Native Taifite resident was taken by surprise by the Saudi police at a rest-house in Taif where he was caught red-handed hosting an evening event with other men and female college students.
For a country where gender-based segregation is enforced to its fullest, citizens are whereby called upon to abide by the laws. Just a decade ago, male doctors were not allowed to treat female patients and vice versa. A woman is also not allowed to meet her spouse unveiled before her Nikkah. Women are forbidden to eat out or drive publically, as per the Shariah-based laws. Man being arrested for the mixed gender gathering was no surprise to many.
The man was accused of illicitly organizing a mixed gender-based gathering whereby shunning the law set up by the government as per the Shariah. The Taif Court has given its verdict on the man being sentenced to jail for 2 consecutive years, parallel two which lies the award of five hundred lashes on to the organizer, right in front of the Taif Girls College as a warning issued against all those who might be planning on following through.
And that is not sufficient. Other men who took part in the party have also been sentenced to jail momentarily and have been ordered a lashing of ninety nine at the same college. However, the information on the girls’ punishment is still vague to the media. Many have given bitter reviews on the current dilemma on the organizer’s part. ‘Fifty men and women were arrested on New Year's Eve in a coffee shop in the Saudi city of Jeddah, according to local news site Sabq. Their crime: They were together.’ Says Ahmed Al-Omran ‘the arrest, unfortunately, is business as usual in Saudi Arabia.’
Elsewhere, a critique states ‘There are places in Saudi Arabia where the conservative country's rules don't seem to apply. Aramco camp looks more like American suburbia than a Saudi town. Men and women work side by side at the company's offices during the day and then later pass the evening by going to one of the parks, watching a baseball game, or playing golf.’
Source: Emirates News