Free Loujain and Maysaa

free lujain and maysaa

It has been 2 weeks since the arrest of the Saudi activists Lojain Al Hathloul and Maysaa Al Amoudi.
Loujain was crossing the boarders of UAE/Saudi Arabia driving her own car attempting to break the driving ban in Saudi Arabia when she was arrested earlier this month.
Loujain was stopped on the boarders for over 24 hours, While Saudi Arabian officers at the boarders making phone calls trying to reach the ministry of interior affairs to report Loujain Al Hathloul.
Saudi Officers refused to let Loujain enter the country because she was driving her car. Even though, Loujain holds a valid driving license.
A Saudi officer suggested to Loujain to either go to Saudi Arabia by bus or by plane as she is not allowed to drive a car in Saudi Arabia since she is a ”woman”. Loujain who is holding a valid GCC driving license argued ” I am a Saudi citizen with a Saudi passport, and as per the law a holder of GCC driving license can drive anywhere within gulf countries ” including Saudi Arabia” as there is no exception in the law against Saudi women.
Yet, she was kept in custody in the boarders for over 24 hours and when Maysaa Al Amoudi, another Saudi activists resides in UAE came to help loujain, the police arrested her as well. Maysaa’s sister Wafa Al Amoudi posted a video asking the Saudi autorities to release both her sister and Loujain Al hathlol saying that her sister had no intention to cross the baorders, she was only bringing something to loujain when she was arrested.
The two Saudi activists have been in prison in Saudi Arabia since the 1st of Dec 2014.
Human rights Activists have started an online campaign demanding Saudi authorities to free Loujain al Hathloul and Maysaa Al Amoudi.
join the campaign on facebook or show your support to Loujain and maysaa by posting a video on youtube demanding Saudi authorities to release Loujain and Maysaa.
You had previously supported Manal Alsharif back in 2011 and your support brought the media attention to the matter and that played an important role in releasing Manal Alsharif.

So please join the ”free loujain and maysaa campaign” here!

A female student died after college authorities refused to allow male medics into the female-only campus

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According to the strict Sharia law in Saudi Arabia , Men and women should not  mingle together. If unrelated woman and man found together in public or private places they would face legal punishments that can be up to  6 months in prison.

Women and men in Saudi Arabia study in gender segregated schools and universities. Yet women are still acquired to wear long dress/ long sleeve school uniforms, and over the school uniform school girls at the age or above the age of 9 ( who are in the 4th grade) must wear black Abaya, black scarf and cover their face when leaving the school.

Female schools and Universities are guarded by a guard men / security officers to make sure that women are not seeing unrelated men and are wearing the proper Islamic dress.

Last Wednesday,  a female college student in King Saud University in Riyadh died of a heart attack when the university officials barred the male paramedics from entering the girls-only college.  Amana bawzeer,  a master’s  student  at the college of social studies passed away because she did not get the proper intervention in time, Outraged students who witnessed incident tweeted.  Some have tweeted in a hashtage , ”we are blaming the college officials of Amna’s death”.

However, the Saudi local news papers are denying that Amna’s death was resulted of late intervention and said that the paramedics tried to save her life and they were not banned from entering the school.

This is not the first time that this happens in Saudi Arabia,   A tragic unforgettable incident happened 12 years ago,  when 15 girls were burnt alive in school fire in mecca , Saudi Arabia in 2002.   The young girls age between 12 to 14 were banned from leaving the school that was in fire because they were trying to escape the fire without wearing their Abayas . They were left screaming and burnt alive behind the school’s gate. The religious police and the guard men refused to open the door to let the girls escape or the fire fighters to go in because the girls were unveiled and not properly dressed, witnesses said. The religious police were also beating pushing back girls  who tried to escape the fire without their Abayas.

 The Saudi local news papers stated that deaths didn’t happen as a result of the religious police banning girls from escaping the fire, but rather the lack of fire extinguishers and alarms in the building.

