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Saudi Newspaper View On Tourism Prospects  
User currently offlineAirmale From Botswana, joined Sep 2004, 376 posts, RR: 1
Posted (10 years 6 months 4 weeks 19 hours ago) and read 957 times:

I never knew Saudi's were critical of their country's rigid policies of segregation so openly, some of the things mentioned are so ridiculous that it makes Pakistan seem like Paris to me, the freedom and liberties we enjoy here in a Muslim country, and take for granted are unbelieveable you name it and we have got it in limits and in some cases underground but its all here.

http://www.arabnews.com/?page=7§ion=0&article=36209&d=10&m=12&y=2003


.....up there with the best!
25 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlineSonic From Lithuania, joined Jan 2000, 1670 posts, RR: 1
Reply 1, posted (10 years 6 months 4 weeks 19 hours ago) and read 950 times:

There was a TV show about Saudi Arabia here in Lithuania in which they interviewed Lithuanians who lived in SA. They said that in Saudi Arabia you can get pretty much everything also (despite of it being illegal), just underground. Of course, with high punishments for crimes it is less likely you would risk to, say, use drugs or drink alcohol. Interviewed people however said they got christmas-tree (ilegally) and alcohol was also possible in SA (also, of course, ilegally)...

User currently offlineKingsford From Ukraine, joined Nov 2003, 427 posts, RR: 4
Reply 2, posted (10 years 6 months 4 weeks 19 hours ago) and read 945 times:

Non-muslims are not allowed to spend the night within Medina's city limits or any other holy city. Foreigners do not get tourist visas and the ways in that country are just backwards.

I really have no interest in visiting countries so unwelcoming as Saudi Arabia. I'd rather go to Somalia or spend my holidays in the GD of Luxemburg ...  Wink/being sarcastic

I often wonder how some Saudi's would react if they were to behave the same way in other countries than theirs.



User currently offlineSonic From Lithuania, joined Jan 2000, 1670 posts, RR: 1
Reply 3, posted (10 years 6 months 4 weeks 19 hours ago) and read 943 times:

I by the way disagree that Saudi Arabia couldn't receive foreign tourists - I think some people would go to the Kingdom actually because of it's restricted society. Certain muslims who would like that their country would be like this, also westerners who likes the culture and feels that Gulf States are more and more becoming a Dysneyland instead of what they really should be. While in Saudi Arabia you could see real Arab culture as it was before oil boom, yet with economical advancements (so you wouldn't have to live in bad hotels or shacks, as in Mauritania or Yemen). Probably it wouldn't be a good holiday destination, but an interesting place to spend a weekend at in my opinion, learn more about this culture. I don't think that tourism would thrive, but certain revenues would be made out of it in my opinion. And this would happen exacly because SA is not "westernised". Ones who wants to see Arab world in "western" way, will go to UAE, Bahrain, etc.

User currently offlineSonic From Lithuania, joined Jan 2000, 1670 posts, RR: 1
Reply 4, posted (10 years 6 months 4 weeks 19 hours ago) and read 939 times:

Yes, you are right Kingsford - apparently, there are checkpoints near Mecca, although I do not know how could they check if person is muslim or not (I mean, any more intelligent person can learn prayers, "the core truths" (don't know how to say in English, it includes Hajj and others) how prayings are called, etc.). In theory, however, a capital punishment applies to a non-muslim caught in Mecca. But this is just a theory, as it never happened (in modern times at least).

User currently offlineKay From France, joined Mar 2002, 1884 posts, RR: 3
Reply 5, posted (10 years 6 months 4 weeks 19 hours ago) and read 937 times:

there's those people that run around the streets in the capital with a stick in their hand to slap on your legs with it if you are a woman and are doing something illegal such as showing your hair or forearms.

I heard a story once of an american soldier woman walking down a street in total liberty, regular civil clothes, and here comes this guy and slaps her hands with the stick. she tells him I am a US soldier, so he slaps her again yelling that it doesn't matter. That is when she beats the hell out of him until he runs off. And eversince it seems US soldiers kinda enjoy more lenient rules.


