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Saudi Arabia

(169 Posts)
MagicFinger Sat 12-Dec-15 19:19:42

Ok, not strictly Aibu, but I've had no answers on chat and I really want to learn about it.

I was reading about Saudi women being allowed to vote for the first time today and googled photos of Saudi.

There appear to be women in the streets without a male escort and some with their heads uncovered.

I was wondering how these laws for women work in practice and whether it is actually as strict as it is portrayed in the West?

BubsandMoo Sat 12-Dec-15 19:25:38


Millionsmom Sat 12-Dec-15 19:42:00

I lived there for 5 years and escaped last year.

No I didn't need a male escort, but I had to suffer men staring and being suggestive when I went out. There is also an implication that only prostitutes go out alone or without said male relative.

No, my head didn't need to be covered as I'm not Muslim, but the religious police have a different view and would shout at me to cover my head if they saw me. A few times they even followed me to see where I was going.

No, I didn't need to wear the horrible black cloak when I left the house as I'm not a Muslim, but why draw attention to yourself?? 'They' already stare at you/make rude comments, wearing the abayer gives you a little anonymity. Occasionally I'd defiantly wear regular clothes - long trousers/skirt and long sleeved top, but the come back wasnt worth the feeling of defiance.

Yes, it IS as strict as you think. I couldn't drive, but I would see boys as young as 10 driving huge SUVs, and that's ok??
They shops close for prayers. So if prayer time is 11.25 am, the shop closes around 11.05. Most don't reopen til 4 ish. But then there are 2 prayers in quick succession, so you can't get anything done til after 8 pm as the shops close in advance of the prayers and only open about 15 mins after prayer finishes. Not everyone goes to pray, but the shops, restaurants etc have to close. Good restaraunts lock you in so you. An at least continue eating. Sometimes the bigger shops do too.

Millionsmom Sat 12-Dec-15 19:48:53

i lived in the Eastern Province and the place is seriously rank. It's like the Gov don't care where rubbish is dumped or that loos should not smell like rancid pee. My pelvic floor muscles are amazing now. I can hold it for hours.
If you ever go to Dubai - which has less money than Saudi, it's lovely and clean. The Gov look after their people and their country. I was expecting Saudi to be on par as they are a very rich country. Sadly, it's not the case.

Enjolrass Sat 12-Dec-15 19:51:58

The news said this morning that rules are in place for women running.

They wouldn't be allowed to speak to people face to face for example

AnotherTimeMaybe Sat 12-Dec-15 19:57:02

Lived there too, exactly as Millions described , only thing I had to wear abayer and cover my head. Wasn't even allowed to sit in a restaurant with my dad, and shops in some cities didn't allow me to go in to buy some clothes , I had to choose while I was outside
I feel sorry for poor women there, treated like a peace of meat when 'sold' to someone to have a family and not even allowed to walk 'next ' to him on the street. Tough place to live in

Egosumquisum Sat 12-Dec-15 19:58:38

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

AnotherTimeMaybe Sat 12-Dec-15 20:01:30

..... And don't mention the hand amputations every Friday on the main square if God forbid you're caught stealing!

Egosumquisum Sat 12-Dec-15 20:05:48

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

aquashiv Sat 12-Dec-15 20:13:05

Gosh its hard to believe in this day and age women are treated ih such a vile manner

iwantgin Sat 12-Dec-15 20:16:51

It is aqua.
Not a place I plan to visit.

RudeElf Sat 12-Dec-15 20:18:52

I always struggle to understand why people go there. I suppose many of them struggle to understand why people come here though.

Ubik1 Sat 12-Dec-15 20:19:32

Out of interest - do you think this King is the best of a bad bunch?

Saudi Is at least a stable country. You wonder what would happen if the royal family were not in charge.

