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Old 10th March 2009, 18:18   #1
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Exclamation Fuelled by boredom, Saudis race all night

Jidda: The young men start gathering around midnight, on a broad strip of highway between the desert and the sea. By 1 a.m. there are hundreds of them, standing in clusters alongside their cars, glancing around uneasily for the police.

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Then, with a scream of revving engines, it begins: a yellow Corvette and a red Mitsubishi go head to head, racing down the road at terrifying speeds, just inches apart. Shouts go up from the sidelines, and another pair of racers shoot down the road, and another.

This may be the most popular sport of Saudi youth, an obsessive competition that dominates weekend nights here. It ranges from garden variety drag racing to drifting, a dangerous practice in which drivers spin out and skid sideways at high speeds, sometimes killing themselves and spectators.

For Saudi Arabias generation of young people, these night battles are a kind of collective scream of frustration, a rare outlet for exuberance in an ultraconservative country where the sexes are segregated and most public entertainment is illegal. They are, almost literally, bored out of their minds.

Youngsters, asked why they risked their lives this way, said it was because of tufush, an Arabic word for boredom whose meaning is said to derive from the gestures made by a drowning man. Drifting, which tends to attract poorer, more marginal men, has also been a nexus between homosexuality and jihadism since it emerged 30 years ago.

Homoerotic desire is a constant theme in Saudi songs and poems about drifting, and accomplished drifters are said to have their pick of the prettiest boys among the spectators. A number of drifters have also become militants, including Youssef al-Ayyeri, the founder of al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula, who fought in Afghanistan and was killed by security forces in Saudi Arabia in 2003.

But most racers are more like young men almost anywhere: restless, thrillseeking and madly in love with cars. Its implanted in you when youre a kid, and it stays with you, said Sulayman al-Shulukhi, 29, who races every weekend night here.

Shulukhi recalls the famous case of Faisal al-Otaibi, 27, a drifter who was sentenced to death after his car crashed during a joy ride in 2005, killing three teenage boys he had taken along with him. The sentence was reduced this year to 3,000 lashes, 20 years in prison and a lifetime driving ban.

Source TOI, Bglr, 9th March
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Old 10th March 2009, 18:26   #2
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i saw this article in the paper and main pic had a car which looked similar to corolla and its front wheels were in air while launching for drag i guess
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Old 10th March 2009, 19:56   #3
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I'm shocked TOI carried that article. It seems very biased and is obviously offensive. And if there are any Middle Eastern users on TBHP, I suggest this thread be removed.
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Old 10th March 2009, 19:59   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by f450 View Post
I'm shocked TOI carried that article. It seems very biased and is obviously offensive. And if there are any Middle Eastern users on TBHP, I suggest this thread be removed.
Huh ? The TOI's an equal opportunity offender - they've done this to people across the country - don't see any particular reason to deprive ourselves of the pleasure that this thread will provide with members' take on TOI reporting finesse
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Old 10th March 2009, 20:00   #5
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linking drifting with gays and jihad ? ! thats a new high for sensationalism !
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Old 10th March 2009, 20:03   #6
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I second that. The article is demeaning, and i am sure there might be quite a few of the viewers of this site from the middle east. Request this thread be closed or the original content suitably edited
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Old 10th March 2009, 20:12   #7
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Update : seems there is more to this.
The New York Times > Log In

The same story seems to have been carried earlier by the NYT!
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Old 10th March 2009, 20:58   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by greenhorn View Post
Update : seems there is more to this.
The New York Times > Log In

The same story seems to have been carried earlier by the NYT!
The NYT??? You'd think an American newspaper would have a little more sense of political correctness and diplomacy. Not to mention basic courtesy. How disgusting.

No wonder people have such a bad opinion on Arab countries and Arab people.
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Old 10th March 2009, 21:07   #9
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This is utter nonsense.

TOI is not conducive for a healthy society. It should be banned!!
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Old 10th March 2009, 21:35   #10
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It has nothing to do with sexual or religious preferences - the Arabs are vehicle-crazy. If possible they would drive upto their bed in their vehicles - many of them even sleep in their vehicles out in the desert.

