Late Night: Three Men Deported By Saudi Arabia For Being Too Handsome

Omar Borkan Al Gala, fashion photographer, actor, and poet from Dubai

Omar Borkan Al Gala, fashion photographer, actor, and poet from Dubai

You may have heard about this already; but, as you can see, I have photos!

Time Magazine reports: “Saudi Arabia Reportedly Deports Men for Being ‘Too Handsome’”

The men were visiting Saudi Arabia from the United Arab Emirates to attend the annual Jenadrivah Heritage & Cultural Festival in Riyadh. They were apparently minding their own business when members of Saudi Arabia’s religious police entered the pavilion and forcibly removed them from the festival. Their offense? They were considered “too handsome” to stay for fear that women would find them irresistible, according to the Arabic-language newspaper Elaph.

A festival official said the three Emiratis were taken out on the grounds they are too handsome and that the Commission [for the Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice] members feared female visitors could fall for them,” Elaph reported this week, as quoted on the website Arabian Business. The Emirati men were subsequently deported to Abu Dhabi. In Saudi Arabia women are largely prohibited from interacting with unrelated males.

Apparently the incident was triggered by the appearance at the festival of a female singer named Ayram

UAE Singer Aryam

UAE Singer Aryam

The UAE female singer Aryam was at the heart of an incident involving storming of the country’s stand at an a Saudi cultural festival by a member of the Gulf Kingdom’s feared religious police, the signer has said.

Aryam confirmed she went to the UAE pavilion at the annual Genaderia festivities but added she was there as a delegate of the UAE and had no intention to sing.

“I went to the UAE stand as a delegate and congratulated them on their folklore…I stayed there for 20 seconds and had no intention to sing,” she said, quoted by Arabic language newspapers in the region. “I strongly respect the traditions of Saudi Arabia and all Gulf states and I consider myself a Saudi woman.”

Aryam, of Egyptian origin, said she had been invited by the Abu Dhabi Culture and Tourism Authority to visit the national pavilion when the incident took place.

“I respect their traditions and had no intention to sign or perform anything,” said the 33-year-old Dubai-based Aryam, whose real name is Reem Shaaban Hassan.

The man in the photo above, Omar Borkan Al Gala, is reported to be one of the men who was “forcibly” deported for being “too handsome.” I have no idea if he is really one of the three men, but he’s pretty good looking and he does seem to be from the UAE. Here’s his Facebook page, Twitter feed, and Flicker page.

A couple more photos:



More here.

This is a “way too handsome” open thread!

37 Comments on “Late Night: Three Men Deported By Saudi Arabia For Being Too Handsome”

  1. bostonboomer says:

    OMG, I can’t believe this post by Yglesias on the horrible factory collapse in Bangladesh. I’m copying the whole thing here.

    It’s very plausible that one reason American workplaces have gotten safer over the decades is that we now tend to outsource a lot of factory-explosion-risk to places like Bangladesh where 87 people just died in a building collapse.* This kind of consideration leads Erik Loomis to the conclusion that we need a unified global standard for safety, by which he does not mean that Bangladeshi levels of workplace safety should be implemented in the United States.

    I think that’s wrong. Bangladesh may or may not need tougher workplace safety rules, but it’s entirely appropriate for Bangladesh to have different—and, indeed, lower—workplace safety standards than the United States.

    The reason is that while having a safe job is good, money is also good. Jobs that are unusually dangerous—in the contemporary United States that’s primarily fishing, logging, and trucking—pay a premium over other working-class occupations precisely because people are reluctant to risk death or maiming at work. And in a free society it’s good that different people are able to make different choices on the risk–reward spectrum. There are also some good reasons to want to avoid a world of unlimited choice and see this as a sphere in which collective action is appropriate (I’ll gesture at arguments offered in Robert Frank’s The Darwin Economy and Tom Slee’s No One Makes You Shop At Walmart if you’re interested), but that still leaves us with the question of “which collective” should make the collective choice.

    Bangladesh is a lot poorer than the United States, and there are very good reasons for Bangladeshi people to make different choices in this regard than Americans. That’s true whether you’re talking about an individual calculus or a collective calculus. Safety rules that are appropriate for the United States would be unnecessarily immiserating in much poorer Bangladesh. Rules that are appropriate in Bangladesh would be far too flimsy for the richer and more risk-averse United States. Split the difference and you’ll get rules that are appropriate for nobody. The current system of letting different countries have different rules is working fine. American jobs have gotten much safer over the past 20 years, and Bangladesh has gotten a lot richer.

