So it’s March 11th, the much anticipated date of the “Day of Rage”. It was supposed to be a day of protests around the Kingdom.
I was curious to see if anything would actually happen although I highly doubted it in the first place. Read my previous post on the Saudi revolution here.
What I saw today was a city empty of citizens but full of police and dust from a bad sandstorm. Police were stationed on all main roads, on the intersections and sides of roads were they had extra checkpoints. Helicopters were buzzing around the city centre.
Some imams had been cursing all state enemies in their friday sermons.
In the afternoon the sky started getting darker and thunder could be heard. After a while there was lightning and loud rumbling thunder. And then, all of a sudden hail the size of marbles started pouring down from the sky! Ouch, they really hurt when they pounded on my head as I bravely ventured out to take some pictures of this weird phenomenon!
I certainly felt the rage from the skies. But no signs of protesters. In the evening when the last prayer had finished most shops remained closed and the streets remained very quiet. Only the rain and thunder could be heard. People had been warned not to go on the streets and it looks like the government’s plan worked.
I am sure that some sheikh is going to come up with a theory that the “state enemies” planning the protests brought on these extreme weather conditions. By upsetting God with their immoral actions, these “apostates” were the reason the thunderstorm and hail hit Riyadh! It would’t be the first time immoral actions (or women) would be blamed for weather conditions or catastrophies.
The only form of protesting I saw in Riyadh this weekend was at the entrance of the International Exhibition center where muttawas had gathered to protest to women not covering their faces. This was the Riyadh Book Fair which is not gender segregated and muttawas of course detest it.
As I walked by with my friend we heard “cover face” “in Saudi-Arabia head” “cover head”. Could they at least learn to say it in proper english? Anyways we ignored these religious zealots. Actually these were not the official religious police Haia’a aka CPVPV. They were so called freelancing muttawas, who dress and look like the real deal. Just to pass their freetime they like to shout at women and check the bookfair for forbidden books.
So no other rage in Saudi-Arabia at least this time around!