User currently offlineMarco From United Arab Emirates, joined Jul 2000, 4169 posts, RR: 12
Reply 6, posted (10 years 6 months 4 weeks 19 hours ago) and read 936 times:

Why would any tourist want to go to Saudi Arabia? And no, I'm not calling for the "westernization" of Saudi Arabia, just the normalization of the country and its people.


Proud to be an Assyrian!
User currently offlineSonic From Lithuania, joined Jan 2000, 1670 posts, RR: 1
Reply 7, posted (10 years 6 months 4 weeks 19 hours ago) and read 933 times:

Kay, this is religious police and it is called Mutawa. Things as you mentioned were common, but as I have heard it happens rarely nowadays. At least not in major urban centers, such as Jeddah, which is (more or less) a liberal city (not sure about capital Ryadh).

User currently offlineMarco From United Arab Emirates, joined Jul 2000, 4169 posts, RR: 12
Reply 8, posted (10 years 6 months 4 weeks 18 hours ago) and read 931 times:

Actually it's still common. Common enough to annoy any sane person.


Proud to be an Assyrian!
User currently offlineSonic From Lithuania, joined Jan 2000, 1670 posts, RR: 1
Reply 9, posted (10 years 6 months 4 weeks 18 hours ago) and read 930 times:

Marco, don't you think that what is "normal" for you might not be so for other people? There are different cultures, and they might not view it as "normalization". There is also a pressure from Islamists and conservative members in the Royal Family (biggest in the world; over 4000 members) not to do such "modernisation". Crown Prince Abdullah was called a reformist, but after getting a fierce opposition, he did not did these reforms.

User currently offlineJaysit From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 10, posted (10 years 6 months 4 weeks 18 hours ago) and read 922 times:

Right after 9-11, the Saudis put a big advertisement in the Washington Post that covered many pages. The usual things were said: how the Saudis were friends of the American people, etc etc. There were separate ads for Saudia, various petrochem companies, etc. And there was also an ad for "tourism in Saudi Arabia." They showed the usual stuff: Camels racing across sand dunes, a skyscraper in Riyadh, falcons, a beach, pearls.

Knowing that Saudi Arabia doesn't issue tourist visas, I called up the Embassy and said that I just loved the fun-filled ads they had posted, and that I too wanted to go on a camel ride, fly a falcon, lie on the beach and visit the big skyscraper in Riyadh. Various grumpy officials slammed the phone, or else said they dont issue tourist visas. When asked about the ad, they feigned ignorance.


User currently offlineMarco From United Arab Emirates, joined Jul 2000, 4169 posts, RR: 12
Reply 11, posted (10 years 6 months 4 weeks 17 hours ago) and read 909 times:

Actually Sonic, you cannot defend the ways of the Saudi government, unless you think discrimination based on gender, religion, race,etc... is correct. Like I said I'm not calling for the westernization of the country, just the normalization: where women (not only men) can marry whoever they want, DRIVE and work wherever they want. That's a normal life.


Proud to be an Assyrian!
User currently offlineSonic From Lithuania, joined Jan 2000, 1670 posts, RR: 1
Reply 12, posted (10 years 6 months 4 weeks 17 hours ago) and read 902 times:

Marco, this is NOT "normalization", but rather changing culture according to your wishes. Their culture is so that women can't choose who to marry, and you are not God to say what is right and wrong. Some says abortion and death penalties are OK, does that means they are also inhumane? Some would say "yes", some "no" - it is a metter of opinion. If the majority wants it so and culture dictates so, it must be so and not otherwise.

User currently offlineJaysit From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 13, posted (10 years 6 months 4 weeks 15 hours ago) and read 898 times:

The Saudis may be medieval thugs, but thats their way of existence.

