Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Festival of insults for the Saudi King

It is indispensable for scholars of a region to know its language.  It is axiomatic but not in the case of the Middle East.  If you don't know the language, and if you rely on Arabic speaking graduate students to do the job for you (as many scholars of the field do, or some hire translators when in a country they study), you will still miss.  This story was so dominant all over Arab Facebook and Twitter, but I saw no reference to it in Western media.  You heard about the Egyptian lawyers who received a sentence of lashes for insulting the Saudi King (see my post from yesterday).  So there was a whole day campaign of solidarity by young Egyptians (and their Arab supporters) to generate on Twitter an avalanche of insults to the Saudi King (see this hashtag: ‏).  This went on all day.  They produced graphics and posters.  And they called for a demonstration in front of the Saudi Embassy in Cairo.  Some pictures are from the wall of Saudi Embassy this morning.   Pictures from above:  1) Poster says: "So Toz (it is a non-obscene insult in Arabic) to your majesty, and try to arrest us, o soul of your aunt.  Solidarity with the Egyptian citizen, Ahmad Al-Jizawi, who is under arrest in Saudi Arabia under the charge of insulting the royal self".  2) On the wall of the Saudi Embassy in Cairo they wrote: "May your life be long (a Gulf expression), the Ka`bah does not belong to your mother".  3) and 4) Outside of the embassy today in Cairo.  (thanks Hossam)