You wouldn’t imagine this happening in Riyadh. So much for extremist Salafi Saudi zealots controlling Saudi Arabia! This weekend, someone held a party at our compound. Our family had gone for eating out and groceries and on our way back into our compound, we noticed that there were a lot of cars parked at the entrance gate of our compound. We were a little curious about what was happening and we were told by the guard that villa # xy was hosting a party. There were some teenagers standing at the gate trying to get in.
Anyway, we went home. The next night, a family in our compound had invited us and a few other families to the club house. The club house has two main big areas – one where the gents sit and the other where the ladies sit. Then there is also a big dining hall besides kitchen, bathrooms and exterior verandahs. The host told us that when she was having the rooms for the party cleaned she noticed that the sofas from both sitting rooms had been brought together to one room which is kind of unusual for the club house. The place was also very dirty. Later on, we found that villa #xy basically had rented the place from the management (which is a free rental with a refundable deposit) and had given it to all these youngsters that don’t even live in our compound. They came in and partied. The neighbors didn’t like that at all. I mean if these people had stayed in and not made a ruckus, nobody would have noticed. But when these youngsters were using the pool and playing music at midnight, neighbors noticed. There were young men and women of perhaps Lebanese origin in swimsuits, smoking hookas and weed, drinking alcohol and throwing cigarette butts into the pool (which has been indefinately closed for cleaning), kissing each other and generally just being hooligans. The neighbors were of course horrified. They called the religious police first who said that they are unable to enter a compound so they then called the In-charge of compound housing at the hospital. The crowd was dispersed and the manager of our compound has been fired. I am surprised that this can happen in Saudi Arabia without many repercussions. I also wonder who these partiers were. I mean were they Muslims? I am also annoyed about why villa # xy was allowed to give out our club house to outsiders. Our community is a safe place. Most of us are quite conservative about how we dress. Our girls walk around at night if they have to without fearing that there will be these young unrelated men roaming around. I hope villa #xy is not allowed again to rent this place. This has happened twice in our neighborhood.
For the people who find the Saudi atmosphere too restrictive- well here is good news for you. You can party naked, drink booze and smoke weed – in a compound that is and the religious police can’t touch you. So much for Sharia, so much for Salafi extremism and so much for the fear mongering about it!