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Smile Like You Mean It

A group of Saudi youths have taken it upon themselves to spread happiness in the great Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. We've collected five reasons Saudis should smile... or, not?

A group of Saudi youths have caused a stir in the kingdom by launching a campaign to encourage KSA residents to smile – an act apparently inspired by... you guessed it, Islam.

In a move guaranteed to either draw streams of praises or harsh rebuke from the local religious police, the team is encouraging locals to turn that frown upside down, and slap on a cheeky smile. 

The organisers of the stunt were recently snapped walking around Jeddah Corniche, carrying placards bearing the “Smile, it's a Prophet's Tradition” slogan.

It is unclear whether women are also allowed to smile or whether youths are allowed to smile at their friends of the opposite sex – but hey, it's a start, right?

In honour of the campaign, Cairo Scene has compiled a list of five reasons to smile (not really..) in the Kingdom.

1. No liver problems:

 

 Across the evil west, and even in parts of the Middle East, hospitals are clogged with booze-soaked patients who've spent years hitting the bottle too hard. Want a place to detox in the sunshine? Well, Saudi Arabia could well be it. Not a drop of booze, a quirky dive bar or a 'simply fabulous' super club in sight.

2. No double booking:

 

 

It has happened to the best of us, you've double booked your popular ass and you don't know who to bail on at the last minute. So many parties, so little time. Thankfully, the party circuit in the kingdom tends to be a bit less hectic.

UAE born singer, Shamma Hamdan, was forced to flee the scene when Saudi Arabia’s religious police stormed a music party in the Gulf Kingdom and arrested its organisers in October. 

3. Diyya / Blood money:

 

 

Commit a crime in Saudi, but make sure to have some extra cash lying around. Having a few extra dollars means you can pretty much get away scot free with murder, by throwing some cash at the victim's grieving family. Charming...

4. Hug free zone:

 

 
 

Sometimes it is just awkward – everybody thinks they are so ‘Sex and the City’ by kissing everyone from their best mate to their bawab on both cheeks when meeting; capitalising on bromance is taken to a whole new level when the “normal”,  'manly men', feel the need to embrace each other daily. All of this close contact is a sure fire way to catch cooties – or worse. However, the problem simply doesn't exist in the good ole' KSA – where recently two activists were arrested for starting a “free hugs” campaign. 

5. No women driving:

 

Here in Cairo, we are unlucky enough to suffer from one of the worst traffic problems in the world  - so what better way to curb the issue than by eliminating half of the population and essentially making them prisoners in their own homes? Good job Saudi. And best of all, those precious ovaries are saved from the dangers of getting behind the wheel – phew!

Actually – come to think of it, there isn't much to smile about after all.