Was the series “Rashash” shown on the Saudi Shahid platform, owned by the “MBC” group, offended the women of Yemen? Did the platform delete a clip from the series? Was Al-Otaibi’s machine gun a “criminal” or a “hero”? Many questions sparked controversy about the Saudi series, and its echoes reverberated on social media platforms.
“Rashash” is the name of a series on the “Shahid” platform owned by MBC Saudi Arabia.
It is also the name of a Saudi “outlaw.” His full name is “Rasheed Al-Shaibani Al-Otaibi”, known to the Saudis as the leader of a gang accused of theft, looting and robbery at the end of the eighties of the last century.
The story of the real machine gun ended with his execution and crucifixion in October 1988.
As for the series, it has shown six episodes so far, which sparked controversy in Saudi Arabia and Yemen.
The biggest controversy surrounding the series was caused by a circulating clip of the phrase “said in the twelfth minute of the fifth episode of the series”.
In the circulating clip, the gang members seem to disagree over the fate of the money they collected, and one of them suggests that they enjoy it “with women and drugs” “when They pray in Yemen.
There are those who say that the clip was fabricated and that Yemen was not mentioned in this context.
The episode now on the Shahid platform, available to subscribers only, does not have this clip in its version published on social media.
The Shahid platform may have deleted the clip “to avoid further controversy”, “in response to demands” or “under pressure”, as the expectations of the followers of the controversy indicate.
But in any case, no official comment has yet been issued from the platform or from the MBC group, nor from the Saudi authorities about the controversy.
From the Yemeni side, there is a lot of anger and condemnation of the series, even on the official level.
The Undersecretary of the Ministry of Information, Muhammad Qayzan, published a tweet saying, “The abuse of Yemen, the Yemeni people, and its free women represents a moral and professional fall that cannot be accepted or tolerated. What the actor Yaqoub Al-Farhan said is rejected.
Yemenis had denounced what they considered “an insult to Yemeni women.”
using the #Series_Rashesh_Bases_Women_Yemen Some demanded that the controversial clip be removed .
Some added to this request to stop the series.
While others said that deleting and stopping the series was not enough, and demanded an official apology from those in charge of the series, from the main actor to the producing company. and “hold them accountable”.
Some also demanded an official Saudi apology.
Some Saudis reacted to this controversy and expressed their rejection of any abuse of Yemen and its women.
Yemenis are not the only ones angry about the series, and talking about Yemen is not the only controversy in it.
Many Saudis themselves refuse to show the series.
The main reason for the rejection of many is the image conveyed by the series about the machine gun Al-Otaibi, as he appeared to be a “hero” in the eyes of many, especially among young people, some of whom began to imitate him.
Since the series was announced months ago, a conversation took place on Twitter, attributed to the mother of Rashash Al-Otaibi, in which she rejects the series “because of its negative impact on her and her family” and “for fear that the family members will be subjected to bullying and harassment.”
Saudis interacting with the series now say that it offends the entire Otaiba tribe.
While others refuse to show the series and talk about a person “who is now in the hands of God” as a criminal and a bandit.
As for the series’ defenders, they demand that critics not take it out of its dramatic and historical context.
Some of them say that presenting a “criminal” character from a particular family or tribe does not offend the tribe.
The controversy over the series also revealed that there is a difference in the stories about the real Al-Otaibi machine gun.
While it was rumored by many that Al-Otaibi was an outlaw, in the imagination and memory of some, he was a “revolutionary against the Saudi regime.”