Saudi Arabia/USA: This Isn’t Saudia Airlines

This past week 19 year old Saudi student, Yazeed Mohammed A. Abunayyan, created quite a ruckus on a Continental airlines flight from Portland to Houston.

The incident started when Abunayyan was unable to sit beside his fellow Saudi traveling companion and had to take another seat.  Towards showing his dissatisfaction at the airline for not accommodating him, he chose to smoke an e-cigarette.  However, when the flight attendant asked him to stop smoking, he refused and became unruly.  At that point he made motions as if he were going to strike out at the flight attendant while making negative comments about women and saying ‘Allah Akbar’ (God is Great).  There are statements made by witnesses on the plane that he also made references to Usama bin Laden.

Abunayyan was restrained by flight crew and the plane returned to Portland where Abunayyan was turned over to agents from the FBI.  He has since appeared in court to hear the charges brought against him.

When I heard about this incident it reminded me of the days when flying Saudia Airlines.  Of course every passenger would have a boarding pass with a seat assignment but once on board it was so common for passengers to get shuffled around.  Saudia airlines wanted to please its passengers ensuring that friends and families were able to sit together.  Additionally Saudia would shuffle seat assignments to prevent unrelated men and women from sitting together.  Whenever I flew by myself I found that I usually ended up with a better seat than the one I had been assigned.

As a young 19 year old student, Abunayyan struck me as a Saudi who has not had much exposure to either the Western culture or a rule based society.  When he could not get his way and sit by his friend, he did what a pampered Saudi youth would do.  He pitched a fit.  However, in this particular case he did not get his way and will have to face the consequences of his actions.


33 Responses

  1. Well, sadly this is a much different world than even I grew up in. My guess is he will be on the way back to Saudia, not because he did anything so bad, but I just really dislike sexism, and he certainly did not exercise common sense in his comment about bin Laden. I think he flunked the darwin test.

    This from a woman who grew up on a homestead in the 50’s when handling of explosives was common for clearing stumps, and whose brother once set stumping powder off in front of a Tavern after he was thrown out for being under age.

  2. Wow, that’s quite a fit!

  3. I was on a delayed Saudia flight once because they had sat a 12 year old boy in the emergency aisle and had to negotiate with the family for 30 mins to move him to a more civil-aviation-approved position.

    I truly feel for the flight attendants manning the Saudi routes, tho I am sure they are more tolerant towards the behaviour of their passengers than attendants flying any other route. Which may in some way encourage the Saudis to misbehave elsewhere and think they can get away with it.

    Just like any idiot who decides to create a scene and make bogus threats on an aircraft, he got what he deserved.

  4. Nice mug shot. Hope he is comfortable in prison for a while only to be deported back to Saudi later. Maybe they can do a prison exchange. Saudi can have him back and we take Hamza.

    I think the US would actually come out ahead on that one as Hamza would probably be someone who contributes a wealth of ideas to people in various forms but this one will be the usually drag on society back to the 6th century.

  5. He’s only 19. I don’t think that pitching a fit, however childish, warrants prison time. I also don’t see how sending him back to Saudi Arabia will improve his maturity level. I say keep him here, let him see what America is like. Give him a chance to grow up a bit. If he is sent back, he’ll be surrounded by the same set of friends who have been influencing him up to now. A different environment might be the best thing for him. That said, if we could exchange him for Hamza, I’d be all for it because I don’t want to see him get executed for his words.

  6. Does anyone tell Saudi visitor’s that disturbances on airplanes are taken very seriously in the US? Does any Saudi realize that mentioning bin Laden is a mistake on a US airline?

    As far as the kid goes, he should be sent home in shame. Since Saudi Arabia is a shame based society he might learn a lesson from that. Of course a court hearing in public would be fun. (Have it in New York and announce it publicly that would be really fun.)

  7. I don’t think this is so much a Saudi incident. The guy apparently is schizophrenic and off his meds. His traveling companion was also his cousin, who was also unable to control him. I’ve seen the badly behaved on Saudia many times- and I’ve never seen what this described.

    If this info is correct, however- I do think people of any nationality shouldn’t be flying when off their meds. But that’s a different sort of problem.

  8. He’s an ass and he deserves what he got … that being said, I have flown on Turkish Air where children were separated from their parents by mistake. At times, it’s necessary to shuffle seats.

  9. He was arrested the Sunday before driving against traffic and trying to hit pedestrians, he bumped into two patrol cars and was taken to court, let out on bail and two days later made this mess on the airplane.
    Somethings wrong with him. And if it is because he is schizophrenic he needs medical care.

    Although I think it’s a brilliant idea to swap him for Hamza: the Saudis get a schizophrenic homicidal maniac, the Americans get an intelligent sensitive nice guy, both guys will then be at the right place where their qualities will be respected.

