Fashion trends ‘threaten Saudi identity’

Fashion trends ‘threaten Saudi identity’
Updated 30 October 2015

Fashion trends ‘threaten Saudi identity’

Fashion trends ‘threaten Saudi identity’

ABHA: Many young Saudi men are adopting Western-style fashion trends including clothing and haircuts, which are not in line with Saudi customs and traditions, according to several experts.
They are also increasingly using English words mixed with Arabic that they have picked up from Western television programs and movies, they said. The clothing now worn includes accessories such as bags, short pants, and items with “weird” pictures.
Khaled Al-Jelban, a family and community medicine consultant at King Khalid University, was critical of the way young men dress these days. He said he has seen some brag about their clothing and acting in a manner that does not fit in with Saudi culture.
“Some of them are even decorating their Arabic clothes, which goes against the traditions passed down from our fathers and grandfathers,” he told Arab News recently. This was a “dangerous phenomenon,” he said.
In addition, he said that some young people were trying to sound sophisticated by using a lot of English words, probably as a result of them spending too many holidays abroad, rather than in the Kingdom, and watching too many Western-produced movies without parental supervision.
Ahmed Al-Saad, a social expert, said that many people are blindly imitating the West. “In the past, people used to criticize and denounce this behavior but now we see many parents support their children’s weird styles,” he said.
He said parents are also participating in activities that are having a bad influence on their young children. For example, he has recently seen fathers and their sons taking photographs with famous wrestlers, without thinking about how the shows of these wrestlers can influence these youngsters.
Al-Saad added that the proliferation of social media outlets and the information revolution has exposed the youth to many cultures, which they are now imitating. He said the future is not bright for the country if young people are now heading to mosques and public places dressed in these new ways.
Saud Al-Dahain, a social sciences professor at King Saud University, said young people are rebelling by adopting these fashion styles. “It’s a cry for attention from young people who don’t want to be marginalized,” he said.
He said that the best way to deal with this situation was to provide counseling and advice for these young people. He said that society needs to deal with these young people in a wise manner.