A Dish of Cockroaches and Toilet Flies

Reader discretion advised, this post contain disgusting materials.

hala chinese food

It was casual school day when my brother and I were taking a walk downtown and noticed this small local restaurant that serves Uyghur food in the corner of a busy commercial street. The restaurant had a rusty small unnoticeable blue signs says ”halal food”. My brother and I decided to go in. As we stepped into the restaurant through a barely fitting small door, a handsome Uyghur man with beautiful piercing green eyes welcomed us and showed us a table for 2. Restaurant had simple cheap wooden tables and chairs that weren’t that comfortable. We put down our heavy school backbags and waved Hi to our Colombian friend who was sitting in the next table.
Even though the restaurant did not look very classy yet the food was astonishingly delicious. There was something about the taste that makes it unique. Unlike any other Uyghur restaurants we went to, this restaurant’s food was exceptional. Was it their perfectly cooked silky noodles? Or the fresh earthy vegetables they use?
We became regular customers of that Uyghur restaurant till day we found out about their dirty little secret.

That day my brother and I were having lunch there, we both ordered a tudou mian; which is basically noodles topped with potatoes, green pepper and carrots.
As I was about to eat I looked down at my plate and noticed part of a transparent wing showing from underneath the thinly sliced carrots. I picked up the carrots with my chopsticks to look what’s underneath and saw toilet flies!!!!
I went to the restaurant manger/owner and I showed him my plate. He took it from my hands and loudly said to the chief ”Make another tudou mian”.
I went back and sat in my chair.” What’s the matter?” my brother asked. I replied ” nothing. It was just a mosquito”.
I did not want to say I found hairy short legged toilet flies laying dead in my plate. That would have been sounded a little too graphic for my brother who was still eating at that time.
Few minutes later, the waiter came with unusual amount of vegetables and noodles. It was twice the normal portion. I thought to myself maybe he is trying to apologize about the toilet flies and wanted to make it up by doubling the portion of the food.
He handed me the chopsticks and just before I even start eating a poor cockroach was trying to escape from the hot noodles! And was trying to climb up my chopsticks!!
I panicked and I jumped out of my chair. The waiter took my chopsticks immediately flipped them upside down, picked up the cockroach by MY CHOPSITCKS, killed that poor creature and gave me back my chopsticks and said to me problem solved.
My brother saw who was eating at that time could not swallow down the food that was already in his mouth. He was about to throw up. He was putting one hand over his mouth and I can tell from his body language that he was trying to tell us to stop talking about the toilet flies and cockroaches because he was about to throw up.
Instead of apologizing about what happened, the manger tried to convince me to eat that meal since they killed the cockroach and that the cockroach was not a big deal!
I was not shocked how the manger dealt with this matter. After all, many Chinese people eat insects. We left without paying for the 2 meals of toilet flies and cockroaches that they served me. But we paid for my brother’s meal because unfortunately he ate most of it.
I cannot go back to school. I am not feeling well, I want to go back home I said to my brother. I had a severe unbearable stomach ache, I could hardly stand straight. I got into the bus and I unbuttoned my shirt because I could not breathe easily, I was nauseated and I felt like I was going to throw up at anytime!

I was sick for 3 days and I stopped eating noodles for a while after that horrible incident. I never went to the hospital because it was all psychological. I knew there was no way I could get a food posing because I did not eat a single bite. I saw the toilet flies and the cockroach before I started eating. But just seeing those insects in my plate made me really ill for couple of days!
Later that day my brother told me I knew you were lying when you said it was just a mosquito. I could tell from your facial expressions that you have seen a more disgusting and filthier insect.

Saudi Arabian court sentenced a Saudi woman to 80 lashes for insulting her husband’s second wife.

Saudi Arabian court sentenced a Saudi woman to 80 lashes for insulting her husband’s second wife.

The Saudi  woman sitting in the lobby about to receive the 80 lashes.

The Saudi woman sitting in the lobby about to receive the 80 lashes.


