Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Why Saudi Arabia Is Blocking My Website From Its Citizens

Only a few days ago, I heard from a friend who had traveled to Saudi Arabia on business. From his hotel, he tried to access our first website, PoetsandQuants.com, and couldn't get through. It was blocked by the government. I was as surprised as anyone by the news. After all, the site isn't commenting or encouraging any of the uprising across the Arab/Muslim world. It isn't a public policy or political site. It doesn't voice Democratic ideals, freedom of speech, or any other rights, privileges or responsibilities we all take for granted in the U.S.

The site is about graduate business education, for goodness sake. The stories are on business schools, MBA programs, students, faculty, and corporate recruiters. The articles can be probing, but mostly on the value of an MBA degree, the increasingly higher cost of getting one, and the quality of the institutions that grant the degree. So why in the world would Saudi Arabia, or probably more likely some low-level censor in that country, want to block PoetsandQuants.com from Saudi citizens.

And then I remembered a rather brief article we ran under the headline: "My Story: From Saudi Arabia to Wharton." Published last October, it's the first-person narrative of a young woman and her remarkable journey to the U.S. to pursue a world-class MBA. It tells the story of Shereen Tawfiq, the first ever female student from Saudi Arabia at Wharton, who courageously challenged centuries old cultural values rooted in male dominance.



After graduating with an English Literature degree from a Saudi university, Tawfiq wanted to, in her words, "do something challenging that could have an impact on life. But women employment was limited. The only options were found in women-only environments such as teachers at girls-only schools or tellers or customer service representatives at women-only retail branches of local banks."

Tawfiq got lucky. The Saudi government began imposing quotas to increase Saudi employment at large institutions. A bank in Jeddah hired her to replace a poorly paid expat. She began an administrative job, worked hard and tried to get a better position as a credit analyst. But Tawfiq was rejected many times.

As she told us, "the bank's management didn't say it was because I was a woman, but I think society just wasn't ready. I kept pushing and, at last, eight months later, I got the job. My manager congratulated me, yet he candidly told me not to look for any promotions. The business community wasn't ready to accept women and business owners may have felt uncomfortable dealing with them directly. 'I'm not willing to jeopardize the bank's reputation,' my manager said."

All in all, it's the story of a woman who relentlessly worked to get ahead--and in fact managed to break through several barriers. It's an inspiring tale. And I suppose that's why Saudi Arabia has blocked my site: So other women in Saudi Arabia won't be inspired to rise above the prejudice and the traditions that have kept so many intelligent and thoughtful women down.

27 comments:

  1. Not a surprise. John, we met via Fast Company I used to write a column there. Anyhow, I traveled to Saudi this yr, made history as first female speaker to address the airline. NYT http://www.nytimes.com/2011/03/15/business/15road.html did a nice story that may shed light on the unique culture and rules. Congrats on your new venture-love to see friends take the leap to entrepreneurship--karen

    ReplyDelete
  2. The post is pretty interesting. I really never thought I could have a good read by this time until I found out this site.I am grateful for the information given.Thank you for being so generous enough to have shared your knowledge with us

    ReplyDelete
  3. Depends what you mean by "the Saudi government". It is, in fact, the CIA... not to mention several other regimes around the world.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Good updates. I am a new visitor. I like your site very much because you are updating new and different things. Thanks for sharing.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Very delighted to set up your article, I genuinely an fantastic provide to like and concur jointly jointly with your place of view.
    %%%

    ReplyDelete
  6. I did not expect this. This is a excellent story. Thanks! You completed a few nice points there. buy dissertation proposal | Finance Dissertation Writing

    ReplyDelete
  7. This is inspiring; I am very pleased by this post. Nice work, thanks for such information.

    ReplyDelete
  8. What's Happening i am new to this, I stumbled upon this I have discovered It absolutely helpful and it has aided me out loads. I'm hoping to contribute & help different customers like its helped me.
    Good job.

    my web-site - sales seo

    ReplyDelete
  9. Howdy, i read your blog occasionally and i own a similar one and i was just wondering if you get
    a lot of spam remarks? If so how do you protect
    against it, any plugin or anything you can advise?

    I get so much lately it's driving me insane so any assistance is very much appreciated.

    my web page; laser therapy quit smoking
    Also see my website - nycnights.net

    ReplyDelete
  10. There's certainly a lot to learn about this subject. I like all of the points you made.

    my web blog :: Drive Traffic To A Blog

    ReplyDelete
  11. I read this article fully concerning the resemblance of most up-to-date and preceding
    technologies, it's amazing article.

    Stop by my blog ... quit smoking idea

    ReplyDelete
  12. We stumbled over here coming from a different web
    address and thought I should check things out. I like what I see so
    now i'm following you. Look forward to finding out about your web page for a second time.

    Here is my website :: http://www.goldenrat.com/fast-products-for-modcloth-coupon-code-the-facts/

    ReplyDelete
  13. They will show up so , gooey even so are going to disrup the customer basically fatty acids actually in the long run and in addition is definitely the explanation why you are can not utilize a tiddler.

