WAKERELL-CRUZ: Do Saudi Arabians just get to do whatever they want?
I am not going to lie, I dislike writing about Saudi Arabia.
There is something menacing about their regime, and how much power they hold. It does not take a genius to recognize that if you’ve got oil, you’ve got people at your doorstep, money to play with, and power to go along with it. And boy, do the Saudi’s ever love power.
Because of the current political climate, keeping your eyes on the news reels leads to seeing some very interesting stories. Nowadays, it is reasonably more difficult to discern what is real, and what is fake. But if there’s one thing that I know to be true, it’s that the Saudis are loaded to the gills.
It sounds like something right out of a satirical news site, but there is a YouTube video that really gives you a bit of an idea as to how fantastically rich some Saudi Arabians are. It’s a video that is displaying a Saudi prince, who has decided that he needs seats for a plane.
For the regular consumer, buying a ticket for an international flight will cost you a fair chunk of change. I’m sure most people would agree that being able to impulsively buy a flight on a getaway vacation for a week is nothing more than a pipe-dream, but we need to remember that we are not Saudi princes.
This Saudi prince, for whatever reason, decided that he was going buy 80 seats on a flight. Already, that is some serious dollar signs. Who is he buying 80 seats for? All of his family and friends? Is he hosting a party somewhere across the globe? Great guesses, but nope. He is buying those seats for hawks… Yes, you read that correctly. Hawks.
What the hell is going on? Well, if you’re a rich Saudi Arabian, apparently this is normal, and a pretty common practice.
Falconry has been practiced across the Middle East for thousands of years, and this prince took it upon himself to transport 80 falcons to the U.A.E!
According to Atlas Obscura, these falcons can get their own passports to fly in to the U.A.E. These passports allow the falcons to travel to Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, Morocco, and Syria… The more you know.
You can find plenty other occurrences to display to you that rich Saudis get to do whatever they want. Another case of this was a couple years back when a different Saudi man imported a plethora of gold plated sportscars to England, just so he could get around while he was there.
But yes, I know what you’re thinking. These are hyper-rich hedonists that do not accurately depict Saudis on their day to day. Most Saudi Arabians, especially the ones who aren’t exuberantly wealthy, do not get to do whatever they want without facing any consequences.
Unfortunately, this is where things begin to take a dark turn, because that’s exactly what’s happening. And the frequency at which it’s occurring is another reminder of what exactly Saudi Arabia is- unhinged.
Let’s start by taking a look at one situation that has raised plenty of eyebrows internationally. Shawn Overstreet, a prosecutor in the great state of Oregon, received an alert that notified him that the GPS device worn by a 21-year-old student awaiting trial on a manslaughter charge had been cut off.
Abdulrahman Sameer Noorah, a Saudi Arabian national studying in the United States on a government scholarship, asked the sheriff’s deputy who was monitoring him on supervised house arrest if he could go to the college he was attending to study for upcoming exams. The sheriff’s deputy said yes.
Later, police found the cut off monitoring device by a quarry. Police also obtained surveillance footage that showed a black SUV driving up a street by the quarry, and then leaving soon afterward, all around the time that the bracelet was cut off.
About a year later, the Saudi government confirmed what Overstreet had feared, that Noorah had made it out of the United States and back to Saudi Arabia, despite having no passport. Overstreet, along with others, fear that Noorah escaped with the help of the Saudi government.
Noorah was being charged for the death of a 15 year old girl that he had struck with a vehicle going 70 MPH in a 25 MPH zone. He was able to return home without facing the consequences of his actions.
But it has happened more than once, and sadly, it has happened here in Canada. A 28-year-old Saudi man charged with sexually assaulting a Cape Breton woman has gone missing, with a leading immigration lawyer saying it may be a case of the Middle Eastern kingdom helping a citizen flee while awaiting trial.
Mohammed Zuraibi Alzoabi had $37,500 of his bail posted by the Saudi Arabian embassy last year in relation to the alleged sexual assault, as did our other Saudi Arabian suspect. And just like the other guy, Alzoabi has somehow managed to escape the country despite the fact that the police seized his passport
There are various other cases that ring similar bells. These are sickening, inhumane displays of power that should not be tolerated under any scenario. Yet they are. And what can really be done? We are in the pockets of their regime, and there isn’t a government in the world that cares to step on the toes of the Saudi giant.
We hope that situations like these decrease over time, but the trend is sadly increasing in frequency. It doesn’t have to be this way, in reality. Saudi Arabia is powerful because they have oil. It’s not like Canada has no oil. In fact, we have quite a bit.
We shouldn’t have to fear the Saudi oil giant, when we as a nation have the capability to produce oil at very high capacities.
We can all keep our fingers crossed and hope, but unless something changes drastically in the coming years, it may be something that we continue to see.
What do you think? Let us know in the comments below.