Saudi artists cautiously push against redlines

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  • Tekakaromatagi Dammam, Saudi Arabia
    April 3, 2014 10:30 a.m.

    During Ramadan about eight years ago there is this comedy miniseries that plays. They poked fun at the Al Qaeda types. They had one scene of these two jihadist guys writing on webpages about how it is a worthy pursuit to sacrifice, fight and to die fighting the Crusaders, and how, (God willing) they would sacrifice their lives, etc. And then they are complaining that their AC is not working very good and how they are suffering so much because the room is not cold.

    I have seen statues in the public squares in Jeddah. They do a lot of that. The architecture is really good. They have a skyscraper with a hole in it in Riyadh. A Saudi friend joked with me about it. "Do you know why it has a hole?" "Why?" "So someone can fly a plane through it."

  • Tekakaromatagi Dammam, Saudi Arabia
    April 3, 2014 10:25 a.m.

    I think it is good. I saw an Arabic movie, called Wadjeda, (English subtitles). A 10 year old girl wants a bicycle. Girls riding bicycles are frowned upon. ("You won't be a virgin anymore.") She enters a Quran reciting contest at her school to win the prize money to buy a bicycle. (She is kind of rebellious so the principal is pleasantly surprised.) She works really hard and she wins the contest and gets the money. So the principal asks her in front of the school. "Well Wadjeda, what are you going to buy with the money?" She says, "A bicycle." This horrifies the principal. "Why don't you give the money to our Palestinian brethren? . . . God will bless you for your generosity."

    So she doesn't get the money. Her mom who was going to buy a red dress to wear for her husband. She gives the dress money to Wadjeda so she gets the bike. The sad part is the mother was going to buy the red dress because she was scared her husband was going to marry a second wife. He did, so she saw no need to buy the dress. It was too late.