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.

Wednesday, August 03, 2005

The King is Dead, Long Live the King 

In the 12 months since I last posted, there have been 3 major events.

The terrorist cell that was continually being "surrounded", finally got surrounded by some part of the security forces that didn't leak like a sieve and wet themselves at the sound of gunfire, and its command structure was decapitated. For the time being, our home-grown or trainee terrorists are going to Iraq, because:
- it's nearer than Afghanistan
- it's full of soft targets
- they get to kill Americans, Europeans, Women, and lots of Shiites.

We had an election. That was Good News. The Bad News was
- it was only for the local councils, who just deal with garbage.
- it was for a minority of council representatives, the rest were government appointments
- women couldn't vote
However let's not be cynical, it was a start. Things move slowly in the Arab World.

King Fahd died.
Now I know that I made him the butt of some jokes, but I do feel slightly sorry for him, as one would for any reactionary despot who kept absolute power and the country's wealth within a narrow family circle, but suffered from heart problems, diabetes and alcoholism over a period of 10 years and finally curled up his toes. Like the late Pope, no-one should be forced to stay in any job past retirement age.
He is succeeded by Abdullah, who is relatively progressive, but will be held in check by the rest of the greedy and narrow-minded Saud family.

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