God, money and useless products.

Pyramid schemes are a common scam that many have fallen for, to the extent that one assumes anything of the likes would be discarded. I’ve recently been approached by a recruiter that promised me the car I always wanted, and the financial independence every 20 something living in their parent’s home wants. A friend of mine, whose heart was in the right place, referred me, as to relieve me of my financial ailment, and maybe gain a customer as he starts. What started as a promising pitch of a product I can market by a charming 19 year old, suddenly turned into an attempt of indoctrination into the church of “Veema”. A vitamin enfused energy drink with all natural ingredients that I can drink for free, as long as I recruit others to the same sweet deal I was offered! My main question was “How is this not a pyramid scheme?”. As he fidgeted and attempted to explain, it became very clear to me that I was being sold something that might very well control my life, and end any social relationships I have. A quickwitted insult later, and I was free from the cult indoctrination I was taking part of. While my haze of curse fueled glory started wearing off, I realized I had left my friend to be charmed and educated in the ways of the one and true God “Veema”. After realizing that the battle had been war but the war raged on, I took to readying my ammo and stocked up on articles, research and facts. What I had realized was pyramid schemes were no longer legal, however, it was replaced by a ruthless and smarter sister, called “MLM” (Multi Level Marketing). The idea of an “MLM” company does not truly fall far from a pyramid scheme, however, it remains as a legal alternative, like bath salts and actual drugs. While I researched, in an attempt to save what was left of my friend’s bank account, I realized a certain pattern in the believers of said pyramid scheme, not the producers. Everywhere I searched, I realized that the same phrases I would hear as arguments were being taught through Youtube videos. Much like a cult, the people regurgitating what their “Leaders” were telling them truly believed everything that the glorious overlord “Veema” would provide them. The main phrase that struck me as truly powerful in it’s simplistic and idiotic features was “Don’t listen to anyone that doesn’t have what you want.”. There I was, dumbstruck by the fact that Nikola Tesla was wrong all along, Socrates was a man of words and nothing else, a filthy charlatan, Nietzsche was degraded into a fool with a moustache by this simple phrase. I slowly realized that the mentality required to truly believe in what was being done, was one held by cult followers. The realization struck me when I replaced God with “Veema” and all the beautiful happiness, self knowledge and track of life provided by a cult were replaced by money, a team and a “business”. It is true that the promise of money is what lures many into these schemes, however it is the dream of a purpose and cause that makes a true follower. As I write this, I am unsettled by the fact that my friend lays on his bed, awaiting a shipment of happiness and glory with a smile glowing on his face, and thoughts of great achievements keeping him awake. 

tl;dr : Stay away from drugs, cults and pyramid schemes. 

The rusted golden age.

Art has no place in Saudi Arabia. It seems that we as Saudis have missed the chance to indicate our struggles, emotions and endeavours in a manner that is unique to us. “We do have a culture. It is Islam” is the answer I mostly get when I asked about that situation, however, reality cannot be farther. Saudi culture seemed to have taken a break and never recovered at the Bedwen days, while Islamic culture had been distorted, destroyed and left to rot in an alleyway occupied by cats. Throughout my stay in multiple metropolitan cities, I’ve realized that the voice of the unheard maintained its presence on the walls of their homes, and the homes of those who they might even hate. Graffiti and street art is an integral part of the rebellious youth’s culture in most parts of the civilized world. However, in Saudi Arabia, graffiti lacks a voice, it is simply names written in a kindergarten student’s handwriting, and blackberry pins, in the hopes of getting a ninja to present herself and show her ankles. This lack of inspiration, even in violent acts against society, is partially blamed on the canvas; a bleak rectangular wall, accompanied by more hopeless rectangular walls with no character. Architecture is lacking to say the least. Buildings are simply tall boxes with windows, and homes are more boxes with no character. True Saudi architecture seems to have halted at tents. It is important for one to revere their heritage, however, it is even more important to expand upon it. It seems like Saudi’s are more willing to imitate than innovate, as if all cultures have a certain charm to them that they lack. Some say Islamic culture is the one and only culture that Saudi’s can accept, however, it seems that they say that out of conviction rather than experience, and the experience is not one that they will be living through any time soon.