June 8, 2012

Airplanes and nail polish

My Take This Week

Airplanes and nail polish

Friday 8 June 2012
Arab News
• Saudi Arabia announced it would be able to handle sub-$100 a barrel of oil. I know for a fact that Saudi Arabia pumped crude at the fastest pace in at least 23 years, and as such we will not rush to cut back the current record output. Since everything is relative, Iran, with its exports falling, needs $117 crude to balance its budget.
• I’m sure you’ve heard of the gloomy wards of the abandoned hospital that has drawn hundreds of ghost hunters. What drew my attention is that the youths broke into the hospital grounds, smashed windows and started fires everywhere. It’s about time we establish recreation facilities in the country including movie theaters and sport clubs to entertain them. Also, we’ve been hearing stories about creating thousands of jobs for Saudis in the tourism sector. It’s also about time we started hiring.
• It was announced that Saudi Arabia would start recruiting workers from Vietnam. I believe this is a good plan. Beside the need to offset the shortfall of domestic workers following suspension of recruitment from Indonesia and the Philippines, Vietnam had shown interest in the Saudi energy sector. I enjoy reading Vietnamese proverbs, here is one I liked: “One piece of food while hungry equals a big box of food while full.”
• Do you have a problem finding a taxi? I have a problem finding a clean taxi especially in our airports. I can understand that taxi drivers work long hours and face a lot of challenges with different groups of passengers. However, I don’t understand why is it that we still don’t have organized taxi companies like those in Bahrain and Dubai?
• The most refreshing news I read this week was the announcement of Sheikh Abdul Latif Al-Asheikh, president of the Commission for the Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice who has come out strongly against one of his men who ordered a woman to leave a mall because she was wearing nail polish. Al-Asheikh said that any member of the religious police who abuses citizens or attacks them has no place in the Commission. This is what we want to hear.
• And from my “Expats in Saudi Arabia” e-group, Rasha says: “I’m a mom to a gorgeous 8 months baby girl and I was wondering if there are any gatherings for babies her age or older to play while moms catch up and share experience and lovely home made food.” Dear moms out there, waiting for your feedback.

Tweet: Sheikh Abdul Latif Al-Asheikh addressing members of the PVPC Commission: “The world is manufacturing airplanes and we are still telling a woman: leave the mall because you’ve got nail polish on your fingers!“

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