National Day Celebrations

We took the kids and went driving around Riyadh on National Day to see the celebrations. Unfortunately I forgot my camera at home and had to use my cell phone to catch these images. The streets were full of guys hanging out of their car windows with flags wrapped around their heads or waving them. Below are photos and a video of the celebrations:





Some even stopped their cars at the side of the road, got out and danced! There’s a video of this too in which a bunch of young guys parked their truck on the curb and got out and danced with the stereo blasting a national song:



 And when we went to Sahara Mall, the muttawa were all out to squelch celebrations. They caught a bunch of teenage girls and took the flags that the girls had thrown over their abayas. And as we were leaving, two mall security officers were holding this guy for the muttawa SUV. As I passed by I raised my camera to take a photo and the poor guy called out to me to go right ahead and take his photo. Hubby lectured the security officers, he told them there’s nothing wrong with letting him express himself as long as he’s not hurting anyone. And the officers said that they are holding him because he offends public decency!




Filed under Fun, Sept 23rd

13 responses to “National Day Celebrations

  1. Jerry M

    Isn’t it sad that the morality police confuse ‘fun’ with imorality? What is wrong with a little silliness? What is wrong with a girls wearing flags over their heads?

    One question? Do your festivities include any fireworks?

  2. I like our cellphone photos; they give a special flavour to the image.
    It was so nice to read your report how people were enjoying themselves, and celebrating their country!
    You can really sense the athmosphere of joy!
    Are the videoclips yours too?

    How depressing that that the kill-joys are always around to quelch any kind of fun, however innocent. 😦

    I hope you and your family had a good time despite this.

  3. Chiara

    This post really gives us a flavour for what the celebrations were like. Thanks!

    I wonder if the primary objection to the reveller was the “masque”. Most regimes with high governmental control prohibit public wearing of face masks, eg parades with costumes and masks making the person unidentifiable.

    Perhaps this is less of an issue in a country with sandstorms and the appropriate use of the shemagh for covering the face.

    He looks rather benign, and standard costumed celebration fair, poor fellow.

    • Medina

      Their major problem is the hallucination of purification. They think that unnecessary fun might lead to fasad, immorality. They are against even laughing loudly, smiling is accepted. They are against anything related to fun except the kind of fun that might be an opening for a religious purpose. Usually, they politicize their ideology and they start isolating themselves from the society and make their own group. Such group is lead by a spiritual person, usually, the knowledgeable pious person among them. Then, they make their own agenda and they start preaching against anything they are against. Once, they control the society, they oblige everyone to follow their ideology, otherwise, they might punish him. ( that is why people call them Muttwa; obligor.What we have seen in the picture is just a practice of such politicized ideology.

      • Chiara

        Medina–off topic–please email me at:
        chiaraazlinquestion AT
        I have 2 items to talk to you about but preferably offline. Thanks. (make up a new email if you prefer I don’t know your real one).

        Medina–on topic–nice analysis! Politicized religious ideology has done great harm in the world from the Crusades to Bush to this.

    • Medina

      Hi Chiara
      did you receive my email?

  4. I hate it when people here try to have good clean innocent fun and someone else deems it haram. What in the world is wrong with having a little fun and a good time or making people laugh?

  5. lark

    What do you think of the coed university?

    I like your blog.

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