الدول التي لا تطلب تأشيرة لدخول المواطنين السعوديين لها – صورة

الدول التي لا تطلب تأشيرة لدخول المواطنين السعوديين لها - صورة

هل فكرت يوماً بالدول التي يمكن أن تذهب لها بدون تأشيرة؟ عملت هذه الخريطة بأسماء ومواقع هذه الدول حول العالم..

تمنياتي للجميع بإجازة صيفية سعيدة
🙂


آخر تحديث ١١ نوفمبر ٢٠١٧

قم بالضغط على الصورة لتكبيرها، ثم قم بالضغط مرة أخرى للحصول على حجمها الأصلي (كبير جداً) أو قم بحفظها على جهازك لتشاهدها بحجمها الكامل

حاملو الجواز السعودي يستطيعون دخول ٦٤ دولة بدون تأشيرة أو بتأشيرة عند الوصول

 قائمة بالدول التي لا تطلب تأشيرة لدخولها (مرتبة أبجدياً): ـ

الأردن

الإكوادور

الإمارات العربية المتحدة

البحرين

إلسالفادور

الكويت

المغرب

اليمن

بنما

تونس

جورجيا

دومينيكا

سانت فينسنت والغرينادين

عمان

غامبيا

غواتيمالا

فلبين

قطر

قيرغيزستان

كوريا الجنوبية

لبنان

ماليزيا

مصر

موريشيوس

ميكرونيسيا

نيكاراغوا

نيوزيلندا

هايتي

هندوراس

الدول بتأشيرة إلكترونية

تركيا

سريلانكا

قائمة بالدول التي تحصل على تأشيرتها من مطارهم عند الوصول (مرتبة أبجدياً): ـ

 

أذربيجان

الرأس الأخضر

السودان

الصومال

النيبال

إندونيسيا

أوغندا

إيران

بالاو

بروناي

بنغلاديش

بوروندي

بوليفيا

بيساو

تايلاند

تنزانيا

توغو

توفالو

تيمور الشرقية

جزر القمر

جزر المالديف

جيبوتي

زامبيا

زيمبابوي

ساموا

سيشل

طاجيكستان

غينيا

كمبوديا

كينيا

لاوس

مالي

مدغشقر

موريتانيا

موزمبيق

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#Women2Drive Press Release


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It had been 21 years since the first attempt to break the ban on women driving in Saudi Arabia in 1990. These women faced swift repercussions and few attempts at protests have been made since that time.
But everything changed on June 17, 2011, when we started #Women2Drive  movement. I was sent to jail for posting a video of me driving as part of the campaign, but nonetheless, dozens of brave women dared to drive on June 17th, 2011. The struggle never stopped but continued with more campaigns throughout the years. The October 26th, 2013 campaign led by the Saudi blogger Dr. Eman Alnafjan followed by Loujain Al-Hathloul attempted to cross Saudi borders coming from the UAE. She was later joined by the Saudi journalist Maysa Al-Amoudi, both were arrested and sent to jail for 72 days. The #iammyownguardian campaign also went viral connecting activists within and outside the Kingdom globally to raise awareness of male guardianship laws in Saudi Arabia that forbid women to travel, marry or even exit prison without the permission of a male relative.
Women campaigning to end this ban have lost their freedom, their jobs, jeopardized their safety and had their cars confiscated and held. They have been harassed, jailed and their families have been targeted. They have been called every degrading name and viciously attacked. They have lost their lives as they have known it for daring to drive on the streets of Saudi Arabia.
Today, Sep 26th, 2017, marks the date we end one of the most draconian laws in modern history. Women’s rights activists will still continue to observe how this law is implemented and monitored and will continue campaigning to abolish the male guardianship imposed on them.   We ask for nothing short of full equality for women.
We pay respect to the women and men who have fought in this struggle. It’s just the start to end long-standing unjust laws have always considered Saudi women minors who are not trusted to drive their own destiny.
The rain begins with a single drop!

My US Book Tour is Here!


