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Don't wipe the smiles off their bright faces

Why do events which bring joy provoke some people more than terrorist crimes do?

Turki Aldakhil

Published: Updated:

Who wiped off the smiles from their bright faces?

Saudi Prince Khaled al-Faisal asked this question in 2004 in a famous article.

He bitterly asked: "What happened to this person? How did joy and happiness vanish? Who took the smile away from his bright face? Who drew the curtains of depression on their faces? Who made children fear play, laughter and fun? Who made grownups fear life? Who cancelled happiness and spread sorrow? Who convinced sons and daughters to call their fathers and mothers infidels?"

These statements were made by a prince and an administrative governor who knew society well, integrated with the people and learnt of rare details in our vast land.

It seems the question he raised has since become bigger. Several incidents, of which the most recent was the crackdown on a comedy event in Saudi Arabia, showed that we are not done with assassinating people’s smile, stealing joy and aborting happiness.

Why do events which bring joy provoke some people more than terrorist crimes do?

Turki Aldakhil

It's intimidating how there are blocs to besiege entertainment and joy but they don't have the same enthusiasm to besiege hatred and bloodshed. Why do events which bring joy provoke some people more than terrorist crimes do?

Such models will certainly come to an end. Saudi Arabia’s recreational reform strategy was established by authorities and it will perform activities and play its role in making people happy and providing the recreation they deserve.

Muslim philosopher Hujjat al-Ghazali (1058-1111) once said: "Whoever is unmoved by spring flowers and the plucking of the lute is flawed in nature and cannot be helped."

Welcome their smile, don't take it away from them.

This article was first published in Okaz on July 24, 2016.
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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.

Disclaimer: Views expressed by writers in this section are their own and do not reflect Al Arabiya English's point-of-view.