Tuesday, March 6, 2007

Saudi-ness

In light of recent news items involving 'tribe pride', I found a few verses from the Quaran which describe certain characteristics of the tribes living around Medina during the time of the Prophet. The following verses I found particularly ironic. Certain descendants of tribes that were causing problems during the time of the Prophet (PBUH), are causing problems today due to the character flaws described for us:
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The Arabs of the desert are the worst in Unbelief and hypocrisy, and most fitted to be in ignorance of the command which Allah hath sent down to His Messenger... Certain of the desert Arabs round about you are hypocrites, as well as (desert Arabs) among the Medina folk: they are obstinate in hypocrisy...(Sura Al-Tawba vs. 97-101)

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Apparently some things never change. Even after centuries of Islamic teachings and brotherhood still, some of them hold fast to their flawed belief systems.
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"They (the non-tribal) want to enter the Saudi community and infest unto it because no one will marry their daughters and sons because they are immoral and with no origin".

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Thanks to Ash for this quote from some a**hole in Jeddah. (Even if the source of the original quote is dubious, doesn't matter- I've heard almost the same exact words with MY ears).

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Well, I hate to inform our tribal brothers but we all have roots:

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O mankind! We created you from a single (pair) of a male and a female, and made you into nations and tribes, that ye may know each other (not that ye may despise each other). Verily the most honoured of you in the sight of Allah is (he who is) the most righteous of you… (The Quran, Sura Al-Hijurat v. 13)
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I included this verse from the Quaran to illustrate what should be happening in a Muslim nation. Muslims, living in peace and brotherhood with each other. Instead, Muslims are divided amongst several countries bickering and quarrelling about borders, politics, and origins. Even within its borders, Saudis are denying each other their "Saudi-ness". How so? Let me elaborate with some dialogue which occurred between a husband and wife:
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Wife: (Upon seeing a cute little girl with brown hair and green eyes) Oh, mashallah, isn't she cute? I wonder why she's so white.
Husband: Well, that's because they're not reeeeeeeeeeeeealy Saudi.
Wife: What do you mean?
Husband: If I remember, the dad's last name is of Turkish decent. I'd be that white if I were Turkish too.

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Living in Al-Hassa, some of the old Turkish forts like Ibrahim's Castle (shown in my pics) are a constant reminder that this used to be a Turkish controlled area. How long ago was this? Try hundreds and hundreds of years. Despite these people living here for all that time, there are those who would not consider them really Saudi.

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This begs to ask the question: who is Saudi then?
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"Saudi" when used to describe a person, is a misnomer. Reason being unless your last name is Al-Saud and you're a member of the royal family...you're not reeeeeeeeeeeally a Saudi.
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OK then, I've heard people put a different spin on this, they say," I'm not Saudi, I'm Arab". Well, applying that criteria would exclude several million people living for hundreds of years in what is now Saudi Arabia. Hajj has brought steady immigration from countries all over the world since the advent of the pilgrimage. Many of whom decided to settle and have been living there ever since. One only need to look at the population of the Hijaz to see a rainbow of ethnicity's. You have the Levantine Arabs, Gulf Arabs, North Africans, Sub-Saharan Africans, Indian/Pakistanis, Indonesians, Malay, Chinese, Eastern Europeans, etc... You catch my drift. I would venture to say that perhaps the majority of people living in the Hijaz are not of only Arabic decent, but have other ethnicity's added somewhere back in there family trees.
Well, that's the Hijaz, some would say. It's was a part of a different country before WWI. What about Al-Hassa? We've already established that Turkish have been here for centuries. How about former slaves? There are large groups of people from African descent. What about as a result of trade? There are also many people who had married Indian/Egyptian/Syrian/Moroccan brides. We're close to Iran and there's a lot of people from Persian descent.
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Then it all boils down to tribes again. If you can trace your roots back to a Saudi Arabian tribe, then are you really a Saudi? If that were the case, Osama bin Laden wouldn't reeeeeeeeeeally be a Saudi. His dad's of Yemeni descent and his mom is Syrian. Woo Hoo! Maybe we should put a positive spin on his "Un-Saudi-ness" so we won't be chastised any more for his misdeeds (LOL).
Speaking of Yemenis, all Gulf Arabs are supposedly descended from Yemen anyway. So what does this mean...NONE of us belong here nor have a right to claim distinction above anyone else. Get over yourselves.

1 comment:

desertflower said...

I just wanted to say that most arabs do the same to me except they ask me if I am American, American...So what is the difference between being an American and being an American, American. My question is does all this really matter?