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Monday, March 26, 2012

Single Saudi men not welcome at malls

Who says that only women are discriminated against in Saudi Arabia?

Men are too...because so many of them harass women!
Single men in Saudi Arabia claim they are still being barred from entering malls despite a recent directive from Riyadh Gov. Prince Sattam to ease the restrictions which were meant to prevent possible harassment of women shoppers.

According to reports in the local media on Thursday, Prince Sattam has approved a decision to lift the ban on single men visiting shopping malls in the city during peak hours, especially on weekends. The decision was made by a committee made up of local officials and representatives of the Commission for the Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice.

Previously, single men were only allowed into shopping centers at lunch time on weekdays, a move the authorities said was aimed at harassment of women.

Mohammed, 21, said security guards still bar him from going in.

“It is an issue of trust and the managements of some malls still feel it is their right to prevent us from visiting the malls,” he said.

Families were divided on the governor’s directive. Some said it could lead to trouble in malls and girls might be harassed. Other families said it would not be a problem because there are security guards and officers from the Haia to deal with any possible trouble.

A manager at one of the large malls in Riyadh, who spoke on condition of anonymity, claimed he and his colleagues have never been given clear directives regarding the policy concerning the entry of single men.

“Our management wanted to keep the mall a safe place for families and ensure it was harassment free,” said the source, admitting he personally found it unrealistic and unfair to prevent singles from entering malls. He also claimed single men always tried to sneak in because of this policy.

Sara, a young woman, admitted she had helped young single men enter malls by pretending she was related to them.

“The truth is, although there have been reports that girls are paid to do this, I wasn’t. I just did it because I felt sorry for them. They stand there like beggars and all they want is to shop or go to food courts,” she added.
Apparently, a girl in a tank top and shorts has a lower chance of being harassed at a mall in the West than a woman wearing a full burqa in Saudi Arabia.

The solution is obvious. The burqa is clearly too sexy, and must be banned.