Monday, May 12, 2008

To be young and single in Saudi Arabia:

Saudi Jeans ponders: what does it mean, to be young in Saudi Arabia?

In particular, the piece nicely exposes the contradictions — or dare I say the hypocrisy — that govern the the lives of our youth. Nader, the guy we see at the beginning of the story trying to hook up with the girl at the front desk of a dental clinic despite the fact that he is engaged to Enad’s sister, shares his disgust at the woman they saw at a restaurant because they thought she was not accompanied by a man, and when a man, apparently her husband, joins her they keep making gestures at them until the couple moves to another table.

Now the important questions is, how much these two young men are representative of the male youth in the country? That’s a whole different story. In a country as large and as diverse as the Kingdom, it’s really difficult to make a general assumption based on an article like this one. True, Nader and Enad are not the kind of people I would usually hang out with, but that doesn’t mean they don’t exist. How many of them out there, though, is an open-ended question.

This post famishes my curiosity more than it nourishes it. I want to know more about the young people of Saudi Arabia. What do they do for recreation? Where do they meet to talk? What makes them laugh? What books do they read? What music do they listen to? How do boys get to meet girls? Do they talk back to their parents the way our teenagers do? When the young men meet, do they share secrets about sweethearts? When the young girls meet, do they joke about the awkwardness of men? Do they flirt? What movies do they like?


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