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Single Saudi men decry discrimination by society

Last updated: Saturday, December 01, 2012 12:29 AM

Joud Al-Amri
Saudi Gazette


JEDDAH – A number of single Saudi men have voiced their dismay over the negative attitudes of members of society in dealing with them, especially in matters such as renting apartments or shopping in malls.

Speaking to Saudi Gazette, they aired their grievances saying that many people think bachelors are a threat to families, particularly to young women.

Ayman Felemban, a 26-year old Saudi living in Jeddah, said that it is very difficult for bachelors to rent an apartment because of various restrictions and widespread reluctance on the part of building owners to rent to bachelors.

“Wherever we go, we face rejections and objections. People are not ready to accept the idea of leasing apartments to us or having us live close to families. It’s as if we are wolves that will pounce on women when given the chance,” he said.

Felemban rents an apartment in an all-male building because his family lives in Madinah and he was unable to find an owner willing to trust a single male tenant.

“We are not allowed to live in apartment buildings where families live.

Similarly, we find no place to spend free time except on the streets because all venues of entertainment are reserved for families,” he said.

Echoing the same view, Alaa, aged 28, said that he is forced to live alone in Jeddah because of his job, away from other family members who are in Riyadh.

“Despite my good profession and high salary, I am not in a position to rent a decent apartment in a suitable location only because I am a bachelor,” he said.

Saleh Al-Thaqfi, who is in his late 50s, said people are wary of trusting bachelors for good reason.

“Keeping petrol away from fire is a wise choice. I am not pointing fingers because I too was once a young man but as a society, we have to avoid any situation where there is a possibility for young girls and boys to mingle.

When single men are living among families, that possibility increases.”

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