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# 50 WhatsApping

whatsapp-wallpaper4WhatsApp is so Saudi you will think they invented this smart phone application. The App icon is green and white similar to the Saudi flag, you know it is meant to be Saudi from day one, but who are we kidding? Last thing Saudis invented was mixing apple juice with sparkle water and calling it “Saudi champagne”.

Phone calls are so 1994, now Saudis use WhatsApp as their main channel of communication; from greetings to asking about each other… for a nation that treats socializing as a religion, WhatsApp made their life much easier.

From my experience I realized that there are five types of WhatsApp users in Saudi:

  1. The Comedian: Specialized in sending funny videos, pictures, and jokes. This user is the life of the party.
  2. The Mutw’a (religious): Specialized in sending prayers (دعاء), some kind of greetings with prayers, and all kind of religious texts. This user makes you feel as if you are an infidel and trying to convert you to islam .
  3. The Reporter: Specialized in sending breaking news… the Reporter will always send the latest and current news from any kind, even if it is fake; the reporter will always share them first.
  4. The Doctor: Specialized in sending all kind of gibberish cures and treatments. For instance they will send something like if you mix lemon with dog shit and rub it on your forehead, you will get rid of headaches for ever.
  5. The audience: Specialized in not sending anything, just watching and replying with smileys ;).
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ahmedThe man the myth the legend … allow me to introduce to you Mr. Ahmad Al-Shugairi. Saudis see Mr. Al-Shugairi as the world saver who will save them from all evil …  that is why we can call him Saudi “Grendizer”( غراندايزر). Ahmad started airing his famous TV show “Khawater”  almost 10 years ago, and from that point…people became glued to their TV screens watching his show with high emotions and “sighing” on every scene that touches their delicate hearts.

Mr. Al-Shugairi  is a true definition of success, and Saudis admire his great story and how he became a glowing star among other TV personalities. Basically, what Ahmad is conveying in his TV shows is simply how to be a good human being, and since nowadays the world started to drift away from their values and goodness, an example of a good human being is something unheard of, as if an alien came from another plant to show us how to be a good citizen of world …

Not all Saudis jump-in with Mr. Al-Shugairi’s wagon to go to Peter Pan’s Neverland, some see his ideas are out of reach with pessimistic views … but those people are the same people  who keep complaining about Saudi-summer-heat inside their air- conditioned homes.

# 48 Walking

walkingIf you build a public park with a walking track (ممشة) around it, Saudis will start marching towards it out of no where…It will look like one of the scenes from the classical movie The Wizard of Oz ; where Dorothy and her friends are walking on the famous yellow brick road.

One of the main theories why Saudis like to walk, is because it is a good exercise and most doctors recommend it; not running nor jugging … just simple walking. And since Saudis recently started to worry about their health and lifestyle, walking is the perfect “sport” for them. Now you might ask, but walking is what human beings suppose to do to move from a place to another, right? Yes, but for a nation 90% of its status are sitting still; laying in  couches, sitting in cars, sitting in offices, sitting at cafes and restaurants, sitting at parks,  sitting in waiting rooms, etc. walking is the prefect activity to start with.

I don’t mind people considering walking as a sport, but there is a big difference between sport walking with little bit fast paste, and walking as if you are site seeing at the Champs elysees -Paris talking on the phone (this is not what the fitness world meant by walking).

 

# 47 Burgers

cheeseburgerIf Saudis learned anything from the impact of globalization, it will be the love for burgers. Hamburgers were introduced to the kingdom long time ago, but only the past few years burgers became so popular. It used to be McDonalds, Burger King, and Hardee’s that dominated Saudi’s bellies. But nowadays, a new era of burgers are in… we can call them the Rolls Royce of burgers (gourmet). With jacked-up prices for one of those gourmet/angus/high quality/organic burgers it is not a big deal for a country most of their population are young and hip with daddy’s money in their pockets.

Saudis took burgers world to the next level, now they became burgers entrepreneur and started to establish burger joints and coming up with their own secret sauces (usually it is mayo and ketchup base) to compete with the big boys: Shake Shack, Fuddruckers, Elevation burger, etc. A side note just to make it clear, I am talking about burgers made from beef, because chicken burgers are for little girls.

# 46 Western people

busisnessmanIf you are blond and have blue eyes and speak with an American or British accent, you have a big chance of “making it” in Saudi Arabia … socially, financially , or whatever your goals are. Since Most of Saudis somehow were exposed to the Western world through media, travelling, education, networking, reading, you name it… the impact was substantial.

You will witness Saudis admiring Western people while talking or listening to them with a big smile on their faces or telling them lame jokes about why do Arabs marry four wives. I don’t mind the multicultural interaction, but as far as I know telling an American guy to eat with his hands or to repeat some bad Arabic words and laughing at him has nothing to do with culture exchange.

In the business world, here where you will see the real admiration of Western people. Let a well dressed (navy slim fit suit)British person stands in front of filthy-rich-big-belly management executives to sell and idea or to give them a consultation advice …basically you will be witnessing a hands-on hypnosis therapy session. This British person can tell the Saudi executives that we can invest in natural gas and I mean not the gas that comes as a by product from crude oil, but natural gas that  comes from human’s butts…yes butts, and they will buy-in with glazed eyes and a big clown-ish smile.

# 45 Morocco

marco_flagMorocco the land of magic; Saudi men will say that with a big ass smile on their faces. Morocco the land of BLACK magic (Voodoo); Saudi women will say that with a fronting face and one of their eyebrows is raised to the roof. So what’s the deal about this country?

The first Saudi man visited Morocco had so much fun, when he got back to Saudi Arabia he called out on all men with a loud voice and told them that the women over there are so so beautiful, after brainwashing all of them (some men their brains are between their legs) they followed his lead. All countries have beautiful women- who are we kidding, but brainwashing is a tough phenomena to beat. So is it all about women? You will hear some Saudis will say: the weather is nice, the sightseeing, the food is amazing… you know what do I say to those people: yeah right!

There was a study by the University Institute of Marriage (if there is any) that the most nationality that marries Moroccan women other than Moroccan themselves are our beloved Saudis (usually they will marry them as second wives; or as some call them “trophy wives”). Therefore, Saudi Wives Association Team (SWAT) marked Morocco in the No-Fly zone next to Lebanon.

 

# 44 Volunteer Work

volunteerNo one can deny that volunteer work is a noble act, coming from people who would like to spread love and joy to the whole world. But for some Saudis it is not all about making the world a better place, its more about: hey look at me I am a good person. Show me a group of volunteer workers without cameras and videotaping themselves, and I will drop this blog.

There are two type of groups when it comes to volunteering. First, the cool young hip people; usually they are mix genders boys and girls working together, let us call them: generation 4G. This group generation 4G, are highly energetic, highly excited personalities. For some of them, volunteer work is just something to do at their free time, for others it is an opportunity for networking, plus it is the “cool” thing to do nowadays.

The second group is the stereotypical picture of conservative Muslims. Let us call them: Saudi’s angels. And since they are angels their volunteer work has a bigger purpose than generation 4G, or at least that what they think! This group focus mainly on smiling and helping poor kids and orphans.

At the end, no matter what are the motives for those volunteer workers, they will make Mr.Ahmad Al Shugairi (أحمد الشقيري) proud.