well, the recent “revolutions” may have been facilitated by fb and twitter, but tptb in saudi arabia are concerned that the internet is facilitating tribalism. and they don’t like it. not one little bit:
One would have thought that after nearly 80 years of Saudi Arabian national unity, fervent tribal sentiments would have started to wane as a consequence of a growing national consciousness. [well, not if u keep marrying ur cousins @ a rate of 50%+ – hbd chick.] This might have been the case except for the advent of the Internet and satellite television which have provided platforms for tribal inflamed rhetoric and, sometimes, zealotry. Saudi tribesmen, especially the younger generation, are rediscovering their tribal identities. Arabian tribal ties are maintained through bloodlines which often create a very strong generational consciousness.
From time immemorial, the inhabitants of the Arabian Peninsula have been organized on the basis of tribal and clan kinships, with traditions and customs handed down from one generation to another. With the absence of a real and larger nationhood, prior to the foundation of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, this tribal organization was the normal state of affairs for a very long time. It would thus be unrealistic to anticipate the total demise of such tribal sentiments at any time in the near future. [yes. yes it would. particularly if ya'll keep inbreeding.]
In the last few years, with the arrival of the Internet, individual tribes and tribal clans have started to develop websites so that their members can meet in cyberspace to advertise and document their social events, remember their past, post their poetry, share photographs, and chat with one another. The Internet has been used as an effective means for tribal members to share their rich legacy of memories, express their desire to continue to live together and perpetuate the value of the heritage that they have inherited from their ancestors. All of which is perfectly fine.
The danger, however, arises when these tribal websites are abused by some zealous members to brag in chat rooms about tribal ancestry and past presumed ‘glories’. If one is not careful, these websites can turn into tools for intertribal rivalry and competition, similar to what had been the case with some satellite television stations. This can create a socio-psychological rift between members of the Kingdom’s different tribes and clans, and between them and other citizens of the country, resulting in a setback to years of bridging historical differences between different tribes, and threatening the national fabric of our society.
Tribal websites often have clear and valuable objectives which can unite members of the same tribe or clan, but they must avoid inflamed rhetoric and the demeaning of others.
(note: comments do not require an email.)