Ok, maybe a bit of a shaken trust in Al Jazeera, after their MENTAL BREAKTHROUGH, but yeah..
Now that i've mentally prepared you for what lies ahead, dear reader, make the jump..
During the professionally-induced blogging coma I was in, I came across some news headlines that seemed a bit like a joke. Only to be shocked later on how real they are, and it wasn't some sort of an April Fool's prank (i really hope). Three, in particular, are worth immortalizing in my silent-reader-archives.
The Saudi government issues a ruling that bans none-Saudis from teaching the Quran. (link in Arabic)
Am guessing the agenda is somewhere around "control the the output to easily manage the input" opposing what seems to be a textbook racial discrimination case, but the way the media is pushing it is around "more jobs for the unemployed locals"..
My question(s) is (for the media and those who happen to agree with them)
..are we really running out of jobs that we're targeting small almost-none-profit Quran teachings? If we're in such dire need for work, what's so wrong about creating more opportunities? why wear out the same ones, same directions, with more local blood, instead of starting new directions?
More demand needs more supply. Done. Easier said than done, but that's where the oil comes in.
..are we that confused about the universality of religions, that we're limiting those who teach it to those with a national ID number? Did whoever come up with this decision (and the board that approved this) came to think on how this will affect the religion's image to the many Muslims who aim to teach in one of Islam's capitals?
But what do I know, right?
The Saudi government is coordinating with international authorities in pursuit of fleeing Saudi Scholarship students. (link in Arabic)
As it seems from many news reports, a percentage of Saudi scholarship students are having plans of their own, not wanting to come back (no mention on how many, though) . Some applied for a permanent job, some even applied for citizenship. The governmental "hunt" is in form of asking for notifications when such a thing occurs, and plans to cut the program-funding off of those who do so. Nothing was clear if there is any more legal action to be taken, but I think you got the idea.
Of course, going through the documents, Students sign a binding contract upon accepting the scholarship terms and regulations, which state that students should not marry a none-Saudi abroad and no citizenship application. Upon violation of these terms, funding is stopped, which is basically pocket money + rent.
Wouldn't it be better to make an interview before/after shipping out those "kids" and know their feedback? If they came back, how was it, and if not, why? Just a simple survey that gives a pie chart of what's going on, and it can be done with minimal resources, i promise you..
But maybe, instead of questioning their sense of patriotism (as some online reactions seem to focus on) did you bother wondering why they left this "haven"?
Allow me to draw you a simple picture:
You study a major, the government is funding you, and everything seems to be going according to plan. You return home safely, and you're faced with either a job is that doesn't relate to what you studied or a seriously time-consuming process to make your profession an official job.
Should the student choose a major that fits his country? or should the country fit the ambitions of the student?
And that's just professionally, there are several social/cultural/political reasons that I can go into, but i think you got the picture.
Plus, there's a guy in a black thobe and glasses behind me, he popped out of nowhere.
And the icing on the cake.. But in order to fully experience this piece of news, i suggest you get your webcam ready for a quick picture.
Ok, are you ready?
Accused Saudi judge claims to be possessed by jinn, mind controlling his actions. (link in Arabic, but English coverage is here)
SNAP PICTURE NOW!
I'll leave you with that expression on your face, because whatever it is, it won't differ much from the public opinions about this.
I mean, seriously, a genie?
To be honest, with a superstitious culture that considers blaming a huge percentage of misfortunes and bad events on either infidels (jews, zionists in most cases) and/or magic (evil eye, voodoo, the aforementioned mind controlling creatures), do i blame the judge for doing so?
Despite popular belief that judges are saints, this guy is just human. With a nutshell of a brain, true, but still, humans make mistakes. The system should take care of him, right?
Well, probably if he spent half the time looking for a legal loophole* to slip through, instead of relying on Harry Potter, he would've got a better press exposure than this joke.
* last time i checked, there wasn't any -- this is a sponsored comment --
he might be signing your legal documents AS WE SPEAK!!!
Then again, i don't blame him, i blame the system that allowed him to exist, and i blame the system that covers up on him even more.. Am sorry, this is too much of a joke to let it pass..
You know, i keep on reading debates about how we should promote a better image of the country in the eyes of the world, how many of you are worried about how the country looks in the eyes of it's own citizens?
I wish, just for once, that the government would address the people directly. No news papers, no middle men, no blankets, just a direct message. Let the people know where they stand on this, because it's crucial to know how real/unreal/dealt-with the situation is..
I mean seriously, what am I supposed to tell my kid? Welcome to the Kingdom of Saudi Absurdities? You can read our selective-history right in-between the fiction and nonfiction sections?
…for god's sake, people!