Saudi Arabia prepares for festival of love

Thu, 2020-02-13 04:14

JEDDAH: Love is in the air and hearts and flowers are everywhere
as the Kingdom prepares to celebrate the once “haram”
Valentine’s Day tomorrow.

As recently as three years ago it would have been unthinkable
— Saudi Arabia’s feared religious police saw to that.

Florists and confectioners used to hide their red roses and
heart-shaped chocolate in fear of the Commission for the Promotion
of Virtue and Prevention of Vice (CPVPV). Restaurant owners even
banned birthday or anniversary celebrations on Feb. 14 for fear of
arrest or closure.

Hearts and flowers are everywhere as Saudi Arabia prepares to
celebrate the once ‘haram’ Valentine’s Day tomorrow. (AN
photo by Huda Bashatah)

A breakthrough came in 2018, when former Makkah CPVPV President
Sheikh Ahmed Qasim Al-Ghamdi declared that Valentine’s Day did
not contradict Islamic teaching or doctrine. Celebrating love was
universal,and not limited to non-Muslims, he said.

Now Saudis are buying extravagant gifts, flowers, cheesy
balloons and even the cliched teddy bears for that special

To help readers to get the most out of Valentine’s, Arab News
has compiled an essential guide. We have advice on romantic
getaways, whether you’re on a budget, or ready to splash out on a
rented yacht in the Red Sea or a cultural heritage hotel in a palm
oasis in the Eastern Province.

There’s also a “his and her” gift guide for every purse,
and info on the best places for that romantic meal for two.

Main category: 

Valentine’s Day: The appeal of literature and poetry about
romantic love in Arab cultureValentine’s Day buying guide in
Saudi Arabia: What she wants, what he wantsFood of love: A guide to
Valentine’s dining in Saudi ArabiaWhy diamonds are forever for
romantic Saudis on Valentine’s Day
Source: FS – All – Interesting – News
Saudi Arabia prepares for festival of love