A few years back (July 2012 to be more precise) I started a blog post called ‘the Pulse of The Youth Movement’. It was a very short post and it went like this:
Do you feel the pulse of the youth movement? Do you get the feeling that the young men and women in Saudi Arabia are getting ready to tell the old guard it’s time to move over. Given that the old guard are on their last legs that is hardly surprising. It’s hard to explain the sense I have of the state of the youth movement in Saudi at the moment. It’s not loud and shouting like a revolution, but neither is it quiet and withdrawn. It is pulsing. Quietly. Surely.
I never published that post. My advisor to ‘Staying Out Of Trouble’ determined that talking about youth pulse rates in 2012 may have been looked on as trying to stir up discontent. Which wasn’t the case at all. It was merely a comment on a mood that could be felt if you cared to tune in.
Well, it seems youthful hearts are humming along quite rapidly in Saudi now so I’m pulling out many similar posts and giving them new life. If nothing else they will serve to show a comparison of how things were a few short years ago. And how careful this Kiwi (or her advisor) thought she ought to be.
Social changes are obvious everywhere you turn.
Women in work.
Live music concerts
It’s a Saudi that even 6 months ago you wouldn’t have believed possible.
Yes, the youth are beginning to breath. Some have grabbed this new lease on life and are running with it. Others are being more cautious – almost in a state of disbelief or waiting for the rug to be pulled out from under them.
For some, (and I know a few young women in this boat) their parents are reining them in just a little, expressing caution and I can understand why. They likely remember the last time freedoms where curbed, usually with arrests, beatings and the odd family member never returning. You know the typical modus operandi of mean and nasty fruitloops when they are allowed to be in charge of a country. Plus I think the parents are concerned that too much freedom to soon may be difficult to cope with – like the kid in a lolly shop – and there could be a mess to clean up afterwards. A valid fear possibly – nobody knows exactly what is going to happen. However, I sense their concern is partly that these new social changes will usher in growing pains that the parents also have no idea how to deal with. The old ‘I prefer the devil I know’ scenario.
The problems that do occur will not be the sort of nonsense the conservatives think with everyone soon bonking on the streets – a ridiculous idea that only serves to give the impression that parents, families and communities in this country don’t know how to bring up children properly. (It also makes me wonder what kind of movies you’ve been watching in the dark). Given that the youth they are talking about have been raised with Islamic values such nonsense notions also reflect badly on the religion. (In other words Nonsense Promotors think before spouting ridiculousness!)
The youth have some expressioning of their own to do.
There is a Young Saudi Artists (YSA) exhibition that begins this weekend in Jeddah at the ATHR Gallery . It is the 5th edition of YSA under the title “PULSE”. I was sent notification of the exhibition by a young Saudi woman I met recently. She is one of the artists whose work will be displayed at the gallery. Here is the description that came with the advertising of the exhibition:
This years Young Saudi Artist exhibition is inspired by the youths pulse, a rhythmical vibration, an electrical current that keeps the youth bursting with new and exciting ideas be it emotional, physiological or figurative. The youth is alive, the youth has something to say, listen to the beat of a new drum, be a part of this new wave. PULSE.
December 6th, 7.30pm
How exciting. If you get a chance to go to the exhibition let me know what you think.