When one thinks of jail, rotten food with rats nibbling on them might be one scenario that comes to mind; another could be some Orange Is The New Black kind of scenario ... but not a wedding.
Apparently, in Saudi Arabia, the latter is more likely to happen. The country often allows inmates to get married in jail, going as far as hosting and paying for their marriage celebrations.
"Here, just around the corner from the prison ATM, married inmates are allowed to spend three to five private hours with their wives at least once a month, with fresh linens and tea and sweets on the nightstand," wrote Kevin Sullivan for the Washington Post in 2015 while visiting al-Hayer prison.
On Saturday, top officials at the kingdom's State Security held a huge wedding reception for an inmate in the same prison Sullivan described. According to local news outlets, the prisoner and his bride were also given luxurious gifts including a sum of money, wrist watches, and a car.
People in the kingdom were touched by this gesture, thanking authorities for the positive efforts they're putting into rehabilitating prisoners; while surely many others sought humor out of the occasion.
The organizing authorities were thanked
"Our great leaders are so focused on rehabilitation, they don't even call those in jail 'prisoners' but rather use the word 'inmates.' We thank authorities for working on every little detail."
Regardless, many couldn't understand how this came to be
"I want to believe this but it's just too much."
"And his zaffa is in that black jeep"
"Throw me in jail and host my wedding"
"You didn't believe them when they told you our prisons are five-star"
"Alf mabrook to the newlyweds"
This wouldn't be the first time a wedding is held in a Saudi prison
Last year, a marriage ceremony and celebration were held for a prisoner in Al Qatif jail. According to Sabq news site, it was the second wedding to be held in the country's Eastern province jail.
In 2017, a Saudi groom went viral after his wedding ceremony was held in one of Baha city's prisons. At the time, the man was serving a 4-year jail sentence over drug related charges, but still managed to marry his fiancée in jail after getting the required approvals from authorities.