The Black Hand

27 08 2008

Many people wonder about the mysterious way shocking body-parts like arms get to be blocked out in black especially in Saudi Arabia. I will now share a well-kept secret with you:
The secret society responsible for this is the covert ”Black Hand”.

SHORT INTRODUCTION:
Not so many years ago, there was a desert country with lots of sand, and lots of oil underneath that sand. As the oil could be sold for a lot of money this isolated country suddenly got a big influx of people from other countries, with other customs and books, with new stories, and many other things and ideas.

Many people enjoyed this very much, but others got frightened by it. They read their own books, and tried to be as perfect as possible. They thought to be perfect they must follow every letter of their own books, and, just to be sure, they enhanced anything that could make life more difficult, and more uncomfortable. If they could be sure they were not enjoying themselves they múst be doing it right.

But they were unhappy, and didn’t dare to make themselves happy again in fear of doing it wrong. So they looked at other people who were happy, and decided they must make them unhappy too. So they went about and admonished everybody who seemed to think differently as they themselves. Because they were not happy anymore they forgot to do this is a friendly and loving way so nobody listened, but everybody was made unhappy now because all things fun got to be forbidden. Even friendship, and love, and especially freedom. This made the scared people feel a lot better, but they didn’t notice this because they now were very busy looking up anything that might be fun and forbidding it. One thing they wanted to forbid very much was images that were pleasing to look at, or that might show something forbidden. For example women, or pigs. Women are always haraam in any sense, both looking at, and actually existing, and pigs were forbidden to eat. So they thought it would be a good idea if they could pretend pigs didn’t exist. You can’t pretend women don’t exist, but you can lock them up.

Picture by Theodore’s world

But they were frustrated by the many books, magazines, and packaging entering the country, showing lots of pictures of forbidden things. So a secret society was formed: The Black Hand.
All these new imports contained one simple blessing: The Black Marker.


The Black Hand embraced the Black Marker, and vowed to erase all haraam pictures from the land. They formed special squads which would roam the streets at night, entering shops, warehouses, post-offices, and malls. The Black Hand has duplicate keys to any building they need to enter. These keys are obtained by force, blackmail, or provided by one of their secret members. They have small rucksacks, containing extra markers, and set to work: all items carrying a photo of anything that can be construed as haraam, is blackened out! Some secret members speak english, and can even black out words, like ”Pork”.

The members work very hard, but sometimes, (and more and more often) They miss out on an arm or a leg.

Punishments for these remissions used to be severe in the olden days: one digit used to be chopped off for any serious bit of skin missed. Missing a whole woman or even a pig, would end in a whole finger being chopped off. Miss a woman in lingerie and you would miss your hand.
And..
miss a naked woman….
Chop! went that part of the male anatomy that does most of their thinking!!!
This caused great problems in the secret society, after many years nobody could hold a marker anymore. there was also the fear of extinction…
When the young boys took up the duties of their fathers, the tradition of chopping off body-parts was discontinued.
With the advance of modern technologies, the members of The Black Hand have had to modernise. They are thoroughly against computers and the internet, but not to use these satanic contraptions themselves would end up in a lot of haraam pictures entering the country.
As you need some intelligence and education to be able to work with computers, this sub-squad is not very large, and they are even more overworked as the normal Marker Members. To compensate they close off anything that may possibly lead to anything haraam, or anything that contains words for female parts of the anatomy. If that happens to be important medical information, well, that’s just too bad. Women should’nt go to doctors anyway, that would take them out of the house.

WOMAN MEMBERS OF THE BLACK HAND

Although women are haraam in themselves, and the only solution to the existence of women is to lock them up and never let them out, the Society of The Black Hand has recognised the importance of a woman’s squad. because there some places where ”no man have gone before” nor will ever be able to go éver.

So in 1952 the first, even more secret woman’s squad of the secret Black Hand was formed. To celebrate this event, a secret photo was made, but as it has always been kept secret, this is the first time it is published. This may also be due to the horrendous mistake in that a few secret toes of a girl are showing.
They can of course be blackened out…
Their names have been kept secret. But the woman sitting holding the loaves of bread was the mother, and the other two were her daughters.

Typically the secret women’s squad are chosen from the same, closely related family. So they only need to have two mahram’s accompanying them. One to drive the car (in Riyadh a black hummer provided by the Commission for the Prevention of Virtue and the Propagation of Vice) and one to keep an eye on the women. Because you have to keep an eye on women. Because you can’t trust them: they can develop independent thought!