I find it rather amusing that some folks who live in the West can whine on about normative lives, while still endorsing open season on gay men and women. If the Saudis are a bunch of hopeless hypocrites, you're even worse. At least they have no qualms about how wretched their so-called laws are.


User currently offlineMarco From United Arab Emirates, joined Jul 2000, 4169 posts, RR: 12
Reply 14, posted (10 years 6 months 4 weeks 15 hours ago) and read 896 times:

If the majority wants it so and culture dictates so, it must be so and not otherwise.

And how do you know if the majority wants it? The majority are repressed, or stoned, or beaten, or executed if they try to break the social barriers they face.




Proud to be an Assyrian!
User currently offlineSonic From Lithuania, joined Jan 2000, 1670 posts, RR: 1
Reply 15, posted (10 years 6 months 4 weeks 15 hours ago) and read 890 times:

Marco, it is not true. Actually, quite many people wants it to be even more strict. Some people are trying to break social barriers, but there are same people in Western world and there will always be. Do we legalise drugs because of them? Euthanasia? Gay marriages? These and many other things are still at question and probably people of XXII age will look to our times same as we look to times 100 or so years ago... Remeber, there is no ultimate government or ultimate system as some hypocrtical westerners (some Arabs also) tends to thing. In Roman times they probably had a more "sexually" free society than now, so what? And in medieval times there was church dictate, because many people wanted it so. No government could ever work without at least a "considerable minority" support. Only occupational government can work without any local support. Thus all stories about bad and virtually unsupported dictatorships are fake.
Don't think that all people likes some system of government just because you like it. It's egocentrical.


User currently offlineAirmale From Botswana, joined Sep 2004, 376 posts, RR: 1
Reply 16, posted (10 years 6 months 4 weeks 15 hours ago) and read 884 times:

Funny that you mention it, I went through a "Anything goes" and "Life's a party" phase and got so carried away, that I actually lost track of who I was and what I was in this world for, I chose personally to impose a strict religious code of conduct on myself because I was so sick of that meaningless "no limits" lifestyle, it felt great to know that there were divine orders I had to follow and that I had to live according to limits set by that, it was great but I went to extremes in that too so got confused, am seeking to balance things out now.


.....up there with the best!
User currently offlineMarcus From Mexico, joined Apr 2001, 1775 posts, RR: 2
Reply 17, posted (10 years 6 months 4 weeks 14 hours ago) and read 877 times:

I heard a story once of an american soldier woman walking down a street in total liberty, regular civil clothes, and here comes this guy and slaps her hands with the stick. she tells him I am a US soldier, so he slaps her again yelling that it doesn't matter. That is when she beats the hell out of him until he runs off. And eversince it seems US soldiers kinda enjoy more lenient rules*****************

She was not alone but with a couple of other sailors (two men I think), she did not beat the guy but the sailors did confront him and I think wrestled him to the ground.



Kids!....we are going to the happiest place on earth...TIJUANA! signed: Krusty the Clown
User currently offlineBA From United States of America, joined May 2000, 11153 posts, RR: 59
Reply 18, posted (10 years 6 months 4 weeks 13 hours ago) and read 864 times:

As someone who has lived in Saudi Arabia, I have a few things to add.

Regarding the hitting of women with a stick, these people are called the Mutawa, religious police.

Unfortunately they have a lot of influence in Saudi Arabia and in the government, however King Abdullah and his regime have been constantly trying to fight the Mutawa and keep them "tamed" but they are very powerful and influential which is why it is difficult.

The Mutawa are not associated with the Saudi government and aren't supported. They are a group of fanatics. They bothered my family all the time.

Saudi Arabia now is starting to give out tourist visas, but it is still very limitted. There is a quota set, however I've heard it will increase.

Saudi Arabia is on the way to modernization. Soon women will be able to drive like in all other Arab countries which is a good start. Prince Talal has been promoting some democratic reforms in the country as well.

It's true that alcohol, pork, or Christmas trees are allowed in Saudi Arabia. While it does limit on "freedom" I don't think it's a big deal as in Islam, alcohol and pork are prohibitted.

