October 17, 2008

Saudi News (Oct 17, 2008)

Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal unveiled the designs of the 1,000 meter high Kingdom Tower as part of the Kingdom City development to be built in Obhur, Jeddah.
Alwaleed is going big. The master plan encompasses 7.1 sq km (1,750 acres) and is expected to house 80,000 residents.


Great fitness news! Jeddah Municipality demarcated 20 locations around the city for the construction of pedestrian paths to encourage walking. One of the proposed themes, a Poet’s Path, is designed to exhibit poems of Saudi and Arab poets. A sports path is also designed for walking, rollerblading, horse riding and cycling, in addition to basketball and soccer.
Wonderful initiative….Way to go Jeddah!

Several towns experienced mild tremors when an earthquake measuring 3.8 on the Richter scale hit Jizan last Sunday.
As Saudi Arabia resides on a land mass breaking away from the African continent and drifting toward the subcontinent, we could be subject to frequent seismic activity.


OK, so now even our Shoura Council emphasized the strength of our economy by indicating that it would not require any emergency measures to confront the present global crisis. Since the Kingdom has no investments in the affected Western banks, Saudi bank deposits are safe.
As I told France 24 Radio last week, I’m still convinced that the government should buy into falling stocks or allow share buybacks, to spare citizens losses from further bourse declines.


Abdullah Al-Suwailim, a member of the Riyadh Municipal Council, resigned after what he described as “violations of Islamic rules” during this year's Eid festivities in the city.
Attempts to discriminate against women started during King Abduaziz time in the 30’s and will continue to exist throughout our history. A few weeks ago, I was interviewed on Saudi Eqtisadiya TV along with Mr. Abdullah Al-Suwailim to talk about “Work for Women”. Although Mr. Al-Suwailim and I have both disagreed on many of the issues, I was impressed by his high ethical conduct during the interview. Never-the-less, I believe that his resignation from his post will not stop him from criticizing events where women are involved, he will probably continue this task as he is also the imam of a mosque in Riyadh.

Authorities in Taif are questioning a man who is suspected of having tortured his teenage daughter. Layla, 14, is in extremely critical condition and is struggling for her life at an intensive care ward. She was in a coma and was covered with bruises and had first-degree burns on her body.
I understand that no part of Layla’s body was free from some injuries or marks of beating or other forms of torture.

A terrible accident took place this week. Three brothers, all students, lost their lives when a jeep ran over them and hit nine others after colliding with a water tanker in Qurayat. Who was driving? A 16-year old joyriding boy.
It is disgusting watching the clips of kids joyriding and performing stunts in public places to draw attention.

An Indian national has swindled hundreds of thousands of riyals out of a number of compatriots in Riyadh . T. Sekar started a saving scheme known as chit-fund where people deposited hundreds of thousands of riyals.
The man has probably fled the country by now.

October 20 will be an important date for the Saudi photographer Faisal Al-Malki. Mr. Malki will be competing for the International Photography Awards in New York in the Fine Art in Nonprofessional category.
Best of luck to our Saudi artist.


Remember the 22 year-old woman who claimed that members of the religious police harassed her while she was in a car with her husband? Well, she intends to take her case to Madinah Gov. Prince Abdul Aziz bin Majed. Apparently the commission members tailed, pursued and then detained the couple temporarily as they were driving home.
Are we supposed to carry our marriage certificates wherever we go?

Lecture of the week
Arabian Society for Human Resource Management will hold its next dinner meeting on Oct 20 @ 7PM in Le Meridian Hotel, Khobar. A presentation will be made by Dr. Michael Wesson of Texas A&M on “Using compensation effectively in organizations” .

Finally...I plan to be in Cairo all next week attending the Euromoney Conference and other activities. See you later.

Life goes on….
Abdullah Al Alami

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