Because… one time… in 1979… a young girl actually tried to run away! Imagine that! Her family were deeply dishonoured, and they still haven’t recovered from the social shame. The girl in question was quickly married off to become the fourth wife of a great-uncle, his first wife (three years younger than himself) had just died at the ripe old age of 76. He was a responsible man who knew his responsibilities and kept her locked up in a room without windows. Nothing more has been heard of her. As it should be. She has produced a few children but they were only girls, so even in that department she was a disappointment.

FINANCES AND SUPPLIES

The Black Hand has many supporters, who gladly supply them with food, and markers. The religious police provides them wih a few battered cars, and the black hummer to move the secret woman’s squad to their secret destinations.

They also get bribe money from saudi businesses, such as Avent, and Sayidaty magazine not to blacken their products.

However… sometimes real disaster looms: it has happened that the supply of Black Markers had run out!
If that happens there is only one solution: a special task force of the secret women’s squad is send out to raid stores and offices!

The descriptions are always the same: A group of women, wearing black over-the-head abayas, and black niqabs, (tripple veiled ones), and black gloves, stockings and shoes.
Although there have been ghost pictures made, and the discriptions have been widely distributed, and there even exists a photo, no arrests have yet been made. Probably a result of corruption.

This rare photo shows a secret task-force flocking towards a car after a successful marker-raid in the province

THE FUTURE

It is feared that the future looks grim for the Black Hand; they are fighting a losing battle. What is the use of blackening a piglet or a woman’s arm if you can get any amount of porn-channels on saudi satellite television? As the Black Hand refuses to watch television they may not even be aware of it. Neither do they have any real geeks in their ranks so they are not aware that policing the internet is a lost cause from the start. Not to mention that any bans can be circumvented by simply using a proxy-server. As the twenty-first century progresses, the Black Hand will become more and more of an anachronism, a useless, lonely, dwindling secret, só secret that nobody will miss it once it’s gone.

If Tash-ma-Tash decides to start up again, they are welcome to use this article for a screen-play.
After a substantial payment.

Update:

I have been informed that subversive anarchistic elements counteract the pious efforts of the Black Hand by spraying a bit of deodorant on the page, quickly wipe it of with a tissue, and all offending images are in full view again!!!

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62 responses

27 08 2008
Specs

ROFLMAO!!!

“f they could be sure they were not enjoying themselves they must be doing it right.” till
“And the descriptions have been widely distributed, and there even exists a photo, no arrests have yet been made. Probably a result of corruption.”

OMG OMG OMG, i went crazy laughing at this. You are EVIL. 😀 😀 😀 😀

Oh but…wait…you’re not gonna black that out, right? B/c, I’m like *looks left and right* I’m a *whisper* woman.. so maybe i shouldn’t be commenting here, yeah?

and then there’s also the fact that *blackblackblackblackblackblackblackblackblack*

Post Script from the “Commission for the Prevention of Virtue and the Propagation of Vice”: The woman has been apprehended and her comments blacked out. Please don’t try this at home. In case of some other woman spouting off whatever comes to their mind (WHO would’ve thought of a woman so outta control!), please contact us at our hotline 0800-backinstoneage, or e-mail us at 1700AD@backinstoneage.com

27 08 2008
Colloquielle

Specs’ comment made me choke on my fruit tea 😀

27 08 2008
American Bedu

You have outdone yourself my dear! This post gets the GOLD MEDAL!

27 08 2008
Aafke

Specs: Snort!!!!!
All IP adresses will be treated with the greatest confidentiality! 🙂

Colloquille: Never eat or drink while reading this blog!

BEDU: Thank you! :mrgreen:

27 08 2008
Shahrzad

At first days of revolutions, there were kind of black hands who used to make those naked part of fashion magazines blackish by black markers!

Then later, censorship got more advanced and they completely cut the whole page off.

After that, they got much more advanced and they banned all western fashion magazines! 😀

Nowadays you can get all of them in Islamic Republic of Iran; Including dear Holywood movies (without censor), all different kind of alcohol drinks, etc and of course wonderful fashion magazines, all of them *EASILY* in illegal way.

Our Mutawa (religious police) is more advanced than Saudis then! 🙂

27 08 2008
Deep Undercover

I’ve been followed by a black hummer for 3 weeks now. If anyone gets my message, please forward to the High Priestess of the Secret Nerd Society. THE BLACK HAND DISCOVERED MY MISSION, I AM BEING ASSIMILATED, HELP!!!