Banning Christmas trees is somewhat silly but you have to remember that it is a Muslim country and majority rules and if they want to ban anything non-Muslim, they can. I don't agree with it, but it's their country.

Sonic mentioned about non-Muslims not allowed to go to Medina and Mecca. This is true. When you get a visa to visit Saudi Arabia, it says if you are Muslim or not on it. In the checkpoint they check your passports and if your visa says non-Muslim, you won't be allowed in.

There are 2 reasons why Muslims are not allowed in Mecca and Medina:

1) Many people in Mecca tried to assissinate Mohammad and attempted to massacre all Muslims. This was when Muslims were still a minority and were simply not accepted. After this changed and most of the pagans converted to Islam, Mohammad declared that Mecca and Medina would remain for Muslims only, however the existing people of Mecca who did not convert to Islam were allowed to stay. Only foreigner non-Muslims were declared not allowed.

2) It's to prevent missionaries from trying to convert Muslims. In Islam, converting people to other religions is not allowed. We don't do any missionary work, we believe that God decides what religion everyone is. If you are born a Muslim, were you destined to be a Muslim, if you were born a Christian, you were destined to be a Christian, if you were born a Jew, you were destined to be a Jew. If one wants to convert to another religion, he/she does so by his/her own choice.

Regarding the US soldier that was bothered by the Mutawa. It doesn't matter if she is a US soldier or a Saudi women. If women don't cover there hair completely in Saudi Arabia and you are spotted by the Mutawa, you will be bothered no matter what race you are.

Anyways, Saudi Arabia is on the way to reform which is good.

Marco,

Saudi Arabia is a great place to visit. Yes, it is strict. But there are many nice things to see in this civilization.

Regards



"Generosity is giving more than you can, and pride is taking less than you need." - Khalil Gibran
User currently offlineLHMark From United States of America, joined Jan 2000, 7255 posts, RR: 47
Reply 19, posted (10 years 6 months 4 weeks 12 hours ago) and read 859 times:

Marco, don't you think that what is "normal" for you might not be so for other people? There are different cultures, and they might not view it as "normalization".

They're going to have to normalize, or continue to remain all but shut off from the rest of the world. Because when you you're a seller, the opinion of your customer matters. If Saudi Arabia wants to diversify its economy and really matter on the world stage, they can't expect acceptance by cultures with contrary ethics. I'm not suggesting that S.A. totally westernize, but in as global economy, certain globally held concurrences must occur.

Now for the lower-quality portion of this post:

"We can't wait to get our Saudi Arabian tourist visas!"

Signed, Dean Martin, John Daly, James Hetfield, Liza Minelli, and Gary Busey.



"Sympathy is something that shouldn't be bestowed on the Yankees. Apparently it angers them." - Bob Feller
User currently offlineSonic From Lithuania, joined Jan 2000, 1670 posts, RR: 1
Reply 20, posted (10 years 6 months 4 weeks 12 hours ago) and read 854 times:

LHMark, using word "normalize" is a joke. Why do you think that the only "normal" civilization is your own? Because it currently has the most power? Well, once Catholic fndamentalist states had the most power, later came the reformation. Once European imperialists had most power. It doesn't means anything, the world will evolve and current order will change (I am of course NOT saying, that there will be S-like order everywhere). The utopia can't be reached, at least not in nearest future.
Jaysit said the truth. I am not for gay rights, I am in fact pretty much against them, but he said truth about the fact that every country decides who has what rights. There is no country where everybody would do whatever they like, as it would be anarchy in this case. In some countries more is allowed, in sometimes less. But in all cases more or less according to it's people's wishes, unless government is occupational. When it is not like people wants, there will be a revolution (look to a "normal", according to you, Iran's society under Shah Reza Pahlavi, and how it all ended).
In fact, I doubt "consumer" (I mean global consumer) would care much about internal politics of SA if they would provide quality goods. If, for instance, SA would produce good cars or planes (just examples), do you think nobody would buy them just because of SA's laws? Probably some would "boycott" these goods, like with "Boycott Israel" campaigns which are proposed by certain people, but this wouldn't be a mass thing unless Saudis would try to "expand" like Saddam did.


