Civil Liberties

Saudi 'Handsome Deportee' Story Turns Out To Be Bogus

A perfectly good story ruined by facts


You have most probably heard by now that three Emirati men were allegedly thrown out of a cultural Janadriyah Festival by the Saudi religious police (pl. mutawaeen) for "being too handsome." Most reports, however, have claimed the three men were actually deported from the Kingdom, itself, for their 'seductive' lure that was apparently going to send the attending women into an incontrollable hormonal flux. Fementertainment blog, Jezebel, was amongst the first to reveal the identity of one of the alleged Emirati men, Omar Borkan Al Gala – a photographer, model, actor and poet. The internet went into self-fanning mode as several images of the young man went viral and thousands clamored to follow him on social media websites.

Unfortunately, no one in the English press bothered to actually fact check the story.

As it turns out, three men were not, in fact, deported from Saudi Arabia. Actually, no one was deported from Saudi Arabia and certainly not for being too handsome. And, actually, no one was even kicked out of the heritage and cultural festival except for a member of the religious police for protesting against the presence of a Gulf female singer.