28 08 2008
american2saudi

Ha Ha,

Love these comments. Lately, I’ve seen pages covered up by large white stickers….so maybe there were too many complaints about the ugly black marks they were making. Securty agents also used to go through the pages of magazines one at a time when you arrived here in KSA. And, they used to watch your videos (fast forward) to make sure that you didn’t have any blue movies that they were missing. lol lol

Poor guys, they do try so hard to make people behave. And they drive hummers in Riyadh? Really? That’s incredible! I think they drive GMC’s here that are all blacked out….or are those the princesses driving in the dark? shhh

28 08 2008
Aafke

Deep Undercover, Resistance is futile, we have your IP, we know your future travelplans; you will be assimilated!

Shahrzad, please do not use this blog to give good Iranian advice to the Saudi religious police!!! 😉

American2Saudi: They had to swich to white stickers because there was another Black Marker shortage!
Only the secret women’s squad is driven around in a black hummer in the dead of night. 😀

28 08 2008
Shahrzad

LOL, you know, when i think now, i get the idea that how much these mutawas feel insecure inside themselves. Dont they? hmmm 😉

I see the day that Saudi will be *illegaly* as free as Iran, insha’allah. 😀

28 08 2008
Amina Ae Sook

Guess whos back. I Agree with American Bedu, you certainly deserve a gold medal for this but wait aren’t gold medals haraam? lol

28 08 2008
Aafke

Heeeeeee!!!! Amina! Glad to see you!!!! Blogging again too?
Not to me!!!
Keep them coming!!!!

28 08 2008
Haleem

As the Joker said to the Dark Knight (or, in your case, the Black Hand):

“Why so serious…?”

28 08 2008
teedimensionist

LOL Aafke!
You’re a brilliant story-teller! This was truly engaging! I came by to wish you the best of all birthdays! Just read the post on American Bedu’s blog! I wish you all the best, all the time!

Many happy returns,

Tee : )

28 08 2008
Tee

Oh God! I look like a bacterium!!!

28 08 2008
Tee

Oops, I’m 3 days early! Just read your post on your b-day! But I’ll be back muahaha : )

28 08 2008
misspecs

Okay, just so that you know… erm, i should not be telling you this because it will cast aspersions on my morality, but, spray a little deodorant on the black part, and quickly wipe away with a tissue paper. Ta-da, even the permanent-est black marker erased.

I swear i know this only from the comic books that i bought second hand when i was a kid… i’ve not been looking at any magazines!!

28 08 2008
Aafke

Haleem: because they are scared people!

Tee: welcome to my blog 🙂 Pleas come back in three days! 😀
yes, if you can’t be bothered to get your own avatar, you get your very own bacterium-avatar here! I always theink there is some AI behind the generated avatars, as they are often perfectly suited to the commentator.
Think about that one! :mrgreen:

Specs: Thank you for sharing this subversive knowledge! I’ve made an update in your honor!
Only for the comic books… yeah right!

28 08 2008
Tony

Definitely a conspiracy
Do they black out Ronald McDonald???
I might go down the road with a black marking pen & black out the Golden Arches Sign 🙂

28 08 2008
Aafke

Tony, no, they do not bock out Ronald as far as i know. He is modestly dressed.
Besides, blacking out Ronald would be a good thing! The Black Hand might get real support!!!

28 08 2008
American Bedu

Aafke, You’ll be pleased to know I read this post to my Saudi husband who had to hold his sides from laughing so hard. He agreed – this would have made a priceless Tash ma Tash episode!!

28 08 2008
28 08 2008
Aafke

Bedu: I am always pleased to spread sweetness and light, but now I’m véry pleased!!!!!

28 08 2008
Saudi in US

Aafke,

Here is a good question for you. Pamela Anderson made a movie Superhero. Would we see more of invisible woman when she is in her invisible state?

Oh, and before you jump to conclusions thinking I look at Pam’s movies. Since I received the Black Hand optical implant, all I see is 2 black marks jumping up and down the screen 😦

28 08 2008
Aafke

Saudi in US, I am sure if Pamela Anderson was invisible during the movie it will get past censorship. If not, there are going to be HUGE black blobs in the movie all the time.
*Since I received the Black Hand optical implant, all I see is 2 black marks jumping up and down the screen *
LOL!!!!!!!!!
But we all know the black hand doesn’t do advanced optical implants, because they weren’t around during the time of the compagnions.

Oooohhh, but what if there’s a renegade branche! Completely excommunicated, or apostated, working in total secrecy, experimenting with cybernetic implants, first deviced to block out haraam images, but now evolved into brain-compelling mental devices, which is the reason KSA is not getting anywhere, and which will eventually turn all of humanity into Borg.

What I am really worried about is the link to that website: What kind of sites do you surf to Saudi in US???? I am dying to know what you have on your favorites!
Or scared….