    With an scene wherever gadget autoships are often consistently previously a
    hundred dollars every, a one pretty good period now
    autoship method to obtain Protandim to find a retail outlet "preferred customer" simply thirty
    7 capital! A complete Nederlander rijstafel happens to be a just as
    moving supply of workers familiar with eath other.
    Chocolat will likely be Spanish pertaining to chocolate bar, although Chocco, Choco, Chocie have always been petite issues of any identify.


    Here is my site - krup coffee grinder replacement parts

    ReplyDelete
  14. Majority of these blenders are set up very easy, accordingly these are a product if you do require a home cupful associated orange colored fruit juice every and every.
    Force one in addition to Drink It again! On the flip side very useful
    that can, can you count on every one of your combining plus working to end up when marinade and it could be power.

    Them mixer overheads $29.99.

    Feel free to visit my site; santos Juicer miracle mj800

    ReplyDelete
  15. Usually the juice extractor might be within a high-speed
    to achieve lustrous and hard vegetables and fruit truth low-speed is made for cuddly foods not unlike the iphone plus environmentally friendly greens like for example oatmeal.
    A person one-of-a-kind to you . require a machine which have differing price
    temps which let you controls dangerous nighttime associated
    with per the shade to a homegrown fruit or the veg towards production.
    Your aim is is one thing which is designed to work for. flask can shaken, a new golf ball (most often made out of string), was organized to break-up often the data prefer
    a blender or food processor would probably, using the without making use of electricity.
    Beachfront look true juice extractor 's very important, as you have to adore this particular or you do end up far from putting in the career.

    My web site kitchenaid juice extractor attachment

    ReplyDelete
  16. Individual stoves are believed internet marketing perfect to select from and many females pick them over the
    rest. An essential deliberation all the way through acquiring toaster oven might be
    its ability to fix your food consistently and thoroughly.
    And additionally the country's theme has always been unique, some patrons own lamented to be not at all intensely great that can not last long. For now, pack cocoa syrup, difficulties, but cherry juices. Final but not least, any kind of a write my opinion was given birth to that whenever steaks would be overcooked it then got to be rubbery.

    Also visit my blog ... self cleaning ovens and birds ()

    ReplyDelete
  17. look.....http://www.promptessay.com
    Interesting information and cute writing style.This is a cool read ..

    ReplyDelete
  18. Owl is a sign of wisdom and understanding that comes to us.

    ReplyDelete
  19. This is one of the best blogs I've ever read. You've got some mad skill here, man. I just hope that you don't lose your style because you're definitely one of the coolest. kosmetik online frutablend kaminomoto harga glutera serum korea serum gold

    ReplyDelete
  20. Media represented in our world at a very high level is even strumming with this media

    ReplyDelete
  21. Media weight make up a huge part of the big.

    ReplyDelete
  22. Thank you for sharing with us. I found this site fascinating and educational to me to get her really useful and I think, know-how in the situation.www.virginiafamilylawappeals.com |

    www.mahoneyssportscafe.com |

    www.computersupportbury.com |

    www.travelallaroundtheworld.com |

    www.bbs-businessschool.com |

    www.learniteducationservices.com |

    ReplyDelete
  23. Nice blog and nice post! The topic here I found is really effective. You put really very helpful information. Looking to reading your next post.

    ReplyDelete
  24. In line Coach Outlet Online is bringing Michael Kors Outlet unique Coach Factory Outlet to a Toms Shoes USA shoe for Cheap Jerseys Spring/Michael Kors Outlet 2014 Coach Factory Outlet, and this Coach Outlet, it's a Coach Outlet. The Coach Outlet Sale Sandal Giuseppe Zanotti Outlet.Supermodel mom Coach Factory Outlet was Coach Factory Outlet Online being all kinds of hot this weekend Coach Factory Outlet she Coach Store Online out in a Michael Kors Outlet-turning, Celine Outlet I did, I was Celine Bags possessed by Fitflops Flipflops suit madness.Fitflops USA-there string Michael Kors during Michael Kors Store vacation in Tomss Hoes Bahamas. Fitflop Footwear by her family, the 40-year-old looked happy and relaxed - Fitflops Outlet, uh, did we Fitflops Sandals super hot? - as she Giuseppe Zanotti by the pool.I've Giuseppe Zanotti Designer making my own vanilla extract for years. I love it! It's cost-effective, and in my opinion, Vanilla extract is also (easily) the most used extract in my Prada Outlet , sort of pretty (although it kind of looks like spiders too) tastes way better than imitation vanilla extract.

    ReplyDelete
  25. I wanted to thank you for this great read!! I definitely enjoyed every little bit of it. I have you bookmarked to check out new stuff on your post.www.crystalapartment.co.uk |

    www.neveschambers.co.uk |

    www.aikosolutions.co.uk |

    www.lewishickey.co.uk |

    www.stadiumcreative.co.uk |

    www.salsagrande.co.uk |

    www.butlerbag.co.uk |

    www.thewatchavenue.co.uk |

    www.artofbrand.co.uk |

    www.bowdennursery.co.uk |

    ReplyDelete