No Boys Allowed!

I know that you’ve heard me griping in the past about how women are restricted and denied all sorts of privileges here, but here’s an example of how men and youth are also restricted. In many malls here in Saudi Arabia, males who are not accompanied by female family members can be kicked out of shopping malls. I happened to witness a roundup of young men and boys by security guards in this popular mall. Dozens of them were being thrown out of the mall. It is done as a precautionary measure to prevent any type of trouble from occurring. Ok, I get it – but what else is there for these young men to do? Saudi Arabia sorely lacks activities to keep young men occupied and out of trouble. As a result, they turn to the streets, where they drive dangerously, spray graffiti all over the cities, and God knows what else. And there is just not much for families to do together here either, other than going to the mall, and that gets old real fast. Ok, you won’t hear me say this very often, so here goes – POOR BOYS!


About SusieOfArabia

American woman now living in hubby's homeland of Saudi Arabia
This entry was posted in Culture, Life, Middle East, Odd or Unusual, Photo, Saudi Arabia, Shopping and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

16 Responses to No Boys Allowed!

  1. Hamdah says:

    I totally agree !

  2. Ayah says:

    There are infact malls built for only teenage boys, I don’t know about Jeddah, but here in Riyadh, there are several malls for boys.

  3. ymala1 says:

    Finally someone looks into the sad plight of young men in Saudi Arabia! But all sarcasm aside, as a young male myself, I find it ridiculous that young men are not allowed into malls without female family members. Again, I understand why they do this, but sometimes I wonder whether the punishment befits the crime, or should I say, the supposed crime. A majority of the time (citation needed) you’re just kicking out men who’re looking to enjoy some shopping or recreational time with their friends.

    Again, men are definitely given more leeway in this country generally, and I’m not trying to make this a men vs. women argument, as I don’t agree with a lot of the limitations women are enforced to either.

    I just wish they’d go after the troublemakers specifically rather than a blanket ban on all males, yes, easier said than done, but I think it’s a more fair arrangement.

    Funnily enough, a friend and I have had great success getting into said malls quite easily by faking that we’re foreigners (impersonating a Westerner gives you best results). Simply stand at the gate and act like you don’t speak a word of Arabic and feign misunderstanding at the concept of keeping men out of malls. A superior will often be queried shortly and admission given hence after with apologies. Deceitful? Yes. But desperate times call for desperate measures, and it’s not like despite these male-banning efforts the malls aren’t full to the brim with single males anyway.

    P.S. I personally have never taken part in the activities due to which young men are banned from malls for, true story.

    • They actually tried to kick out my teenage son and his friends. So the boys just spoke English or Filipino to the mall cops, and they just let them go! So you are right about playing like you don’t speak Arabic!!!

  4. Lori Skoog says:

    This is indeed!!!!! a breathtaking shot. Such a dramatic time of day.

  5. SandyCarlson says:

    Wild. Cool. Because men tend to where the “Are we done yet?” face. Total buzz killer.

  6. berry says:

    Hi susie..i don’t really get it why they do such thing. I agree with you on this.

    • I understand why they do it – to avoid potential problems that young men at the malls might cause. But the thing is that there is nothing else for them to do – that’s the whole problem.

  7. Geogypsy says:

    It’s really a vicious circle isn’t it?

  8. مها نور إلهي says:

    I think there should be a clarification done here…They do not kick children out of malls..the boys who Susie saw were accompanied by young men and they were kicked out with them, but if a ten year old boy or a 12 year old boy wants to enter a mall, he is allowed. I know this for sure because i used to sent my son to return some stuff to the mall and he was never kicked out…

    To explain this case even more…those young men take their younger brothers or cousins with them to the malls and they usually form a sort of a gang that does all the nasty things to disturb the families…you hear them swear at each other or shout and call each other filthy names…this is usually the’s something like the teenagers taking the younger boys to train them on being filthy street boys…

    Sorry Susie..I just had to clarify this…


  9. Tuttie says:

    I agree with the above comment, if you are going to take something away give them an alternative.

    When you told me they routinely throw children out I freaked out. Do you know John Walsh from America’s most wanted? that is how his child was kicked out from a store some sicko took him and did God knows what to the poor child and only his head was later found. THAT IS DANGEROUS!

    Children SHOULD NOT be kicked out. I hope nothing bad happens to any of them.

    • The males who are targeted are teenagers and young men who travel in packs around the malls, causing trouble. Sorry if my wording lead you to believe they toss out young boys – they do not. Young boys would usually be accompanied by their families, so they wouldn’t be targeted.

  10. مها نور إلهي says:

    It actually boters me a lot to see young men or women going to the malls for no reason except to pick up someone from the opposite sex or to show off or to flirt…
    But you said it very well and so many educated Saudis have said it: “when you prevent something, you have to provide a substitute” Where is that substitute? Where are the public gardens and parks? where are the open gyms and fields for young men and women to play and go loose?

    It’s a 100% consuming society…eating and and eating…an endless circle that revolves around “things” that their joy and beuaty fades away after a while…and this of course makes us the most bored people in the world …

    Thanks Susie..

    • Love what you said about what a consumerist society this is. It all tends to make people very shallow and less concerned with real issues around them. I find it sad that a woman here cannot go to watch her son play sports, or even go to his school. How is this healthy for the society?

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