By Ken Hegan for MSN
Wow, you sure are attractive. I can tell that from here.
But are you so devastatingly good looking that you’ve been tossed out of a country?
That happened to three men from the United Arab Emirates (UAE). The men had travelled to the Saudi Arabian capital of Riyadh to attend the 28th annual Jenadrivah Heritage & Culture Festival. Its a 2-week celebration of traditional Saudi Arabian culture that’s run by the National Guard.
The festival opened with a camel race on April 4th, and features traditional Saudi Arabian arts, crafts, poetry competitions, dancing, singing, and blacksmithing.
Now, you should know that the three handsome men weren’t random faces in the crowd of 300,000. They were delegates from the UAE, which makes the next part of the story so strange.
According to an Arabic language paper, Elaph, the three men were minding their own attractive business in the UAE pavilion, when “religious police officers [the Mutawa] stormed their stand and evicted the men because “they are too handsome”.
“A festival official said the three Emiratis were taken out on the grounds they are too handsome and that the Commission [for the Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vices] members feared female visitors could fall for them,” Elaph reported. Unfortunately, they didn’t publish photos of the men, presumably because their handsomeness would have shattered the camera lens.
Now, the men weren’t just forcibly removed from the festival. Saudi officials were so threatened by the men’s beauty, THEY KICKED THE MEN OUT OF THE COUNTRY. Apparently the incident happened after an unnamed female singer visited the men at their UAE stand. So Elaph said “festival’s management took swift action to deport the trio back to Abu Dhabi, capital of the Emirates.”
Harsh, huh? It’s like that Grecian hair dye commercial from the ’80s in which Rocket Richard was penalized two minutes for looking so good.
Saudi Arabia, of course, is a deeply religious and ultraconservative theocratic monarchy that forbids women from fraternizing with unrelated males, e.g. the country’s refusal to let female athletes compete in the Olympics. So by kicking out the handsome fellas, I guess they’re saying “We’ll stick with the schlubby guys we already have.”
Let this be a warning, then: if you’re planning a trip to Riyadh and you’re handsome enough to be in The Handsome Men’s Club, disguise your features with a mirror, beat yourself with an ugly stick, or simply head to the Emirates instead.
What do you think…should your country have the right to deport handsome foreigners?
— Ken Hegan
Sources: Telegraph, Arabian Business, TIME
Read more of Ken’s travel stories here
Photo of handsome man: CP Images