SAFWAH, Saudi Arabia– Saudi housewife Taja Al-Kazaz will be publicly executed in Deera Square following allegations that the suburban homemaker added too much pepper to a particular bowl of hummus. As a result, the pita dip her husband and six children were supposed to enjoy as an appetizer last Friday was ruined. By the end of the 48-second trial Al-Kazaz was found guilty of three capital crimes including: Over-Seasoning, Conspiracy to Over-Season, and Forgetting to Cover Leftovers with Plastic Wrap.
The 43-year-old homemaker will be blindfolded before facing a throng of 500 to 1,000 Saudi men armed with stones to hurl at her. Taja maintains the hummus recipe is from a recent spread in the Riyadh Times Lifestyle section on Hors d’oeuvres.
“While I’m dreadfully sorry for what I did,” Ms. Al-Kazaz told reporters from inside her damp, oppressive cell, “it needed a kick – more lemon, maybe – but we were out of lemon, and by law I’m not allowed out after dark to go buy more lemons.”
Saudi Arabia’s severe outlook on over-seasoning highlights the impermeable dilemma women across the Middle Eastern peninsula face in the kitchen daily. Too many minced onions in a kibbeh can land you in prison for life; too much parsley in a tabbouleh will send you to the gallows. The Saudi government continues to hold women mortally accountable for their cooking and insists all recipes must be fit for Allah should he ever come over and try some kabsa.
Men, on the other hand, are prohibited from cooking, as well as washing dishes, drying dishes, vacuuming and doing laundry. A Saudi male caught by police engaged in any of the previously listed acts will usually receive a prison sentence of six months to one year, most of which the wife of the convicted man will be obligated to serve.
Taja’s husband, Farid Al-Kazaz, fully supports the sentence handed out by the Islamic court and believes he and his six children will go on just fine without Taja and her careless one-more-pinch-there approach to cooking.
“She disgraced my family name,” Farid has been telling friends and co-workers in a last-ditch effort to save face. “I swear the hummus is better now.”
Al-Kazaz’s sentence is the latest among an impressive résumé of women’s rights violations for the oil-rich nation. Earlier in the month Saudi Arabia’s judicial system made headlines when 22-year-old Abdullah Al-Hamza was put to death for Considering the Possibility of Considering the Act of Maybe Considering Adultery.