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Explosions & Gunfire - Expat Compounds - Riyadh
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Mr. Kalgukshi
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Joined: 18 Jan 2003
Posts: 5947
Location: FSU 13-0 -- Go 'Noles! 2014 BCS Bowl Champions

PostPosted: Mon May 12, 2003 10:27 pm    Post subject: Explosions & Gunfire - Expat Compounds - Riyadh Reply with quote

Both BBC and CNN are reporting explosions and gunfire at expat compounds in Riyadh. Anyone have additional information? Stay safe, folks.
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veiledsentiments



Joined: 20 Feb 2003
Posts: 15600
Location: USA

PostPosted: Tue May 13, 2003 1:21 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Four car bombs in three different compounds with mixed western and Saudi and other Arab residents - many in the hospital - nothing confirmed as to deaths, but it sounds pretty serious. It happened about 11:30pm there (4:00 ET in the US)

I wish our posters (JohnS - call home, we're worried about you!!) were here. I can't remember where Scot47 is. But, it is the middle of the night there right now.
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titanicman



Joined: 17 Feb 2003
Posts: 71
Location: Qatar

PostPosted: Tue May 13, 2003 2:35 am    Post subject: Explosions & Gunfire - Expat Compounds - Riyadh Reply with quote

Were Western English teachers living in the expatriate housing compounds? Which schools had teachers living there? IPA? King Saud? Others?

I'm thinking of relocating my workplace from Korea to K of SA. Is this a good time? What about the security situation in other cities like Dahrain or Jeddah? Are they relatively safe?
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Joined: 20 Feb 2003
Posts: 15600
Location: USA

PostPosted: Tue May 13, 2003 2:46 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The American Ambassador in Riyadh was just on CNN and said that among the injured were 40 Americans with a couple of deaths. But, it is still early times and stories will change. He suggested that the compounds contained Americans who were related to American companies doing military type work, but don't quote me. Only limited news is getting out.

Hopefully, we will hear soon from some of the teachers there who post here. Any of our members there are likely just getting out of bed and they will know more than we will about who lives where.
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johnslat



Joined: 21 Jan 2003
Posts: 12023
Location: Santa Fe, New Mexico, USA

PostPosted: Tue May 13, 2003 3:12 am    Post subject: Boom Town Reply with quote

Dear Forum,
I just read about it all myself on Yahoo, so right now you probably know more about the whole thing that I do, but I should find out more at work today. I don't live on a compound, just an apartment building in a rather low-rent Arab district - probably the safest place for Westerners to be these days. All's well here - more later, inshallah.
Regards,
John
P.S. scot47's over in the Eastern Province; he should be OK.
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Irish



Joined: 13 Jan 2003
Posts: 371

PostPosted: Tue May 13, 2003 3:20 am    Post subject: Whew! Reply with quote

Thanks for taking the time to check in, John--it's good to know that you and the guru are safe and sound. We can't afford to lose the board's favorite psuedo-sexist or his backpacker-bashing buddy.

Stay in touch and keep safe,

Irish
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veiledsentiments



Joined: 20 Feb 2003
Posts: 15600
Location: USA

PostPosted: Tue May 13, 2003 4:36 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Like Irish, good to hear from you John. I had some friends that used to work at IPA and I didn't think that they were on a compound, but some of us are just worriers. It is time for me to go to bed on this side of the world, so I will catch up with all this in a few hours when it is 'my' morning.
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Sunpower



Joined: 22 Jan 2003
Posts: 256
Location: Taipei, TAIWAN

PostPosted: Tue May 13, 2003 4:57 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

http://www.cbc.ca/storyview/MSN/2003/05/12/saudibomb030512
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chi-chi



Joined: 16 Jan 2003
Posts: 127
Location: Back in Asia!

PostPosted: Tue May 13, 2003 10:49 am    Post subject: Re: Explosions & Gunfire - Expat Compounds - Riyadh Reply with quote

titanicman wrote:


I'm thinking of relocating my workplace from Korea to K of SA. Is this a good time?


Are you nuts? Talk about going from the frying pan into the fire....
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Sunpower



Joined: 22 Jan 2003
Posts: 256
Location: Taipei, TAIWAN

PostPosted: Tue May 13, 2003 12:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I don't know how they knew but the States had info that something like this was coming.

