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A Saudi Arabian Nightmare

This is one of those headlines that sparks your subconscious to instruct your brain to move your head back and forth, with your mouth hung slightly open, and a generally glazed-over countenance. This is a primal, outward reaction while your brain tries to figure out the proper words to adequately describe such a bewildering circumstance. I believe the term invented for just this occasion is ‘dumbfounded’.

Headline reads: Saudi man chains his son in the basement for six years because he is ‘possessed by an evil female genie’

This story broke on July 23, but I wanted to give it a few days to see if there would be any kind of follow up that would shed some more light on the facts of the initial reports. So far there are no news articles correcting, debunking, or dismissing any of the claims in the Daily Mail article.

Too bad, I was hopeful there would be updated reports that the chaining was actually an occasional happening. I was hoping to learn that the family had taken the man to seek some king of medical advice before seeking the spiritual route. I was hopeful that some kind of government institution was going to hold investigations into the allegations of wrongful imprisonment, abuse, torture, or some other broken law based on the depraved inaction by a community of people that apparently allowed this to occur for six years. This is to say nothing of my hopefulness that someone of significance in Saudi Arabia would take a stand and correctly profess that there is no such thing as genies!

No hope as of yet.

What’s that old saying I’m fond of repeating? Ah yes …

Medieval beliefs yield medieval results.

4 comments to A Saudi Arabian Nightmare

  • Marasmusine

    Can’t trust the Daily Fail, but the original story can be found at arabnews.com

    To me, the photo looks like a screen capture from a TV show :/

    There was a follow-up story on the 26th: “MAKKAH: A clinic in the Eastern Province that provides treatment to people possessed by jinns has volunteered to help Turki”, followed by some extremely poor reporting.

    “The father said he has taken Turki to see medical doctors and psychiatrists who have all been unable to diagnose his illness or treat him.” … “He added that all of the sheikhs who have seen Turki are unanimous that he is possessed by a female jinn who refuses to leave him. “She’s supposedly very powerful and said she is of royal stock and will not leave Turki until he dies,” he said.”

    It looks like the father simply refuses to accept that his son has psychological problems.

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  • pip

    It sounds to me as though this poor man may be suffering from a brain tumor or other serious medical condition, that initially caused his epilepsy and has now caused him to become semi-comatose. Wikipedia reports that Saudi Arabia is governed by sharia (Islamic law), and that it has the seventh most authoritarian regime from among the 167 countries rated. I don’t think there’s much hope that this young man will be rescued.

  • Nick Andrew

    That’s a great ending line, Evan. I’m reminded of a line Bill Maher said regarding Islam … “civilised people don’t threaten each other – we sue each other. Threatening – that’s some old school desert shit, and I’m sorry you can’t bring that to the big city.”


    Judaism, Christianity, Islam … the rituals and beliefs are all embarrassing throwbacks to a primitive past age. The priest at the altar, genuflecting, lighting candles and murmuring latin invocations remind me of nothing so much as a scared tribe huddling within a cave, praying that their god won’t bring thunder or a sabre-toothed tiger. The self-flagellation reportedly performed by Pope John Paul II and Mother Teresa of Calcutta reminds me that we still, as a species, haven’t grown up.

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