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Explosions & Gunfire - Expat Compounds - Riyadh
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Sunpower



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

PostPosted: Sat May 17, 2003 10:09 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

http://www.msnbc.com/news/912653.asp?vts=051720030310
EFL'ers, be vigilant.
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johnslat



Joined: 21 Jan 2003
Posts: 12302
Location: Santa Fe, New Mexico, USA

PostPosted: Sat May 17, 2003 11:15 am    Post subject: Ma fi defense Reply with quote

Dear Sunpower,
Vigilance is good; keeping that " low profile " is good. But the sad ( and frightening ) thing is - there's simply not much anyone can do to defend against this sort of attack.
Regards,
John
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scot47



Joined: 10 Jan 2003
Posts: 12098
Location: Ultima Thule

PostPosted: Sat May 17, 2003 11:48 am    Post subject: doom and gloom Reply with quote

You want some doom and gloom ? Here goes. Over the next few months/years we will see a continuing "Algerianisation" of the Arab and Muslim world. The bombs in Riyadh and then in Casablance are just a small part of this.

It is too late to reverse this process. Think back to the American presence in the Lebanese Civil war, and what led to the decision to withdraw.

Tough on anyone who planned a long term future in the Arab World. I am glad that I do not have a big mortgage to pay off !

Or am I being too pessimistic ?


Last edited by scot47 on Sat May 17, 2003 5:11 pm; edited 1 time in total
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johnslat



Joined: 21 Jan 2003
Posts: 12302
Location: Santa Fe, New Mexico, USA

PostPosted: Sat May 17, 2003 1:27 pm    Post subject: Bad Moon Rising Reply with quote

Dear scot47,
Are you being too pessimistic? Probably not. If I were a betting man, I'd likely go with 7 to 3 odds that you're pretty close to the mark. Reasons: there are too many loonies out there, willing to die if they can take a lot of " infidels " with them. And, as mentioned before, how do you defend against that? Until the supply of fanatics dries up or someone figures out how to prevent a determined suicide attack, I'd say we're in for a long, dark night. And not only in the Arab/Moslem lands, either.
Regards,
John
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Nomad Dan



Joined: 17 Feb 2003
Posts: 145
Location: Myanmar

PostPosted: Sat May 17, 2003 11:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Refresh me on the Algeria-ization thing going on. I am not familiar with it. A friend in Jeddah notes a marked all around feeling of unfriendliness among locals and foreigners alike there...What about you all?
It is sad, but surely predictable. Was the Morocco blast the in Africa the first of many for that continent?
I miss the money, but suppose that it is not a good idea to think of returning to Saudi Arabia after my visa thing is over...THAT is another issue. HAKA refused to give me a letter of no objection after I completed two full years of my contract. Then Cheryl Ryan threatened blackmail that the company would tell Aramco about an automobile accident I was involved in (which involved me paying about one thousand five hundred dollars to HAKs Saudi representative who was an reptilian devil. There are stories that need to be told. I loved the money, but it was a "whorish" process to say the least.
Perhaps there is a such thing as Karma.

Nomad Dan
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scot47



Joined: 10 Jan 2003
Posts: 12098
Location: Ultima Thule

PostPosted: Sun May 18, 2003 11:03 am    Post subject: algeria Reply with quote

Ageria has large oil reserves and exports oil and gas. It should be a wealthy country with a good standard of living. Instead it is bleeding to death in a civil war between the secularists and different groups of Islamists. It is not safe for anyone - specially foreigners. Unemployment is as high as 40 percent in some areas. Large parts of the coiuntry have returned to what is in effect a subsistence economy.

I do not want to say who is to blame but to point to Algeria as a warning about what might already be happening in other Arab and Muslim states.

It is all very strange for me because as a child in the 1950's I can remember the campaign for "Algerie Francaise". Now that is just a footnote in the History Books that no one ever reads.
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nimra_ghalat



Joined: 03 Mar 2003
Posts: 25

PostPosted: Tue May 20, 2003 1:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

As for career possibilities and "Algeriazation", my job in Saudi, for one, was completely pointless: I was teaching Arabs to speak and read English so that they could work in their own country. That would be equivalent to teaching Ohioans to speak German so they could get a job in Cincinnati repairing German cars. Or maybe even less pertinent than that. I would be really upset that I had to learn a foreign language to work in my own country, especially since very few workplaces in Saudi really NEED to work in English- things could be run in the native language just as they would be in other countries. It's no wonder there's a lot of resentment towards the West. I'm surprized there's not more.
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Mr. Kalgukshi
Mod Team
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Joined: 18 Jan 2003
Posts: 5974
Location: FSU 13-0 -- Go 'Noles! 2014 BCS Bowl Champions

