Monday, December 14, 2009

Independence

It continues to catch me off guard: how little respect is given to independence and choice in Saudi Arabia. How vulnerable the individuals are to the intrusion of others beyond their immediate family members on how they should dress, behave, and go about their daily life. When subjected to such intrusion, I try to read it as good will. At other times, I take it as opinion. Yet upon its recurence, I had to face myself with two things:

1- That I am irritable to interferrence relating to choice and family, and should be as upfront about it with as a person who is at liberty to voice their criticism or, worse, act upon it.
2- That the practice of interfering is the result of habit rather than an actual opinion, belief, bad intentions or even good will!

As much as there's cement on the houses of Saudi, as little personal walls there are to shield families and individuals from intruders. If we were to claim that the attempt to signal independence begins with children from as early as toddlers, who demand to choose their food and name the bad words, and that the demand for independence climaxes at teenagers who cave in with too much temperament--such a wholesome process cannot be fully realized in Saudi!

It is absolutely difficult for families to bear lending their name and "face" to children who would readily behave in unacceptable ways; ways which would put the family face to face with intruders? How can the flagship of the family be given to a child who is yet to do wrong before doing what is acceptable to the collective society? If the family holding up in the face of the winds does not approve with much of the choices a teenage is experamenting with, how could they defend or stand up to him to begin with?

The growth process for much of the individuals in Saudi, in my opinion, suffers from such consequences. Families cannot bear the intrusion involved with allowing their children to develop their independence. The range of developing independence, exploring choices, realization of right and wrong, shifts, as a result, from teenagehood to adulthood if not to the grave.

Communities in Saudi might still be at the very early stages of development. Not too long ago did families of three and four live under the same roof. Husbands, wives and children shared the same bedroom. A tribe of wives washed away the dishes and cooked shoulder to shoulder. Independence would have convincingly been a threat to the well-being of the community back then. If such a life-style continued up until the previous generation, how long will it take to erect walls for a nuclear-family, let alone..the individual?

10 comments:

Anonymous said...

If one remembers that “independence” carries the seeds of its own undoing, i.e. “dependence,” one will simply concede to the notion that independence is a fallacy; that not a single choice in the universe can be made in vacuum; that independence requires dependence; and that, alone, independence is meaningless.
Go everywhere in the world and you will find out that an individual’s choice is a result of a “system,” with which the individual complies albeit unconsciously before any choice materializes into praxis.
The way you are asking for independence, and the implied hope of an end to the intrusions for whose sake we deny our children their independence, is rather very romantic.
Choices do not exist in isolation; your freedom ends exactly where mine starts.

Holy Ghost

Aysha said...

An interesting perspective, and very well put if I may add! :)
Thanks Holy Ghost.

Anonymous said...

thanks to YOU Aysha :)You always spur curiousity in readers.
Holy Ghost

Hussain said...

second "thing" is what makes it hard to deal with, a nature hard to change. I found more and more individuals in Saudi start building walls but as expected from immature society, as far as independence, walls went into wrong directions most of the time. Things to be protected are naked while things to be shown are fully walled with no door to knock! As time pass evolution will do its work.
nice article Aysha, as usual.

MuSe said...

it's always always and always will surprise me how there are no boundaries in our saudi lives !! nothing , at all. everything is there for the grasp of any and every one.

ChrisLA said...

I was shocked recently to learn about the campaign led by Saudi Princess Jawaher bint Jalawi called "My Guardian (Mahram) Knows What's Best for Me." It conjures up the image of women being herded around like sheep. It implies that women are unable to make choices about what to eat, wear, and think. God gave us intelligence to make rational decisions -- and this intelligence is equally distributed among men and women. The thought of mindless women raising more mindless offspring to perpetuate this is shameful and tragic.

Anonymous said...

iz it because of islam ? or bcuz of the government ? that sudi is lacking on "Independence"?

Anonymous said...

IT IS NOT ISLAM.

LET ME SAY THIS I A BRITISH MUM OF 2 CONVERTED TO ISLAM AT AGE 15 IN UK. I MARRIED A SAUDI VERY NICE EDUCATED MAN AND MOVED HERE.
I VERY SOON BECAME DEPREST AND MET MANY OTHERS THAT JOINED MY BOAT OF DEPRESSION THIS IS NOT ISLAM. NO ONE WIL BRAIN WASH ME IN TO SAYING THIS IS ISLAM AND IM BAD MUSLIK AS I THINK IT IS NOT.

