "DTF" did a while back.  

If you haven't noticed...I often have no point...tonight I have two.  Either Saudi is going to have to do something to move to a more moderate position on some of these issues or their going to have problems.  But also, can you imagine how this looks from a culturally conservative viewpoint?  One that believes deep down that men should be strong and pure and that women should be modest and pure?  Some days we really do the look like the roman orgy of a culture they think we are.  I think things like this fuel the fire...Oh well, bring on the debauchery I guess. However, I can't imagine being 21 again in this high tech world of finding "dates" using the GPS on my phone and knowing which of my facebook friends want to shag!  :-)

Friday, February 1, 2013

Breaking News: US Embassy attack

US Embassy in Ankara, Turkey attacked in a suspected suicide bombing.  Two are reported dead, with one serious claim of responsibility yet. Although apparently the bomber was a member of a "leftist domestic group" in Turkey. 

This makes three US diplomatic facilities attacked in less than 6 months.  This isn't going to go well, and new Secretary of State John Kerry has his hands full on week 1...