    • BB is that saying what I think it is saying, cause I am not sure. Pretty much fuck the Bangladeshis because they are poor, and they should be grateful because the arent as poor as they used to be?

      • RalphB says:

        Yes I believe so and it’s completely amoral.

      • bostonboomer says:

        That’s what it sounds like to me.

      • NW Luna says:

        That’s exactly what that shit-for-a-heart writer said.

        Eff ‘im. He should be shipped by cargo freight to a Bangladeshi factory & put to work.

      • janicen says:

        But it’s confusing because he is also saying that people who work in dangerous jobs in the US get higher pay. He cites loggers, truckers, and fishermen. What about the people who worked at the fertilizer plant in TX? And firefighters and police? School teachers! Now that the NRA (who runs our govt) has acknowledged that teachers are in so much danger that they should be armed, I guess we’ll be raising their pay sky high.

        I swear the post above is so riddled with absurdities that I would expect it to have been published in The Onion.

    • They make there own choices:
      Dhaka: many dead as garment factory building that supplied west collapses | World news | The Guardian

      Dilara Begum, a garment worker who survived the accident, said workers had been ordered to leave after a crack appeared in the wall of the building on Tuesday but on Wednesday morning supervisors had told them to return to work, saying the building had been inspected and declared safe.

      “We didn’t want to go in but the supervisors threatened to dock pay if we didn’t return to work,” she told the Guardian.

      Mohammad Asaduzzaman, in charge of the area’s police station, said factory owners appeared to have ignored a warning not to allow their workers into the building after a crack was detected in the block on Tuesday. A bank based in the block sent its staff home on Tuesday, locals said, fearful of a collapse.
      “There was some crack at the second floor but my factory was on the fifth floor,” Muhammad Anisur Rahman said. “The owner of the building told our floor manager that it is not a problem and so you can open the factory.”

      Sheikh Abdul Mannan, a senior official at Rajdhani Unnayan Kartipakkha, the government agency responsible for building safety in Dhaka, said the building broke national building regulations.

      Wages as low as $38.50 a month have helped propel the country to the second largest apparel exporter in the world.

    • Reeks of elite status, as in class status and a bit of F(*( the poor people. The interesting thing is that these arses have never run a business nor had to deal with arses who raise premiums on others. Over twenty-five years and I have a clean safety record. Some yahoo, said I was lucky! Lucky my foot, I care about my people and have safety as a priority… and recently wrote that in my comments on the State’s Compensation survey.

      Yup, we pay for the Yglesias’ of the world as they only have to put in 100K in a fund and self insure, but we are stuck paying 23.3% of every 100.00 dollars to real companies. Oh, and you guessed it, those self insured companies, fight every claim, even the most clear injuries. So, yup Yglesias is saying out loud what many big CEOs do in the private quiet of their realms.

      If Obama had been a LIFE LONG Democrat he would have combined the worker’s comp part and passed HR 676 Public Option and only placed the liability part (updated …grossly outdated) on business. But all we got was higher premiums, less coverage while the big insurance companies make out like bandits. 😦

  2. Fannie says:

    I’m laughing, just how money are we looking at? He must be worth a pretty penny.

  3. bostonboomer says:

    Isn’t anyone going to comment on the guy who was kicked out of Saudi Arabia for being “too handsome?”

  4. bostonboomer says:

    Multiple explosions, fires reported on barges near Mobile, Ala.

    Three people were hurt in multiple explosions aboard two fuel barges in the Mobile River in Alabama on Wednesday night, according to the Mobile Fire Department.

    The department said the three victims were taken to a hospital. The Coast Guard said they had been burned, and their conditions were unknown.

    The fire department said the barges experienced four blasts, with the first reported about 9 p.m. The incident occurred in the vicinity of the Carnival Triumph, the cruise ship that lost power in the Gulf of Mexico and later broke loose of its moorings at a Mobile shipyard.

  5. ecocatwoman says:

    bb, he’s definitely quite handsome. Don’t you think it is just more evidence of the insecurities of the men in the region? Instead of admitting that and/or working on trying to resolve those issues, they blame women & make them “cover up”, otherwise they will tempt men – oh, those tricky sirens. Oh & I read some of the comments on the one link with bunches of photos. Apparently several of the men commenting are insecure as well, writing that al Gala is definitely gay. Seriously? Well groomed, great skin, manicured nails – MUST be gay if it’s a man. Is the sign of a real man a scruffy beard, unkempt hair and a torn t-shirt? I just wish these types would stop projecting their insecurities on the females of the species.