Saudi Arabia, as a country and as a culture, unnerves me. But, that being half of my bloodline, I’m drawn back time and again to learn about it. Unfortunately so much of what I’ve seen and heard over time (including what I’ve even been told by a Saudi man who had befriended my former husband many years back) isn’t pretty. The VAST majority of it isn’t actually. Not to mention their royal family is sadistically nuts, yet still claimed as an ally by the U.S. and European nations.
Before I begin posting up links tonight, it deserves to be stated that I did attempt a positive information hunt on Saudi Arabia and the Middle East in general that went on for a few years during my time volunteering within the pro-peace/anti-war movement. Back then I really strove to give peace a chance and to open up my mind, hoping I’d come across information that could contradict what all I’d managed to learn about that nation and its people up until then. But no such luck. Even the liberal peace community couldn’t sweep its human rights abuses under the rug. That culture’s atrocious human rights record is undeniable, plentiful, and completely unapologetic.
Tonight I’ll showcase a few examples, beginning with a graphic LiveLeak video of a male servant being whipped, hit, and spit on by his purportedly Saudi (Arab of some sort either way) “sponsor”: https://www.liveleak.com/view?i=850_1382853964
Saudi Arabia requires a “sponsorship” program for its immigrant workers whereby a “sponsor” is granted a great deal of control over the worker, including his or her right to leave the country. This was reported in the Human Rights Watch 2012 report on Saudi Arabia: https://www.hrw.org/world-report/2012/country-chapters/saudi-arabia
Came across this article from the World Tribune (Sept. 22, 2013) titled “Saudi king’s son promotes ‘racist policy’ against nation’s blacks”: http://www.worldtribune.com/archives/opposition-saudi-kings-son-promotes-racist-policy-against-nations-blacks/
Hence why I was mistaken in my most recent video where I assumed there were little to no black people even living in Saudi Arabia these days. Come to find out they’re just being kept off the television and treated like second-class citizens (lower even than the migrant workers apparently in some cases) in what amounts to an apartheid setup. Not that that’s any better…
Here’s an article from The Guardian (Oct. 19, 2010) titled “Saudi prince guilty of servant’s murder”: https://www.theguardian.com/uk/2010/oct/19/saudi-prince-servant-murder-guilty?CMP=share_btn_tw
Here’s an example from just last week, “Saudi royal arrested over videos purportedly showing abuse” (CBS News; July 20, 2017): http://www.cbsnews.com/news/saudi-prince-arrested-videos-purported-abuse-threat-gun-alcohol-sharia-law/
A “prison for wayward royals”? They necessitate their own prison?? How many frickin’ royals does that country have? Don’t know much about the new king, but I won’t be holding my breath and expecting any real change to occur. Takes time to evolve, and that goes for people and whole cultures. Won’t happen over the course of a few years, most certainly.
I’ll let Abby Martin of the Empire Files tell us a little more:
Appointed to head the human rights panel at the UN. Yep, you heard that right. AND Saudi Arabia’s term on that panel won’t expire until 2019 (assuming they aren’t reappointed). Yet some wonder why the United Nations is increasingly viewed as a sick, twisted joke.
Am I uncomfortable with that half of my bloodline? No, not really. Though I am grateful to have not been born there and to not have been directly exposed to that disturbing culture while growing up (spoken as someone raised in Mississippi for Christ’s sake Imagine that seeming WAYYY better by comparison. Ha!). Guess it’s a good thing that my biological father wasn’t in my life. Might’ve turned out way worse. I’m willing to bet it probably would have, sad as that may sound to an outsider. Sure, that’s really unfortunate to have to acknowledge and accept, but the truth can hurt. I honestly would rather never know my biological father if he might possibly be like so many other Arab men I’ve either encountered or learned about. And that’s their own doing.
So, what does that do my own self-perception? Not as much damage as one might expect. Fills me with a sense of gratitude to be born an American and raised within an American family. Also grateful to know I can’t be exported. Heh Seriously though. Not even going to take chances in visiting a country like that since I’d probably be stoned while exiting the plane. Or kept there in some weirdo’s bathroom and tortured for all my heathen ways… Oy.
Happen to like my skin tone. Wonder sometimes if possessing that genetic background is why I can be such an emotional hothead. Otherwise, I tend to find the whole situation a bit funny, ironically so. Am proud to be a “sand honky,” since I’m the only one I’ve ever known (meaning specifically a Southerner/Arab blend). And I feel it gives me all the more license to tell it like I see it when it comes to the Arab world. Not self-hating since my problem is with that CULTURE (along with its peculiar religion, or at least the extremes it tends to be taken to).