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.

Sunday, August 07, 2005

Pass the Sick Bag 

With the new King Abdullah in place, Saudi journalists are scrambling over each other to write deferential and fawning prose about him. Take The "Arab News"'s Dr. Khaled Batarfi (Barfi?).

Never Far Away From the People

If you really have nothing better to do, read it in its nauseous totality. However one particular passage struck me as "the pits", even by the standards of this particularly groveller.

Once I came late, and all the spaces around the prince were taken, so I sat in the empty place next to him. This was supposed to stay available to unexpected senior guests. Many were surprised at my daring move, but the prince was not. To show all that it was OK, he started talking to me about the weather. He said: I smell rain, can’t you? I asked: How can he tell? He smiled his fatherly, loving, encompassing smile and explained: The air is wet, you know! He should know. A Bedouin at heart, he is never away from the desert or the people.

A Bedouin at heart! Born and grew up in palaces and South of France villas, he'd run a mile rather than share a tent with a Bedouin and his smelly goats. If he could run a mile, that is. That's unlikely, even when he was young, you don't get fit sitting around in palaces and private jets.

I thought that sort of journalism went out of fashion with Stalin's death. However I look forward to Dr Barfi's future articles. Especially the one about how Prince Nayif ("Nasty Nayif") keeps bunny rabbits and loves to stroke all his fluffy pussy cats. With photos, of course!

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