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, September 23, 2005

It's Good News Day! 

Why? Well, for a start, it's our National Day today. And for the first time, our new King has declared it to be a public holiday. Because today, Friday, is already the weekend day off, the people back home will get to take Saturday off as well, even though that's also the Jewish day off! That's not all. Our young ladies can get to wear a patriotic fashion statement like the one shown here, and the Muttawa won't scream and shout at them for "adorning themselves". However, that only lasts for one day. Back to normal on Sunday.

Next, the cartoon in today's Arab News. It shows President Bush in bed in between two old witches(?) who look like the way they used to depict Margaret Thatcher, and they're entitled "Katrina" and "Rita". Some may wonder what is funny about it, or what it's supposed to be saying. Some may even think that it's stupid and/or tasteless and/or gloating and/or insensitive. To all these people, I would say - it's entitled "Cartoon", so by definition it must be funny. So just kick back and enjoy it - especially if you live in Texas or Louisiana.

The next bit of good news is that US Court Rejects Lawsuits Against Prince Naif, Prince Salman and Saudi Charity Apparently they can't be sued for Saudi funds under their direction helping to pay for terrorism, including 9/11. That's because US District Judge Richard Casey found that Interior Minister Prince Naif and Riyadh Governor Prince Salman, president of the High Commission, were not personally liable since they were acting as agents of the Saudi government. That's a novel defense. You could paraphrase it as "I was only following orders".

It gets better. President Bush decided Wednesday to waive any financial sanctions on Saudi Arabia....for failing to do enough to stop the modern-day slave trade in prostitutes, child sex workers and forced laborers. Why this great act of leniency? Because Saudi Arabia is Washington's closest Arab ally in the war on terrorism. I'm sorry, I must have misheard that, run that by me again. Because O - I - L. Right, I thought that's what you said.

Lots of little boys like to collect model planes. So did Prince Sultan. Trouble was, when he grew up, they let him run Saudi Arabian Airlines, and now he collects full-size ones. This airline doesn't go in for any nonsense about streamlining maintenance and training costs by concentrating on a small range of models. Oh no, if it's got wings, Prince Sultan wants it. Look at the ridiculously bloated fleet. However he didn't have any Brazilian Embraers in the Royal Collection, and he couldn't find anyone to do a swop with; that's about to change.

Finally, my acknowledgements to Farooha , who originally published this picture. Apparently it's of a young Saudi lady who is "putting herself about" in Riyadh using Bluetooth. The associated message is "A sexy girl your heart would love". I did Photoshop her face, so no-one can recognize her. If you do still recognize her, then you must already be good friends. You've really got to admire Saudi youth and the way they use technology to escape the outmoded customs of the past.The Muttawa may have an issue with this, but the important thing is that she's still wearing her veil.

Well, that's all the Good News for today. In fact, if I hear any more Good News, I'll probably burst.

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