The case of a Saudi blackmailing an American girl gets lost in translation online

Published October 26th, 2015 - 01:14 GMT
Saudi Abdulrahim al-Talhi allegedly attempted to extort a 15-year-old girl with sexually explicit photos. (Twitter)
Saudi Abdulrahim al-Talhi allegedly attempted to extort a 15-year-old girl with sexually explicit photos. (Twitter)

Arabs may not always understand the Western world. And there's a lot that gets lost in translation when it comes to dealing with the opposite sex. 

That became apparent in a strange court case in Massachusetts; a Saudi man became the subject of infinite mockery last week when he threatened an American girl with "photos" he had of her.

In the Muslim world, where Facebook photos for women are a thing to protect, that might mean something. But releasing "photos" alone doesn't mean much for Western women. 

Americans are not like us, they don’t mind seeing their photos on the Internet you stupid.

If you don’t go on a date with me I’ll post your images on social media ... I think she laughed her ass off.

He will tell the judge that she was wearing makeup and she seduced him. He will also think that the judge will ask him to repent and set him free, hahaha this is not KSA dude.


It was more serious than it seemed. It wasn't clear on Arabic Twitter, but the photos were, in fact, sexually explicit.

The Boston Globe reported 20-year-old Abdulrahim al-Talhi posed as a woman named "Hayley," blackmailed the 15-year-old girl and threatened to release the images if she didn't meet and perform oral sex on a man (himself). The girl found out "Hayley's" real identity was when she went to the police. 

Al-Talhi, a college student, was arrested on charges of attempted extortion and distributing images of child nudity. 


He is a sick person; he will imprisoned for at least seven years. Let him be an example for the others. What a scandal.

He will later come to KSA, grow a beard and become a preacher.

Eastern men look at women only as sex toys.


It's a news story that was, literally, lost in translation. The word "photos" alone held enough meaning in the Arabic-speaking world that mentioning sexually explicit content seemed unnecessary, maybe implicit.

In the US, it made the difference between a harmless exchange and prison. Al-Talhi faces court again Dec. 2. 

By Hayat Norimine

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