#Trending: 'Don't marry a Saudi' sparks anger

#Trending: 'Don't marry a Saudi' sparks anger
Blog: A hashtag poking fun at Saudi men has taken Arab tweeps by storm, but not everyone is taking it in good part.
2 min read
01 Jun, 2015
Social media is an increasingly popular way for young Saudis to communicate between genders [AFP]
A new hashtag has taken Arab tweeps by storm, with more than 2,500 tweets in the past few hours alone.

#Do_not_marry_a_Saudi might seem to explain itself - at first sight, it might seem like Saudi women are disparaging their male compatriots.

@joanallllllllll: I've been thinking about this matter before this campaign; Saudi women are very actively looking for foreigners.

@reema_alha: I have taken a final decision and won't look back: I will not marry a Saudi.

Saudi men did not remain silent and also reacted to the hashtag, with many blaming women as being truly responsible for the evils of which they themselves are accused. The hashtag has become the latest battleground in the war of the sexes in Saudi Arabia - a country not exactly known for its gender equality.

@alHanufalA: As if you women are angels. You're very good at blaming, yet if you try to understand and look after a Saudi man, he will treasure you.

Some men took a more humorous outlook at the whole thing.

@nooorsX: Thank God I got married before this disastrous hashtag.

Such conversations between Saudi men and women are not new to the Saudi Twitter scene.

Just a few days ago, another back and forth came in reaction to the news of a Saudi man complaining to court about a woman from Jeddah who blackmailed him. The majority of the tweets sensitively poked fun at the nature of incident.

But not many responded lightly to the #Do_not_marry_a_Saudi campaign, with a lot of finger pointing and sectarian conspiracy theories questioning the tag's origins.

@ksaDosari: This hashtag and those within the same context targeting Saudis come from these chambers. [The image has a reference to Shia youth - a minority group in Saudi which has recently been targeted by sectarian violence]

@FahadHamdan23: The people creating these hashtags have a burning desire to create fitna and separation within the Saudi society. They are envious of our unity and religious sanity.

This online conversation provokes another observation.

In a country where mixing and mingling between genders is strictly regulated, young Saudis appear now to be using Twitter's hashtags to "safely" communicate with each other.

And what do you think about that?