|Ken Novak's Weblog
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Thursday, May 01, 2003
ArabNews: Strangers in Their Own Homeland: "Many young Saudis who were being educated in the United States were forced to return to the Kingdom [after 9/11]. In a series of candid interviews with Arab News, a number of them talked about how they feel about being back in their homeland, and what sort of impact they hoped to make on their society." Quotes:
- "Not once have I been mistreated or racially harassed or abused in any way.. If the equivalent of what happened in New York on Sept. 11 had happened here, I don’t believe that our people would have shown the same self-restraint and patience toward the Western expatriates living here that the American people have shown toward the Arabs and Muslims living there.”
- “Here, it’s not what you know, it’s who you know,” he said. “People have no respect for creativity, no respect for original thought.”
- “Everything here is segregated — men from women, rich from poor, and foreigners from locals. This is a land of segregation. The majority of people try to justify this, but I feel that we should focus on integration, not segregation.”
- Yousuf said there was a contradiction in the behavior of many Saudis. “When people are outside the country, they go wild. When they are inside, they go to the other extreme.” “I am very angry at my people,” he added. “They have this terrible habit of blaming the world for their own faults.”