Saudi Heroes

Dr. Ghazi Al Gosaibi’s passing got me thinking. There are certain people in every generation and era that make a person honored to have lived in their time. People who courageously push a nation forward even when the majority of their countrymen are standing still or worse pushing back. These people are rarely appreciated in their lifetime and their initiations only truly valued long after they are lost.

Besides Dr. Ghazi Al Gosaibi, these are today’s people who my grandchildren and great grandchildren will celebrate and honor, people who will be included in history books and classroom discussions. My future Saudi Arabia will be built on the foundation that they are laying. I can’t predict the future, but I can dream.

Wajeha Al Huwaider

An outspoken pioneer of the Saudi women’s rights movement. Unfortunately due to the standing ban on her writing in the local press, many of the women she is fighting for don’t even know her name.

Matrook Al Faleh

A political activist and writer who was threatened and jailed several times. He calls for a constitutional monarchy and more civil rights. Shortly after he was set free, he went back to writing about the terrible conditions other political activists were under in prison and was imprisoned again. He was freed seven months later. That’s what I call perseverance and courage.

Fouad Al Farhan

The first Saudi blogger to taste the bitterness of censorship. In history books, he will be remembered as the first Saudi to utilize the blogsphere for political change. Despite being warned by officials to tone down his writing about the conditions of imprisoned political activists among other topics, he persisted and was imprisoned from December 10 2007 to April 26 2008. His blog was blocked in Saudi Arabia and still is. He became active on other social media including Facebook and Twitter. Recently he has also started a new blog.

Dr. Mohammed Al Zulfa

A Saudi who put his plush and comfortable position as a Shoura Council member on the line by presenting to the government a well-prepared and detailed study calling for lifting the ban on women driving. This was in 2006 and he was severely attacked. There were even cell phonevideos showing how muttawas would crowd around him to “advise” him everywhere he went. You can read my post at the time here.

Abdulla Al Qaseemi

A thinker and writer whose books and name need to be brought back into the light. Al Qaseemi started out as a fervent defender of Saudi grown Islamic fundamentalism in the face of some Egyptian Islamic scholars he had met and studied under when he first left Saudi Arabia in 1927 to study at Al Azhar University. Twenty years later he retracted many of his former ideas and wrote several books and articles that greatly influenced thinkers and decision makers all over the Middle East except in Saudi Arabia where he was denounced and heavily censored.

A landmark book of his is (هذه هي الأغلال) These Are The Shackles

In this video Turki Al Dakheel catches a progressive sheikh, Ahmed Bin Baz, off guard as he reads aloud an unsourced quote from one of the sheikh’s articles that originally was written by Al Qaseemi. Apparently sheikh Bin Baz reads Al Qaseemi but is reluctant to put him as a source for fear of being attacked and rejected like Al Qaseemi before him.

There are of course many more Saudi heroes that I should have included, but these are the dearest to my heart for their sheerpatriotism and sacrifice.


Filed under Personal favorites, Saudi heroes

6 responses to “Saudi Heroes

  1. Pingback: More Saudi Heroes « Saudiwoman’s Weblog

  2. Saudi~MAN~

    أبطال فعلا
    يودع الانسان حياته الطبيعية قبل أن يقول اللي في خاطره مثل هؤلاء

    القضية واحدة، الحرية. و كل من هؤلاء له طريقته

    الملاحظ على المجموعة
    يثور الناس على واحد دون اخر، و تثور السلطة على واحد دون اخر


    الناس لا تريد حرية المرأة (و تريدها السلطة السياسية)، الناس تريد الاصلاح السياسي (و لا يريده من يتضرر بالاصلاح السياسي – من أهل الفساد المالي على وجه الخصوص)٬

    السبب الاخر هو التطرف
    التطرف زين/شين، بلا تطرف لن يحدث تغيير يذكر، و التطرف الزائد يؤدي الى الانعزال

    و لا أعني التطرف الفكري، فجميع هؤلاء متطرفون، بل التطرف في الطرح

    غازي هو الأذكى في أسلوب مخاطبة الناس
    خاطبهم بالأدب و الشعر و القصة
    ورفض المزايدات الدينية عليه

    القصيمي أكثر واحد بايعها.. لكنه اندثر لشدة تطرفه

    **الله يديم الانترنت تطرف على كيفك بس لا تكتب اسمك**

  3. “In this video Turki Al Dakheel catches a progressive sheikh, Ahmed Bin Baz, off guard as he reads aloud an unsourced quote from one of the sheikh’s articles that originally was written by Al Qaseemi”

    Excuse me, but I think this is quite absurd. In the whole video the “progressive” sheikh was basically lamenting how ill-mannered the saudi society is and they taunt and accuse their opponents in a debate all the time. Then, at 6:00 in the video, when Al-Dakhil mocks him for plagiarising from Al-Qaseemi, he says, Oh, “Al-Qaseemi, that Pharaonic character… is said he had repented on his deathbed and had a good end, I hope so, but if not then Allah will deal with him.”

    How “progressive” is that? The guy shamefully plagiarized, then did exactly what he was criticizing in the interview! And he clearly did think that Al-Qaseemi was an apostate, Al-Dakhil goaded him to admit that, but he ducked the question. BTW, shouldn’t this Baaz guy be thrown in jail for insulting his compatriot ; )

  4. Pingback: Even more Saudi heroes | Saudiwoman's Weblog

  5. Pingback: Saudi Heroes | Saudiwoman's Weblog

  6. Reblogged this on Jean Sasson and commented:
    These are all great human beings who help humankind.

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