JAFFA, Israel – Mona Yehya Yaman, a Saudi woman, has found an unconventional way to keep her nuclear family closely knit: She levies a 1,500 riyal (US$400) fine on her children and grandchildren who skip her weekly family dinner.
Her son, Ali, disclosed his mother’s methods in a speech he delivered while opening his ice cream parlor, and thanked her for her efforts to keep the family intact. She was given the honor of cutting the ribbon.
The story went viral on Saudi media, followed by the launch of the hashtag #Saudi_levies_1500_riyal_fine_on_skippers_of_weekly_dinner, leading many Saudi twitterati to reflect on the role of the family and ways to protect it.
“Thank Allah she’s not my grandmother, she’d have me bankrupt,” Gamdieh wrote.
@SaudiNews50 الحمدلله ماهي جدتي والا كان صرت طفرانه
— غامديه مطيوره (@moott_a7bk) August 13, 2016
“That’s a great idea, I wish we did it ourselves,” Nawaf wrote.
@SaudiNews50 قرار جيد ياليت يتطبق عندنا
— نواف (@_nwaf99) August 12, 2016
“Had my father done the same, he would have been the richest man on earth,” Osama wrote.
@SaudiNews50 لو يطبق عندنا أبويه يصير أغنى واحد 😂
— الهاشمي (@OsamaAgeeli) August 12, 2016
Another user disapproved: “Why does she need them there if they come reluctantly, and probably have their noses buried in their phones throughout. I wouldn’t do it. I’d want them to come because they want to see me, and if they don’t, they don’t have to come.”
@SaudiNews50 وش تبغى فيهم إذا بيجون مغصوبين وبيجلسون كل واحد على جهازه والله ماأسويها يايجون عندي حب واشتياق يابألف سلامه
— كرسنه الكرسنه (@salhammg) August 13, 2016
Wasn was more impressed with the fine: “1,500 in one go, it’s not easy.”
@SaudiNews50 العجيز مو هينة 1500 مرة وحدة
— wasn (@wasn654) August 13, 2016
“That’s a strange decision,” Taza tweeted. “If it is not motivated by your love for your mother, what’s the point?”
@SaudiNews50 خوش قرار.. اقول اذا البر ما يجيبه وش فايدة الفلوس
— لبيك اللهم لبيك (@Taza03) August 13, 2016
“Mommy, you know they won’t always pay, but you have a good heart and you sometimes forgive them, right?” another wrote.
مايسددون يا حجيه
وقلبك طيب وتسامحينهم
— زحزيح (@atantas1) August 13, 2016
“She must have become a businesswoman out of these fines,” Najlaa wrote. “She is probably a project manager or something.”
@SaudiNews50 يمكن صارت تاجره من الغرامات وفتحت مشروع
— نجلاء البريثن (@Joooly__2012) August 12, 2016