Following are excerpts from an LBC TV program on Saudi methods for picking up girls, which aired on August 27, 2008:
Young Saudi reporter: We are now in the Al-Tahliya area. Bikers. What we are seeing is an exchange of phone numbers. I think that there are girls in the limousine, or something. Wow, he is persistent. The girls have absolutely no interest in him.
Look, those girls are talking to the biker. It looks as if they like him. The biker guy has done it. That's it. He wants to get to know the girls. That's why he is riding behind them. The girl is holding her cell phone. She's taking down his number. She is signaling me with her cell that she's taken his number, and that I should stop staring at her. I expect that because of all the motorbike action, many guys will swarm in around these girls.
Look at that. The guys are swarming in.
Now we are getting into the "convoy" stage. Soon we will see many cars around this taxi. I think there are girls in that taxi too.
That's it – he's made up his mind. He wants to get to know them, no matter how. The biker says to the others: "These girls are with me." These girls are fair game on Al-Tahliya Street.
We are at a café on Al-Tahliya Street – you know this street... We have a "family section" here. Let me show you how we connect vie Bluetooth. We write a note and send it via Bluetooth. Let's try our luck and see how many Bluetooths show up. Queen of Hala... Okay, that must be a girl. Let's give it a shot. "Sending failed." We started with a rejection. I'm determined to exchange numbers with Queen of Hala.
Yes! Queen of Hala, who rejected us at first, sent us a Bluetooth message. Let's see. "OK shame on you. Don't send me again." Okay, it's 1 A.M. Good night.
This place is called the promenade. If you want to meet girls on the promenade... Usually, girls will be walking down the promenade, a car will appear from over here, and they will hit on the girls, trying their luck with them. They will try to give the girls their number. They might hold up a sign with their number. The sign is usually a piece of paper, on which the guys put their number – either by computer or by hand. They hold it up to the car window. For example, if the girls are on this side, you would place the sign like this.
The guys either try to send Bluetooth messages, or they may be already walking down the promenade, and they try to talk to girls and hit on them. Perhaps a few girls will respond to these guys, because c'mon, people come here to go for a walk, but also to meet people.
Our country is conservative. It's not an open society, but we have everything.
We are going to sit down with some boys and girls, and talk about the issue of meeting [the opposite sex].
Talking to a group of youngsters: Yesterday, I saw something strange on the street. I saw some girls leaving here and walking down the street. A bunch of guys pounced on them, and it looked like they were about to abduct the girls.
Young man: Some guys are like that, and others aren't. Some of us are still so backward...
Young woman: Not all guys are alike. We have begun to open up a little to this.
Second young woman: But until when will we be unable to do what we want? For example, how did I meet Bandar? On Facebook. I saw him there, we met, we talked, and so on. That's normal.
Young man: You represent Saudi girls here, and I represent Saudi guys. Not all relationships are like you describe.
Second young woman: How come I can't take two steps outside, it causes a big problem, as if I did something wrong?
First young woman: We can't go out at all. Elsewhere, it's normal for [a girl] to walk down the street alone. Here, if a girl goes out, it's like, oh my God, there's a girl walking down the street.
Second young man: There's internet, Messenger, Facebook, and Bluetooth on cell phones. Today, there are lots of ways to meet people. The way to marriage is through getting acquainted. Gone are the days of tradition, when the parents would marry off their children. Today, before I get engaged and marry someone, I need to know her mentality.
First young woman: But some people say: "Me, marry a girl I knew beforehand? No way!"
Reporter: Would you marry a girl with whom you had an acquaintance?
Second young man: It's possible. Nowadays, many people get married after getting to know each other. It may develop into just a friendship. That's what is most common today.
Second young woman: We sit here together – friends, cousins – in full view of the world.
Second young man: We are defying tradition in order to meet and talk.