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.
The rains finally came last week. As always, they caused havoc and chaos.
Rains Play Havoc in Riyadh and Asir
JEDDAH, 10 April 2004 — Nine people died and huge numbers were injured in accidents after heavy rainfalls in Riyadh and Asir over the last three days, press reports said.
Civil Defense teams rescued a number of people caught up by rains on the Riyadh-Qasim Road, Al-Watan said yesterday. Many cars were held up by rainwater on the northern ring road, the eastern road and Sheikh Jaber Road, it added.
One man drowned in Thumama, north of Riyadh, the Arabic daily said, adding that four people were injured in a road accident on Al-Kharj Road.
In the Al-Rawabi neighborhood near Al-Sadhan Shopping Complex a woman died as a concrete pylon supporting a large billboard collapsed on her car. Four other cars which were parked nearby were also damaged in the incident.
Thankfully, we didn't get big hailstones. Sometimes they can be as big as golf balls, but we haven't had those for some years. You still see older cars driven around with "stippled" bodywork.
Drowning is quite common. There was a very bad case some years ago when a number of drivers sheltered from the rain, in a freeway underpass in Riyadh. Trouble is, the underpass started to fill with water, and the level kept rising. Eventually they had to try and swim for it, but they couldn't swim. Sadly they drowned.
The Prophet (pbuh) said that young men should learn to do 3 things - ride a horse, shoot an arrow, and swim. However there are no public baths or school swimming lessons, so that doesn't happen. The only way you'll get to swim is if you can afford to join one of the big hotel sports clubs and use their pool, but you'll see mostly western businessmen there. The 3 things that our youth learn are to drive badly, to sit and drink coffee, and to send text messages to their friends. If they get caught in a flood, they'll text for help.