Guy Fawkes masks popularized in the movie ‘V for Vendetta’ are still sold on Jeddah’s streets near traffic lights and on sidewalks despite the ban of the Ministry of Commerce on selling and importing the masks.
Last month local newspaper Al-Madina reported that the Ministry of Islamic Affairs, Endowments, Call and Guidance requested that imams at mosques and educators should caution youths from wearing these masks.
The Ministry of Interior had also urged the Ministry of Commerce to confiscate and ban importing the plastic masks for the Saudi market. The masks are sold for between SR 10 and SR 20.
Street sellers denied knowing anything about the ban. “I was never aware of this ban, I have been selling this item for more than a year. No one has stopped either me or any of my colleagues on the streets,” one street seller said.
Another seller told Arab News he did not know anything about the significance of the mask nor had he actually seen the movie or read the graphic novel by Alan Moore by the same name, in which the Guy Fawkes character features.
“This mask is popular with the young crowd. Sometimes I run out of these masks, particularly during weekends and during football finals, when young guys go to the street to celebrate after a winning game,” a seller said.