A Saudi blog

A Saudi blog
: There’s a Saudi blogger! called Religious Policeman. His mission:

A Saudi man’s diary of life in the “Magic Kingdom”, where the Religious Police ensure that everything remains as it was in the Middle Ages.

In Memory of the lives of 15 Makkah Schoolgirls, lost when their school burnt down on Monday, 11th March, 2002. The Religious Police would not allow them to leave the building, nor allow the Firemen to enter.

The latest post:

When the Saudi people finally rise up in revolt and throw out the House of Saud, it won’t be for democratic reform, and it won’t be for an islamic republic. It’ll be about mobile phones.

So there’s the first crack in the wall. I’ll predict we’ll soon be seeing more Saudi blogs… and more and more…[Thanks, Easycure!]

  • michael

    Not to be overly skeptical, but how exactly do you know such blogs are really from Saudi Arabia?
    On the Internet, no one konws if I’m a dog, a Saudi, or a government propagandist.

  • onecent

    Good question, Michael
    When I see perfect English at a site attributed to a foreign blogger, I’m skeptical too.

  • Eric E. Coe

    Yes, but the flavor seems very local in suprising ways, which an impersonator would have a hard time pulling off. I am willing to give it the benefit of doubt.

  • http://twistedspinster.com/ Andrea Harris

    Well, many Saudis were educated in the States, and many of them speak and write English just fine, so fluency of language doesn’t necessarily mean anything. However, I tend to be suspicious of things that appear just when I want them to.

  • onecent

    Maybe, Eric, but before Jeff discovered him, who was his target audience? I doubt his family, friends or other Saudis. Certainly not using English. Skimming his blog, not one word in Arabic appears anywhere. All of his links are to English language papers we all have access to.
    He probably isn’t misrepresenting himself, either. But, he certainly doesn’t represent the voice of the common Saudi who lacks the skill set in English and blogging to present this refined a foreign journal. Too bad.

  • Sortelli

    I knew those nasty newfangled mobile phones would be at the root of social unrest someday. . .

  • advil

    I been reading an excerpt from a suidi blog what call my attention is the fact of the 15 Makkah Schoolgirls tragic event, what call my attention is the date March 11th, 2002, the same day 2 years after a massive attack ocurred in Madrid, could it be casual?

  • http://www.bicyclemark.org Bicyclemark

    Unfortunately you can be sure this blogger represents a minority in S.Arabia. He is most likely wealthy, highly educated, and very western oriented, I’m guessing this doesn’t represent an average citizen there. Therein lies the problem, the real cracks in the wall would be if ordinary Saudi’s were online doing this, especially in their own language. Still…. couldn’t hurt.

  • dick

    bicyclemark,
    If he wrote in his native language would you be able to read what he wrote?
    Granted we need some ordinary Saudis blogging, we also need a good translation medium or translator to keep the idiom while making it intelligible. We also need someone to explain the societal differences portrayed.
    Until then this guy is a breath of fresh air. Besides, from my experience the western educated foreigners tend to write better English than the English speakers do. They are not so plugged into the slang and shorthand expressions as we are.

  • F

    I’m not sure if I expect you to take my word for it, but you’d actually be surprised at how many Saudi bloggers there are out there. I’m a Saudi, and although I don’t have a blog, I know many people who do. You’d also be surprised at how well many of them speak (and write) English which, contrary to what you might think, doesn’t mean they’re foreigners staging as Saudis, but that they’re simply educated and speak a second language. As for WHY they write in English and not in Arabic,it’s partly because the internet is just easier to work in English. It’s also easier to find if you’re searching, and it’s a universal language (WORLD wide web). If they were aiming at their friends and family they would have just told them face-to-face or typed in Arabic. It’s for non-Arabic speakers (of any nationality) who are interested in the daily happenings and opinions of a Saudi.