  10. Every time I have to fly inside SA I expect the circus performance with changing the seats as the most hilarious part. Somebody must tell always dissatisfied Saudi passengers that they can hire the private jet if the rule-abiding procedures are so intolerable for them)

  11. This saudi brat, who was just freed a day earlier on a $65,000 bond on DUI/reckless driving charges, and was under court orders not to travel outside of Ashland, should NOT have been allowed to board ANY flight.

    The drunk saudi brat led police on a long chase, which one witness described as “It was like the ‘Grand Theft Auto movie’”. :)-

  12. Can we say this young man was stupid in his actions to say the least

  13. I agree with Aafke here. I feel bad for the ‘lucky’ woman who gets him for a husband though. 😦

  14. One of the last times I flew on Saudi Airlines I had three small children with me and reserved seats. We were seated and then asked to move to the back of the plane because a new family (they had a man with them, I didn’t) wanted our seats. When I protested they threatened to throw me off the plane. I hadn’t raised my voice or used any foul language. Rather than be deplaned I sat in the back row in the midst of smokers’ heaven. About a week after that hell flight my husband bumped into the captain he said “Oh, if we had known that was your wife we would never have sat her in the back.” Favoritism reigns.

  15. He reminds me of these people- But id rather marry him than a westerner – Less risk of getting killed. Read this – scary!

    Nearly half of women killed by partner in Europe:

    Dennis Nilsen/Muswell Hill Murderer/The Kindly Killer – England

    David and Catherine Birnie/Moorhouse murders – Australia

    Ted Bundy – America

    Dean Arnold Corll/Houstan Mass Murder/The Candy Man – America

    Gary Leon Ridgway/The Green River Killer – America

    Countess Erzsébet Báthory/Blood Countess/Blood Queen – Hungry

  16. I like the fact that I can ‘push in’ in front of men at banks and in shops in Saudi. Love it!!

    I feel I get treated the same as all women here because I don’t look thinner or fatter or that the size of my boobs aren’t being compared to someone who’s following TV ideals.

    I feel liberated, I feel ‘all woman’ lol

    I dont know I just think overall women are treated better in Saudi than anywhere else. we’re too precious to drive too and no man here will expect me to have a job AND clean the house like most women have to do back home.

    Il have to have a word with Saudi airlines

  17. Kay, please, the difference with men who kill their wives in the west is that you know their names because they got caught and sent to prison, and everybody is disgusted by their crime, while in places like Saudi Arabia, Yemen, Pakistan the men can kill their wives in droves and nobody cares, as long as the women are the property of men and they paid for them who cares?
    And I am sure they are going to arrange for some poor girl to marry this woman hating lunatic, and if he beats her, or even kills her, it will not even make the news.

    Rachel69, there are of course always people who really have the slave mentality and feel masochistic pleasure in being treated like third rate lifestock. There is nothing wrong with that, people are just different.
    If you are ugly, have no boobs, and are bone idle lazy and have not much intelligence and no ambitions, then sure, life in Saudi Arabia could be perfect for you.
    Enjoy it!

  18. Rachel you live in an elite bubble in Saudi and have no idea what life is like for women who are “too precious” to drive- and need desparately to drive and work to feed their families. You are mixing up being “liberated” with being treated like an indulged child.

  19. ‘nearly half of female victims are killed by their partner or former partner. In these cases, domestic arguments or jealousy ended in the man killing the women by stabbing or strangling her.’

    Is jealousy same as honour killing? If so then honour killing is wide spread among europeans. Kay why you bring the sad facts to us?

  20. Kay, you actually come up with Countess Bathory? (Who was supposed to be a woman btw) I mean, seriously, you think she really existed? and you use this fictional character to ”prove” to us how evil the ”Wicked West” is?
    Rotflmao! I have been away too long from Bedu, it’s just too hilarious!

    May I point out you have left out Count Dracula? None of the killers you listed has a greater body count than Count Dracula!
    You may have convinced me though, I mean Count Dracula was such a creep! And all these women he sucked dry for so many centuries! It is amazing I still dare to walk the streets at night!
    And you must be super scared, I mean a cross helps you out with vampires of course, but as a revert you’ll be screwed!
    Or drained….

  21. PS, In the Wicked West we also have this huge zombie problem, our evil western governments are trying to keep this from us, it’s nowhere in the media.
    I have just read a book about it, with many good tips on how to prepare your home in case of a zombie outbreak, I think everybody should read it!

  22. Rachel, if you get divorced, would you be too precious to get your children? Would they be too much trouble for you? Probably. Better your husband gets them.

  23. Aafke

    ”If you are ugly, have no boobs, and are bone idle lazy and have not much intelligence and no ambitions, then sure, life in Saudi Arabia could be perfect for you.”

    Don’t know how moderator missed this one? could be there is WASTA allow such a comment with blind eyes.