The Woman heard that her husband has just got himself a new wife, who is a faculty member   in Rafha  girls  University in Northern Saudi. She went to Rafha University looking for her husband’s second wife. When she met her she could not help it, she started insulting her husband’s second wife, yelled at her and called her bad names  in the college lobby in front of the staff and the students.
The second wife sued her husband’s first wife and won the case. The judge’s verdict was to send the woman to 80 lashes as per islam/ Sharia law.  The 80 lashes punishment in Islam is used to punish a person who calls another a w**re or a s*ut.  The second wife wanted to take revange and so she demanded the punishment to be carried out in the college lobby where the incident happened.The students from Rafah University witnessed the incidence and tweeted the story in twitter. Apparently someone has managed to take a photo of the woman who was sitting in the lobby and  about to receive the 80 lashes.
According to Sharia law, Muslim Men are allowed to have up to 4 wives and countless number  of sex slaves. Despite the fact that sex slavery has slowly disappeared from the Muslim modern society, polygamy is still widely accepted and common.

My Attempt to Break the Driving Ban in Saudi Arabia

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After I was inspired by Manal Al Shirf campaign I asked my brother to teach me how to drive. Back then I was living in Riyadh city. Our teaching sessions have always started on Friday or Thursday mornings that’s when the streets are less busy. After making a good progress my brother started letting me drive to my hometown, the Eastern province, which is about 450 kms away. After we pass the check points we would swap the seats and I would sit behind the wheels and drive. I traveled to China but I came back to Saudi to visit my family 5 weeks ago and I wanted to continue learning.

Every time I drive my brother would sit next to me to give me instructions. I have been driving in the streets of Al Khobar for the last 5 weeks and I never had a problem. I even once went to a drive through coffee shop next to crowded oil station on half moon beach and ordered some coffee and then went to the beach. Some people would give me the V sign and others would just start taking pictures and videos of me while I’m driving!

2 days ago I went out for another training session but this time I wasn’t very lucky, As I was driving in the streets of Al Khobar city  I lost my way and went to the wrong direction, I ended up driving next to the police station! There were few police cars outside driving on the same highway, So I kept slowing down and driving on the right side of the road but my heart was racing. 3 police cars passed and none of them noticed me; there was even one of the police cars on the opposite direction, taking a U turn, the police car was less than 2 meters away but luckily didn’t notice me too.  Suddenly, a speedy police car was driving on the left side of the highway started to slow down dramatically. Apparently, someone has just told the police that there is a woman in the back driving a grand marquis 2007.  The police officer took the right track, slowed down, opened his car window and started looking at us, that’s when I decided to turn on the headlights of the car so the officer won’t see me, and then I started driving on the left track of the highway where most speedy cars go. Obviously, it wasn’t a good idea; they became more suspicious and started chasing after me! They kept asking me to pull over..

I pulled over safely like a pro driver, 2 police officers came to me and one of them said, Mashallah , you clearly can drive! But women are not allowed to drive here, it’s against the law, there is a law from the ministry of interior affairs to punish women who drive ”. I can tell from their accent, one of the police officers is from Najad and the other is southern Saudi. The Najedi officer started asking me questions like what’s your name? where are you from?  Where do you live? Are you Shiite or Sunni? So I answered all his questions but I never said I’m Shiite.

In the beginning the two officers were very cooperative ,they  Said” don’t worry, we will let you go this time,  but since the department of traffic police has been informed  that there is a woman driving on the highway and  they know we stopped you too, so we cannot let you go or lie to them  but when our boss comes we will tell him that you were caught driving inside the nearby neighborhood, we don’t want him to know you were caught driving on the highway, because if we tell him you were caught driving on the highway you will be facing serious punishments, such as confiscation of your vehicle, 10 days behind bars and 5000 SR fee. So my brother and I swapped the seats, he followed the police to a nearby neighborhood and stopped the car there, we made the  scene perfect before the arrival of their boss.

As we are waiting for the other police cars to come, the Najdi police officer took my ID card to see my full name. Al Najjar is either a western Saudi name or eastern Saudi name and I had an eastern accent.  Knowing that the majority of people who are from eastern province are Shiite, the police became suspicious, so he asked me again ”are you Shiite?” But I refused to answer him, so he took my brother outside the car and asked him if he was Shiite and my brother said yes. We just knew the Najedi officer was up to no good.

