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    Saturday, September 26, 2009

    Happy National Day..

    [ UPDATE : A month ago, a campaign started by the concerned Saudi youth in reaction to this.. Like many other youth-led campaigns, it was organized online on message boards, and might i say, did a good job in restoring the moral at least.. Details in here, it's in Arabic..]

    Am sure most of you have heard already, or not, but i am completely enraged about what some if us chose recently as a show of "patriotism".. The same patriotism that pushes us to block traffic and dance like goons in the middle of the street, or harass families.. I mean, i thought that was low, but never thought celebration would cause a riot rampage such as this..

    On the Saudi national day, all of the cities in Saudi were experiencing the celebrations, but it was ended by major vandalism and destruction of property in AlKhobar city..

    These pictures left me speechless for a while..

    I mean, celebrate all you want, but what the heck is this?

    Of course, the media is being awfully quite.. Some news articles and blog buzz around the web, but major news agencies probably missed it.. Maybe on purpose, trying to consider the king's feelings on his kingdom's national day.. Or maybe, just maybe, Saudi had good positive of coverage of KAUST and we don't want to ruin that..

    ** YouTube is filled with videos, and short clips, i just don't know how to attach them to my blog, and it's annoying to copy and paste **

    Seems like these kids are eager to be educated.. It can only tell of the level of civilized behavior that would translate loving your country, to friggin' steal cashier registers and throw ice cream all over the place.. Maybe it's education that made those "citizens" get on a sugar-high and act like angry monkeys.. I mean the clips are short of them throwing feces on each other.. At least it would make sense of what were they aiming with this..

    Was it political?
    Civil disobedience?

    Just down right stupid, maybe?

    Looking through the motive theories around the web, some say it was set up and pre-planned, and that's not that far fetched.. They did unite under the cause and move in swarms of hundreds between one place to another.. They didn't even break and escape when warning shots were used, which came long after their deeds were done..

    Another theory suggests that this is just our love for the kingdom and how we express it and the ill-mannered fashion we're accustomed to just got worse, that's all.. This would be that "what did you expect"

    Other theories call it racist hate between the regions, which is part of our pop culture sadly.. I truly think it's on the decline, but this made me wonder..

    Some might say that they just got pissed because the celebrations were lame and over publicized.. What does a fried chicken restaurant have to do with this?

    No matter what the theory is, it can be a million things, but this display is shameful, and it pains you to see such atrocity on a national day.. Can't find exactly what pushes someone to rationalize such things..

    Blame the family or the government?

    In Jeddah, they blocked the streets and it was the strongest amount of security i saw in a while.. People still put the loud music and danced on their cars as they were waiting in the traffic, blocked by the police to allow the king to pass.. All that man power got transferred to jeddah from all over the country, i think, because the cops didn't even show up at alKhobar's Sea front until a couple of hours after the riots reached it peak..

    Why not create a festival square in the city's center, make it a km by a km and let people celebrate as much as they want.. Enforce such regulations so others won't get harmed by some wrong decisions, and apparently slow ones too, if it took the police more than an hour to control the situation while their HQ is 10 minutes away walking from the area of the crisis..

    Why not put stricter punishments, and actually implement them publicly every now and then? this is NOT the first time something like this happens (not in the same scale of course) and it happened before in the same area.. Can't we plan ahead for future events?

    When it came to protecting the king's ride from one place to another, security was tighter around the streets than in a Quarantine zones, but we need that protection too when times are about to get wild.. Really, guys, we're not kidding..

    I hope those places get their reimbursements soon, because they were the most to suffer.. Talk about changing all your store's windows because someone broke them all down, and your security camera, and scared away your customers for the night.. Yikes..



    1. A very well written post and couldn't agree with you more.

      Just wondering, why does the King have to always take the road?!? Isn't there a thing that can fly in air? I mean the helicopter. There are a couple of them flying above him anyways. So why not make him sit inside them?

    2. I think it's the prestige.. I mean, if flies over our head everytime he's in town, we'd miss the street blocking, the fancy police lights, and the closest we can be at the given time to him..

      I work by King's Road, if i had a riyal for everytime anyone official passes by and they tell us to clear the streets, i'd buy him 3 helicopters and a PSP for the ride..