Saturday, April 27, 2013

Bias against or o'rerweening passion for male beauty in Saudi Arabia

The Arabic newspaper Elaph, a respected news source for Saudi news, reported that three Emirati  were deported from Saudi Arabia to their home in Dubai.   The three were attending the annual Janadriyah festival.

The festival, an annual religious and patriotic event important to Saudi Royalty, is held in the Janadriyah Village in Diriyah, Riyadh.

The festival entrance

All-male dancers from the 
Bisha region of Saudi Arabia

Young Saudi princes race expensive camels at the festival.

For the dark side of camel racing, 
see, e.g.,The Guardian

Highlights of this year’s festival are talks by more than 300 thinkers and writers from around the world, discussing Saudi Arabia’s international position, the political state of Arab countries, Islamic politics, national economics, the Arabic language and its identity challenges.

From 950 to 1250 - The Golden Age - Arabia was the world's center of mathematics,  art, and education.

Every year, the Janadriyah Festival invites a guest of honor to participate in the celebrations and enforce political and social ties with the guest country. This year, China is that guest of honor.  See the excellent description of the Even in the Saudi Gazette.

This year something unusual happened.The happening sheds a light light on the most sexually repressive culture in the world.

From The International Business Times

Earlier this month, the world's curiosity was piqued when it was reported that three Emiratis were kicked out of the annual Janadriyah Festival in Saudi Arabia because they were apparently too gorgeous for the festival's good.
"A festival official said the three Emiratis were taken out on the grounds they are too handsome and that the commission [for the Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vices] members feared female visitors could fall for them, according to Arabic newspaper Elaph. [Emphasis added.]

The Commission for the Promotion of Virtue and Prevention  of Vice (not to be confused by the South Carolina commission of the same name) is headed by Abdul Latif Al Shaikh, a Prince of the Royal Family.

A lot of news sources have reported that one of the Emirati deported was Omar Borkan Al Gala, an actor, model, and poet.

The incident raises interesting questions which in the absence of information invite speculation.

How does the Prince know that the Emirati were too handsome to be tolerated?  The Prince surely didn't ask a woman, since the point of the deportation was to prevent womanly panic at the sight of such male beauty.

Does the Prince have his own private standard of masculine beauty?   Was the Prince influenced by peering at young companions during his long adolescence, when young Saudi men in their sexual prime are sequestered from all sight of women.  The sequestration is absolute and continues from the onset of puberty until marriage.

Was the Prince one of these Royal boys or men?

Did he perhaps form his conception of male beauty while peering at other  comely, sequestered young men at  the local all-male swimming pool?


Has the forbidden image of this young companion lived long and longingly in the darkest recesses of our Prince's mind, striving for expression; finding only sternest repression?  

Other questions are possible.

Did Saudi male selection of mates for "their" women, over time, result in males who are not appealing to females?

Saudi Arabia's King 

If so, why deport young Omar Borkan Al Gala (see below), who doesn't resemble the King very much?

Are none of the Chinamen invited to the festival (I assume all the Chinese invitees are men) attractive to women?  If Mr. Chan were a Chinese delegate would too be deported?

Or perhaps are all Chinamen seen as unattractive as compared to Saudi men?

Is the grandson of King Faisal unattractive?  Or should he also be deported?  But deported to where?  Well, Kapahulu on Oahu could be considered.

 the grandson of king Faisal.

In any even, Omar Borkan Al Gala is one of the men whom the Chairman of the Commission for the Promotion of Virtue and Prevention  of Vice chose to deport for being too handsome (posted on many blogs and news accounts; instantly world famous):

Not my cup of tea, but at least one Prince in Saudi Arabia thinks Omar is a dangerous beauty.

May we know the dark secrets the Prince harbors?

Guess not.  Under the present regime he'd be executed.
Note bene: The Commission for the Promotion of Virtue and Prevention  of Vice has many more serious dark malefactions credited to this romp, which only enhanced Omar's reputation.  See, e.g. Wikipedia, here.

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