Tuesday, March 27, 2007


can somebody please explain to me the concept of 'not taking photos', i really don't understand why people feel the need of rushing up to you and telling you 'no pictures'

ok i understand when you go to a museum somewhere and they tell you 'please ensure that your flash is switched of on your camera' the excuse is that the flash can affect the quality of whatever it is your viewing be it a painting, carpet etc..

fine that's an excuse of some sort but please tell me the wisdom behind preventing people from taking pictures of building from the from outside (no terrorism wise cracks please)

whats the harm?

its not like the flash is going to make the building crumble into a zillion pieces?

in Saudi there was a problem taking photos from inside the mosque, i don't understand why but fine it's a rule that i will abide by (no one mentioned phone cameras)

what i really don't get is when your stopped from taking a photo from outside the mosque? now whats that about? its not like i will develop the photo, blow it up into a massive size and start praying towards it? are they afraid that people might worship the pictures they take ????

any way i kinda got arrested whilst in madina, over what? over taking a picture of the prophets mosque from outside!!!!!!!!!!

basically i was standing with a friend and her mother, i looked towards the mosque and thought how beautiful it looked in the sunset, i hadn't brought my camera with me so i asked my friend if she could give me hers, to which she replied:

'white african you sure about this?'

me: yeh man, whats the problem, I'm not inside the mosque, I'm outside, they cant do anything to me' (last words, last words).

so i take my time with the camera, looking through the lens, trying to get the right angle, i took 2 shots, waited a bit, no one appeared and dragged me away, my friend felt more comfortable with the situation so she asked me to take a picture of her and her mum to which i gladly agreed.

so the 2 of them are posing with the mosque in the background, i took one picture when out of now where and as fast as lightening came 2 full niqabi woman who jumped us, no lie, i kid you not!!!!

i had a heart attack as well as a stroke 3 times over, cause it was so unexpected and i though some jinns had popped out of somewhere, they basically grabbed hold of my friends hand trying to whisk the camera of her, her mother was standing in their way pushing them away and i was being pulled from my scarf to the extent that i was being choked wallahi.

i kept saying in a squeaky voice 'hijabiiiiiiiiiii hijabiiiiiiiiii' looooool.

one of them must have realised that i was being strangled so she told her colleague to hold me by the hand.

all this time i was trying to explain what we where doing but no one would listen, they kept saying 'mamnoo3 al tasweer' (no photos)and they would say 'yalla lil idara' come one to the office, so we where dragged to the mosque to be taken to the office to be dealt with, wallahi my hands where shaking so much that the niqabi slodier took hold of my arm instead and said 'habeebti ma toorjifeen' darling, don't shake, like i could help it.

any ways where walking along the mosque just about to turn into the office when out of the blue looking for her shoes was my mother, she heard some commotion looks up right into my eyes and says in the most perplexed voice ever ' white african, what have you done?'

me: oh my god mama, these anti-camera ladies wont let us go, there taking us to the 'office', they are going to chop my hand off (ok crude joke but i had to put it in somehow)

mum: you silly girl you know your not allowed to take pictures in the mosque'

me: well the crazy thing is it wasn't in the mosque, it was outside'

to which my mum follows me in to the office telling the soldiers of cameras that she was my attorney lawyer (my mum).

we walk into this office where instantly the eniqabi ladies take off there niqab and some even there scarfs, sitting at a huge desk was a big lady, who looks me right in the eye, then notices my mother, stands up and says 'um white african?' (mother of white african) gets out of her desk and hugs my mother!!!!

me, my friend and her mother are standing there with utter bewilderment on our faces, we cant make head or tails of whats happening.

it turns out that the lady in-charge who makes all decision, knows my mother and gets on with her really well, you see my mum has done hajj 3 times as well as take a group of school girls each year to umrah, so she had made friends with allot of people working in Saudi, one of them being the anti camera crew.

i thought i had got away with punishment, which i did to a certain extent but i still had to have a lecture as well as sign my name in the criminal records book, seriously!!!

she took out one heavy book, opened it to a particular page, wrote down the date as well as the crime committed, then wrote my name and made me sign at the dotted line.

they took my friends camera and made her erase all pictures i took of the mosque and on top of all that i was given 1001 leaflets on Islamic stuff, mainly consisting of 'etiquette when visiting the mosque' and 'how to wear the right hijab'

i think there was a hint in there somewhere...

