No more rumors

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Okaz

IN 1989, a Russian priest claimed that he could stop a cargo train using his inner power. The train ran him over and there was nothing left of him. Unfortunately that is what is happening now in Jeddah, starting with the sea of pictures and videos of closed shops in Al-Balad area.

This is part of a rebellion and unorganized campaign by those who engage in business cover-up. They share fake news through social media. These forgers made photos appear as if they were real and they also disfigured the truth by saying what is happening is a financial and economic disaster. But the truth is that what is happening is an effort to correct the market.

A video was shot at the Bab Sharief market in Downtown Jeddah at midnight after the shops were closed and when the market was quiet. The video was circulated through social media, claiming the dark streets dominating the market were shot during peak business hours. The video sent a feeling of gloom and concern over what appeared to be an upcoming disaster. All that was missing was the sad music.

The video is made by an expatriate trying so hard to sound like a Saudi, but his accent betrayed him when he said, “They want a city without people”. There was anger and frustration in his voice.

People like him who use Saudis to protect their interests through cover-up are in the business of selling fake and counterfeit products, which is a burden on our economy. They do not add any real value to our economy, not to mention the money, which is generated from it, is always transferred abroad.

One day I went with my good friend Ali Yehya Mahrooq to the same place in Downtown Jeddah on an afternoon to see for myself. I found the place full of life filled with active people. There were a couple of shops that remained closed by the order of the Ministry of Commerce and Investment. These shops had signs that explained the violations they had committed and the reasons why they were closed.

There is no need to explain this kind of behavior; we all know who the promoters of those rumors are, and what is the history of those shops. We also know how these expat businessmen divided their income between them and the Saudi partner in the business of cover-up. The blame falls on the corrupt employee who has given that group the place and the freedom to dominate the market and who has protected them until they took everything from this country and left the Saudi citizen lost in a jungle of nationalities.

This group has been committing many foolish mistakes and the last one was the video shared on social media. But the blame for this fault doesn’t fall on them alone. It also falls on the people who helped spread the rumors. Will there be a day where fake news is history? Will there be a day when all these lies stop and this sickness gets over? These questions are on everyone’s mind and the answer is easy: “No more rumors.”

We need to stop the rumor mongers and find the reasons behind this phenomenon while trying to solve it.


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