My memoir, Daring to Drive: A Saudi Woman’s Awakening, is finally going to be spotted on shelves in bookstores and libraries. A lifelong aspiration! I have always wanted to write my story. I have kept all my diaries and my childhood books, notes, sketch books, etc. I knew deep inside that one day I will write (the book of my life). It’s listed on my bucket list too. But I wasn’t sure why would anyone read my story. Why would a publisher be interested in (the book of my “insignificant” life). But there was always part of me knowing that such day will come. On May 19th, 2011, I posted a video of me driving in the last country on earth where women are still considered minors from crib to coffin. And that video changed everything. My “insignificant” and humble story became world’s news! And little I knew that my own world, will never be the same again.

The details of my US tour can be found here:

Daring to Drive Event Schedule

تدوينتي: مذكرات منقبة سابقة في ذا ديلي بيست


http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2014/10/30/saudi-activist-manal-al-sharif-on-why-she-removed-the-veil.html

Saudi Activist Manal Al-Sharif on Why She Removed the Veil

One of Saudi Arabia’s preeminent activists, who led the right-to-drive movement, describes her decision to take off the niqab.
No piece of cloth throughout history has sparked more controversy as the veil. Many Muslim women are forced to wear it daily. The hijab has a spectrum, of course, from its most radical embodiments, the niqab, which covers the entire face, to loose fitting headscarves.

Saudi Arabia comes come second only to Iran in using the power of the stick (the Committee for the Promotion of Virtue and the Prevention of Vice or the religious police) to impose a particular form and color of hejab on all our women. And when I say all our women, I mean all: Saudi and non-Saudi, Muslim and non-Muslim alike.

The sheer size of the country means that each and every region of Saudi Arabia contains a great diversity of cultures, dialects and religious sects. Until the seventies, women here were free to wear almost whatever they wanted. Bedouin women wore bright clothes and burqas, the parting of their hair and their kohl-lined eyes left exposed. The women of the city donned their abayas, the fabric drawn in around their waists. The Arab women wore their colored hejabs, and the non-Muslim women dressed modestly and without a veil.

The women in my father’s village, Tarfa, to the north-west of Mecca, wore bright clothes with pink and white scarves wrapped around their heads and necks. Like the Bedouins, they left their faces and the parting of their hair exposed.

This all changed when the state-supported wave of religious fanaticism struck our society. The black abaya and facial covering was imposed on all female government employees, and on schools and universities. And the black hejab was imposed on all non-Saudi women, regardless of their religion or creed. It was unthinkable to see a woman in my hometown, Mecca, who did not wear the niqab; revealing your face was a social taboo and was haram in the eyes of religion. Leaflets were widely distributed during that era saying that facial covering was what separated the Muslim woman from the infidel. The fanaticism spread even to children: even before I took off my niqab for good, a ten-year-old-girl next to me on a plane called me an “infidel” when I lifted my veil to eat a meal.

One leaflets distributed during the period of Islamic awakening read:

“My Muslim sister; today, you face a relentless and cunning war waged by the enemies of Islam with the purpose of reaching you and removing you from your impenetrable fortress. One of the things that these enemies of Islam are trying to discredit and eliminate is the hejab. Some of them even said that the situation in the East would not be righted until the hejab had been raised from the woman’s face and used to cover the Koran!”

This same ideology was exported out of Saudi Arabia by the power of the petrodollar. I remember the days of the Bosnian war (1992—1995), when Saudi Arabia sent convoys of aid to those besieged in Sarajevo. The people in charge of the convoys distributed the hejab to the besieged women along with the cartons of food.

It came to the point where the only acceptable interpretation of Islamic hejab in Saudi was for woman to shroud her face and body completely in black. Though, to anyone from outside our borders, one Saudi woman appeared utterly indistinguishable from the next, Saudis developed a unique ability to recognize the woman who languished in the blackness. My father knew me apart from the dozens of other girls outside the school or university walls; he never mixed me up with another girl. Similarly, we never failed to recognize our relatives or friends if we came across them in the mall or mosque.

We developed a great sensitivity to the characteristics and attributes of those around us: their voices, the way they arranged their niqab, their eyes, their gait, and even the type of abaya and handbag and shoe they wore. And young men developed a sense for the age of a girl and her physique, purely from the way she walked.

After that came the nineties, which brought with it satellite channels, and after that the turn of the millennium, which heralded the evolution of new forms of communication: the internet and smart phones. At last we had access to views that challenged the status quo—the single opinion that had so long been presented to us as the only correct choice. It was the only one, we were told, which follows the way of the Prophet and truly represents Islam. Our conservative society began to posit questions and raise doubts about things that had—by the power of religion and with the blessing of the state—been so long imposed on us as givens.

