The King Returns

26 Feb

Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, King Abdullah arrived back in Riyadh on Wednesday amidst much fanfare and celebration. He has been out of Saudi Arabia for 3 months, spending time in the US where he underwent back surgery. The city of Riyadh has been decked out with flags and massive banners for the last week in preparation for his return. Apparently people (and throngs of security personal – who are, of course, also people!) lined the streets as he drove from the airport to his palace, many of them waving and dancing as he passed by. Celebrations continued late into the night. The sound of screeching tires and horns being honked could be heard until the wee hours of the morning and the festivities culminated in a day off for schools and government institutions today. I took a few pics whilst we were out on the bus on Thursday morning. Every available signboard, flag pole and overhead bridge was adorned with photos and banners of the King.

 

With all the protesting and upheaval currently underway throughout the region, it is not really surprising that he has returned. It is probably in his best interests to be home during this time of uncertainty. In appreciation of the unprecedented joy and happiness shown towards his recovery, the king announced a series of benefit measures for his people amounting to a cool 36 billion dollars!

Despite this very kind gesture, which is obviously in no way related to threats of protest here:-), news channels are reporting about plans for protests in the near future. Saudi’s are fairly subdued folk and it seems that for the most part King Abdullah is well liked by his people so we do not anticipate too much trouble in these parts but we did stock up on a few extra food items today and are keeping some extra cash on hand just in case.

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2 Responses to “The King Returns”

  1. Jana February 28, 2011 at 2:16 pm #

    There’s nothing scarier than living in a foreign country during its time of upheaval. I hope there is never any need for you to dip into your emergency supplies, leaving you free to enjoy the exciting life in the Land of Sand – and writing all about it for your word-thirsty readers like me!

  2. dustbusting March 3, 2011 at 12:18 pm #

    Thanks Jana. There seems to be no need for panic just yet so we will see how things unfold. It should be fine… but you never really know.

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