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Babes and Blackmarkers February 9, 2007

Posted by Aella in Al Khobar, Culture, Saudi Arabia, Saudi culture.

You missed her..

As I went to Jarir Bookstore (which is a great bookstore by the way) the other day I decided to buy some British womens magasines. I picked up a couple and then went in search for some yoga dvds. Later back home, (to my surprise) I soon realised that Mr Blackmarker and his mates had been busy blacking things out in the mags. These blacked out things were mainly womens arms, legs and thighs. And some cleavage as well. And bottles of wine. And a jar of Nivea. Sigh.

It made me kinda ticked off that a few pages had been ripped out (sorry Ulrikaka you’re too hot for KSA) and that the black marker had discoloured not only womens bodies but also the previous and the following pages. A bloody mess in other words.

I really think you guys should get stickers not to ruin the whole magasine. You are only making a mess now. Like 3 year olds with a big black pen.

I would also reeally like to know what was on the ripped out pages (sounds like I bought a porn mag with all these pages ripped out and all these black dots) and I would reeeaaalllly like to know if you throw them away or if one of you saves them 😉 . Perhaps someone could invite me to a session of blackmarking so I too could participate and write about it 😛 . I am honestly a little curious about this. Does someone from the muttawa sqaud do this or staff from the bookstore?

I am pretty sure I could improve the whole procedure. I could help you guys pointing out things you missed so your work can be done properly – you missed a lady in execise gear 😛 . And I would really like to discuss the issue of covering up Nivea jars and wine bottles. I would be more than grateful if someone could tell me where in the Quran (or what hadith) there is a prohibition to see pics of alcohol. I mean seriously. I know that everything else related to alcohol is haram. To sit with drinker, to sell it, to transport it and to drink it… but to look at it, well I never heard of this.

The interesting thing is… I know and have heard that many people drive from Bahrain intoxicated by alcohol. Now, is that ok? I would think not. If our beloved prophet (peace be upon him) saw how people are spending time blacking out wine bottles in magasins while others are driving drunk in the kingdom I am sure he would have more than one thing to say about this. Why isn’t there anyone making breathalyzer test by the Saudi-Bahraini border? Since no one is doing that I assume, it is ok to drive intoxicated by alcohol in Saudi Arabia. And why is that?



1. xpat - February 10, 2007


Because we are hypocrytes, taking from our Sacred Religion, what we like. may Allah grant us the capacity to accept the truth and more than than grant us strength to practice!

2. Elisabeth - February 10, 2007

🙂 Skrattar så tårarna rinner… Det är ju ett helt fantastiskt land du bosatt dig i. Jag hoppas du fick “special price” på tidningarna, eftersom de ju inte var kompletta. Men förklara vad är så vulgärt med en Nivea burk??!!!

Nästa tripp t Bahrein så får du väl bunkra upp med tidningar, förhoppningsvis kompletta sådana o utan märkpennor *lol*

3. Elisabeth - February 10, 2007

sry kan inte sluta skratta… hahahahahah…jag dööör…

4. Sous - February 10, 2007

Hahahaha Elisabeth, you’re killing me 😛 ! And no I didn’t get a special price but I wil make sure to get it next time. As for the Nivea jar, well I read that the jar had pics of dancers from a Brazilian carnival so heey there’s our answer. Those naughty Brazilians!

Expat, you are indeed right. It’s a pick and choose game for us all.

5. ummadam - February 11, 2007

I’m married to Mr. Blackmarker! It’s not even his job but he makes it his business 🙂

6. BraininBahrain - February 11, 2007

Great post ! Your style when you make us do a double take on things we have been long jaded by.

Have you seen the state of Saudi print-media, or any Saudi mass media for that matter ?

They are so far behind, so backward that they could never compete with even backwater magazines from other nations.

Hence, the Saudis, not having skills of their own get inundated by western values. Being Saudi, they naturally close the door on these things in the most typical manner by resorting to mass bans of products/services.

So now the Saudis are left in a world that is 200 years more advanced than them & all of a sudden their pride is diminished, so what do they do ? Instead of promoting their own culture, their own values, they give in & import magazines full of pictures of chicken boned women & then mechanically blot them out, making a mess of things, but hey, now they can import Western values under the gise of sanitised media.

It’s all quite messy and arcane but devilishly ingenious for the lazy. Instead of freplacing unwelcome values with their own, they allow their own values to be erroded by importing western values & all they have to do is lift a black marker & blot out all the wobbly bits !

It’s quite astonishing how they refuse to confront the west when it comes to commerce, culture and values (which are pillars of arab pride), yet so ready to take to arms to confront them militarily 😀

7. Pia - February 11, 2007

I would really honestly go and ask the guys at jarir to give a discount for missing pages, SR1 per page sounds reasonable 🙂 Arabian woman seems to be the only magazine that does not suffer the same fate, as for example the Woman magazine from Emirates. Majority of interestin articles no longer exist in the magazine so these days I tend to browse through the magazines I wish to buy- yes, beforehand- I neveeeer did this at home, there simply was no need (Heja Sverige och Finland!).

8. bfssmom - February 12, 2007

Boy you brought back memories of my times in al khobar(1989-1990,1993-1995) . My mom sent my children a video of Free Willy and my husband ( an arab muslim) got so mad because they took it at the airport. It was the woman in the bikini so we bought it in saudi where the naughty parts were cut from the movie. My kids thought it was so funny after we returned to the states. why blot out pictures of alcohol bottles when you can go to any compound and see it in person (at least it flowed in our) As an american muslim this was an eye opening experience.

9. Sous - February 12, 2007

Ummadam, shame it’s not his job, was hoping for an invite 😛 . But aren’t you guys living in the states? What are the reactions there if he blackmarks things?

BraininBahrain, you have some interesting points there. Many people I speak to outside KSA are really suprised to hear how “Americanized” Saudi is in terms of commerce and media. You hear so much about the Saudis not liking the west but once you get here the markets is flooded with Western products.

10. Sous - February 13, 2007

Pia, maybe I should do as Elisabeth said and buy some in Bahrain. But yeah I will ask Jarir next time (or maybe ask for a marker and fix what they missed).

Bffsmom, Well Free Willy is surely one of the naughtiest movies I have ever seen so I can see why they confiscated it 😛 . It sure is interesting that people can have satellites and in that way be able to watch whatever they want.

T, I am not quiet sure what you are getting at but I hope you are having a great day 😉 .


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