Saudis Show “Love” Using Car Art Bumper Stickers, With a Twist

Saudi Car Art 2Hand-holding, smooches and inter-gender chitchat between strangers are prohibited in Saudi Arabia, as are all public demonstrations of amor.  So passionate Saudis stymied by morality laws are turning to their cars to show some love.

Saudi car artThe lowly bumper sticker is emerging as an improbable social network, silent labels slapped on cars give steadfast voice to love and emotional frustrations. Some guys cut to the chase by simply pasting up their phone numbers. All the Saudi ladies, put your hands up – does this stuff really work?

Saudi car artGreen Prophet was tipped off to the trend by Dr. Abdulrahman Al Lily, the blogger behind the provocatively titled website Sex and Beyond: Saudi Arabia.  He collected snapshots of stickers (images above and below) which he translates as,

“All what I wish for is to become as we were when we first met,” and  “May God bless her and protect her from herself.”

saudi car artSome stickers express a sense of nationalism and belonging to the kingdom and its culture. Others show fidelity towards religion, declaring, “I believe that there is no God except Allah and Mohammed is his prophet”, and, “May Allah protect the car from the evil eye.”

Saudi car artBumper stickers are ubiquitous in America.  On my last trip home I spotted “Korea’s Got Seoul” and “Smoking Cures Ham”. There, stickers are largely divided between general comedy and tiresome promotion of drivers’ religious and political beliefs.  Too, too much information!  Who cares if your child is an honor student, you love your rifle or dachshund or would rather be dancing the polka?

Yet in the miles of US highways under my belt, I never saw a poetic expression of marital love, or a blackberry number posted in stealthy hopes that a dream girl would dial it.

After glomming onto western fast-food, and home delivery services for those meals, it looks like the Saudis have imported another low-brow American product, this time adding a unique twist.

Images of Saudi car art from Sex and Beyond: Saudi Arabia

About Laurie Balbo

At university, she was annoyed that her architecture degree was called a Bachelor of Environmental Design. As a working architect, she was annoyed that projects weren’t designed with more environmental consideration. She’s a usually-annoyed architect and sustainability specialist who hopes that venting her frustrations will make a positive environmental difference. Her husband just hopes it makes her less annoyed. Born in the United States, Laurie has managed design and managed construction of ports and airports in New York, Dublin and now Amman. She blogs on knitting and other arcane topics at Laurie can be reached at [email protected]

3 thoughts on “Saudis Show “Love” Using Car Art Bumper Stickers, With a Twist

  1. K

    I don’t see how this news has anything to do with sustainability. I also don’t like the way this blog approaches Saudi Arabian society in a very critical manner. It is obvious none of the blog writers are living in Saudi Arabia because then they would have a completely different take on the subject. If I wanted news about sex in Saudi then I would go to the website you mentioned above, but this is a sustainability blog so please be objective in the news you select to post.


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