One of the first things to be questioned was the narrow Wahhabi interpretation of hejab, but for me personally, that didn’t make the matter any easier. When I decided to remove the niqab in 2002, I faced a bitter war with my family and society. My mother wore the niqab during the period of the Islamic awakening, and though she relinquished it on our travels outside Saudi, she opposed the fact that I had taken it off at home. The reason was social, not religious: “My daughter, no one will marry you if you show your face!”

If the people I passed on the streets of Mecca knew me to be a Saudi, I’d face harsh and disapproving looks. One day I was performing tawaf, and the observer—whose job was to regulate the movements of people around the Kaaba—berated me loudly about my lack of niqab every time I passed him. “Cover your face, woman!” he shouted. The third time, I used my finger to indicate the people around me: “All these women with uncovered faces; are they disobedient too? Or is it only me that’s sinning, because I am Saudi?” I completed the rest of my circuits without hearing another word.

Though I didn’t wear the niqab in the street or in my place of work, I had to borrow a friend’s niqab to enter the courtroom, since women were not allowed to enter government facilities—courts in particular—with their faces uncovered. I was forced to bring two male “identity verifiers” to assert who I was, despite the fact that I carried my ID card with me.

While the uncovering of women’s faces might have been the biggest change to happen to Saudi society, it wasn’t the only one women dared to make. A group of girls in Jeddah began to wear colored abayas; soon, robes in grey, navy blue and dark brown could be seen in the city’s abaya shops. When these same colors began to appear in Riyadh, the religious police launched a campaign of confiscating them from the shops. “If this was their reaction to brown and grey,” I wondered, “how would they react to the sight of pink or red?” I wanted to try it out.

I went to the shop I usually dealt with and asked if they could make me a colorful abaya, but the owner flatly refused: “If a colored abaya was seen in my shop, I would be questioned and harassed by the men of the religious police!” But my friends pointed me to one of the shops that was happy to custom-make colorful designs and deliver them to its customers out of sight of the religious police.

The other change was in the symbolism of the abaya—its significance was no longer of a religious and social nature only. Rather, it came to be treated wholly as a fashion item, with trends that came and went over time just as with any other item of clothing. We saw the emergence of fashion designers who specialized in creating abayas. They held fashion shows to promote their latest lines.

Depending on the fame of the designer, the quality of the fabric and the materials used in the embroidery, the prices could be as high as tens of thousands of riyals apiece. Different types of abaya emerged for different occasions: the abaya intended for work or for going to the mall was characterized by its practicality, and the abayas for special occasions were characterized by their embroidery and luxurious design. There were even abayas for winter and summer.

In spite of all these changes, the force of the state continued to impose the black abaya in public. Advocates claimed that it helped to preserve virtue and to affirm the application of Sharia law. What they conveniently overlooked was that the imposition of a certain type of dress on one section of the population was a precedent that had never before been set in the whole of the country’s history. The form and color of clothes had long been left to the society to decide for themselves, and the authorities had cared little about how it looked as long as it was decent.

The imposition of the black abaya is unnatural: it represents nothing but an obstruction on normal life and on the natural evolution that occurs in people’s manner and form of dress, something that has occurred throughout history on the basis of people’s needs and changing circumstances.

Manal al Sharif was arrested for driving in Saudi Arabia and is one of the Kingdom’s most famous women’s rights activists

التدوينة بالعربي هنا:

https://manal-alsharif.com/2014/08/10/%D9%85%D8%B0%D9%83%D8%B1%D8%A7%D8%AA-%D9%85%D9%86%D9%82%D8%A8%D8%A9-%D8%B3%D8%A7%D8%A8%D9%82%D8%A9/

