Bikinis and a Beach Party in Saudi? Social Media Explodes in Anger Over Viral Video

Published August 26th, 2020 - 06:05 GMT
Bikinis and a Beach Party in Saudi? Social Media Explodes in Anger Over Viral Video
The party was allegedly held at a private chalet that doesn't need to follow rules imposed in the rest of the country. (Twitter: @saudi_5G)

A viral video showing dozens of people in a beach party believed to have been held in the Saudi city of Al Khobar by foreign residents has prompted many angry reactions on social media as Saudis considered it "disrespectful" of their customs and traditions.

Translation: "Immodesty, mixing, and moral decay by Lebanese people at Al Khobar corniche. If not stopped and held accountable, these foreigners will change our community so it becomes like them. We've never seen anything like this in Saudi and now it happens because things are being made easier for Lebanese people." 

The Snapchat video showed a beach party with a DJ and multiple individuals in beachwear. Based on the location provided by the Snapchat application, commentators located the party in the Baher private chalet in Lebanon beach.

As the video went viral, most Twitter users assumed that people who appeared in the video are Lebanese, mostly based on the dialect heard in the few seconds at the start of the video, which is why angry commentators launched the hashtag #لبنانيين_يتعرون_في_الخبر (Arabic: Lebanese undress in Al Khobar).

Translation: "This is Half Moon beach at Baher resort in Al Khobar. They're racist too, they don't allow any Saudis in; only Lebanese, Jordanians and other foreigners."

Translation: "I thank you for spreading good vibes. I hope more people help us become more open."

While many Saudis expressed their anger over the video and called on Saudi authorities to take action against people who appeared in the video for "violating Saudi's conservative values," many others explained that, unlike what several angry tweets mentioned, the party wasn't held in a public beach, but rather a private chalet that doesn't need to follow rules imposed in the rest of the country.

Translation: "This is Baher beach chalet and it's called Lebanon beach on Snapchat. Saudis are not allowed in these places only foreigners but most visitors are usually Philipino. I think this place is owned by X company."

In the absence of official numbers about the Lebanese expat population in Saudi Arabia, online sources estimate that the Lebanese community in the country ranges between 200k and 350k, mostly living in major, relatively open, cities such as Jeddah, Riyadh, and Al Khobar.


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