Friday, May 28, 2010

Us And Them

“Ask not what your country can do for you - ask what you can do for your country” – John Fitzgerald Kennedy

Guess you’ve all seen the “True Life. MTv Resist The Power: Saudi Arabia” by now, haven’t you? For those who didn’t, just follow this link and watch the entire thing, which is about an hour long

True Life. MTv Resist The Power: Saudi Arabia


Seen it now? Good. Firstly, I don’t appreciate MTv exploiting my country for entertainment. It IS entertainment, it’s not a documentary. It’s MTv, ladies and gents, don’t forget that!

Every Saudi blogger blogged about it, many of which I agree with their points of view. So as not to bore you with repetitiveness, I’ll keep the talk about it to the minimal and instead talk about how people reacted to it! Fun, don’t you think?
A bit about the video:

Firstly, the poor delusional Aziz. Guess nobody told him yet that George Michael is homosexual, that’s proly why the girl broke up with him.

Secondly, I don’t know what you think about coloured abayas, but I only got my 1st black one 2 years ago. I’m 23, not 13. My first abaya was a black one for 50 SR that I used the duration of 5th and 6th grade at school, by the end of those two years it was torn, painted, stapled and glued. Since then I got navy blue, then grey, then a striped grey abaya.

When I first met Fatima in her purple abaya last year I went back home to rummage through my old abayas but they were old and frayed.

Now, Ahmed! Wonderful job and a strong driving force, allah y5aleek lena.

The metal heads, it’s been ages since I’ve seen them metal heads. Brings back so many memories! I still appreciate me a good Opeth, Kalmah or In Flames. I can’t play music to save my life. Trust me, I’ve been trying to play piano since I was 9; but I could tell Chopin’s Nocturne no.2 in Eb, Op.9 from his Prelude no.4 in E minor, Op. 28. Just don’t count on me to play it.

AND the part you were all waiting for! What astounded me (I was going to use the word “flabbergasted” but thought I’d save you the trouble of so many letters) is the reception of this video. I’m not saying the video was perfect, but keep in mind that this is MTv entertainment.

I’ll spare you what was said about Aziz, since I believe he’s mistaken love for hormones. But then again, isn’t that love? Anyway, this is some of what was said about Fatima, notice how these blows are mostly dealt below the belt.

I took the liberty of not mentioning the ones that say that those girls are going to hell, since it includes severe misinterpretation of Islam.

Here are the racist comments, basically all stating that those are not “real” Saudi. Need I remind you “real” Saudis that a 100 years ago you didn’t have a country while we had a nationality, cutlery and chocolate. You should be thankful King Abdulaziz gave you a nationality, he could’ve simply ignored you as did the Ottomans; so play nice now. Sorry for sounding so racist.

racists

The ones blaming us for the floods. So should we cancel the exploitation trials?

floods

Then there is this drama queen who got a tummy ache and smashed his laptop screen as a result of seeing the video, since smashing his laptop screen is the ultimate solution to end these sinful acts.

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How can we forget the conspiracy theorists? There were a good number of those, but such long comments about how the “west” is going to infiltrate our infrastructure (what infrastructure?!) using those videos of important Saudi locations!

theorists
theorist2

Finally, those standing up for the girls. There are two types: the ones saying the girls did nothing Islamically wrong, and the type focusing on all the other bad things girls are doing and how those are actually good.

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Not to mention the group on facebook opposing it.

fcebook

And those filing for another “mujahara bil ma39iya” (boasting of sinful acts) claims against Aziz, Fatima and the metal heads. Guess we’ll know how that went by Sunday. They’re filing it on Saturday.

The song from which the title of this post comes, i suggest you google the awesome lyrics.

21 comments:

  1. Another individual act blown out of proportion

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  2. George Michael is gay? Georgios Kyriacos Panayiotou?

    I have not seen the MTV show yet, but I am guessing this Aziz dude just lost all chances of being the Don Juan the wishes he could be, or pretends he is.

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  3. Hello there dear Asmaa.. mn jd!! Yesterday I read many many many posts about that video, and did wrote something myself!!... so many points of views, so many thoughts, but I guess the thing that got me hypertensive is the fact that it's MTV!!!! Seriously... I'm tired of explaining this over and over again, and u know what... I think I'm gonna take this sentence "I don’t appreciate MTv exploiting my country for entertainment. It IS entertainment, it’s not a documentary. It’s MTv, ladies and gents, don’t forget that!" and put it in my favorite quotes.. this is the best thing I read about the video since its release.

