G6, Boy.Z, XBoys Strike ... In Jeddah?
Using spray paint cans, they defaced public property, insulted the police and complained that youths didn't have a voice in Saudi Arabia.
Dozens of young Saudis in the coastal city of Jeddah have challenged the authorities with street graffiti which has highlighted a growing generation gap in one of the world's most socially conservative countries.
Powerful clerics still enforce a strict code of public morals in Saudi Arabia, an absolute monarchy where more than 60 percent of the population is under 21.
But today, Saudi youths are growing up in an era shaped by the Internet, mobile phones and satellite television in a marked break from the sheltered upbringings of their parents.
Signed by gang members using names like G6, Boy.Z and XBoys and styled on the gaudy graffiti in big U.S. and European cities, images began appearing two years ago on traffic circles and walls, enraging local residents who valued civic pride.
The graffiti grows out of complaints you would expect from teens in Saudi Arabia. Girls want to drive and be able to play sports outside. Boys want to be able to hang out at malls, which are open to families only.This is hardly jihad-fodder. These are kids who would gladly embrace a more liberal Islam, so here I am again somewhat conflicted: The downward drag of media and modern society that troubles me when I see it in America elates me when I see it behind the Islamic curtain.
I guess that's the sort of flexibility that ironically comes with conservatism but is lacking in the supposedly more open-minded liberal belief system.
Anyway, let's start shipping spray paint to other Saudi cities.