PostPosted: Tue May 20, 2003 2:00 pm    Post subject: U.S. Embassy & Consulates Closing Reply with quote

BBC is just reporting the U.S. Embassy and Consulates in KSA are closing because of the possibility of attacks. Are you folks there hearing the same thing?
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nimra_ghalat



Joined: 03 Mar 2003
Posts: 25

PostPosted: Tue May 20, 2003 2:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
I don't know - it seems to me that a lot of Wahabis COULD be Al-Quaeda -and vice versa. Also, I doubt whether a Moslem's being a Shi'ite is going to give him immunity from suspicion in this - or any possible following - " incidents ".


I was trying to say that you don't need to be connected to Al-Qaida to be anti-western and extremist, and the Saudi gov't can mask a larger problem by categorizing any resentment of them and their Western cohorts as "Al-Qaida". As far as I know, yes, Wahhabism is Al-Qaida's brand of Islam, and there is a lot of sympathy among Wahhabis (and other Muslims) for their activities. I had friends in Saudi tell me that they actually sided with the Taliban and respected them for being so strict (though I doubt whether they themselves would be happy living under the Taliban regime!).

As for Shiites, they can't be Al-Qaida by definition. It would also seem that, since Al-Qaida is the enemy du jour, the Al Saud wouldn't nail any Shiites (publicly) since that would make them look like they had not only internal, but pan-regional problems on their hands.
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Pilot in Command



Joined: 19 Apr 2003
Posts: 50

PostPosted: Tue May 20, 2003 2:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yes, the US embassy and consulates in Saudi Arabia will close tomorrow, and according to the embassy, will remain closed thru Saturday at least.

For those who are interested, here's the website. Click on Warden Messages, and you'll have the list for this year.

http://usembassy.state.gov/riyadh/wwwhsecu.html

Stay safe.

I recently accepted an offer in Khafji. Am I nuts? Anyone have some insights on that area?

Thanks in advance.
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Stephen Jones



Joined: 21 Feb 2003
Posts: 4124

PostPosted: Tue May 20, 2003 2:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

---" recently accepted an offer in Khafji. Am I nuts?"----

Quite possibly, though not for the reasons you think. Al-Kahji is an oil town on the Kuwaiti border. Nothing there; all my students from there will tell me how nice it is, and then about how they all go to Kuwait every weekend.

You won't be able to get a visa to go to Kuwait. You might find being blown up a welcome relielf from the boredom.
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Pilot in Command



Joined: 19 Apr 2003
Posts: 50

PostPosted: Tue May 20, 2003 2:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

OH, FINE! Rolling Eyes
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scot47



Joined: 10 Jan 2003
Posts: 12098
Location: Ultima Thule

PostPosted: Tue May 20, 2003 3:10 pm    Post subject: Khafji Reply with quote

Khafji and places like it in saudi are okay for some people. If you can find things to do in your free time it could be a good place to save. Let's face it people should not come to Saudi Arabia for the social life.

But some people will go crackers after a few days in Khafji.
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Pilot in Command



Joined: 19 Apr 2003
Posts: 50

PostPosted: Tue May 20, 2003 4:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Dear Stephen Jones and Scot47,

I appreciate the information (as depressing as it may be!).

Apparently Khafji Joint Operations is one of the biggest oil companies in the Kingdom.

I tried to get as much detail from them as possible before deciding. They described the compound as "a very big city." They also said that Aramco had recently acquired about 50% of the operation there. The housing is private and well-furnished (they provided a detailed inventory). I made sure they confirmed Internet access there. They said there's a cafeteria, a mess hall, and the usual amenities found on most compounds.

I just wonder how much of a hassle it'll be to get to the major airport (Riyadh or Dammam?) for vacations. I checked expedia, and there don't seem to be any scheduled flights to Khafji from Riyadh, like there are to other "remote" towns. (I used to work at KKMC. In some ways Khafji sounds similar.)

Is there someone out there who's been to Khafji, or who knows someone who's been there?
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Stephen Jones



Joined: 21 Feb 2003
Posts: 4124

PostPosted: Tue May 20, 2003 4:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Loads of my students come from Khafji. They have no trouble getting here every week so you should have no trouble getting to either Dammam or Riyadh for leave.

I would think you could get to Khobar every weekend if you had a car, or over to Bahrain if necessary.

I had a colleague who worked there a couple of years ago. He had made a small fortune in Hong Kong and invested it in a language school on the French Riviera. Not surprisingly he was broke within a year.
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