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01 March 2024

Meet Emirati expelled from Saudi for being 'handsome'

Omar Borkan Al Gala (SUPPLIED)

By Staff

An Emirati man was expelled from Saudi Arabia by its feared religious police for being too good looking has become a famous person worldwide after his expulsion hit headlines in global newspapers, triggering a feminine deluge on his social website.

Omar Borkan Al Gala, previously a hardly known actor and poet from Dubai, has not confirmed outright he was deported but hinted that he was one of three Emirati men who were reportedly forced out of an annual cultural festival in the conservative Gulf Kingdom last week and then deported by the influential religious police—the Commission for the Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice.

Newspapers in the world’s top oil exporter said the three were told to leave because the Commission members who were heavily deployed at the Genadariya festival in Riyadh feared women could fall for them on the grounds they are too handsome.

A few days after their expulsion was reported regionally, the news hit headlines in world newspaper while at least 80,000 women are believed to have poured admiration words on Gala’s page on Facebook and Twitter, according to regional newspapers.

Comments sent by women to newspapers worldwide showed Gala is really handsome, with one American woman asking the Saudis to “deport him to Texas.”

“MMmmm Mmmm Mmmm... Deport him to Houston, Texas please!!!!!,” said the woman, who did not identify herself.

“He is kinda hot though. He's more than welcome to visit Chicago. I guarantee he will not be turned away,” another woman commented.

A woman said:”Oooooo, he has bedroom eyes….but considering his beliefs I'll pass. He'd probably want his significant other to wear a burkha.”

Gala’s expulsion came just after a man from the Commission stormed the UAE pavilion after the arrival of the UAE singer Aryam. But he was thrown out by members of the Saudi National Guards, who are organizing the event.

Aryam later confirmed she went to the UAE stand but added she was there as a delegate of the UAE and had no intention to sing.

“I went to the UAE stand as a delegate and congratulated them on their folklore…I stayed there for 20 seconds and had no intention to sing,” she said, quoted by Arabic language newspapers in the region. “I strongly respect the traditions of Saudi Arabia and all Gulf states and I consider myself a Saudi woman.”

Newspapers in Saudi Arabia later reported several Commission members again went into the UAE stand and evicted three men, described as too handsome.

The two incidents triggered furor in the Kingdom, where men are now allowed to mingle or interact with women if they are not related. The Commission’s Chairman Abdul Latif Al Shaikh was reported as demanding an investigation after newspapers published a You-Tube film showing National Guards were forcing out a Commission member.

“Meet the ridiculously good-looking man who was reportedly told to leave Saudi Arabia for being too handsome,” the British Metro Tabloid newspaper said in a report which included several pictures of the turbaned Gala.

“Al Gala….. was given his marching orders along with a number of other men at a cultural festival earlier this month….with his perfectly formed cheekbones, captivating gaze and well groomed appearance, it’s easy to see why (Saudi) authorities felt so threatened by his good looks,” the newspaper said.

“WITH HIS dreamy eyes, well-groomed beard and razor-sharp cheekbones, Omar Borkan Al Gala is undeniably handsome,” another British daily said.

Other newspapers in Europe handled the report sarcastically, with some of them warning “handsome” men against travelling to Saudi Arabia.

One newspaper added :”Beware…good looking young men are not welcome in Saudi Arabia.”