The Saudi infant who was locked up in parents’ car

The Saudi infant who was locked up in parents’ car

Lamia Baeshen

By Lamia Baeshen

A BIZARRE incident that took place in Corpus Christi, Texas, recently resulted in a smear campaign against Saudi Arabia, which is normal in the Western media. On Feb. 11, some passersby saw an infant sleeping in a car next to a cinema.

Such a scene is shocking to the Americans. For them, this is a serious violation of the child’s rights, which requires the perpetrator to face extreme consequences. Obviously, the Americans decided to call the police. The cops arrived instantly, inspected the car and checked on the infant’s health. They found the infant sleeping soundly in the car, strapped to her seatbelt.

The cops called the ambulance service to ensure the infant is in good health. The infant was fine. So the cops looked for her parents and found them inside the cinema along with her four-year-old sibling, watching a movie while their infant slept alone in the car. Anguished as we were about the irresponsible behavior of those Saudi parents, the ignorant excuse they gave to the cops would shock us further. They gave a shameless excuse: “We are not aware of the American law that prevents parents from doing such things. We come from a different culture and in Saudi Arabia, we are allowed to leave our babies in closed cars”.

Did their ignorance really reach this level? How dare they justify their stupidity by blaming the entire Saudi nation? It was as if they were saying Saudis do not bother or care about the safety of their children.

How many offenses have they committed in a short period of time: carelessness, cruelty, irresponsibility, selfishness, lying and distortion of their country’s reputation?

The reckless and ignorant action by this 29-year-old man and his wife was a hot topic for the American media to be used against us as a nation and to trash the Kingdom’s reputation.

It is enough for the media to just mention the name Saudi Arabia and the readers will share the negative report on all media platforms.

In this particular incident, when the cops inspected the car, some people who were around filmed them and posted the clips on social media, mysteriously adding the title “Saudi Arabia”. Surely the clips went viral all over the Internet.

For their part, the cops took what the careless couple said at face value and released them with their two children, obviously because they considered, like many others, Saudis an ignorant people.

However, the leniency of the policemen toward the parents caused confusion among the rest of the people who considered it as an act of a serious violation of the law.

Those innocent children are a blessing and need to be taken care of. Therefore, the authorities should interfere to protect them, they thought.

When the police replayed the surveillance cameras at that location, they realized that the infant was left closed inside the car alone for 46 minutes on that night. This might have choked her to death but for the timely interference of the passersby. Subsequently, investigations started with the officers treating the incident as an act of criminal negligence. The organization responsible for child protection immediately summonsed the parents for questioning. If the parents are found guilty, they will face two years in prison and a fine of $10,000.

But who will punish those careless parents for a lie that resulted in the misrepresentation of an entire nation? Their action corroborated the negative image of the Islamic Kingdom portrayed in the Western media.

Do we realize that when we travel abroad we represent our country? Do we realize our individual behaviors reflect on the whole nation? Do we really take into consideration all these factors when we set foot in a foreign land? Or do we just enjoy our lives in Western countries we visit without bothering to take the responsibility of representing our country?

Let us say that those parents were sent for the sake of education and they were really not aware of the American law. Then where are the specialized authorities to educate and enlighten the students of the laws of the country they are heading to before their departure? Aren’t they supposed to teach them before they get trapped in serious offenses that would result in severe punishments and land them in jail?


  1. The saudi national has to also understand that out in the world saudi arabia represents islam and the true muslim..and if such petty excuses are made then it is a reflection on muslims and islam.

  2. It is not about violating an American Law. It is about how much this couple cared for their infant.
    Shocking conduct and their response to the questioning by Police. As its rightly pointed out by the news reporter, these are the people to give a negative image of both Arabs and Muslims !!!

  3. In the USA we think high of Saudi citizens, especially for students. They are well behaved and responsible, and they are seldom involved in serious cases of law violation. This case is about reckless parenting and has nothing to do with religion and does not affect Islam, Muslims or Saudi citizens at all. We should focus on the good news about the baby being alive. The rest can be fixed and I am sure the parents will remember this close call for the rest of their lives. We don’t mix religion and business like you do, but like you and your religion, we forgive and hope the offender has a new opportunity with themselves and others. Please do not finger point them or bash them publicly. They already bear with the shame and pain. Perhaps they needed this advice from god. It is all good. Thank you.

  4. Sad to read this news someone left their infant in closed car. it is really horrible and those who involved should be punished and those who lives outside Saudi Arabia, they are ambassador of their country.
    Please try always to be proud of your country.

  5. I am a native to that area and have lived in Saudi Arabia for years. I find actions of both the couple and the police appalling. The couple has made all Saudi people look bad and foolish in the American public’s eyes. By the same token, the police should never have accepted such a silly excuse for leaving a baby in a car. Regardless of what could happen in another country, Texas has its own rules and must expect everyone to abide by those rules, regardless of where they come from. Prosecuting the couple as required by law would restore the rights of the baby and give the couple a reason to think about their past and future actions. If they are not taught how to properly care for a child, they will never learn. How many times has this baby, or their other child, been left unsupervised, whether in a car or anywhere else? We will never know. But it must stop here.

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