American YouTube blogger Peter Santenello shared a video that documents life in Saudi Arabia and its "dramatic changes," particularly economically, politically, and socially.
The blogger uploaded the video entitled Shocking First Impressions Inside Saudi Arabia on his YouTube channel with a caption that reads “Saudi Arabia was nothing like I expected!”
In the video, Peter documents his experience in the country from the second he exits the airport, where he then meets a group of East Asian construction workers who claim that making money in Riyadh is better than making money in Dubai.
Peter also tours the streets of Riyadh with a young Saudi man, Mohammad, who he came across at a Starbucks. Mohammad tells him about the changes that transforming Saudi Arabia, the “most important” of which is allowing Saudi women to drive for the first time.
He also takes him to the mall, where Peter is impressed with the cinema that is one of five others in the Kingdom.
At the mall, Peter notices that women walked around without headscarves, which Mohammed explains is legal and that the Kingdom provides personal freedom for women.
The most controversial part according to reactions on social media, was the encounter Peter had with a young Saudi, also named Mohammad, who had recently returned home from the UK. The young man said he was happy with the changes because they grant him the freedom to hang out with his girlfriend in public and spend time in hotel rooms together without being married.
Following the controversy, Saudi social media users launched hashtag #سعودي_يجاهر_بالمعصيه (Saudi man promotes sin), expressing their outrage and disgust with Mohammad's behavior, insisting that his statements do not represent Saudi culture.
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