WOMAN ARE HUMAN AND ARE EQUAL IF NOT BETTER THEN MAN

AFTER ALL NO MEN WOULD BE BORN IF IT WAS NOT FOR WOMEN

HERE I FIND THEY TREAT WOMAN LIKE 2ND CLASS WHERE DOES IT SAY IN ISLAM WOMAN CANT DRIVE N WHERE.

OH BUT SHE MAY MIX GOD MIX THIS WORD MIXING KILSL ME

WHY IS IT THEN MEN AND WOMEN MIX IN HOSPITALS HUNDRED OF THEM OH PLEASE GIVE ME ANTHER EXCUSE.
I DIDNT ALLOW THIS EXTREME CULTURE TO TAKE AWAY MY LOVE AND FAITH IN ALLAH SWT THE ONLY ONE GOD THAT CREATED ME FORM A CLOT OF BLLOD

LOOK IT IS PEOPLE WHOM MAKE OUR LIFE AS WOMEN IN SAUDI HARD NOT ALLAH NOT HIS RULES

ALLAH HONERS WOMEN CREATED WOMAN LIKE DIAMONDS ALLOWES THEM FREEDOME OF SEAOCH RIGHTS RESPCT LIKE NO OTHER RELIGION HE GAVE THEM HIJAB SO THEY WOULD BE HONERED LIKE A DIAMOND PRECIOUS

U WONT LEAVE A DIAMOND ON THE STREET OR ON SHOW U COVER IT PROTECT IT KEEO IT SAFE LIKE THE WAY ALLAH WANTED FOR THE HUMAN AND THE WOMAN.

BUT SAUDI SHOWS WOMAN AND MAKES ME FEEL LIIE WE ARE NOTHING USELESS

I WISH THAT PEOPLE WOULD WAKE UP I WAS SHOCKED WHAT I FIND HERE WHY THE SAUDIS ARE BECOMING LESS INTERESTED IN THEIR OWN RELIGION IS BECAUSE THEY ARE FORCED IN SO MANY WAYS

ISLAM I SNOT BY FORCE DID ANYONE FORCE ME GROWING UOP IN UK TO BECOME A MUSLIM NO I DID THIS BECAUSE I KNOW IT IS RIGHT WAY AND LKIFE IS SHORT ONE DAY U WIL DIE GO TO HEAVEN OR HELL LIFE HAS A PURPOSE AND I KNOW NOW WHAT IT IS

I JUST HATE THE WAY WOMAN ARE TREATED HERE LIKE NO ONE WORTHLESS NOT BY ALL BUT BY A EXTREME CUTLURE THAT WANTS TO ALWAYS HOLD WOMAN BACK

LOOK A WOMAN CANT TRAVEL OUT OF THE COUNTRY UNLES SHER MAN SAID SHE CAN WHERE DOES ISLAM SAY THIS

THEY SHOVE U PUSH U DRIVE LIKE MAD MEN ON THE RAOD ISLAM GAVES U CILIVIStion but heer i dont find it

PLEASE understand this is not islam


islam is very beautiful go and read for yourself understand that we live in culture if ur a new saudi bride came from the states and find life hard dont worry we all have been there pray u wil get throgh it make ur own life do the things u know are halal enjoy urself made fiends go out and work.

Dont let the culture get u down alah is with u and please anyone reading this that reflects bad on islam for what hapens here no it is not islam if they follow islam we would live in heaven


i miss uk why they give us equal rights we can practice islam more there i am so greatful for this

the wets is not the enemy at all they have humran rights there.

i fele i am in a jungle here


may allah guide u all

read about islam befor eu get old and die when ur deda u cant come back trust me and resist ur exam trust me life is a test i swear to god this is a fact shatan will mis guide you and u see cutlure maybe puts u off islam is higher a peacful way of life my god ever since i followed islam i have answer to all my prays any problme i find soulution with islam.

Allah is beautiful islam is amazing

I thank allah he made me muslim and i pray to all of u intesrted dont lok at how the saudi life is islam is not exremisim u get good and bad every where u go but some take things too far

wearing black is not islam u can wear any modest clothes colour u dont have to wear head abbiyah and veil u can work and live normal life allah bless u all

MiMi & JuJu said...

interesting and thoughtful

Safwan said...

no more blogs? why?