Their life revolves around their sayyarah (gaadi) and the amount of passion they have for things on wheels should be seen to be believed.

It probably has something to do with their background, where their lives revolved around their steeds and camels. They were a nomadic people before the oil boom, you cant take wanderlust and therefore the passion for anything that moves them out of their DNA.

I found the article offensive - the writer obviously has not been around in those circles long enough to concentrate on the core activity and not be distracted by the peripheral activiites. Every circus has some side acts and if this were to be taken as the main activity then every streetrace in the US is first and foremost an exercise in western promiscuity & wantonism and then a drug-induced mob.

Last edited by Steeroid : 10th March 2009 at 21:36.
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Old 10th March 2009, 22:17   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steeroid View Post
It has nothing to do with sexual or religious preferences - the Arabs are vehicle-crazy. If possible they would drive upto their bed in their vehicles - many of them even sleep in their vehicles out in the desert.

Their life revolves around their sayyarah (gaadi) and the amount of passion they have for things on wheels should be seen to be believed.

It probably has something to do with their background, where their lives revolved around their steeds and camels. They were a nomadic people before the oil boom, you cant take wanderlust and therefore the passion for anything that moves them out of their DNA.

I found the article offensive - the writer obviously has not been around in those circles long enough to concentrate on the core activity and not be distracted by the peripheral activiites. Every circus has some side acts and if this were to be taken as the main activity then every streetrace in the US is first and foremost an exercise in western promiscuity & wantonism and then a drug-induced mob.
. Very well said. NYT and TOI should be ashamed of themselves and the author deserves to be flogged for obvious hatred of the Middle East. If it was meant to be a funny article, it wasn't funny at all.
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Old 11th March 2009, 14:52   #12
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Agree with you Steeroid. Was interested when i read the article heading, when i went through the matter i was shocked. I dont know why the author linked gays and Vehicles.
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Old 11th March 2009, 15:12   #13
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This article was indeed picked up by TOI from NYT news service, written by
Robert F Worth.

But instead of closing it, I think a clarity and revealing the hidden picture is required.. Some things are already made clear by Steeroid.
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Old 11th March 2009, 15:26   #14
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If you're stuck on the highway (as I was, twice, in my ##### Alfa Romeo) or in the desert, the FIRST (and usually the only) guys who come to help you are the Arabs. The others pass you by (except in the desert where everyone becomes bedouin).

When my Chevy V8 took in water during last year's floods and we were literally marooned in the middle of a flooded street, people passed by looking at us, some even taking pics with their phones and cameras. We sat there for about half an hour, and in the meantime two tow trucks that passed by refused to recover us because the driver didnt want to get into the freezing and dirty water.

3 vehicles stopped to help us. All three belonged to local arabs. 2 didnt have tow ropes but the guys still tried to push us out of the place. The third guy had a tow-rope and pulled us out of the water, and then all the way to the Chevy Dealership to turn the car in. Afterwards I asked him where he worked and he mentioned the name of a very prominant and extremely large local business house thats worth a few billions (Al-xyz and Co).

Asked him what he did there and he smiled gently before he said "I am Al-xyz". Forget my car, he could've bought the Chevy dealership with his spare change.

Last edited by Steeroid : 11th March 2009 at 15:27.
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Old 11th March 2009, 15:38   #15
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Their love for cars and racing are never ending!!

Some of the things that the writer says might be true but not to the extent that he is trying to portray it. (Not surprised as it comes from ignorance of an average American). I do not think being bored has anything to do with someone choosing to be a homosexual or some choice of that sort. This phenomenon is not just limited to Saudi’s is it now?

To say the truth these guys race like crazy, I guess you guys must have come across videos on YouTube, if not just do a search for 'Saudi Drift' or 'Crazy Arab' or something in those lines and you will be surprised with the amount of videos.

Check out jeddahboys.com if you haven’t, they have some weird and some seriously modded cars. The sites in Arabic but heres the link to the gallery JEDDAH BOYS .I myself do not read Arabic so cant really help if you want to interpret some info on the pages but I think Google translation should do a decent job.
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