The Story of Buraidah Girl

I have been asked by one of my friends to comment on the marriage of 12 years old girl to 80 years old man in  Buraidah of Saudi Arabia.

The truth is that I can’t write about this story. I really can’t. The reason is that that the process of writing to me is the process of imagining. It is the process of feeling each word I write. and when I imagine this story, when I imagine this little girl standing alone in one room with this monster, I feel paranoid, angry and tortured.  Then, I feel a sense of insecurity, embarrassment, shame and self destruction.

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16 thoughts on “The Story of Buraidah Girl

  1. You know, when my professors and I talk about these things (it also happens where I am in, Murtadha!), sometimes when we can’t do a thing about it, we had to admit that it’s all in the culture, and not the religion or anything else.

    I’ve heard somewhere that while a lot of people would consider something like that barbaric, sometimes it pays to remember that criticizing a culture sometimes doesn’t get anything done when the people criticized don’t see it as a problem or think that it’s right. No matter how we rant and rave about others being like this and that, we can only stand and watch in the end because things aren’t easy to change. It’s never easy to change an entire people’s mindset and mentality, especially when their notion of what’s right or wrong is very different.

    I understand why you are hesitating to write about the article. I know that if you did, your post would invite a lot of arguing and criticizing of Saudis, and you wouldn’t want that, I know, and even if we want to be able to do something, we could only sit in silence.

  2. Zoulfa

    Dear Coralbead, I don’t agree with you. I have seen many comments in Saudi newspapers and the majority of them seem to oppose the situation. So I don’t think Murtadah’s writing about the issue will attract critics supporting marriage to youngsters. I think the opposition he will get though is from Saudis who are sensitive of what they call “our dirty laundry being displayed in front of the West”. In our culture we still have not gotten use to public self criticism. And we forget that even the West has many problems of its own and criticize them publicly. We too as Saudis must understand that we cannot change what we do not admit or recognize publicly.

    As for the little girl married to the old hag, well I put the blame on the government who can not until this moment take a responsible action swiftly. The people on the other hand can have a role: they create a buzz ( slow true, but with patience it will gather momentum). And do note that our government is pushed sometimes by international media which is why some Saudis do use international media to derive some changes. I say this because I am tired of some Saudis urging others who speak to keep their mouths shut lest we ruin our country’s reputation. If our government cares about its reputation then it should work damn hard for the people.

  3. @ Zoulfa: We may disagree with the situation, but then it’s different when we disagree and yet we stop there. Ok, so if you disagree with it, but can we really stop that? I recognize the fact that washing dirty linen in public isn’t at all comfortable, and even if people know that problems exist, it’s another thing when they refuse to admit and face them. And how could they face them when their own government is indifferent to what they feel?

    Blaming the government won’t get anyone anywhere, because it has chosen to let these things pass, regardless of all the media and societal criticism it gets. I think we should try and nurture a culture where sound public opinion must influence the way a government takes care of the people.

  4. L.

    I know that it is a challenge but I try not to draw lines around myself.

    I think that all oppression is linked, therefore all liberty is also linked. If in one part of the world dignity is being denied it is an insult to dignity evrywhere. We have to move together.

    What is happening in this case is a reflection of the status of marriage over assult, the false dichotomy of domestic life over public affaris.

    If there is no liberty in either realm; civil/federal, domestic/public, then there is no liberty in social life as a whole.

    I also think that we must rethink what marriage is, the confines of criminal activity? Or union?

  5. Aman really can only be called a opedophile if he wants to have sex with an underage schoolgirl. Men like that should be locked up or castrated rather than be accomodated with victims.

    I have written about it, because ranting about stuff which drives me mad is the reason I have a blog.
    But it is saudis like you which make me feel that there is hope for the future.
    There are many saudis who think like you.

    Can I link to this post from my blog?

  6. Lynn

    Coralbead, you said ‘I think we should try and nurture a culture where sound public opinion must influence the way a government takes care of the people.’

    Where does this ‘sound public opinion’ come from if you go around telling people not to bother talking about it because there is nothing that can be done anyway?

  7. @ Lynn

    concerning sound public opinion, I’m not saying that we’d go around telling everybody we can’t blame the government for not taking the issue seriously. It’s another way of saying we can’t blame the government because WE DON’T BOTHER TELLING THEM THAT IT’S AN ISSUE. Yes, there are those who speak their minds out, but there are only a few. Not everyone can do that, out of fear. There’s a fear that the government won’t listen, but if people really get outraged and collectively show to their leaders that they are outraged, then they might just get listened to.

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