Saudi Gazette/Okaz run a bemusing op-ed in which the writer suggests changing Saudi lifestyles by ending nightlife as it is now known. He makes a very good point, that the nighttime activities in Saudi cities is wasteful of energy; that staying up late isn’t very good for morning productivity; that it is hard on children. But it doesn’t acknowledge that nighttime in Saudi Arabia is so much cooler than daytime that it actually makes social sense to be out after the sun goes down.

Here, I fear, is a valid argument that fails in the face of another valid argument. In other words, it comes down to values. At present, Saudis would rather spend at least some time out of doors, even if it’s after dark.

Turn off the city’s light
Khaled Al-Sulaiman | Okaz newspaper

We, Saudis and even residents, are just fond of staying up well into the wee hours of the morning. This is a fact that has characterized our social life. Our big cities are one of few in the world that is alive with activity till the early hours of the morning.

The traffic is just the same, with no part of the night seeing very light traffic. Our shops close late. Our restaurants serve food until late into the night. While, some restaurants remain open throughout the night.

Is this a natural situation? Does it impact the level of the individual’s productivity? Does it have any hand in our social problems?

December:21:2012 - 10:34 | Comments & Trackbacks (1) | Permalink
One Response to “Tilting at Windmills”
  1. 1
    Jerry M Said:
    December:21:2012 - 12:17 

    This is one area in which I cannot criticize Saudi habits. When my wife and I lived in the South we would cut our lawn at night after sundown. Countries in Southern Europe used to practice the noon time siesta.

    Maybe they need to change their business hours to reflect physical reality.

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