‘Abu Sin’ between Rashed and Thaydi

The recent arrest of Saudi teenager “Abu Sin” (whose nickname translates as “toothless”) has stirred a heated debate between my two friends Abdulrahman al-Rashed and Mshari Thaydi. This was triggered by the latter’s article protesting the dangerous lack of regulation in modern communication applications, which tempted the boy to gain fame by broadcasting bad content.

Al-Thaydi supported the boy’s arrest to protect him while al-Rashed said he did not think there was a law that criminalizes what the boy did. Al-Rashed did not support the Riyadh police’s action adding that he “Abu Sin” was just acting silly and that is not a criminal offence. According to him, if it acts such as these lead to or involve rape then that’s an entirely different matter.

The two differing perceptions highlight the extent of influence the world of communication has on teenagers who represent a large section of the Saudi society.

Differing perceptions highlight the extent of influence the world of communication has on teenagers who represent a large section of the Saudi society

Turki Aldakhil

Communication revolution

We cannot claim that major chaos and hideous exploitation is caused by the Internet alone and that it only promotes crime, exploits children, leads to drugs and prostitution rings and spread terrorism. Security and political institutions in Saudi Arabia and across the world have sounded alarm bells.

There are many teenagers who should be devoting their time to education and should be out there in parks engaging in physical activities. But instead they are involved in practices that are not appropriate for their age. Under these circumstances, social institutions must intervene and education and guardianship of relevant figures must perform their roles.

There is a view that considers parents forcing their children into performing art as violation of their rights. They believe that at this young age they must be looked after before they are assigned with certain tasks. They must be educated before they take precedence and must finish their basic education.

We are confronting a big problem and proof of that is the discussion between two prominent writers on a subject which some believe is insignificant.

This article was first published in Okaz on Sept. 29, 2016.
Turki Aldakhil is the General Manager of Al Arabiya News Channel. He began his career as a print journalist, covering politics and culture for the Saudi newspapers Okaz, Al-Riyadh and Al-Watan. He then moved to pan-Arab daily Al-Hayat and pan-Arab news magazine Al-Majalla. Turki later became a radio correspondent for the French-owned pan-Arab Radio Monte Carlo and MBC FM. He proceeded to Elaph, an online news magazine and Alarabiya.net, the news channel’s online platform. Over a ten-year period, Dakhil’s weekly Al Arabiya talk show “Edaat” (Spotlights) provided an opportunity for proponents of Arab and Islamic social reform to make their case to a mass audience. Turki also owns Al Mesbar Studies and Research Centre and Madarek Publishing House in Dubai. He has received several awards and honors, including the America Abroad Media annual award for his role in supporting civil society, human rights and advancing women’s roles in Gulf societies. He tweets @TurkiAldakhil.

Last Update: Wednesday, 20 May 2020 KSA 09:50 - GMT 06:50
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