Taking the good with the bad

24 May

One of the things that I love about The Land of Sand is that it is a safe place to live. We really don’t worry about personal safety or security around our house at all. Our main bedroom has a metal blind over the window that we can activate from the inside and a heavy metal door so that the bedroom becomes a safe room in the event of any type of attack on the compound. Of course, the outside perimeter of the compound would have to be breached first and that would be a ginormous feat in itself considering the number of National Guard with matching gun turrets that surround the place. It is not uncommon for residents in the compound to only lock their doors when they go away on holiday.

Outside of the compound, I have never been threatened or felt unsafe whilst being on my own. The ladies don’t need to shop in packs to keep safe and Luka and I have always enjoyed our outings completely undisturbed. There are areas which one should avoid, as is the case in all cities in the world but generally most places are safe for expats.

Recently though, an unpleasant event occurred outside Kingdom Mall. I have written about this mall in a previous post. I don’t yet know how to create links between my posts so here is a pic of the Kingdom Mall to refresh our memory.

  

Here is an exert, written by someone else, of what happened at the entrance to the Mall:

“The ladies were dropped off at the main entrance  of the Mall, as the bus left the ramp and the ladies were gathering themselves to go inside, an expensive four-wheel drive stopped at the main entrance. A youth hung out of the sun roof of the vehicle and pelted the ladies with rocks (not small stones or pebbles … very large rocks), as they threw the rocks they kept shouting “Get out of Arabia”. At least one of the ladies was hit badly with a great deal of blood streaming from her head and she fell to the floor. Whilst this was happening NOT ONE SINGLE person came to their assistance. The car drove down the ramp with the women shouted for someone to stop them. Unfortunately they escaped, but more because there was no attempt by security to stop the car. The incident did not last much more than about 15 seconds apparently, but enough to throw a large number of rocks. The lady was on the floor and soaked in blood, and NO Kingdom mall security came to assist and call for a car to take her to hospital and no Police were called. The compound bus had to return to take the lady to hospital for stitches. The only thing that was done by the Mall security was to pick up all the rocks and throw water over the marble floor to clear the blood!”

Not a great experience for the expat ladies concerned, but I don’t believe that it is cause for alarm or necessarily a trend in the country. Bad stuff happens in all cities. I heard a story just days ago from our neighbours, who were in a car accident, about all the offers of assistance from passers-by who stopped to help them after their accident. Also, there is always a danger in a man assisting a woman here as men should not really even speak to women who are not part of their family let alone touch them so it is a difficult situation.  Not a big deal, just a much discussed topic here at the moment so thought I’d write about it as that is the point of my blog after all. Daily life in the Land of Sand.

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4 Responses to “Taking the good with the bad”

  1. Fay May 26, 2010 at 6:50 pm #

    Hi guys, well what can I say…… we lived there as well but never, ever had any problems (Al Hamdulilla) BUT we are thankfull we never had any accident or met idiots like described as above!!! I have to say it is sad soooo sad that this happened and will happen again and it can ONLY happen in Saudi!!!

    Fay x

  2. Trips June 8, 2010 at 9:08 pm #

    Wao, The marbel floor deserved more kindness than the injured person. I knowAllah will never approve of it.

  3. Jeannie Arabia June 24, 2010 at 11:42 am #

    I also read about this incident on the Riyadh forum of expat-blog.com.

    It would be good to have an eye witness account of the incident-even though I have no doubt it is totally credible.

    The world is full of bystanders.

    Jeannie
    http://www.geniesarabia.wordpress.com

    • dustbusting June 24, 2010 at 3:34 pm #

      I agree totally with you and I wonder about all the stories of similar events that have occured subsequent this one.

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