AnotherTimeMaybe Sat 12-Dec-15 20:22:23

I always struggle to understand why people go there
Some for the money, some are forced by their job, some go temp and then stay longer again for the money.. All job related, you are not allowed to go for holidays there

MagicFinger Sat 12-Dec-15 21:48:36

Interesting question ubik, thanks for all your replies too.. Do Saudi women go online, I wonder if there are any on mumsnet?

Egosumquisum Sat 12-Dec-15 22:08:22

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

RudeElf Sat 12-Dec-15 22:42:28

Some for the money, some are forced by their job, some go temp and then stay longer again for the money.. All job related, you are not allowed to go for holidays there

So just money then.

hedgehogsdontbite Sat 12-Dec-15 23:12:20

Does anyone remember when they executed their princess?

EnthusiasmDisturbed Sat 12-Dec-15 23:33:46

There is a great film called Wadjda. It was the first film directed by a woman to be filmed in Saudi. It's about a young rebellious girl. It shows the women rebel in the way they can it does not show them being fearful and weak and also the structure in society

From people I know who have lived there they said it accurate depiction it's a very touching film I think watched it on amazon prime well worth watching

VestalVirgin Sat 12-Dec-15 23:38:15

All job related, you are not allowed to go for holidays there

I wouldn't go if I was paid for going for holidays there. It's so vile.

Millionsmom Sun 13-Dec-15 04:50:10

Two of the Holiest sites for Muslims are there, so a lot of pilgrims have to come as part of their religion.
The sad thing is, so many of these pilgrims get ripped off by the 'good' people of Mecca and Medina. But they can't complain as it negates their pilgrimage.

As for the new King, well, he's not in the best of health so it's not really him in charge. He - or his advisers - are quite hard line, so many more executions since he came to power than the previous King.

I'm sure there are Saudi mumsnetters, the only place I couldn't get onto Mumsnet was in Dubai! But many people use VPNs - they are illegal, but there are ways to download them. Dissent isn't encouraged in Saudi, the press isn't free. You tend to only hear what's going on through rumours or if you witness it first hand. The papers have some stuff, but, well, the Daily Fail is the Times in comparison. Some of the comments are unbelievable. Just a couple of years ago, they allowed women to work in certain supermarkets, you wouldn't believe what some people commented about it. Even riding a bicycle was forbidden until very recently. Women can only ride as long as they aren't trying to find work/go to work/for fun and they must have a male relative with them. When the annual floods happened, some commentators blamed the women riding their bikes as it was Gods way of showing us that women should not ride bicycles.
I wish I were joking, but I'm not.

We were there because they paid a lot of money. If someone offers you your annual salary for a months work, it's hard to turn down especially when you work out you can be mortgage free in X amount of years.

Flobberty Sun 13-Dec-15 05:14:47

Your annual salary for a month's work? Wow. Sorry if this is a silly question but why are the salaries so very high there?

Sameshitdiffname Sun 13-Dec-15 05:17:08

My friend is a Saudi he's related to their royal family moved here because he would have been killed if his family found out he is gay, he can't visit his family he's basically alone here.

He hates how strict it is there and doesn't understand why it can be that way there but other countries are accepting!

AnotherTimeMaybe Sun 13-Dec-15 05:41:23

flobberty noone would go there otherwise! Money has always been the reason for people hanging around there
Also as a side note it's pretty tough for men too sometimes.... They can't hold hands with their wives, let alone hug or kiss, and they must give a valid excuse for being out after certain time (that was 8pm in our area confused ) !

HoundoftheBaskervilles Sun 13-Dec-15 05:47:58

It's a terrible place, people forget morals for money.

We cosy up, we should denigrate these people and their beliefs.

The salaries are so high because that's what it takes to buy people.

And that's what they do, buy people whilst spreading a brand of Wahhabism that is repulsive to the majority. They fund Mosques that propagate that brand of Islam. They are not kind, they are not humanist, they do not like women. They hate women, work there if you like that kind of shite, take your money and run, take your tax-free salary. Well done.

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