His wife of nearly a decade and mother of his two young daughters eventually asked for a divorce over the incident, said Turki, who spoke on the condition that his last name not be used.[How Saudi Arabia’s 79-year-old King Salman is shaking up the Middle East] Saudis largely avoid Tinder and other formal dating apps popular in the West, preferring less conspicuous wooing techniques. That’s when a Saudi might try to grab that person’s attention by liking photographs and then sparking a private conversation in Whats App, an online-texting app. That’s when Saudis might start exchanging pictures on Snapchat.Dima has taken particular interest in one of them, who has invited her for a ride in his vehicle.But she expressed anxiety over what could happen if she did.Ahmad al-Ghamdi, a former chief of the religious police in the city of Mecca, said the force feels threatened by social media because “it makes it harder to supervise people.” He said he resigned from his position in protest of abuses committed by members of the religious police, which is tasked with enforcing Islamic law.Many Saudis say the religious police have increasingly resorted to sting operations, blackmail and beatings in public.Her friend Sarah, an 18-year-old university classmate, encouraged her to consider it.
They must also contend with religious police, who monitor not only malls and coffeehouses but also online forums.And it could get much worse.] Constrained by the state’s adherence to a particularly austere form of Sunni Islam, Saudis have long used stealthy tactics in pursuit of love and lust.Before the Internet era, men would hang for-sale signs displaying their telephone numbers on their vehicles with the actual intention of propositioning female callers.“You know you’re getting serious if you’re on Snapchat,” said Dima, 19, a university student in Riyadh, the capital.At the food court of a popular mall in the capital, she donned the hair-concealing garment required of women here as she described juggling three men whom she met recently on Twitter and Instagram.