Saudi Gazette report
JEDDAH — Since football is the most popular sport in Saudi Arabia, World Cup fever has gripped the nation. However, with Ramadan fast approaching, many families are divided on whether they should spend their time in front of the TV or go out and shop for Ramadan, Al-Hayat daily reported.
Many families are compromising by shopping at places where the men can watch football, women can shop and children can play.
Malls and the Jeddah Ghair Festival where organizers made the wise decision to transmit World Cup matches have provided families with a solution.
Abdullah Muhammad said despite his personal preference of watching World Cup football matches at home or with friends, he agrees to watch them at public places to satisfy the interests of all family members.
“Each one of us has their own interests. However, Jeddah Ghair Festival was a solution as it has provided screens that transmit the matches in places frequented by families, so everyone is satisfied,” he said.
Hiba Abdulwahed said the screens available in the malls have helped resolve 50 percent of family feuds as they allow men to watch football while rest of the family members enjoy the annual summer festival.
Tourist Saeed Al-Zahrani lauded the decision to install screens to transmit World Cup matches during the festival.
“I came to Jeddah specifically for the festival as it provides much-needed recreation for my family. The festival has allowed me to watch the World Cup matches without preventing my family from pursuing their own interests,” he said.
Tahani Abdulrazzaq said were it not for the screens transmitting World Cup matches at malls, she would not have been able to go out shopping or enjoy festival activities with her children.
“My husband prefers to watch the World Cup matches at home away from large crowds typical at public venues. But this prevents our family from shopping or enjoying the activities of the festival, so he agreed to watch them at a public place,” she said.
However, not everyone was as lucky as Tahani. Leena Ibrahim lamented how the World Cup has prevented her and her sisters from going out shopping.
“Despite the availability of screens that transmit the football matches, my father and brothers prefer to watch the World Cup at home. This means, we also stay home and miss the festival and some great shopping,” she said.