مذكرات منقبة سابقاً


ماهو الشيء الذي تلبسه المرأة المسلمة طوال حياتها،  وتلبسه المرأة الغربية يوم زفافها، ينظر له الغرب أنه قمع للمرأة، وينظر له الشرق أنه حفظ للمرأة؟ هو أكثر قطعة ملابس أثارت جدلاً على مر التاريخ، لدرجة أن منعتها حكومات وفرضتها أخرى؟ نعم، إنه الحجاب بأي شكل كان، من أكثره تشدداً متمثلاً في (النقاب والبرقع) حتى أكثره انفتاحاً متمثلاً في الملابس المحتشمة للنساء بدون غطاء الرأس. هذا المقال ليس محاولة لشرح تاريخ الحجاب وعرض للمجموعات الدينية التي مازالت تفرض شكلاً معينا للباس على نساءها، من يهودية ومسلمة وحتى بعض الطوائف المسيحية الأرثودوكسية. هو فقط عرض بسيط لتطور الحجاب في وطني السعودية، البلد الثاني (بعد ايران) الذي يفرض بقوة عصا (هيئة الأمر بالمعروف والنهي عن المنكر) شكلاً ولوناً معيناً للحجاب على جميع النساء، سعوديات وغير سعوديات، مسلمات وغير مسلمات. وعندما أذكر (عصا الهيئة) فأنا أعني أنه فعلاً لا يوجد قانون سعودي مكتوب يحدد هيئة ولون الحجاب.

 

السعودية بسبب اتساع مساحتها تحتوي على تنوع كبير من الثقافات واللهجات والمذاهب الإسلامية لكل منطقة من مناطقها. حتى السبعينات الميلادية لم يكن هناك فرض لشكل معين لملابس النساء، تجد النساء البدويات بملابسهن الزاهية وبراقعهن التي تظهر مقدمة شعر الرأس والعيون المكحلة، ونساء المدينة بعباءة (اللف) التي يلففنها حول الخصر، والنساء العربيات بحجابهن الملون، والنساء غير المسلمات بملابس محتشمة لكن بدون حجاب. أذكر النساء في قرية أبي (الطرفاء) الواقعة شمال  غرب مدينة مكة بملابسهن الزاهية وشراشفهن الوردية والبيضاء التي يلففنها حول الوجه، بدون تغطيته، مظهرات مقدمة شعر الرأس. حتى ضربت موجة التشدد الديني مجتمعنا، ودعمتها مؤسسات الدولة، فتم فرض عباءة الرأس السوداء وغطاء الوجه على جميع موظفات الحكومة، وجميع المدراس والجامعات. وفرض الحجاب الأسود على غير السعوديات بغض النظر عن دينهن ومذهبهن. في تلك الفترة كان من المستحيل في مسقط رأسي (مكة) أن ترى أي امرأة سعودية غير منقبة، كان كشف الوجه من التابوهات الإجتماعية والمحرمات الدينية. حتى أن مطويات الوعظ الديني التي انتشرت في تلك الفترة كانت تؤصِّل لفكرة أن غطاء الوجه هو ما يفرق المسلمة عن الكافرة. وقد وُجهت في فترة من حياتي عندما كنت منقبة بإتهام (الكفر) من طفلة في العاشرة من عمرها كانت تجلس بجانبي في الطائرة عندما رفعت نقابي لتناول وجبة الطعام.

 

تقول مقدمة احدى مطويات فترة الصحوة والتي تدعو للحجاب وتحذر من تركه:

“هدية للمرأة المسلمة

أختي المسلمة إنك اليوم تواجهين حرباً شعواء ماكرة، يشنها أعداء الإسلام بغرض الوصول إليك وإخراجك من حصنك الحصين، حتى قال بعضهم (علينا أن نكسب المرأة ففي أي يوم مدَّت إلينا يديها فُزنا بالحرام وتبدد جيش المنتصرين للدين) وقال آخر: (كأس وغانية تفعلان في تحطيم الأمة المحمدية أكثر مما يفعله ألف مدفع، فأغرقوها في حب المادة والشهوات). فكوني حذرة أختي المسلمة ولاتنخدعي بما يثيرونه من شبهات وشكوك وبما يرفعونه من شعارات. ومن المسائل التي يحاول أعداء الإسلام التشكيك فيها والقضاء عليها (مسألة الحجاب) حتى قال بعضهم: (لا تستقيم حالة الشرق مالم يُرفع الحجاب عن وجه المرأة ويغطى به القرآن)”

وتم تصدير نفس الفكر لخارج السعودية بدولارات النفط. أرجع بالذاكرة لأيام الحرب البوسنية عندما سيّرت السعودية قافلات إغاثة للمحاصرين في سراييفو كان المسؤولون على هذه القوافل يوزعون الحجاب على النساء مع كراتين الغذاء.

