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, March 05, 2006

Saturday and Sunday Snippets 

He's coming again!

Prince Charles to visit Egypt, Saudi Arabia, India.

Britain’s Prince Charles is to visit Egypt, Saudi Arabia and India later this month and a major theme of his tour will be the promotion of greater tolerance between faiths, royal officials said on Thursday.

Although the visit is artfully placed between those to Egypt and India, there is no doubt where his preferences lie. It will in fact be his ninth official visit to Saudi Arabia. This is very strange for someone who probably not yet visited all of the Commonwealth countries of which he could become King. But perhaps not so strange, considering his friendship with the Saudi Royal family. But for someone who purports to uphold Human Rights, and disliked the handover of Hong Kong back to China, calling it a "Chinese Take-away", being friends with the Saudi royals is itself a strange thing. But perhaps not so strange, if one believes the rumors of his clandestine conversion to Islam. It's all very strange.

I hope that Charles takes Camilla to the Batha Souk in downtown Riyadh, There are some great bargains there in gold, rugs and carpets, spices and perfumes. If she doesn't cover her hair, then it will shine like a beacon in the night, and attract all sorts of interested people. She will be able to savor the real Saudi experience of ugly little goblins with sticks wandering up and telling her (thru Charles of course, while he is there as her official Mahram (male relative), she becomes invisible) to "Cover hair, woman!". Hopefully that will start some sort of "domestic" that begins
"I've never been so humiliated in all my life!"
"We-ell..., we must respect other cultures and religions, darling."
"Like they respected me? Those ghastly little men with sticks? And you just stood there and said nothing! What sort of man are you?"

Welcome to the real world of Saudi Islam, Charles and Camilla.

Having said that, maybe the press are just starting to mount a campaign against the Muttawa. Someone in very high places will have sanctioned the Riyadh International Book Fair, and they may be less than amused at the antics of Brother Naif's Muttawa. So perhaps they authorized this article in the "Arab News" (Thanks "Nura")

Lessons of Riyadh Book Fair

This year’s Riyadh Book Fair was eventful — mostly unwelcome events, though. Somehow, the fundamentalists found in it an opportunity to flex their muscles and prove a point. They wanted all to know that no matter how far we progress on the road of women and minority rights, speech and press freedoms, democracy and all, they are still in a strong position of influence. But they went too far, this time.

Threatening stuff? Well, perhaps not; we do tend to posture a lot. But maybe someone has "had his card marked"?

The experience of Riyadh Book Fair should alarm us. These people crossed the most revered Islamic lines and they deserve to be punished. We should make sure that no one else dared to cross them again.

I watch with bated breath.

Meanwhile, two policemen were shot in an encounter with someone who then shot himself. Thankfully, they are both recovering. No thanks, however, to "Sneaky Saeed", the "Saudi Gazette's" ultra-intrusive photographer.

Which begs the obvious question:

How many Saudis does it take to change a catheter?

On second thoughts, don't tell me, there's no way of answering that without being extremely crude.

Of course, they are not all Saudi, and only one will change the catheter. Will it be, from left to right:
The hospital manager, in thobe and ghutra?
The orderly who pushes the beds around, in matching blue?
The curious Saudi passer-by, also in thobe and ghutra?
The Indian cleaner, in overalls?
The Saudi police corporal?
The Egyptian doctor, his stethoscope just visible?
The Egyptian guy who goes round with the newspaper trolley, in a very fetching green pullover that his wife knitted for him last year?
The Sudani intern, in white?

Let's open the envelope and see...

Why, it's the newspaper guy! No wonder we call this the land of opportunity!
Let's just hope he wiped the news ink off his hands first....

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