Images of Saudi Arabia: Raghbah

Raghbah is an old settlement of Saudi Arabia from 1669. Below are pictures of Raghbah Tower (yes we climbed it!) and the old village. P1220050


Images of Saudi Arabia: Survival of the Fittest

A few lone flowers survive in the cracked, parched ground.

Images of Saudi Arabia: Sunset Over Raghbah

Images of Saudi Arabia: Camel Family

Images of Riyadh: First Dust Storm of the Season

Faisaliyah Tower in a dust storm/sandstorm. In case you forgot what it looks like normally, the photo is below for comparison.


Fine dust blows into everything, coming in through every crack- windows, doors, air conditioning vents, exhaust vents. Breathing is labored as it gets into your lungs. Land and air visibility is greatly reduced. People wax poetic about shamals, I tend to cough.

Looking up the various types, remember my last post about driving through a sandstorm with intermittent rain? That is officially called a haboob

Punishment for Gang Rape Victim- Saudi Style

Many Saudis feel that their country is unfairly represented in Western media. There are biases for sure and some journalists/media outlets undoubtedly unfairly focus on KSA.

Part of problem however are the incidents that actually happen. Child marriages have recently been getting international attention but “Saudi-style justice” is not limited to children.

A story from the Saudi Gazette is posted below in its entirety (bold added for emphasis).

Girl gets a year in jail, 100 lashes for adultery

By Adnan Shabrawi

JEDDAH – A 23-year-old unmarried woman was awarded one-year prison term and 100 lashes for committing adultery and trying to abort the resultant fetus.
The District Court in Jeddah pronounced the verdict on Saturday after the girl confessed that she had a forced sexual intercourse with a man who had offered her a ride. The man, the girl confessed, took her to a rest house, east of Jeddah, where he and four of friends assaulted her all night long.
The girl claimed that she became pregnant soon after and went to King Fahd Hospital for Armed Forces in an attempt to carry out an abortion. She was eight weeks’ pregnant then, the hospital confirmed.
According to the ruling, the woman will be sent to a jail outside Jeddah to spend her time and will be lashed after delivery of her baby who will take the mother’s last name. – Okaz/SG

What the article delicately calls “forced sexual intercourse” is called rape by everyone else. Five people “assaulted her all night long” is called gang rape by everyone else.

What is outrageous is that the women who was gang raped is going to lashed and jailed. The sentencing in this case is similar to the case of the Qatif girl last year. Let’s see if human rights agencies pick up this story or not.

Saudi Arabia and Bangladeshi Workers

Bangladesh is one of the largest suppliers of manual laborers to Saudi Arabia. Some 300 new workers used to come in every month and become everything from construction workers to tea boys.

Very well networked, they are considered resourceful and hard working. They are also infamous for having their own “mafia” that is heavily engaged in prostitution, drugs and alcohol.

Since last year, for no openly declared reason, Saudi Arabia stopped issuing visas and extending iqamas for Bangladeshi workers. Saudi Gazette quoted the Bangladeshi embassy last December:

“Starting April 2008, no domestic helpers including house maids, drivers and agriculture labor were being recruited to work in Saudi Arabia, although no official notification was given by Labor Ministry to the Embassy in this regard,”

In line with this development, Saudi Arabian airlines has reduced its weekly flights to Bangladesh from 12 to 8.

There is a range of speculation about the reasons:

  • Reduction in crime
  • As Saudization continues and some jobs that were traditionally done by foreign labor are being moved over to Saudi’s, the need for foreign workers has gone down
  • As political alliances change, Saudi Arabia might be readying itself for increasing workers from some other country