  24. Let’s just say, he’s a spoiled brat adn leave it at that, 11 yrs ago he would be let off after a warning, perhaps a fine and some community service, now he’s done for.

    he’s an idiot for not realizing the world we live in. still he’s not too young to be taken to task, but mostly it lookslike he’s off his meds..
    unless he’s a truly rich saudi brat very few saudi’s act like that int he US, they know their limits and what they can get away with. 🙂

    They watch and learn what’s acceptable and what’s not, so i suspect he’s not quite stable, definetly off his meds.

  25. AB,
    I just gt from a trip to new orleans and let me tell you if you get a glimpse of the saudi’s in bourbon street you will have materials for many months for your blog 🙂 OMG !!!! i was shocked, and slack jawed at the stunts they pull , and before anyone jumps me, yep they were saudi, yep from quite pious families and yep most of them are supposedly quite religious back home. 🙂 F recognized a few and after frantic conversations in arabic they left with several friends and many many women 🙂 not that i would have said anything they have as much right as anyone else to enjoy themselves, just that F thinks few of them have a wife stashed back home..
    Some were in the same hotel as us, students !!!!! spending papa’s money to live it up i guess, one look from us and they’d scatter like ants, it was fun couple of days .. ahh the young and mardi gras..

  26. I’m not so sure I completely buy this whole story. It could have been sexed up for media impact or to push another US government agenda somewhere in the Middle east.

    Oh yeah, the comment by Aafke-Art: “If you are ugly, have no boobs, and are bone idle lazy and have not much intelligence and no ambitions, then sure, life in Saudi Arabia could be perfect for you.” Was so juvenile one it’s pathetic. Do your job moderator, or is it that certain individuals have special privileges? :-/

  27. Snowman, I didn’t name anybody particularly, I said that ,if some woman happens to be ugly, has no boobs, is bone idle lazy, has no intelligence and no ambition, and gets some masochistic pleasure out of being regarded as third rate life stock, then Saudi Arabia might be a good place to live.
    Nothing personal….
    Unless of course you are such a person and take it personal….

  28. Kareem:

    I doubt that it is “sexed” up. It is possible the young man has some mental issues. Then it could just be a rouse to avoid prosecution.

    I still like the whole idea of prisoner exchange that I suggested earlier. It is a win/win for all parties.

    You will have to pardon Aafke-Art. She has strong opinions when it comes to women being treated as a person who can dictate their own lives and that includes being able to dress by her standards, making decisions for herself and act on them, have freedom of movement, the list continues. She gets rather testy when others state that women should cover up because men are incapable of controlling themselves and other assundary cannot do’s because of her uterus. I quite frankly get tired of the fact that certain muslims state that men cannot control themselves and find it an insult to all men. As if men where some type of drooling spastic rabid dog. It is damn insulting as far as I am concerned to men.

  29. It was quite a fun ride he had in Ashland, Oregon. Yes he was on bail for drunk driving and a few felonies, like ramming 2 patrol cars in the chase and trying to hit pedestrians. He was jumping bail, as he wasn’t suppose to leave the area. Yes, he is a complete idiot. After all, making a quick clean get away plan when jumping bail shouldn’t include starting fights on a plane. Here is a clip from the Ashland paper about it. One of my old childhood friends was one of the officers that caught him, he claims he is a real work of art and his parents are very proud of him now.

  30. Lets not jump after Kay for pointing out the violently and mental disturbed western idiots that make headlines or are Darwin award candidates. These people are not exclusive to one area and can be savage to say the least. I am not so thrilled about the US justice system letting them out on parole, i.e. case from the Mississippi governor pardoning.
    As for Racheal, if you can work the system for your advantage in Saudi, good for you. Enjoy the little perks when you can.

  31. Dear Aafke, I’m sorry but I think you went too far in saying such things about one person or many. You don’t have to be any of those things to be happy or unhappy in Saudi Arabia. I would like to tell Rachel if she thinks men can’t recognize her body shape or the size of her breasts under an abaya she is sadly mistaken. Like an Eskimo can recognize different kinds of snow (and it all looks the same to us) a man raised in Saudi Arabia can tell you so much about your age, attractiveness, social standing and even origin by the cut of your cloth and how you wear it.

  32. Kinz, do you know the latest? Rachel, Kay, Selma, and a large number of other new commentators here are fakes? Ann found out they all write the same, and one of the moderators found out they all are the same!
    So if I were you I would not spend anymore time with some fake commentator pretending life is so brilliant for women in the largest female prison on the planet.

  33. I am very grateful that the multiple user names were discovered and removed!

    Kinz is an American married to a Saudi and has lived in Saudi for more than 20 years. In spite of some commentators attempts to use multiple ids, Kinz’s comments about Saudi should not be taken lightly.

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