Writing

Drag Racing Saudi Style

The Monkey doesn’t usually tackle international social issues.

But Robert F. Worth’s piece in the International Herald Tribune (the global edition of the New York Times) is worth a mention and a linking.

Worth’s story, “On dark Saudi streets, boredom leads to speed,” talks about how bored Saudi youths have taken to drag racing (and the more dangerous auto sport of drifting)  in the desert as a “a kind of collective scream of frustration.”

Without giving away his whole story, Worth paints an interesting picture of middle class, underemployed youths who have few opportunities to work, little interaction with the opposite sex, and nothing else to do with their time than race cars at dangerous speeds.

What struck the Monkey about this story is how similar the Saudi tales seem to the experiences of American teenagers. From the cat and mouse chases with the local police to stopping for coffee at a late-night drive through, the story could have almost been set anywhere in middle America.

Not exactly the perception the Monkey had of Saudi Arabia.

Anyway, enough poor attempts at summary. Check it out for yourself:

On dark Saudi streets, boredom leads to speed.

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