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Thinking of Coming to Saudi?
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Mark100



Joined: 05 Feb 2003
Posts: 441

PostPosted: Thu Apr 15, 2004 6:31 am    Post subject: Thinking of Coming to Saudi? Reply with quote

http://www.arabnews.com/?page=1&section=0&article=43156&d=15&m=4&y=2004

For anyone thinking of venturing to the magic kingdom please read the above article.
This sort of thing is happening on an all too frequent basis.
This is not a good time to come.
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scot47



Joined: 10 Jan 2003
Posts: 12140
Location: Ultima Thule

PostPosted: Thu Apr 15, 2004 9:16 am    Post subject: Cars or bombs ? Reply with quote

I worry more about the driving than I do about being shot or blown up.

Going into Khobar last night I was reminded of the insane driving here. This weekend I will stay at home !

Incidentally I am one of those who have chosen to live here without a car. It can be done ! I am curious. How many others live in KSA without their own car ?
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johnslat



Joined: 21 Jan 2003
Posts: 12348
Location: Santa Fe, New Mexico, USA

PostPosted: Thu Apr 15, 2004 10:47 am    Post subject: Just when you thought it was safe . . . Reply with quote

Dear scot47,
Well, I lived for 17 of my 19 years there without a car, the two year exception being 1985 to 1987, when my 2nd wife was residing in the Kingdom with me. If you have family there, a car may not be a necessity, but it tends to make things easier, especially if your wife is working or if you have your kids with you (but I have known those with both wife and kids who managed OK without having one). When I was on my own, I never even considered having a car; it just wasn't necessary, in either Jeddah or Riyadh. There are so many taxis, cruising the streets - we used to call them "Great Whites", since they were rather like sharks, seeking someone to devour.
Regards,
John
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scot47



Joined: 10 Jan 2003
Posts: 12140
Location: Ultima Thule

PostPosted: Thu Apr 15, 2004 12:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Dhahran is not as good as Jeddah in terms of taxis but it still is possible. And I agree with John that if you have dependants here then a car migh be advisable.
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scot47



Joined: 10 Jan 2003
Posts: 12140
Location: Ultima Thule

PostPosted: Thu Apr 15, 2004 1:07 pm    Post subject: Safe ? Reply with quote

To get back to the original poster. KSA is not as safe as it used to be. But bear in mind that the whole world is dangerous.

Istanbul
Madrid
Omagh
New York

Where is safe ? I am reminded of that anecdote about the guy in 1938 who saw WW2 coming so he decided to move to a desert island. He bought himself a little beachfront property on an island called Guadalcanal.
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grahamb



Joined: 30 Apr 2003
Posts: 1432

PostPosted: Fri Apr 16, 2004 10:31 am    Post subject: It's a dangerous world. Reply with quote

Two Chinese were attacked in Aberdeen (Scotland, not California). Both were badly injured, and one was left brain-damaged. No doubt their assailants will receive the usual smack on the wrist. Perhaps a dose of Saudi justice would be more effective.
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scot47



Joined: 10 Jan 2003
Posts: 12140
Location: Ultima Thule

PostPosted: Fri Apr 16, 2004 11:22 am    Post subject: Civil Peace Reply with quote

On my now infrequent visits to the country of my birth, I, for one. avoid city centres in the evening. Barbarism. Gangs of feral youths fueled on booze. Footpads. Cutpurses. Drug fiends.

Give me the peace and quiet of Saudi Arabia anytime !
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grahamb



Joined: 30 Apr 2003
Posts: 1432

PostPosted: Fri Apr 16, 2004 11:44 am    Post subject: Peace, man. Reply with quote

آمين
If the online dictionary's correct, that's "Amen" in Arabic.
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shebab



Joined: 17 Sep 2003
Posts: 165

PostPosted: Sat Apr 17, 2004 6:30 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Just one security officer shot??!! In Colombia, it would be a very slow day for the newspapers if this was all they had to report on! Shocked

"Can you believe yet another massacre occurred around the corner last night...can you please pass the jam?" would be ordinary breakfast conversation in my house. Surprised

Saudi news seems pretty tame in comparison.
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Albulbul



Joined: 08 Feb 2003
Posts: 364

PostPosted: Sat Apr 17, 2004 8:57 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yes it is all relative. Some South Americans here in Saudi feel very safe after life in Colombia and Venezuela.
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Bindair Dundat



Joined: 04 Feb 2003
Posts: 1123

PostPosted: Sun Apr 18, 2004 11:24 am    Post subject: Re: Thinking of Coming to Saudi? Reply with quote

Mark100 wrote:

This is not a good time to come.


Thank you, Mr. 100. On your advice, I have withdrawn my application to work as a policeman in Saudi Arabia.

BD
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Mark100



Joined: 05 Feb 2003
Posts: 441

PostPosted: Mon Apr 19, 2004 7:18 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Scot47

I take your point about the world being a more dangerous place but the security has markedly deteriorated in KSA over the last few years.
There are permanent road blocks throughout the country.
Most compounds have armoured vehicles and heavy security.
There have been two compounds bombed.
There have been numerous gunbattles and deaths and seizures of massive amounts of bombing materials , suicide vests, RPGs , guns , grenades etc
There is a strong resentment of the west fueled by the current foreign policy of the US and UK and others.
There is concurrently a sort of pan Arabic fervour which is aided by news outlets such as Al Jazeera and others.
There are less and less westerners here by the day as these sort of events and living conditions take their inevitable toll.
Living conditions in KSA have never been easy but they are decidedly more difficult at the moment and this is unlikely to change in the near future.
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scot47



Joined: 10 Jan 2003
Posts: 12140
Location: Ultima Thule

PostPosted: Mon Apr 19, 2004 7:33 am    Post subject: security or money Reply with quote

I do notice that there are fewer westerners here. The downward slide of the dollar (to which the riyal is pegged) may have more to do with this than security.

Do you remember the "Juhaiman" incident in 1979 when armed Islamists occupied the Grand Mosque in Mecca ? They held it for some days before they were defeated and met their fate on the chopping blocks of the Kingdom.

Are things worse or better now ? My feeling is that the forces of law and order are on top of it.


Last edited by scot47 on Mon Apr 19, 2004 12:20 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Mark100



Joined: 05 Feb 2003
Posts: 441

PostPosted: Mon Apr 19, 2004 8:22 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I wasn't here in '79.

I was still at Uni in those days.

As for whether things are better or worse today I would say worse based on the points I have already made and what i have heard from old timers.

One thing i did forget to mention was the slide in the US dollar this has no doubt had an effect as has the fact that in real terms expat salaries by and large have not risen much over the last 15 years.
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Stephen Jones



Joined: 21 Feb 2003
Posts: 4124

PostPosted: Mon Apr 19, 2004 7:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have not been stopped in a road block since just after Christmas, and that includes travelling to Dammam and into the centre of Jubail.

The only thing you notice are the concrete posts and metal barriers going up to stop a car bomb being driven straight into the main hallway of the Royal Commission. The holes they dig up for them mingle with the other holes they are digging for new elextricity and telephone wires and so on.

The replacement of westerners by Saudis, or more commonly cheaper expats, has been going on apace for years. It has much to do with the financial situation (the GNP of Saudi is now under a third of the GNP of the UK). Where we are the events since the invasion of Iraq and the bombing have slowed down the number of people applying somewhat but have had little or no effect on people already here leaving.

I actually find things better now than ever before in Saudi. The two main causes of insecrity are the American and British occupation of Iraq, and the possibility of a drastic drop in oil prices. Coincidentally the two tend to exclude each other.
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