    The second thing is, those comments. I haven't read any, would u please give me the link?

    I discovered that it's a defense mechanism to blame every so-called sinful act on non-saudi ppl. or sometimes call them "mo a9lieen".. they're living in denial so far, i swear to God if they could really see what Saudi people do (da mo nashr '3aseel bs ana ba a3trif 3al a8all) they might shut the f*** up!!!

    It's not like we're "sha3b Allah al mo5tar".. people need to grow up... it's so stupid to see these comments still written out there.. I thought such people died long time ago =_=

    Sorry for my long comment. I loved your post and I'm gonna quote that sentence... Love you..

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  4. I cannot see the video because I would have to see it on MTV.ca and it is not posted there--yet.

    I really like how you approached this topic. The comments you highlighted are extremely offensive, and give more credence than it is worth to an MTV production. As everyone knows not only were the topics and interviewees chosen selectively, but each segment is edited. It is hard to know how faithful a representation of even those 4 people the production is.

    Poor Aziz, cross-cultural gaydar can be far off. Then again, many hetero women were in love with George Michaels until...well he had no choice but to acknowledge his orientation. (No, I was not one of them).

    This would all be just more idiocy from MTV if it weren't for the potential consequences you allude to.

    TV production crews and interviewers can be persuasive and deceptive. It is easy to forget that what is shown in the USA doesn't stay in the USA. And, there is no such thing as "off the record", "the mike is off". The former was a medium sized newspaper printing my mother's explanation for why it was't worth calling back to try to interview me. The latter was a TV reporter doing a "woman on the street interview" trying to get me to say I was terrorized by Italian-Canadian young men in blue soccer gear celebrating Italy's wins--uh, no.

    Great post!

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  5. Duha: couldn't agree more!

    Qusay: so is Boy George, but he pretends he's bisexual.

    Fadia: it's on various news websites talking about the episode, al arabia and news-sa mostly.

    Chiara: exactly! it's made to make it look like they oppose everything "saudi"! though they mention a few times that they are not against society, but the way the videos are edited and arranged says otherwise.

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  6. I was just thinking the same thing. It's MTV, not BBC world.

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  8. I wrote a long comment but somehow it got deleted :@....
    I totally agree with you...
    thx for the post...I really enjoyed it :)

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  9. they almost forgot the floral nawal's abayas now it's everywhere also i've never seen my aunties in black abayas.

    aziz is a sick story in my opinion

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  10. Well, I've watched it two days ago...and to be honest....i believe they were all just puppets reading their given lines but hey? who blames them? if they had better channels to express their demands they wouldn't have to go MTv...

    Fatima for example...she has the right to wear whatever she wants but I think she exaggerated a little bit about the colored abayas. Come on Fatima! you live in Jeddah! there are so many girls wearing colored abayas in Jeddah.....it is nothing new! what's the need to go on a show like this and state in a challenging manner:"we will bring colored abayas to SA"?...and hey! why MTv cares so much about the color of the abaya? I could understand if they were aiming towards eliminating the whole abaya thing but their concern was a thing already been done! I smell something fishy!
    And I admire her adventurous spirit when she decided to go outside on a bike ride.....I wont say anything...a quick look back in history tells us that the day when women are allowed to do whatever they want is coming sooner or later....

    As for Ahmed...I admire his knowledge but there is something I couldn't understand until now: how could a 22 years old fella could be a member in the city council? I looked for his name in the council members I couldn't find him. could someone explain that to me?