An Hour later, another 2 police car and 4 police officers came. One of the police officer looked older than the others with a higher rank, he was clearly the boss, he came to me and asked me if I I was driving on the highway and I sticked to the plan and said’ No, I was driving inside the neighborhood’. However, The Najadi Officer started shouting at us calling us liars and that I was caught driving on the highway. His mate kept silent, I can tell he was shocked too.

Now saying I was driving in the neighborhood was not my plan at all, it was actually the police officers plan. but, The Najadi officer turned against us after he knew we were Shiite.

He drove the police car behind us inside a nearby neighborhood to make the scene perfect before the arrival of his boss. He also made us lie to his boss and then he started shouting at us calling us liars!! What’s even worse is that the Najdi officer told his boss that his mate was trying to help us and let us get away with it.

After about 2 hours of questioning, the 2 police cars left, They told us wait with the police. We kept waiting for another 30 minutes inside the car, they 2 police officers who stopped us kept waiting for us too. But then after a while the southern police officer gave me back my ID card he said it’s okay you can go now.

My brother and I went home, this time my brother was driving. The southern police officer later called me on the phone telling me was punished because his mate who turned against us told his boss that his mate was trying to help up!

I am not afraid of breaking the driving ban again; I will get a driving license first and will drive again.

Islamic preacher gets away with murder

The killer Fayhan Al Ghamdi

The Famous Saudi preacher Fayhan Al Ghamdi who appears on various preaching TV channels tortured his 5 years old daughter to death because he was suspicious of her virginity.

According to the medical report, Fayhan Al ghamdi has tortured his daughter Lama with whips, electrical shocks, removed her nails,  and burnt her with an iron. Lama died in the after spending almost a year in the hospital suffering from broken arms, skull fracture,  and head bruises.

The well known preacher grew up with his grandmother after the divorce of his parents.. He quit school at the age of 9 and has been suffering from a drug and alcohol addiction.

Al Ghamdi’s ex-wife said on an interview ” before we get married the neighbors described him as very religious and god-fearing person, one week after our marriage he changed, he was doing drugs, drinking alcohol and flirting with other women, he was beating me up for no reason. I became pregnant with our daughter Lama. He was nice, he never abused her, I remember he took her away for 3 months and when they came back she was okay, there was nothing wrong with her. Until the last time, I don’t know what happened with him! But after our divorce he stopped paying child support. I remember I called him once and I asked him how would you  lecture people on religion while your acting this way, and not even paying a child support, don’t you fear god? He s use to chuckle and said my word is superior and yours is inferior

Al Ghamdi’s ex-wife recalls a phone call from the police persecutor asking her to come to the hospital. She said ” I went to the hospital to see my daughter, but when I saw her laying there I couldn’t even recognize her face she was brutally beaten and disfigured, she has broken bones almost everywhere in her right side of the body, broken arms and skull fracture  the doctors said she couldn’t defecate because he was beating her in the anus area and he use to close the open wounds (cuts) by burning her anus, every visit to the hospital doctors will give me more reports about injures that have been found, . She was unconscious, doctors said she will not survive but I was crying and praying for god every day”

According to the Inpatient death report from Shemiasi Hospital in Riyadh city Lama was admitted in the hospital on the 26th of December 2011 and died on October 22 2012 in the ICU.

Fayhan Al Ghamdi was held for few months in jail waiting for his trail. Al Ghamdi then was released from prison few days ago.  The court ordered him to pay ( Diyah) which is blood money paid for the family of the victim. Ironically, according to the law the Murderer will share the money he is paying since he is the father; he is part of the family.

According to the discriminatory sharia law the Diyah ( the blood money ) must be 400.000 SR if the victim is a male and half of the money which equals 200.000 SR if the victim is a female.

This unfair outrageous verdict was not a surprise. Unfortunately, Saudi Sharia law gives the man full authority over women, a husband for instance has a full authority over his wives and the father has full authority over his daughters. They also have the right to discipline their wives, or children, beat them if they have to.