 

أصبح الحجاب الإسلامي في السعودية لا يصح إلا بغطاء الوجه والجسم بالكامل بالسواد، وعلى الرغم من أن النساء يبدين متطابقات تماماً لأي شخص من خارج السعودية، لكن السعوديين استطاعوا تطوير فراسة من نوع فريد جداً للتعرف على المرأة التي تقبع داخل ذلك السواد. كان أبي يعرفني من بين العشرات من الطالبات الواقفات خارج أسوار المدرسة أو الجامعة، ولم يخطئني يوماً مع فتاة أخرى، كما نتعرف على قريباتنا أو صديقاتنا إذا صادفنا إحداهن في السوق أو المسجد. تصبح لدينا حساسية كبيرة للصفات الأخرى كالصوت، طريقة لبس النقاب، العينين، المشية، وحتى نوع العباءة وحقيبة اليد والحذاء. ويجد الشباب طريقة للتعرف على سن الفتاة وقوامها من مشيتها فقط.

 

ثم جاءت فترة التسعينات الميلادية بقنواتها الفضائية وتلتها الألفية الثالثة بتطور وسائل التواصل من انترنت وهواتف نقالة، وتوفرت الخيارات أمامنا لقراءة الأقوال المغايرة للرأي الواحد الذي طالما تم تقديمه لنا على أنه وحده الذي يتبع منهاج النبوة ويمثل الإسلام الصحيح. وبدأ المجتمع المحافظ بطبعه بطرح التساؤلات والشكوك حول أمور تم فرضها كمُسلَّمات على الجميع بقوة الدين وبمباركة الدولة، وكان من أوائل هذه الأمور الحجاب بتفسيره الوهابي الضيق، لكن الأمر لم يكن بتلك السهولة. عندما قررت التوقف عن ارتداء النقاب في عام ٢٠٠٢، واجهت حرباً باردة مع عائلتي ومع المجتمع، إرتدت أمي النقاب في فترة الصحوة ومع ذلك لا ترتديه في سفرنا خارج السعودية، لكنها رفضت حقيقة أن ابنتها اختارت ألا ترتدي النقاب في السعودية والسبب كان اجتماعياً وليس دينياً (لن تتزوجي يا ابنتي إذا كشفتي وجهك). في مكة كانت النظرات المستهجنة تلاحقني إذا عرفوا في المكان أنني سعودية. كنت أؤدي الطواف في أحد الأيام، وكان المراقب الذي ينظم حركة الطائفين في صحن الحرم ينصحني بصوت عالي كلما مررت عليه وأنا أطوف (غطي وجهك يا مرة)، في المرة الثالثة نظرت إليه مباشرة وأشرت بأصابعي حولي (وكل هاتين المسلمات الطائفات وهن كاشفات هل هن عاصيات؟ أم كوني سعودية فقط؟)، توقف الشيخ عن نصحي في بقية الأشواط. وعلى الرغم أنني لا أرتدي النقاب في الشارع ومكان عملي، لكن كان علي استعارة نقاب صديقتي لدخول المحكمة، حيث لا يسمح للنساء بدخول المصالح الحكومية وخصوصاً المحاكم وهن كاشفات، وكان علي احضار معرفين ذكرين أحدهما أخي لتعريفي أمام القاضي على الرغم من وجود بطاقة الهوية معي.

 

