Thursday, November 26, 2009

Guess he didn't see that one coming . . .

Breaking 'Noose' from Saudi Arabia
(Image from Yahoo News)

As a foreigner in Korea, I occasionally complain about how I'm treated by the Koreans. For instance, from my wife and kids -- Korean citizens all -- I don't get no respect! Yes, there's a dangerous field rigged with landmines awaiting the unwitting foreigner who treads too boldly into Korean territory.

But for those foreigners here who complain overmuch, consider the words of that expat Belial in Paradise Lost 2.163-164:
. . . is this then worst,
Thus sitting, thus consulting . . . ?
Exactly right! We foreigners here in Korea can sit around our computers debating pretty freely about our future prospects in this country, and things really don't look so bad. Things could indeed be much worse. Look what's happening to this forward-looking fellow who recently visited Saudi Arabia:
A man has been sentenced to death in Saudi Arabia for witchcraft because he makes predictions on television.

Ali Sibat is not even a Saudi national. The Lebanese citizen was only visiting Saudi Arabia on pilgrimage when he was arrested in Medina last year.

A court in the city condemned him as a witch on November 9.

The only evidence presented in court was reportedly the claim he appeared regularly on Lebanese satellite issuing general advice on life and making predictions about the future.
The poor fellow is clearly innocent since he manifestly failed to foresee the consequences of stepping onto Saudi territory! At most, he should only have been found guilty of 'charlatanry', for that carries a lighter punishment:
In 2006 a Jeddah court convicted an Eritrean national Muhammad Burhan for "charlatanry" because he possessed a phone book that contained writings in the Tigrinya alphabet used in Eritrea . . . . [Prosecutors] classified the booklet as a "talisman" and the court accepted that as evidence, sentencing him to 20 months in prison and 300 lashes.
If only the incarcerated Mr. Burhan hadn't demanded his right to a phone call, the Saudi police might never have noticed that 'talisman'. So much for its talismanic powers! But I'd bet that Mr. Sibat is dying for a punishment as light as those 300 lashes, given that he'd also be provided with 20 months to recuperate.

Remind me -- if I should happen to forget -- never to go teach English in Saudi Arabia . . . and never to forget how good we foreigners have it here in South Korea.

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At 1:21 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm told a dream of your's is in easy reach, a tenured position at the new campus just outside Riyadh.


At 1:50 PM, Blogger Horace Jeffery Hodges said...

Well, I don't think that I'd better go on the basis of your soothsaying, JK, since the religious authorities there might learn that I'd been listening to a fortuneteller, and if you're going to go around interpreting dreams, you'd best stay far away from that Desert Kingdom yourself!

Jeffery Hodges

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At 12:06 AM, Blogger Conservative in Virginia said...

Happy Thanksgiving!

At 3:37 AM, Blogger Horace Jeffery Hodges said...

Same to you, CIV!

Jeffery Hodges

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At 6:59 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Is life in Korea so bad that you have to compare it to Saudi Arabia in order to feel better? :)

A happy Thanksgiving to you and your family. Remnants of fall colors still cling to oak and pear trees, so celebrating the harvest doesn't seem too out of season where I live.

At 7:03 AM, Blogger Horace Jeffery Hodges said...

Nah, it's not so bad in Korea, but from the three local Koreans in my apartment flat, I just don't get no respect.

Happy Thanksgiving to you, too. I hope that you've enjoyed the following blog post's Turkey Day joke.

Jeffery Hodges

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At 9:15 PM, Blogger Unknown said...

Does anyone know the reference for a paper on John's gospel showing the structure as being discourse, festival and miracle on a three year cycle of John's work paralelled with the Life of Jesus
and reflecting the synagogue readings?.

At 10:27 PM, Blogger Horace Jeffery Hodges said...

Mr. Ron George, I don't happen to know of any, but good luck.

Jeffery Hodges

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