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Please check related links

The interview of Lama’s mother in arabic

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cSlbgV5aAjk

A pervious post on woman rights in saudi arabia

http://omaimanajjar.wordpress.com/2010/04/27/whats-like-to-be-a-saudi-woman-2/

The fatwa of Binbaz about the Diay –in Arabic

http://www.binbaz.org.sa/mat/11939

Banning Hijab will discourage Saudi women from participating in the Olympics

Saudi Arabia has been under pressure from the International Olympic Committee and human-rights groups to include women athletes. It took months of negotiations with the Saudi Gov to finally approve the participation of women, under certain conditions, one is they have to obey the dress code of Islamic law. Later on, the International Judo Federation ruled that Shaherkani “will fight according to the principle and spirit of judo, so without a hijab.” This cultural and religious clash might pressure Saudi Arabia to pull out Wojdan Shaherkani, who is to compete in the +78kg judo category from the Olympics and this eventually will also discourage Saudi women from participating in the Olympics in the future. Shaherkani is due to compete in the women’s heavyweight tournament next Friday, but her participation could now be in doubt. The contraversiary is not only over wearing Hijab but also the fact the Wojdan is not a certified black belt, a stature required by Olympic regulations. The Saudi ladies have been called prostitutes of the Olympics / whores of the Olympics in a hashtag on twitter and most Islamic clerics and Shaikhs has stated that they are against Saudi women participation in the Olympics. I can tell that Saudi men are apparently not ready yet to welcome women in Sports as the two women marched behind the men, instead of walking side by side. Nevertheless, the two Saudi athletes appeared happy, smiling and waving to the crowd. a

Saudi Woman Converts to Christianity

A 28 year-old Saudi woman has decided to become Christian after she was convinced by Lebanese coworker to join the Christian religion. Saudi woman who is named Mariam left Saudi Arabia. The Lebanese Coworker along with Saudi man Helped Mariam to go to Bahrain then to Lebanon. The family of the girl is now suing the 2 guys in Saudi Arabia accusing them of misleading and deceiving their daughter.

Mariam appeared in video on youtube religious channel called   talking about how god showed her that Christianity is the right religion in her dreams. She says” I have asked god to show me the truth in my dreams and within a week  god showed me that Jesus is his son , if you are uncertain about your religion, if you feel lost, ask god to guide you and he will”

The above video shows Mariam talking to guy who was also Muslim and converted to Christianity. The video is in Arabic with no English subtitles.

Saudi twitter users have created 2 hashtags to talk about it  ‎#لبناني_ينصر_فتاة_سعودية‏ ‎#مريم_السعودية

Saudi people seems to be very angry and blaming that mix working environment, meaning both men and women working at the same place was the reason why she became christian and some has blamed it on her parents for not rising her well. Other people have accused her of being Shiite.  Some Saudis wrote in twitter that they want the Saudi gov to drag her back to Saudi Arabia and charge her with crime of apostasy. Yes, choosing a different religion that is not Islam is considered a crime in Saudi Arabia, and if a person proven that  she or he has left Islam, she/ or he will be facing death plenty after giving three chances to return back to Islam.

If Mariam brought back by the Saudi government, she will be charged for apostasy, and she will be given 3 chances to return to Islam, if she didn’t she will face death plenty,  in other term ” beheading”.

Mariam is not the first Saudi woman who converted to Christianity, Fatima Al Mutairi is believed to be murdered by her religious Muslim brother. It is believed that her brother has burnt her alive. I personally has read some of what she wrote back in 2008 in religious christian website, Fatima has never left Saudi Arabia. She was murdered by her brother. The Lebanese christian channels and website are the only one who reacted when they found out she was murdered. Very few Saudis know about Fatima Al Mutairi.  The website where Fatimah use to write is blocked. Unfortunately I lost the link but you can google the story of Fatimah.

Saudi online newspaper http://www.news-sa.com/snews/4780-2012-07-25-07-21-40.html

I am very sure now after I publish this post Saudis will accuse me of encouraging people to convert to Christianity or would say I’m not a muslim. Just so you know I’m Muslim, but I don’t hate other people just because they read from different book.

”My choice is what i chose to do;
and if I’m causin no harm,
it shouldn’t bother you.
Your choice is who you chose to be;
and if your causin to harm, then your alright with me.”