قد يكون التغيير بكشف الوجه هو الأكبر الذي مر به المجتمع السعودي، لكن ذلك ليس التغيير الوحيد الذي تجرأت النساء على فعله مع الحجاب. بدأت مجموعة من فتيات (جدة) بفكرة ارتداء عباءات ذات ألوان مغايرة للون الأسود، فظهرت العباءات ذات الألوان الرمادية والكحلية والبني الغامق في جدة، وعندما ظهرت نفس الألوان في الرياض قامت الهيئة بشن حملة صادرت فيها العباءات الملونة من محلات العباءات، ولا أعرف كيف ستتعامل الهيئة مع العباءات زاهية الألوان إذا ظهرت. ولأجرب ذلك طلبت من المحل الذي أتعامل معه أن يفصل لي عباءة ملونة لكن صاحب المحل رفض بشدة: (إذا شوهدت عباءة ملونة في المحل سأتعرض للمسائلة والمضايقة من قبل رجال الهيئة)، لكن صديقاتي دللني على أحد المحلات التي تقبل تفصيل عباءات ملونة ويتم تسليمها للزبونة بالخفاء. التغيير الآخر كان في رمزية العباءة، فلم تعد مقتصرة على المعنى الديني أو الاجتماعي فقط، بل أصبحت العباءة تعامل كالأزياء تماماً، تظهر trends وتختفي كل فترة. وظهرت مصممات أزياء متخصصات في تصميم العباءات فقط ، يقمن عروض أزياء لعرض آخر التصاميم وتصل أسعار العباءات لعشرات الآلاف حسب شهرة المصممة ونوعية القماش والمواد المستخدمة في تطريز العباءة.  ظهرت أيضاً أنواع مختلفة للعباءات حسب كل مناسبة، عباءة للدوام تتميز بكونها عملية، وعباءة للسوق، وعباءة للمناسبات وتتميز بكونها مطرزة وفخمة، وحتى عباءات شتوية وصيفية.

 

وعلى الرغم من كل هذه التغييرات التي ذكرتها، تظل العباءة السوداء مفروضة بقوة الدولة. يقول المدافعون أن في ذلك حفظ للفضيلة وتأكيد على تطبيق الشريعة الإسلامية، لكنهم نسوا أن في فرض شكل معين من اللباس على فئة من الجتمع ماهو إلا سابقة لم تحدث في تاريخ الأمة الإسلامية، فلطالما كان شكل اللباس ولونه متروكاً للمجتمع الإسلامي مع البقاء على الحشمة بشكل عام. لذلك أجد فرض العباءة السوداء ماهو إلا تعطيل لسنة الحياة واعاقة للتطور الطبيعي الذي يحدث في طريقة وشكل اللباس التي طالما حدثت حسب حاجة الناس وتغير الظروف.

Karama Has No Walls


Despite the disappointment which I felt – and which I’m confident was felt by every Arab who followed the Oscars this year – when not one, but three Arab films were beaten to the prize for “Best Foreign Film” by Italian film The Great Beauty, the consolation was that the themes explored by the trio revolved around the Arab struggle for freedom and dignity.

This gives an idea of the far-reaching nature of the Arab voice that has inspired the rest of the world through its continuous struggle; and through this voice, the world continues to bear witness to one of the most important eras in recent history.

The film Omar by Palestinian director Hany Abu Assad addresses the issue of Palestinian sufferings under the Israeli occupation and explores the complexities of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

The film Karama Has No Walls by Yemeni director Sarah Ishaq was about the Friday of Dignity massacre that sparked the Yemeni revolution and ended 33 years of dictatorial rule. And last but not least, The Square by Egyptian filmmaker Jehane Noujaim documented the two years following the January 25 Revolution in Egypt.

I’ll pause for a little while at The Square, since my frequent visits to Egypt before and after the January 25 Revolution, along with my knowledge of a number of young revolutionaries who lit the fuse of revolution three years ago and ended up mostly in prison, have led me to feel a certain connection to Egypt: emotionally, mentally, and even in a revolutionary sense.

I will tell the story of these revolutionaries as embodied by one man, Omar Hazek, a poet and novelist from the Egyptian city of Alexandria, who spent his thirty-sixth birthday – the 31st of January this year – behind bars. Omar is neither a thug nor a corrupt official, a thief nor a criminal. He is simply a man who had dreamed since a young age of being released from the claws of dictatorship and lifting his head, if for only once in his life, to live in dignity.

I met him in 2012, when I visited Egypt to attend the conference “Change Your World” organised by Yahoo. Full of pride, he told me how he and his comrades had, after a bitter struggle, toppled the dictatorship that had relentlessly suppressed and humiliated them for decades.

He told me of how, after the torture-to-death incident involving his fellow Alexandrian, Khaled Said, they staged a protest: standing and looking toward the sea without a word, they announced their rejection of the injustice with their silence.

