Saturday, January 17, 2015

The Arabian Peninsula is mine!

OK, so I don't have Yemen (a word, by the way, that is on the Department of Homeland Security's watchlist as they sort through your emails, phone calls, texts and what not, so I guess Director of National Intelligence James Clapper just got some kind of notification on his iPhone that I used the word Yemen. Blow me, Clapper.) yet. But today I got the big one: Saudi Arabia.

That's right, the land of Arabian nights, genies in lamps and almost as much oil as us has graced Eff You with its presence:
Saudi Arabia, officially known as the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, is the largest Arab state in Western Asia by land area (approximately . . . 830,000 sq miles), constituting the bulk of the Arabian Peninsula, and the second-largest in the Arab world after Algeria. It is bordered by Jordan and Iraq to the north, Kuwait to the northeast, Qatar, Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates to the east, Oman to the southeast, and Yemen in the south. It is the only nation with both a Red Sea coast and a Persian Gulf coast and much of its terrain consists of inhospitable desert.
Saudi Arabia is an absolute monarchy, has the fourth-largest military budget in the world and is governed by sharia law, "while the Quran and theSunnah (the traditions of Muhammad) are declared to be the country's constitution." Yeah, that ought to make you nervous -- 15 of the 19 9/11 hijackers were Saudis. While the nation is officially an ally, the radical Wahhabi strain of Sunni Islam dominates religious life in Saudi Arabia, which obviously provides it's fair share of Islamic terrorists. Maybe you're heard of Saudi citizen Osama Bin Laden? And yeah, they enforce the traditional sharia punishment for converting from Islam to another religion:
Saudi Arabia also conducts dozens of executions each year, mainly for murder and drug smuggling, although there are people who have been executed for deserting Islam and crimes against the state. The method of execution is normally Public Beheading.
The nation's capital is Riyahd, with a population of 5.2 million. Jeddah has a population topping 3 million, while the cities that are home to the holiest sites in Islam, Mecca and Medina, both have populations greater than 1 million. Interestingly, despite being the birthplace of Islam, Saudi Arabia isn't keen on preserving its historic Islamic legacy:
Saudi Arabia, and specifically the Hejaz, as the cradle of Islam, has many of the most significant historic Muslim sites, including the two holiest sites of Mecca and Medina.[266]One of the King's titles is Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, the two mosques being Masjid al-Haram in Mecca, which contains Islam's most sacred place, the Kaaba, and Al-Masjid al-Nabawi in Medina which contains Muhammad's tomb.[267][268]
However, Saudi Wahhabism is hostile to any reverence given to historical or religious places of significance for fear that it may give rise to 'shirk' (that is, idolatry). As a consequence, under Saudi rule, the Hejaz cities have suffered from considerable destruction of their physical heritage and, for example, it has been estimated that 95% of Mecca's historic buildings, most over a thousand years old, have been demolished.[269] These include the mosque originally built by Muhammad's daughter Fatima, and other mosques founded by Abu Bakr (Muhammad's father-in-law and the first Caliph), Umar (the second Caliph), Ali (Muhammad's son-in-law and the fourth Caliph), and Salman al-Farsi (another of Muhammad's companions).[270] Other historic buildings that have been destroyed include the house of Khadijah, the wife of Muhammad, the house of Abu Bakr, now the site of the local Hilton hotel; the house of Ali-Oraid, the grandson of Muhammad, and the Mosque of abu-Qubais, now the location of the King's palace in Mecca.[271]
Critics have described this as "Saudi vandalism" and claim that over the last 50 years, 300 historic sites linked to Muhammad, his family or companions have been lost.[272] It has been reported that there now are fewer than 20 structures remaining in Mecca that date back to the time of Muhammad.[271]
That seems a little like tearing down Buckingham Palace or Westminster Abbey to make way for public housing, but what the fuck do I know?

I wanted to put up some pictures of great Saudi scenery, but this is about the best I could do:

Apparently, most of the country looks more like this:

Also, I'm going to go out on a limb and say that I would not go to Saudi Arabia to meet women:

Taking a big chance there, guys. Talk about a blind date. Sure, there's some negatives there, but we at Eff You are nothing if not inclusive. OK, scratch that. But nonetheless, please extend a big Eff You welcome to Saudi Arabia. Y'all come back soon, and bring your friends. The nice ones.

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