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Saudi Family Sparks Outrage by Tying Maid to a Tree for Leaving Furniture in the Sun

A young Filipino woman working as a maid for a wealthy family in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, was reportedly tied to a tree by her employers as punishment for leaving a valuable piece of furniture in the sun.

26-year-old Lovely Acosta Baruelo is said to have angered her Saudi employers by leaving a piece of furniture outside, where it risked being damaged by the sun. As punishment, the family decided to make her feel the effects of staying in the scorching sun for too long, by tying her to a tree in their opulent Riyadh mansion. Photos of the woman tightly bound to the tree with a rope, as other servants carry on with their work around her unable to help, were allegedly taken by another Filipino worker who later shared them online, begging authorities to help the victim of the abuse.

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Controversial App Allows Saudi Men to Track Women And Prevent Them From Leaving the Country

Tech giants Google and Apple have come under fire for hosting a controversial smartphone app that allows Saudi men to monitor how and where women travel and effectively prevent them from leaving the country without permission.

Developed by the government of Saudi Arabia, Absher has been around for a while, but it only started making waves in western media after an article in ThisIsInsider highlighted one of its most controversial features – allowing male “guardians” to track and restrict women’s movements via their smartphones. In Saudi Arabia, women are placed under the authority of a male guardian regardless of their age. Women must ask the permission of their guardians to get married, open bank accounts and travel to certain places, and thanks to Absher, tracking an restricting the travel options of women is easier than it’s ever been.

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Man Gets Arrested in Saudi Arabia for Having Breakfast with a Woman

An Egyptian man working as a hotel receptionist in Saudi Arabia was recently arrested after posting a short video of himself having breakfast with a fully-veiled female co-worker on social media.

The man, known only as “Bahaa”, was arrested on Sunday after a video of himself having breakfast with a female co-worker at a Jeddah hotel attracted a lot of unwanted attention on social media. The short clip shows only Bahaa and a fully-veiled woman eating breakfast, but that was apparently a clear violations of a Saudi law that states that workplaces and eateries should have separate spaces for men and women. It drew condemnation from the vast majority of Saudis, who saw this behavior as incompatible with Saudi culture.

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Bumper Cars a Unique Driving Opportunity for Women in Saudi Arabia

In a country where women are not allowed to drive, bumper cars have become an unlikely alternative to real automobiles. Unlike men, most of whom love nothing more than to bump each other when using the popular amusement park attractions, Saudi Arabian women prefer to cruise beside each other while honing their driving skills.

For reasons that are hard to understand in the Western world, women in Saudi Arabia are still forbidden to drive. Despite moves towards rights for women under King Abdullah before his death, current crown prince Mohammed bin Salman Al Saud recently said that the Saudi community “is not convinced about women driving”. It’s hard to predict if things will ever change in that regard, but in the meantime, Saudi women have found an ingenious way to practice driving – riding bumper cars.

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Sidewall Skiing – Saudi Arabia’s Latest Driving Craze

Nobody does dangerous driving stunts quite like the youth of Saudi Arabia. Sure, drifting is pretty cool, and Ken Block’s Gymkhana is awesome, but they’re nothing compared to the latest driving craze in the Middle East. It’s called “sidewall skiing” and it basically means driving a car on its side wheels at high speed.

A few years back, footage of Saudi daredevils skating on the country’s dessert highways while clinging to speeding cars went viral on video sharing sites like YouTube. But that got old really fast, and the bored youth had to come up with something even more dangerous exciting. These days they get their kicks by driving around on two wheels, while passengers perform all kinds of tricks, like standing on top of the car, or even changing tires at high speed. The life-threatening stunt was apparently popularized by action films like “The Dukes of Hazzard” or “Diamonds Are Forever”, and was recently featured in rapper M.I.A.’s “Bad Girls” video. Sidewall skiing has also become a spectator sport, with crowds of young men and women sitting on the side of the road cheering on the adrenaline junkies. Some even take part in their death defying routines by laying down on the asphalt and allowing the vehicle to pass over them at breakneck speeds. Drivers use a ramp to tilt their cars on two wheels, then rely on their maneuvering skills to keep it from flipping over and potentially killing their balancing passengers. Somehow, saying this sport is extremely dangerous seems like a huge understatement.

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Restaurant Fines Customers if They Don’t Finish Their Food

The wastage of food is something we often don’t realize, because we tend to think of it as ‘just this once’. In reality we’re all guilty of ordering something on the menu we know we can’t really finish, just out of the temptation to see what it tastes like.

Well, one restaurant has finally decided to put the matter to rest. A Saudi food joint has started charging their customers extra if they order more food than they can eat. Fahad Al Anezi, the owner of Marmar restaurant in the city of Dammam says the move is an attempt to stop the wastage of food and reduce extravagance. According to Al Anezi, he routinely witnesses clients who order large quantities of food in order to impress those around them. He also says that the idea of fining people for leftovers, instead of making him unpopular, has actually been endorsed by the Saudis. In fact, a few customers have said that they’ve learnt their lesson and will only order food that they can finish.

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Displaying Cars on Rocks Is a Favorite Pastime in Saudi Arabia

The young men of Saudi Arabia’s Abha region have a rather peculiar pastime: they like to build rock structures on which they display their cars.

Abha, a city in south-western Saudi Arabia has a moderate climate and features green landscape which make it a popular getaway for tourists from all over the country and other neighboring lands. Over 1.5 million people come to spend their weekends and vacations here, and that number is about to grow thanks to a new and intriguing attractions – the unique car displays in the countryside around Abha.

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