“We were a handful of young people, numbering not more than a few dozen,” he told me. Whether they went out in the cold of winter or the heat of summer, “Not one person believed us. We were exposed to ridicule from passers-by; we dealt with the frustration of our classmates and colleagues and the worry of our families. But we went out every day; we were prepared no longer to feel like victims of lifelong suffering, but like tigers, ready for martyrdom and sacrifice.”

“Weren’t you scared?” I asked him. “Was demonstrating allowed where you were?”

“Who said that demonstrating was allowed?” he replied. “We had lived under emergency law for decades. Because of the emergency law, we lost young people like Khaled Said.”

“But when the chance arrived for you and your friends to reap what you had sown, why didn’t you take it? I mean, why haven’t you founded a party for the revolutionaries and stood in elections?”

“It’s not that simple a matter. I’m a writer and proof-reader; I have my job at the library of Alexandria, and among the rest of the youth that led the revolution, we have a doctor, an engineer, an artist […] We all have jobs, and we have no interest or experience in politics. We started the revolution to end the dictatorship and corruption and enslavement which has humiliated us our whole lives, and afterwards we intended to return to normality; we had no political organisation or leadership, nor any funding for a political fight.”

A year after this conversation, Omar succeeded in toppling a second regime – that of the Muslim Brotherhood. We had a second conversation.

“We went from hearing slogans of ‘Down, down with military rule!’ to chants of ‘Come and help us, Sisi!’”How did that happen?” I asked Omar, recalling the memorable day of June 30, 2013. “Didn’t military interference represent a second disaster and a return to what we were fighting in the first place?”

“The Brotherhood left us no other option,” Omar replied. “They rode the wave of the revolution that we started and reaped its benefits for themselves. They began to consolidate power and carry out the orders of the morshid (supreme leader of the MB) rather than working to build a nation which brought all strata of society together instead of pushing them further apart. The Brotherhood and the military: each is dirtier than the other, and after the army’s intervention, we now have a long road ahead of us.”

Omar has represented his country in many international forums; he has won numerous awards as well as participating in the Arab poetry talent competition Amir Alshu’ara contest, which is judged annually on Abu Dhabi television.

He says he fought the rampant corruption occurring in the Library of Alexandria – his place of work – and was subjected to trial for exposing it.

He was also a weekly writer in the newspaper al-Dustoor (The Constitution). Omar was arrested on December 3, 2013 in a demonstration condemning the initial verdict against the killers of Khaled Said, whose death galvanized the youths in late 2010 and eventually helped spark the January 25 Revolution.

Omar was sentenced to two years in jail and a fine of fifty thousand Egyptian pounds, and wrote his first novel I Don’t Like This City whilst incarcerated. Omar and his comrades are victims of the law on demonstrations, and they represent nothing but a continued revolution, undeterred by walls.

Their official crime is that they breached the recently enacted law on demonstrations, but unofficially, they possess weapons of mass destruction: the mind, the pen and their dignity.

Published Monday March 24, 2014

http://www.islamistgate.com/519

The Muslim Atheist


The American newspaper Washington Post published a study by the WIN/Gallup Association WIN/GIA (not the same Gallup Institute that is famous in Washington) about ratios of atheism in the world. 

The study, which was conducted in 2012 across 40 countries, stated that the number of atheists in Saudi Arabia has now reached 5% of the total population. This puts it on the same level as some European countries, as well as making it the first country in the Islamic world to see such figures emerge.

According to the study, 75% of Saudis are religious and 19% non-religious, the latter figure exceeding the numbers of self-identified non-religious citizens in the secular Muslim countries of Tunisia and Turkey.

Saudi writers, thinkers and religious clerics received the study with a great deal of scepticism and disbelief, penning articles about the credibility of the WIN/GIA Association and its work and questioning whether the study might have come from Pakistan or Egypt.

Unsurprisingly, all of their writings concluded with a rejection of the study’s facts and an assertion that the percentage of practicing Muslims in Saudi Arabia stands at 100%.

Anyone who writes otherwise, they contested, is either delusional or spiteful.  One writer went so far as to claim that “the study’s aim was to increase the number of ideological delinquents in Saudi and create centres of convergence for them, perhaps even a ministry”.

Another maintained that there are secret bodies and organizations being funded to promote atheistic ideology in the country as part of a foreign agenda and the traditional conspiracy theory.

