Hope all smiling.
MB finds himself in Jedah, Saudi Arabia, as he writes to you this fine sunny Saudi morning, having flown over (or very close to) the holy city of Mecca yesterday on the flight from Riyadh. The chief air hostess/steward made some special announcements on account of our route and asked Allah to accept all our good deeds. Of which there are many. MB felt the power as we flew over ground zero and passed onwards in direction of Jeddah. Another one to tick off from the bucket list lads. Allah u Akbar.
Great reaction to the new blog format lads. Interesting to see, as I can on the stats section, in what country people are reading it, as a map of the world opens up and gives me a head count country by country, day by day. Something to log on to lads to give me break from Fb!
Some pics from Jeddah Old Town:
Lots of Mosques. The Call To Prayer is deafening!
Many of the buildings are dilapidated but with people living inside. Some buildings starting to undergo refurbishment
Typical Old Town street scene
Locals play dominoes on carpet on the street
Carpet sellers abound, along with fabric sellers/tailors who make Arab dresses. And lots of barbers. Young lad says “Howya” to MB.
Sitting with Syrian friend as I write, who is on his Facebook page chatting to friends back in Damascus. They are reporting huge explosions around the city as they chat with him. God help the helpless people. Myself and my pal are drinking coffee in Jeddah while innocents get blown to bits in Damascus and we get live commentary, more or less, while we sip the ‘Americanos with milk on the side’. Some world. Some crack.
My pal just stated that one of the lads in Damascus has just described the noise as like ‘Apocalypse Now‘ as the bombardment is so intense and deafening. That guy is in a house close to the Presidential area. But he has no clue where exactly the explosions are happening.
Getting worse by the day with tens of thousands fleeing to country to wherever they can. Whole towns and villages now disappeared into piles of rubble with more than 40,000 people killed. Estimated presently that there are more than 700,000 houses destroyed, and the count rises each day. The Israeli army reported yesterday that the Free Syrian Army (FSA) now control almost all border crossings along the 800km border. So can not be long now one would think before the end comes. All my Syrian pals tell me that if they had-anti aircraft missiles the whole war would end very quickly as the planes are the Governments main weapon against the people. And presently the FSA has no solution to the plane problem.
The Brits are on the ground it seems, as the following report from Al Arabiya tells us:
As British Prime Minister David Cameron prepares to use the Royal Air Force (RAF) in Syria to put an end to the massacres the Syrian regime is committing throughout the country, British Special Forces are training rebels to assassinate the Syrian president and his commanders, the London Daily Star reported.
UK government sources told the newspaper that British assassination squads are in Syria to train rebels on how to target President Bashar al-Assad and his warlords. Some troops hailing from Britain Special Air Service (SAS), Special Boat Section (SBS) and the Airborne Infantry of the British Army (Paras) are also in the country to teach Anti-Assad fighters techniques on the accurate use of weapons and explosives against Assad regime forces, the sources said.
Also lots of theories amongst Syrians that the present situation is engineered by USA/Brits/Israelis. Don’t agree with any of them. But the provision of the anti-aircraft missiles is a decision that the US could make to bring matters to a conclusion it would appear. Its not exactly clear why they do not provide. Possibly afraid of the missiles future use elsewhere when the present troubles pass. Meanwhile the civilian population are cannon fodder.
What is GPP2013?
GPP2013 will take place from March 1 – 8 and promises to be another amazing photo-fest. We’re bringing the world’s best photographers and instructors to Dubai to share their knowledge and experience with the Middle East and Africa’s professional and amateur photography community.
Save the date, book your leave and start finding creative ways to convince your partner and/or boss to get out to Dubai or take the week off for a fun and inspirational photography festival like no other!
To get a taste of what it’s all about, check out last year’s schedule here.
Breaking the sex laws
Was bit surprised during the week lads to read that there is proposal in UAE not to deport dastardly criminals who get jail sentences for having sex outside marriage and such like. In the past these (normally Western) no-gooders would get deportation back to their home countries at end of jail term where they would be free to continue their Godless ways. Not sure why this new relaxation is being proposed lads but as we all know when you give a sinner an inch he will usually try to take a mile. It becomes harder and harder each day lads for the good citizens of the Middle East to promote virtue and prevent vice, when the rulers are now starting to relax the reasonable rules of the past. No good can come of it lads. You will see more and more Tracy’s from Tyneside walking around our Shopping Malls dressed like harlots displaying flesh that is strictly speaking ‘haram’ and their will be more and more breaches of ‘honour’ and general behaviour that gives the middle finger to ‘modesty’.
Remember where you heard it first lads.