User currently offlineMarcus From Mexico, joined Apr 2001, 1775 posts, RR: 2
Reply 21, posted (10 years 6 months 4 weeks 11 hours ago) and read 848 times:

If women don't cover there hair completely in Saudi Arabia and you are spotted by the Mutawa, you will be bothered no matter what race you are.
******************
She is "olive" skinned and has dark hair and eyes.



Kids!....we are going to the happiest place on earth...TIJUANA! signed: Krusty the Clown
User currently offlineLHMark From United States of America, joined Jan 2000, 7255 posts, RR: 47
Reply 22, posted (10 years 6 months 4 weeks 10 hours ago) and read 844 times:

Sonic, If the Saudi's decide to keep their culture, with no thought of moderating their stances, they're welcome to it. But they shouldn't expect much of a place on the world stage or in the world economy. In an increasingly international world, it will become impossible to participate while half a country's citizens are not afforded the same basic rights and abilities they would get anyplace else in the world. Commerce will drive Saudi change, not my views. Or they'll remain a fortress state.


"Sympathy is something that shouldn't be bestowed on the Yankees. Apparently it angers them." - Bob Feller
User currently offlineSonic From Lithuania, joined Jan 2000, 1670 posts, RR: 1
Reply 23, posted (10 years 6 months 4 weeks 10 hours ago) and read 841 times:

Again LHMark, it is not right in my opinion. Please proove how Saudi internal politics would damage their place at world's economy? Just as world is buying their oil now, they would buy other Saudi products too if Saudis would be able to make them quality, cheap and/or "new". As I said previously, there could be "boycotts" (of "boycot Israel", "boycot USA", "boycot France" kind) from some persons, but they wouldn't have a big impact.
It is ridiculous to think that the fact that some people aren't equal to others would anyhow damage the economy. Look to Apartheid South Africa, which was the richest state in Africa (GNP per capita) although big part of population lived as they would be slaves. Much worse than women in Saudi Arabia, who, although doesn't has same rights as men, lives rich just as their husbands, could afford to go shopping and other places, etc. Blacks in South Africa during Apartheid couldn't have done so, they only seen shops like Saudi women buys in (or have their servants buy them) everyday in their dreams. Not to mention that literacy rate of Saudi women is also relatively high.
Yet South Africa thrived. In fact, economic condition are deterioriating since the fall of Apartheid. Crime is on rise. Conditions are becoming bad...


User currently offlineBA From United States of America, joined May 2000, 11153 posts, RR: 59
Reply 24, posted (10 years 6 months 4 weeks 10 hours ago) and read 838 times:

But they shouldn't expect much of a place on the world stage or in the world economy.

Saudi Arabia is home to some of the world's largest investors. Example, Waleed Bin Talal.

Despite the strict stances in Saudi Arabia, they are a MAJOR player in the global economy, not just because of oil.

Waleed Bin Talal isn't an oil man, he's a business man and is one hell of an investor investing in every part of the world.

Regards



"Generosity is giving more than you can, and pride is taking less than you need." - Khalil Gibran
User currently offlineAirmale From Botswana, joined Sep 2004, 376 posts, RR: 1
Reply 25, posted (10 years 6 months 3 weeks 5 days 5 hours ago) and read 801 times:

I just saw an advertsiemnt for "VIAGRA" in a conservative Arabic language Saudi newspaper, photo was of just the hands of a young couple(isnt the drug for older people?) clasped togheter, fingers intvined upto the mid forearm both covered uptil the wrist, the woman's in skin tight black, the mans in slightly loose white sleeve, and I thought the Saudi's would be hush about such issues, as liberal as Paksitan maybe not one magazine or paper here has dared to advertise the drug.


.....up there with the best!
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