Writing in Arab News, Molouk Ba-Isa takes a look at what’s to be found on YouTube about Saudi Arabia. YouTube, of course, is a free-for-all. Anyone can post whatever they want, so you find a mix of videos or slideshows of the positive as well as the opinionated (but not always well-informed) rounds of Saudi-bashing.
I suggest taking a look around, perhaps looking at those things that don’t exactly line up with your preconceptions and prejudices. Learn what people think about the country, positive and negative. I’ve provided links to examples of the kinds of videos Molouk mentions. My selections may not be what she would have chosen, so apologies, if necessary.
User Generated Content Gives an Inside View
Molouk Y. Ba-Isa, Arab News
People are always asking me for websites that can help them learn more about Saudi Arabia. For better or worse, YouTube is one online destination that is providing insights into what goes on behind closed doors in the Kingdom. Many expatriates only see Saudis at work or at shopping malls. They havenâ€™t a clue what Saudis do the rest of the time â€” unless theyâ€™ve checked out YouTube.
If you are unfamiliar with it, YouTube is a video sharing website where users can upload, view and share video clips. Unregistered users at www.youtube.com can watch most videos on the site, while registered users are permitted to upload an unlimited number of videos. Some videos are available only to users aged 18 or older e.g. videos containing potentially offensive content, although pornography is not allowed on the site.
Typing â€œSaudi Arabiaâ€ into the search at YouTube brings up 5,700 entries. That sounds like a lot, but as a comparison, â€œParis Hilton,â€ brings up 59,700 entries. The videos that are posted range from the very interesting to the extremely weird. One video titled, â€œSaudi Wife Shows Us into her Home,â€ [Part I, Part II] should not be missed by anyone curious about how conservative middle class Saudis live behind the high walls surrounding their villas. There are loads of videos of young Saudi drivers behaving badly on the Kingdomâ€™s roads. Saudi music groups, historical sites and folklore are available for all to see at YouTube.