    Breeze of the Dying...Well, I am a Metallica fan and I'd love to see more of these bands here in Saudi...I suggest to them since they look so cool in thobes to replace their guitars with Oud.....they might get a chance :)
    I attended a gig for them back in 2008 in Obhur....you can't imagine how bad was the place! regardless of whether right or wrong what you do to kill time it is frustrating not to find a single place to accommodate your needs!

    and finally the biggest puppet of all....the Don Juan of his time and the laugh stock for the coming 10 years: Aziz! Look mister! we all know that if u wanted to date a girl u could do it so easily without any obstacles! so stop beating around the bush! they do not allow us guys into malls cuz of sissies like you! and BTW....one year is a long period to spend with an imaginary girlfriend! maybe if toughen up a little bit and stop wearing pink shirts you'll get a chance to have a real one!
    sorry I couldn't handle his stupidity.....8al George Michael 8al!
    if u watch the episode carefully u'll find tons of hidden messages...maybe u disagree with me in the conspiracy theory but i think it is possible...
    cheers :)

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  12. God al7adillah i found this blog, i wrote so many comments on MTV's page for Resist The Power! Saudi Arabia in order to point out and expose the weak arguments of conspiracy theories, blaming the jews, and "Original Saudis". I feel like i was lost in a desert and just found an oasis. It made my day knowing that we stand on the same grounds of bringing reform and fighting for women's rights, equality, and tolerance. Souma You should post a link to your blog on the MTV episode's page so that intellectuals can find a haven, instead of feeling left out on that page. "Your greatest enemy is your own inner perception, is your own ignorance, is your own ego." al7amdillah i found this blog. PEACE

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  13. I don't think Aziz knows any girl! He made that up to be on MTV :p

    As for the offensive comments, well it came from those who think they are the only Saudis in town! And probably most of them will do worse things when they get the chance to travel abroad even if it was just Bahrain!

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  14. This is my first time to visit your blog. I have to say that I love what you wrote!

    About the documentary, or as you called it entertainment, I think it wasn't bad! In fact, I love it.

    First thing, the show wasn't meant to be watched by Saudis!

    Second, I live in California, and believe me Americans loved what they watched! I mean they look at Saudis in a better way. Here, they thought that we live a luxurious life of Taliban! which is totally not true

    Third, everyone in the US is concerned about Saudis and how do they live, and that's why MTV did this show ... People here in the US know that women must wear black abayya, know that they don't drive, and of course they know that we don't date. So, this show somehow changed their perception about Saudi

    Fourth, Aziz and the band were bad ... really bad! Fatima and Ahmed were amazing ... Fatima is a 20 years female, and her limitation to change things in Saudi is very tight ... that's why she chose the abbayas. She knows that this is not a major thing to change, but she thinks that what she can do.

    Finally (and sorry for the long comment), the message that was delivered to Americans is "Even though there are so many restrictions, we [saudis] love our country, and it is going to change by its people in its own islamic way not the western way."

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  15. Moe: well, i'm glad you found my blog as well :D i try to keep it underpublicised, last Arabic comment i got on it was more like hate speech.

    Poet: yeah, exactly what i thought about Aziz! that maybe a girl watching would feel sorry now and give him a pity date, better than no date ever! and yes, they'll proly do things a decent non-mu7ajjaba such as my poor self would never consider doing.

    rsh-rsh: i'm glad some people liked it and thought positively about our country. not everyone is bound to like it, it's a fact of life, some will hate it. sadly they choose to voice their disapproval in such a vulgar manner as my countrymen do. And you are welcome to comment in any length on my blog :)

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  16. I've enjoyed this beyond believe haha. I'm going to show the video tomorrow in one of my classes. In this class we studied cultures from the Greek until the American dream, and it is surprising how we are very similar to every other culture. Change does not come about easily, but I think that our society is dynamic and that it is moving (specially that the government pushing towards social reforms). We are for the first time, have national discussion and voices that carry different messages are not being ignored (although it worries me that radicals are dying to shut those who speak of difference up, but how long can they keep up?)

    We are no different than any other place in the world. We are equal under the influence of global forces and mass communication. All those extreme reactions to the video show a great deal of threatened identity no more and no less.

    Regards,

    Ethar

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  18. Ethar: glad you enjoyed it! and yes, we're no different. hope we make it through though!

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  20. I really appreciated the show. While realizing it did not show every young Saudi's perspective, I viewed it as an introduction to certain every day struggles of the Saudi youth.
    I am a [female] American college student, and it was eye-opening to see people my age struggle to do things that I take for granted (like driving).
    Because of the show, I am very interested in learning more about Saudi youth.
    I think it is a good thing for Americans to see.

    P.S. I wish MTV had some sort of follow-up program or blog. I am concerned about the legal action taken against those that participated in the show. I really hope they are alright.

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  21. Messed up show with messed up ppl.

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