Ben Harper

Saudi Activist Samar Badawi Wins Woman of Courage Award

Samar Badawi standing with her husband Waleed Abu Al Khair

Samar Badawi is a Saudi woman who won a lawsuit against her abusive father who has been abusing her for over 15 years. She fought against the male guardianship system which implies that women should respect their male guardian no matter what he does even if he was abusive. Unfortunately, Samar was charged of disobeying her father and was sentenced to jail, even though she had all the evidences needed to prove that her father is abusing her. Despite the injustice she went through she kept on fighting along with Waleed Abulkhair who was her lawyer at that time and now they are happily married couple. After spending about 6 months in jail Samar was released. She finally won the case against her abusive father  in 2010 but  unfortunatily, not against the male guardian system. Her uncle on her father side became her male guardian as per the court order. Samar became an activist and has been participating in activities to promote women rights in Saudi Arabia. You can read more about the story here.

So what control freak sick Saudi men think about Samar winning the prize?

When I read the comments on Samarprize twitter account I found a lot of hateful, sick comments accusing Samar Badawi of disobedience and for not following Islam laws. It’s No surprise that a lot of Saudi men are pissed off and feel threatened by Samar Badwai because she became an inspiration to Saudi women who are going through what she’ve been through with her father. Samar represents a huge number of Saudi women who are being abused by their male guardians.  Women in Saudi Arabia don’t usually speak about it because male guardians are legally protected by the government using fake human-made Islamic laws, made to control women using religion. You can read more about the guardianship system in Saudi Arabia here.

I Believe Samar is a worrier, courageous and bold for taking such a step. I take my hat-off to her, Wajiha Al Huwaider, Manal Al Sharif , Eman Al Nafjan and Many others who contributed in women to drive campaign through driving, blogging and twitting.

How I felt when I wore an Abaya for the first time

Wearing a long black Abaya can be fashionable sometimes yet very restrictive. In Saudi Arabia, women wear either Shoulder Abaya or head Abaya. Shoulder Abaya looks pretty much like a black long shirt. Head Abaya on the other hand is placed on top of the head as it’s shown in the picture. Women in Saudi wear Abaya at very young age. Girl’s public schools for instance forces both teachers and students to wear head Abaya with head cover that covers up their face at 4th or 5th grade. It has been a tradition for so long for girls put on Abaya way before they hit puppetry. It is so sad because Abaya not only restrict movement but also give you a feeling of being ” grown up” when you are still a kid. Because of that, wearing an Abaya takes at least 5 years off every Saudi woman’s childhood.

I recall the first time I had to wear an Abaya and head cover; I was only 9 years old and I was a 4th grader. It is known here where I live that 4th grade students must wear an Abaya and a head cover.

I never understood why, I just hated it so much. I use to vomit when it’s around 50 degrees and I’m covering, it just made me sick. I also had difficulty seeing the world clearly. I was jealous that my brothers didn’t have to put up with all this when they go to school.

I believe I am not the only one who have experienced this, I am very sure that many Saudi women had experienced Abaya and head cover sickness after trying it for the first time.

Now I no longer cover my face when I go out. However, I cover up my face when it’s only unsafe not to do so, like going to areas where people might verbally attack me for not covering my face, I just do it to save the troubles.

Now that I live in China, I feel happy to be able to run, jump and ride my bike whenever I want to. With an Abaya  I would never be able to do so.

It made me feel so free, liberated and most importantly normal.

Men in Saudi Arabia has a restrictive traditional white thob, it also looks like a long shirt but for men its optional to wear a thob or not. So Saudi men can choose to wear or not wear thobes, Men also can choose different colors of thobs based on their preference. Unlike women, wearing an abaya is a must and it must be black Abaya too.

Men in Saudi Arabia has a restrictive traditional white thob, it also looks like a long shirt but for men its optional to wear a thob or not. So Saudi men can choose to wear or not wear thobes, Men also can choose different colors of thobs based on their preference. Unlike women, wearing an abaya is a must and it must be black Abaya too

P.S girls wear Abaya only on their way to school or home, but inside classes they put on Maryoul.