I like Pamela Anderson. I loved Barb-Wire: the deadly barby-doll! 😀

28 08 2008
Saudi in US

Actually, the comic book comment gave me the idea for the invisible woman, when I Googled Invisible Woman that was one first images that showed up. Google is twisted!

You do not have to worry about me, Pam does not fit my taste. I am more of a Jeri Ryan type (of 7 of 9 fame). Being a Borg can have its advantages..

28 08 2008
Aafke

Oh, no! You won’t get out of this one! What an increadible bad defense!!! And I know you like seven of nine àfter she went all domesticated and politically correct, not when she was still fully borg.
And pleeeaase, Seven of Nine is the most popular ”Babe” èver in the Star Trek universe!

No, dude, if you really wanted to rehabillitate yourself you’d have chosen a more intellectually, less juicy babe.

28 08 2008
Saudi in US

Who said i wanted to rehab it’s actually next to impossible to do that. As you know The Black Hand made my rehab into a project for 17 years and they failed.

Pam does not do much for me, because I just appreciate symmetry 🙂

28 08 2008
A Happy Hijabi

Im slightly confused… WHAT?

I only found this because some dude from this blog checked out my blog, i think or something… I’m so confused. Who actually does this?lol

I am oing to have to re read this or something

28 08 2008
Saudi in US

HH,

Check this
emericanbedu post for the genesis of the idea. It may explain 🙂

28 08 2008
Aafke

Saudi in US: That’s why you’re in US :mrgreen:
To outrun The Black Hand

Happy Hijabi: Welcome to my blog! Flitting from one blog to the other is how we get to meet. 🙂 Who does this? That’s what the whole post is trying to explain! You dó need to read this again! 😉

28 08 2008
Aafke

Yes: the awful practice was first exposed on American Bedu’s blog, I was only trying to explain who’s behind it all!

29 08 2008
coolred38

Aafke…maybe you should mention that in order to be a life long member of the Black Hand squad…you must first undergo brain surgery….in which your ability to smile…laugh…or in general feel good…is removed. That way there is never a smidgen of a chance for that “frown to be turned upside down”. ..and one more lost to the “feel good” side.

lol….its too early in the morning to be laughing this hard…Im pretty sure its against the law somewhere.

29 08 2008
Aafke

Coolred, of course it is against the law! Very careless of you to admit doing that on the internet!
The muttawa/gene is hereditary, and springs up in unrelated families from time to time. I´m sorry to say it´s not limited to KSA, IN other countries it manifests itself as, for examle the KKK in America, the Spanish inquisition in the past in Spain, the modern Opus dei, etc. The ´´artikel 31´´ in holland.
Unfortunately KSA seems to encourage this unhealthy mindset, so more people that need be are drawn in, and more people than should be are suppressed by them.

29 08 2008
Saudi in US

Aafke,

Unfortunately the Black Hand has established major chapters in Yemen, Al-Sharegah (UAE Emarit), and Kuwait. They also, have some underground operations in most Arabic countries. The Chapter in Yemen has been doing great work lately and even obtained licenses to operate.

29 08 2008
intlxpatr

Dying laughing, AAfke! That was hysterical. Recently in Kuwait I saw packaged bras, each one with the black marker across the image. Makes you want to weep . . . once proud Kuwait, going down this path. . .

30 08 2008
susieofarabia

Aafke, Aafke, Aafke !!! I suggest you turn this charming little tale into a book and draw your beautiful handmade illustrations for it. It will be a best seller for sure. Uh Oh! But you might then join the ranks of Salman Rushdie and the others who wound up on their “Most Wanted List!” Adam and I were rolling on the floor as we read this post – and the photos were perfect! Fantastic job, my friend!!!

30 08 2008
Abu Sinan

They have the “Red Hand of Ulster” in the north of Ireland, and the “Red Hand Brigades” and the “Red Hand Defenders”.

In this case it could be the “Black Hand of Qassim”. Of course they’d have to use a different flag. I cannot imagine a black hand in the middle of a Cross of Saint George would go over well in Qassim.

30 08 2008
American Bedu

I love it….yes, Aafke, please show us a sketch of the Secret Black Hand’s Society secret flag! I’m sure they have one that they will mount on the Hummer right before making a significant raid!

31 08 2008
Abdul.

lol good article Aafke.

1 09 2008
Tee

Aafke, now I’m late! Oh well, I hope you had a great birthday!
As for the avatar, you’re right, I’ve been feeling just like a microbe in the past few days, so the avatar suits me perfectly!

Keep the stories coming : )

1 09 2008
always in the kitchen

They can’t show their flag,It’s blacked out!

1 09 2008
Aafke

Saudi in US, yes Yemen is their newly annexed victim. The world is going down the drain. As if life in Yemen isn’t difficult enough without the Black Hand.

