RIYADH, 30 December 2003 — Riyadh's expatriate community is abuzz with the story of a cack-handed attempt by two youngsters to beat the Kingdom's strict gender segregation rules.
An ostensibly married couple visited the International Indian School (Girls Section) and asked to see a girl said to be studying in the 11th grade. But security guards became suspicious because the "husband" seemed very young and the veiled "wife" appeared too masculine in her movements.
When challenged, the husband ran away, leaving the wife to be unmasked as a Pakistani boy, who had been hoping for a rendezvous with the girl.
According to an eyewitness, six policemen interviewed the boy for an hour before taking him away in their car. The boy argued it had all been a joke.
The spectacle was watched by a large gathering of students.
Niaz Ahmad Khan, the IISR chairman, told Arab News thanks to the attentive security guard, there was no harm done. In an earlier incident, an IISR student's bid to enter the girls' section was also foiled by the watchman's timely intervention.
Khan nonetheless outlined plans to strengthen security, including deployment of patrol police outside the school.