Some, however, swam against the tide of accepted opinion and openly admitted the existence of atheists in the Arab world, especially in hardline Islamic states.  One such person was the Saudi writer Najeeb al-Zamil, who responded to an article on the subject by prominent Saudi cleric Sheikh Ayed Al-Qarni during one of his interviews.

In the article, entitled ‘The Winds of Atheism Are Blowing Over the Country’, the Sheikh accused foreign bodies for the promotion of atheism in his homeland.

Najeeb Al-Zamil’s response: “If Sheikh Ayed thinks that the winds of atheism emanate from abroad, he is obviously in need of discussing the issue further.  Here, we are saturated by preaching. The amount of preaching we receive in Saudi Arabia is far surplus to requirements; it happens in any place, in schools and on any occasion. Young people are exposed to a superfluous dose of it, and it is carried out in a forthright and unfavourable manner.  Anything that increases beyond the degree to which it should will eventually turn against itself, and the historical Kharijite sect are an example of this: nowadays they are terrorists and militants, they have religion in excess.

“It has been proven repeatedly throughout history that instances of religious excess cause many of the world’s problems; the wars in Ireland and the Balkans are just two examples of this.  The second problem is that religion is divorced from any kind of logical thought; questioning and skepticism are not allowed to be part of the belief-forming process, and this is when problems arise: when religion disrupts thinking.  In Islam, a person’s mind is what drives him or her and guides them to belief.  Science without religion is crippled, religion without science is blind.”

But why does atheism exist in the Muslim Arab world? And if it exists, why don’t we see or hear about it?  The website Your Middle East published an interview with a Saudi atheist who went by the nickname of Jaber, and I have quoted some of his thoughts here:

I found some religious teachings and rules didn’t make any sense. So, I started asking questions about small things like why music is Haram (forbidden) or why women have to cover their faces. Then I started reading about the way Islam scripts and Hadith were gathered … I had a group of people and we would discuss books in regular meetings…After a while I came to believe that the whole of religion is nothing but man’s invention to fight reality and impose order.

If someone declared that s/he was a non-believer, regardless of whether the government took action or not, s/he would be cut off by his/her family, s/he would be fired from his/her own job, people everywhere would talk about him/her and warn others about him/her. It would be highly likely that people would hurt him/her physically, perhaps murder atheists altogether.”

If we continue to deny reality and threaten atheists with ostracism and even death, this makes it impossible to find solutions and open channels of dialogue with those who have lost their faith.

There have been some attempts at solutions by cultural elites and Islamist thinkers like Saudi scholar and researcher Abdullah Hamid al-Din, who arranged lectures and seminars with himself and a number of other scholars and researchers at Jusoor or Bridges bookshop, Jeddah.

The aim of these lectures and discussions was to open the subject of religion up to young people by allaying their doubts and fears and by addressing the issues that concerned them.  Due to the fact that education by dictation and the disabling of minds prevails in the Muslim world today, young people are forced to conceal their questions or ultimately to become atheists.

These seminars were widely opposed and were accused of promoting atheism amongst young people, since they opened the door to questions and acknowledged the doubt that was felt by many but which they hadn’t previously been allowed to express.

The hardline Islamist Khadher Sanad commented the following about Jusoor Bookshop seminars in a series of tweets published by the site Said al-Fowa’ed:

“In the city of Jeddah, there was a bookshop and a cafe called Jusoor. It was a hotbed for the dissemination of deviant ideas, held lectures and seminars, and attracted young people of both sexes.  The lectures at the cafe and bookshop Jusoor exceeded all reasonable and logical limits; they were gathering boys and girls to discuss religion and God and to criticize religious heritage.  Many parents were hit by the emergence of a wave of skepticism in God and in his messages and books; it was the fashion to adopt thoughts and beliefs that go against the norm.  That was Jusooor.”

The Saudi religious police raided Bridges cafe and arrested Abdullah Hamid al-Din, and even managed to have a formal order issued for the closure of the library, since Khadher Sanad tweeted that it had “become a hotbed for atheists and sceptics in God.”

Sheikh al-Ghazali said once: “Half of the sins from the spread of disbelief in the world will be borne by religious men. They are the reason God is hated by people, because of the terrible manner of their actions and speech.” I couldn’t agree more.

Published March 15, 2014

http://www.islamistgate.com/490