INtlxptr! NO! Beware! This is only the start!!!

Susie: oh, yes, after a couple of years there will be a book out! The secrets of The Black Hand revealed!!!! I will be needing secret axdresses to stay when the fatwa’s sart pouring in!

Abu and Bedu, the secret flag of the Black Hand is black, wit arabic writing in white (usually it’s brownish because of the dirt) saying: ”enjoy the good and forbid the evil” If somebody would send me the arabic writing for that I’d be delighted to make a danish drawing of it.

Abdul, thank you

Tee, You are not too late! I love a little after enjoyment! I hope you are feeling better now!

Always in the kitchen: LOL!

1 09 2008
wadeeaq

Aafke,

Here is your translation

تمتع بالخير وأمنع الشر

You should consider working an image of blackbeard into the flag. just replace the hat with Ghotra. He looks like the Black Hand founder.

1 09 2008
Aafke

wadeeaq: portraits are haraam! But stand by, there will be something soon!

ROTFL!!!!!! Just had to recover from seeing that portrait!!!!!!!! 😆 😆 😆

1 09 2008
Saudi in US

that was me Aafke, I screwed up the gavatar thing again. I am losing nerd points quickly….

1 09 2008
Saudi in US

Hey Aafke read the article about the religious police requesting access to see porn on crossroads arabia. I have a bad Muttwa joke for you after you read it. That is if you allow that here 🙂

1 09 2008
Aafke

Saudi in US; I knew that was you 🙂 I know nobody else named waadeeaq, and it’s not exactely a common name in Holland!
I’ve read the article, anything good goes here!

1 09 2008
Saudi in US

Aafke,

I am of the supporters of them getting that unlimited access.

Do you think watching enough porn will finally make them realize they have pubes for beards?

5 09 2008
A Subversive Anarchistic Element « The view from behind my specs…

[…] went back to Aafke’s blog and saw this which I had somehow missed the last time. Her post has been updated in my honor dishonor. […]

5 09 2008
Sami

brilliant!!!

5 09 2008
Aafke

Saudi in US: What do you mean? pubes for beards? What are pubes? Yes, I think they should get unlimited acces: Would take the heat off all normal people. It might even be enough to crack their brains completely!

Sami: Glad you enjoyed, and welcome to my blog!

5 09 2008
Saudi in US

Pubes= Pubic hair (TFD dictionary)

You should include that as the lowest point answer to question #8 in your latest quiz!!!

5 09 2008
Aafke

Saudi in US, what a revolting image you have put into my mind!!!
And the totally revolting thing is, Those scraggy beards….
dó look a bit like….

Yuk!!!!!!!

You have a newe avatar! Is that what in ”the Matrix” they called ”residual self image”???
Some handsome young arab hero and his camel???

5 09 2008
Saudi in US

Actually the joke about the beard look is an old one that have been around since I can remember. Just different wording. You will never look at a black hand beard in the same way again….

Yes you’re right about residual/younger image. I can say this much about now: I am still more handsome than the Camel 🙂

5 09 2008
souvenirsandscars

ROFL!!! Brilliant!! I don’t think I stopped laughing throughout the entire thing. A little sad though, as some of it is unfortunately true. But thanks for the laugh!!

Will definitely be checking back for more posts of the like!

6 09 2008
Awais

Lolz. This is hilarious!! Brilliant piece of satire. Loved reading it 🙂

6 09 2008
Shawna

lol. came here thru specs’ link today. 🙂 too funny

6 09 2008
Aafke

Saudi in US: and thank you for putting that image into my mind forever!

Souvenirs and scars: welcome to my blog, and I’m glad you enjoyed 😀

Awais: Welcome, and I’m glad you also enjoyed it! 😀

Shawna: Welcome too! 😀

9 03 2009
My World: Censorship « JEDDAH DAILY PHOTO JOURNAL

[…] this subject matter: A hilarious tongue-in-cheek masterpiece written by my fellow blogging buddy, Aafke of Clouddragon. A provocative look at the censorship issue by another blogger friend of mine, American Bedu. An […]

10 03 2009
Jennifer

I just came here from Jeddah daily and I’m still laughing, I really enjoyed reading that post. I had no idea that censorship has taken such an absurd form, the blackened Piglet is pretty sad.
I’ll definitely return to your blog!

10 03 2009
Aafke

Hi Jennifer, welcome to my blog, and enjoy 😉

30 03 2009
The Ministry of Erasion « Clouddragon

[…] Umm is right. What’s going on? Why is the black hand suddenly leaving out the universities??? There are lots of haraam things going on at universities! […]

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