14 comments:

AngloLibyan said...

how dare these niqabi women do that to you? I am furious, how dare they attack people like that and for what? for taking a picture! what is the problem with that? here in London the MI5 building is the best secret that everybody knows about, no one would stop you taking pictures.
I know that the Saudi authorities have to deal with millions of people but that does not mean they have the right to abuse them.

well done to your mother, you really do have a fantastic family :o)

The Godfather said...

LOL!!!!!!!!!! Wa got arrested by the PO-LICE!!!!!! Too funny.

And you Ma has got connections.....Hollywood couldn't have written a better script!!!!

lostkitty said...

Bloody hell!

those Muslims are freaks!

Where do they get off making these useless laws and rules? better that they go and help people, don't they know there are starving people out there??? Not to mention there is a war on?!

And I just have to say: ONLY YOU! This kinda THING ONLY HAPPENS TO U!

Anonymous said...

This story is even funnier when you tell it in real life

how many people can say they went to hajj and where then arrested, WhiteAfrican you bring me sooooo much joy.

i miss you woman

Naima

Brave Heart said...

i face this situation 2 times in london one in John Louis and the second in slaferdige, i was told by security to not take pictures i dont know why, may be i'm looking like a terrorist.

you have a criminal record now WA, u will not get any job in suida any more and pray for allah they dont contact NHS.ur future in danger situation now.
see wasta is good some times, if ur mother didn't know the officer, they might put u in the prison for one year.

white african said...

anglo it really is mind boggling, and no matter how i look at it i still cant seem to understand.

thank you anglo for your comment :)

godfather i swear it wasnt funny at the time, i really thought i was being taken to the gallows. thank god for my mum thats all i can say.

kitty long time girl, welcome back :) all i can say that it wasnt only me, judy was me so ha.

nm i missssss you to and i guess it was a unique trip because of this experience,

how is the banker and the twins? behaving themsleves i hope :0)

brave wasta really worked for me in this one lol as for my criminal record it was bound to happen :)

most shops dont like anyone taking photos, i think there scared that people might steal their ideas?

Curious said...

It is really a strange story, i passed by your blog and it interested me at once, and it is also strange that they don't explain the reason. I was really counting points in my head why not to take pictures, i mean, Some mufties say pictures are haram, ok that might be a reason, but not enough to attack people in the place where, for my opinion you should be very friendly to your visitors as Mohammed (Salla allahu 3alaihi wa sallam) was to his visitors, the only thing else that came into my mind was to keep the mosques from being coppied else where, this is sometimes a reason for not allowing the visitors to take pictures, but then i thought that you can find pictures everywhere, so, another point was where you able to buy the pictures??

white african said...

curious welcome :)

you can actually buy the pictures no problem, they sell them every where in all shapes and sizes, hmmmmmm maybe then they want us to spend our money on buying from the tourist industry rather than take our own photos, i wonder ...

Curious said...

This was the other point i was thinking of. But really strange that they can be so rude because of something like this. But i think you can lough about it after a while when you remember it.

Creation said...

ROFL @...i will develop the photo, blow it up into a massive size and start praying towards it? ... HAHAHA ... That's it!

Safia speaks said...

Easy solution: bring some cheap one-time-only cameras with you.
Then go take all the pics you want with a digital camera, and when people come to bother you and threaten you, you hand them the 2-dollar one-time camera to smash.
They go away happy, and you can go away happy knowing there is a sucker born every minute.
Works like a charm for me.

Anonymous said...

anon1-how funny is that? Looks like having your mum to bail you out came in use

white african said...

safia thats a fantastic idea, i will be implementing it the next time i go.

funny thing was my dad was telling me that in the mens section they dont have that problem!!!!

if islam doesnt make our life difficult then why are muslims intent on making our lives difficult, frustrating.

anon 1 and for that i am ever grateful :)

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