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.
I was wondering what I should finish with before my vacation. Another searing expose of our disfunctional Royal Family? A selection from "Minaret Wit - favorite jokes from our Imams"? A review of "Prince Nayif's Book of All-time Favorite Prison Recipes"?
Then I saw this comment from an earlier item.
You can never go wrong with Camel
photos. It's like a photo-journalism homerun. That and baby kittens.
What an inspiration! This blog will never miss an opportunity for shameless emotional exploitation. So here you go!
You don't see many dogs around in Saudi Arabia. They are considered to be unclean. Also, there is an unkind and rather racist story that when Hyundai and Daewoo set up here, and we started having Korean expatriates, all the dogs disappeared. However there never were many. There are packs of wild dogs that hang around the more remote rubbish-strewn areas of the city, and are best avoided.
However we have plenty of cats.
By the way, I cannot be traced from these cats. They are long gone.
There are some truly domestic cats, but most of the cats are feral. There are tribes of them in every neighbourhood, usually based around a garbage container. All the cats in these photos "adopted" us at some time. That means that they usually spent their confinement and early motherhood in our yard. In return for food and an umbrella for shelter from the sun, they allowed us to look at them and take photographs. However it was very rare to be able to touch or stroke them.
I'm not an expert on cat breeds, but I rather think that our local cats have thinner faces, longer ears, and rougher fur, than the typical Western breed.
Once the kittens had become self-sufficient, mother and kittens would all disappear. Later the mother would return, pregnant again, or one of the kittens, now grown-up and itself about to be a mother.
The cat population seems to be reasonably static, although there is very little birth control practiced on them. Natural causes, traffic accidents, and, it is rumored, the culinary tastes of our South Asian guests, seem to keep numbers under control.
It would be nice if they would stay with us. But, being Saudi, they are natural nomads...