The diary of a Saudi man, currently living in the United Kingdom, where the Religious Police no longer trouble him for the moment.

In Memory of the lives of 15 Makkah Schoolgirls, lost when their school burnt down on Monday, 11th March, 2002. The Religious Police would not allow them to leave the building, nor allow the Firemen to enter.

Friday, April 16, 2004

The Calm before the Storm? 

There were no terrorist shoot-outs here yesterday, Alhamdulillah (Thanks be to God), as we say here. However there is a deep sense of unease and tension in the air, because these incidents have always in the past been followed by a terrorist attack. The US Embassy is well aware, and is evacuating its staff.

US citizens urged to leave Saudi

In the past, these attacks have been against Western housing compounds. Paradoxically, these were intended to provide security to Westerners; however they result in concentrating all the targets in one place. As a Western colleague said, "It's like being in the film "Zulu", and we're just waiting for the hordes to come pouring over the walls". A bit over-dramatic, perhaps, but I can understand his basic concern.
Not that the rest of us can feel any more relaxed. Al Qaeeda like high-profile targets, and what could be more high profile than the Faisaliah and Kingdom towers in Riyadh?

So for the next few days we'll avoid the shops in the base of those towers, or indeed anywhere within the "collapse radius". We'll go shopping in the less fashionable areas that hopefully don't present such an interesting target.

This is no way to live.

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