Suggested law change (what a joke):
“The most important recommendation is to make the deportation order optional and not compulsory anymore in crimes related to sex and honour, such as consensual sex, public indecency, breach of modesty and honour, and others. However, deportation remains compulsory in major crimes such as rape and molestation.
The Grand Mufti
Have you heard of the Grand Mufti lads? Well, he is main man who can make rulings about da Islam, and issue Fatwas and such like. Presently he is none too happy with Foreign Media Agents – and MB received query during week from Saudi Crosser if communicating with MB would be breach of the rule. Assured him/her not lads, as MB is at this stage part and parcel of the Saudi scene and in absolutely no way can MB be considered ‘foreign’. It is probably true to say that MB has become more Arabic than the Arabs themselves. Allah u Akbar (for the 3rd time today).
And chaos & strife is the last thing on MBs mind lads I assure you. Working in the construction industry each week gives me more chaos & strife than I can handle. Who wants more of that for God sake.
From the Grand Mufti himself lads:
Saudi Arabia’s Grand Mufti has issued a religious edict prohibiting contact and cooperation with foreign media outlets seeking to “spread chaos and strife in Muslim lands.”
He urged people instead to address their concerns through writing directly to responsible authorities.
Sheikh Abdul Aziz Al-Asheikh told worshipers during a Friday sermon held in a mosque in the capital Riyadh that people should not contact foreign media outlets to “divulge the country’s secrets or address various matters” because these outlets “are only concerned with dividing people and striking the unity of the nation.”
Where a Mufti might hang out lads
Saudi Crosser Contribution
Received some complimentary words from one of our Saudi Crossers last week lads saying how much he enjoys the Friday read. He has even gone one step further lads and put pen to paper for us to give us insight into da whole Saudi situation at present for da natives. His piece is quite long, as MB seems to have awakened a Saudi Shakespeare within. The piece is quite long and I may break it into 50% this week and same next (that’s another 50% next week Cla – to save you doing the calculation).
Anyway lads MB is very grateful for the contribution from XXX as I will refer to him/her as don’t want him/her falling foul of recent fatwas and such like and getting good whipping after da Friday prayers next week.
You are so persuasive but you will have to tolerate my English then 🙂
OK today is Sunday and after drinking my daily dosage of coffee I decided to email you about what I feel personally about my country. I really don’t know from where to start? There is a common perception among 90% of Saudis that we are waiting for something that 100% is going to happen but no one can tell you what is it exactingly!! Something related to the murky issue of succession particularly with the obvious aging of Saudi Royalty. Some Saudis say that Saudi Arabia is a monarchy dance on the tune of Western Kafers ….Mummmm. I wasn’t plan to talk politically so you can ignore the previous paragraph :). If you are surprising that why we may not touch these simple issues try to stay in your fancy room for 6 months without knowing what is it all about let alone try our fancy Saudi jail.
Anyway, during my last visit to my SA I was so desperate when I saw the organization of disorganization. For example the disrespect of traffic signals by careless drivers is a widespread practice in SA now a days without any response from police. Police inaction in cases of offense or minor crime, specially against non Saudi, like assaulting foreigner workers or house maids, is encouraging those bad guys to do more. If you survey the satisfaction levels of Saudis, you will be surprised that most of them will be not happy with the current situation. This shouldn’t be the case with a country that considered the world’s largest net oil exporter. I am not talking politically here but as Saudis living inside Saudi Arabia we are suffering from many difficulties. The first of these is planning deficit- in particular we as a nation don’t think about our future . We just eat and enjoy the current pleasure without any thinking of how to keep our country going and improved, especially in the law and legislation. for example the gender segregation debate that still exist is a sign for a society that is stuck in the 19th century. We still heavily rely on expatriates? When you look at some specialist job areas the 99 per cent is dominated by expatriates. We are some time move backward for example I work in the health sector, where the equality is endangered and the right of any resident to gain a free health access has disappeared. not to mention the famous case of Hamza Kashgari who faces charge of blasphemy after two or three tweets about prophet Mohammad peace be upon him. It is like that the Saudi society hide behind being the original of Islam and the title of ‘Custodians of the Holy Mosques’ yet our actions and behaviour are far from Islamic. I feel that If it wasn’t for the fact that Saudi Arabia sit on a large part of the world’s oil our country would remain mired in the past whether we liked it or not.
The be continued………
DH – The Reluctant Emigrant
Greetings to DH and ta for another issue of her Reluctant Emigrant Blog.
TC lads. Have nice weekend. Be good.
Da follically challenged MB composin more brilliance. Haha lads!