Matrook Al Faleh

Call me naïve but I don’t get it. I read through the statement he was jailed for and I honestly don’t see any serious threat to the government, mainly for two reasons:

  • The statement is about the poor state of a prison in Qaseem. Is that unpatriotic to publicize? We’re a rich country. Why not just make plans for a bigger and better prison and have newspapers write about it?
  • Or better yet, just ignore the statement because in and of itself not that many people care, especially Saudis. For the general public at the ground level surrounding me, his name mostly doesn’t even register. And sadly when it does, it is definitely with wonder at his stupidity. Questions like: hasn’t he learned his lesson by now? Or Why does he keep putting himself through this? And I even got a comment that he must be missing his friend so he wrote that so that the government could reunite them in the jail he wrote about.

Yesterday 137 Saudis sent a petition to the King asking for the release of Al Faleh. If you look at the list, they’re all intellectuals; writers, journalists and professors. He’s been jailed since the 19th of May and he has started a hunger strike. Out of about 22 million Saudis all we could muster is 137 individuals to ask for his release!

When you look at the big picture, this is a wonderful country and I’m proud to be part of it. My grandparents’ generation was illiterate and now the majority of the population is relatively educated. That is a lot of progress for just one hundred years. I’m not an apologist, but I dare you to show me where in the world has there ever been a one hundred year old country that respects/ed human rights. We are going through a lot of growing pains, especially considering the local culture and how different it is from global cultures. Eventually the right decision gets made. That was the case with the Qateef girl and I hope it will be the same for Al Faleh.

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