A counterintelligence official in Washington said intelligence from the past two weeks indicated al-Qaeda was close to launching a strike in Saudi Arabia. The incident follows an alert earlier this month from the U.S. State Department warning Americans not to travel to Saudi Arabia because of concerns over terrorism.

What do you do - Stop living?
If you wanna go, then maybe you should
go if you have a chance to.
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johnslat



Joined: 21 Jan 2003
Posts: 12023
Location: Santa Fe, New Mexico, USA

PostPosted: Tue May 13, 2003 2:44 pm    Post subject: Do you have an appointment? Reply with quote

Well, if you don't come here as a bit of a " fatalist ", you probably leave here as one. Here's my favorite illustration of the mentality:

The speaker is Death

There was a merchant in Bagdad who sent his servant to market to buy provisions and in a little while the servant came back, white and trembling, and said, Master, just now when I was in the marketplace I was jostled by a woman in the crowd and when I turned I saw it was Death that jostled me. She looked at me and made a threatening gesture, now, lend me your horse, and I will ride away from this city and avoid my fate. I will go to Samarra and there Death will not find me. The merchant lent him his horse, and the servant mounted it, and he dug his spurs in its flanks and as fast as the horse could gallop he went. Then the merchant went down to the marketplace and he saw me standing in the crowd and he came to me and said, Why did you make a threating getsture to my servant when you saw him this morning? That was not a threatening gesture, I said, it was only a start of surprise. I was astonished to see him in Bagdad, for I had an appointment with him tonight in Samarra.


As we say over here, it's all inshallah.
Regards,
John
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scot47



Joined: 10 Jan 2003
Posts: 11703
Location: Ultima Thule

PostPosted: Tue May 13, 2003 4:23 pm    Post subject: Dhahran Reply with quote

Thanks for the concern. A friend phoned me in the morning to tell me about the explosions the night before. Riyadh is a long way from Eastern province where I am.

Scary. I was in Saudi when the bomb went off at Khobar Towers and here when the planes were hijacked on Septemeber 11.

Counting days until the summer holidays and will then re-evaluate position. It is hard for me becasue I need an EFL job with a reasonable income. My dependants have got used to eating 3 square meals a day. I couldn't afford that on the kind of salaries that are paid in some countries.
(Especially in Third World places like Britain.)


Last edited by scot47 on Wed May 14, 2003 5:18 am; edited 1 time in total
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zakiah25



Joined: 09 Feb 2003
Posts: 155
Location: Oman

PostPosted: Wed May 14, 2003 2:01 am    Post subject: standard 3 months notice ...... Reply with quote

Yes, good wishes to our Saudi members and hope you are all safe.
JohnSlat, have I been reading your posts correctly? You mention 50 + days to go. Do you mean just to the Summer Holidays or is it your retirement?
Anyway, if it is the latter, you of all people should realize that we require the standard 3 months notice which is usual here in the Middle East. What with Scot 47 on his "last legs", how on earth will be get any news from the magic kingdom?
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johnslat



Joined: 21 Jan 2003
Posts: 12023
Location: Santa Fe, New Mexico, USA

PostPosted: Wed May 14, 2003 3:07 am    Post subject: The point of no return Reply with quote

Dear zakiah25,
Thanks for your concern. Retirement? What dat? I'm going to teach till I drop, inshallah ( why stop doing what I love to do, especially when they'll pay you to do it? ). But my exit this year will be an Exit Only. I turned in my resignation about 3 weeks ago ( now I'm feeling prescient ). But I intend to stay in touch with the guys here after I leave and to keep posting on Dave's ( didn't think you'd be able to get rid of me THAT easily, did you? ). So, I should be able to provide all the news that's not fit to print ( in the Saudi papers ) even post-departure.
Regards,
John
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Mark100



Joined: 05 Feb 2003
Posts: 441

PostPosted: Wed May 14, 2003 9:38 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

4 guys that i used to work with here in Aramco were in the Riyadh bombing and one was injured shot in the leg in the other nights terrorist attack.
They are all leaving the kingdom.
It is not a good time to consider coming to work here and i would advise anyone to not come.
This is possibly only the first in many to come similar incidents in Saudi.
I am waiting to see what happens in the next few weeks but will leave if there are any similar incidents in the eastern province.
To the other guys in Saudi, stay safe!
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