Posted on September 27, 2017
A few moments ago MB reblogged a post from the Saudiwoman’s Weblog. It concerns the Saudi Arabian news of the last twenty-four hours that Saudi women are now to be allowed drive cars for the first time. Just as interesting, and maybe even more so in the opinion of MB, is another angle to the story that is not getting nearly so much illumination; Read More
Posted on August 4, 2017
Posted on June 8, 2017
Followers will, no doubt, already be aware of the ‘Qatar Blockade’, to give the subject matter its Twitter hashtag handle. On Monday morning last, Egypt, UAE, Saudi Arabia and Bahrain broke off diplomatic relations with Qatar, along with some other Islamic power-houses such as Maldives and Libya Eastern Region. All flights between Qatar and ‘The Others’ were cancelled indefinitely on the following day with travel bans imposed on citizens. The land border with Saudi Arabia (the only land border that peninsular Qatar actually has) was closed with some red & white ‘danger’ tape and plastic bollards, like you see on construction sites back in Ireland. ‘Danger – Do Not Enter’ signs suddenly appeared all along the frontline. “WTF?” shouted all the normal (powerless) citizens of the Arabian Gulf who, to a man and woman, hadn’t a clue what was going on.
And there you have it, dear followers. You are all as wise as all the locals on this matter. Tweets from ‘The Donald’ soon revealed that he was in the thick of it, and in all probability had rubber-stamped the whole escapade, which is still unfolding. ‘The Donald’ was in Saudi Arabia a few weeks back and departed with USD 100B in weapons contracts, while Ivanka gladly accepted a USD 100M donation to her ‘Female Entrepreneurs Fund’ from the Saudi King; her without the headscarf. Tramp. Trump.
While all the expats were scratching their heads and scratching their butts trying to figure it all out, Mr Mohammad & Mrs Fathima Al Qatari made an immediate bee-line for the supermarkets and cleared all the shelves of perishable goods. Generations of dealing with Arab volatility has thought the Qatari lads and lassies a thing or two about dealing with a crisis. Monday and Tuesday saw some of the longest queues in Qatari supermarket history. Fresh milk was gone by Monday evening, leaving only UHT Goats Milk for dim-witted expats like MB, when they finally cottoned on to the fact that shopping is what one does when a crisis strikes. Food shopping. Comfort shopping. Any kind of shopping. Even MB got a little caught up in it all, buying a dozen organic eggs on Tuesday evening, rather than his normal half. How comforted was MB?! Struth!
MB heard only today that there is no chicken available in the shops, him not being the greatest of chicken fans and unaware of that particular chicken fact. The desert sand does not provide much sustenance for your average chuck, so the chicken farms of the Gulf are primarily located in Saudi Arabia where an odd bit of muck and dirt resides; Islamic chickens one and all no doubt. The chicken trucks are therefore presently stacked ten-a-chicken-breast at the blockaded Saudi border, as MB writes this chicken missal.
For the information and ongoing education of HX followers, the Arabic word for chicken is ‘dajaj’ (some word), and MB swears that almost 75% of the items on every restaurant menu in Qatar have the ‘dajaj’ word included somewhere. Dajaj this and dajaj that and dajaj the other. It’s akin to spuds back in Ireland. A must-have dish with every meal, in whatever format suits the moment. More dajaj please. And can I please order some desert dajaj? And a dajaj to go. Shukran.
So is there a threat of invasion MB? Well if there is lads, let’s hope it’s an invasion of chickens, or eggs. But which will come first MB? That’s the proverbial question lads!
Anyway, MB is not fearful of invasion. The HX Blog has numerous followers in Saudi Arabia and UAE, from MB’s sojourns in those regions. So the fact that MB is known to be presently residing in Qatar, means in all probability, that none of the hostile governments (of some 120M population) will risk sending troops across the border of Qatar (of some 2M population). Or if they do, it will only be to meet with MB to negotiate the terms of their surrender.
And that’s the story to date lads. MB will keep you all a(chicken)breast of developments, even before they happen.
Watch this space. Yesterday!
Lulu Supermarket today. Doha, Qatar. UHT Goats Milk. Yuk!
Posted on July 15, 2016
2013 Shot of one of the buildings under construction at a Zaha Hadid-designed project in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.
Posted on May 6, 2016
MB is very often a first port of call when life’s winds are howling. And so it came to pass again in recent days, when MB received the following email from a young Saudi friend:
Posted on October 23, 2015
Like many, MB has watched the refugees streaming into Europe on his TV screen over recent months. He didn’t realise until today that he actually knows some of them personally.
Posted on March 19, 2015
MB spent much of 2012 & 2013 in Saudi Arabia. He lived in a small hotel across the street from the Imam University. He often met the young Imams who would come in to have a coffee and study their religious books and notes before exams. MB spoke to many of them and was often invited or encouraged to join the religion of the ‘final word of God’. Most were grim people for whom smiling seemed forbidden. The Saudi version of their religion considers many things forbidden. Things that most people the world over take for granted. Like music and singing. Like the mixing of male and female. Like photography. Even smiling it seemed. It often struck MB that the Saudi Imams lacked a soul.
September 2009 and MB was on duty at the skittles stall at the local village fair back home. A friend of MB appeared with one of her colleagues and partook in the skittles competition (an old Irish game involving knocking over some timber pegs with larger timber logs). If you look closely at the pic you will see a silver cross hanging from her neck. And you might guess that maybe this friend of MB is a religious nun. Bingo. Correct. She is a member of the FCJ Order (the Faithful Companions Od Jesus) who ran the local village school over the years. Sister V has taught in the school and lived locally for most of her life. She is a great supporter of local events. Likes to smile. And as you can see from the pic she has soul. I wish some of those Saudis could get to meet her!
Posted on July 24, 2014
MB read the news today. Same as he does every other day. Makes for sad & disturbing reading out these parts. Read More
Category: Irish man in the Middle East Tagged: apostasy, Apostate, Beheading, Boka Haram, Culture, Gaza, I read the news today oh boy, IS, ISIS, islam, Israel, Meriam Ibrahim, MH17, news, Primitives, religion, Saudi Arabia, Stoning, Sudan, the beatles, Two Holy Mosques, Ukraine rebels, zakir naik
Posted on April 5, 2014
Posted on March 21, 2014
Posted on March 14, 2014
Posted on March 8, 2014
Late post this weekend. Apologies. MB is bit busy these days on account of fact he is leaving Saudi Arabia after almost 2 year and in busy ‘wrapping things up’ mode. Read More
Posted on January 17, 2014
Posted on December 9, 2013
Posted on November 29, 2013
Its 5am on a fresh Friday Riyadh morning. MB fell asleep too early last night and arose before cock-crow. The muezzin is belting out the call to prayer to the Muslim faithful. Those who wish to attend the nearby Mosque have 15 minutes to get there for first prayer of the day. Should they so chose. 99.9% will give this one a skip. But almost all will attend the midday prayer later on. One of the hotel staff has just rolled out a prayer mat in front of MB, and is now on his knees facing Mecca. Doing his duty for the 3 or 4 minutes it takes. Read More