Important Notice

It is not my intention to denigrate Saudi Arabia or its people. It’s like everywhere else, there is good and there is bad. I would rather focus on the unusual and the humourous. Offence is not intended.

“The country is not perfect. The media cannot be trusted, mistreatment of religious minorities is common and there are some that live in fear.” You can decide for yourself whether that statement is about Saudi Arabia, the UK, or any country for that matter.

To quote the Joker, “Why can’t we all just get along?”

That is all I will say about either subject.

Tuesday, 2 January 2007

Knowing Me, Knowing You

Hello. You are a muslim and I am a westerner. I've lived in Riyadh for four months now and I have some news that may shock you. It might even insult you, so be prepared...

You and me, we're just the same.

Sure there are a few cultural differences, but basically we want the same things. We want to have a family. We want our kids to grow up happy and safe. We want them to be good people. We want an end to violence.

Some in the middle-east say that Islam is under attack. Western leaders and reporters remind us of 9/11 and 7/7 and the threat of Islamic extremists. But it is not "Islam" or "the West" that's under attack. It is muslims and westerners. It is you and me.

Who died in London on 7/7? Muslim haters? Who died in Lebanon? Who is dying in Iraq? Terrorists? Of course not, just normal people like you and me.

We are not to blame for what the leaders of our countries do. Democracy is only the power to choose your dictator for the next four years. There are those on both sides that enjoy stirring up fear, hatred and an attitude of "them and us". This is to gain them more power. But who lives on the front lines of possible attacks? It is not them, it is you and me. Who will suffer? Who will be grieving? You and me, the silent, decent majority.

So whose responsibility is it to change attitudes? Who can make a difference? Well, that would be you and me. So next time you pass me on the street in Riyadh try not to think of me as “a westerner”. Try instead to see that I am just like you. I promise you I will be doing the same.


Muteb said...

Excellent! Excellent! Excellent!

You and me want to live in peace in fair world.

Thank you.

Entropy said...

"Democracy is only the power to choose your dictator"

I liked this sentence alot...I've been telling my American friends in te past 5 years -the Bush years-that I now strongly realize that democracy might not be a good thing after all...If My King/Amir is taking stupid decicions that affetcs us all, I can still rise my head up high and say: hey at least WE didn't elect him!!

great post & Happy Eid/Christmas/New Year

Anonymous said...

Hey That was Excellent Post !!!
I liked ur idea of conveying & trying to remove differences.
Its You & me who need to change our preceptions of things in the world. Do u presonaly think People in Saudi would ever change their attitudes ?? I have a serious doudt. anyways keep up ur Activity of removing differences..
Atleast now i can feel that You & me are from different worlds But still we have same feeling & thinking. !!!
Keep up Margrave..
Reader in U.A.E

Anonymous said...

Enjoy reading your blog, keep up the great work!

Unfortunately however, the World is, and never will be, this simple. Most of the Worlds population desn't live in true Democracies, and cannot elect or dismiss their officials/Leadership, they have little or no voice.

Only the "Western" World (how I hate that term) can boast a high proportion of Democratic Countries, and yet even those are tainted and heavily swayed by Media (The U.S. and the majority of their major news networks being case in point).

TI3GIB said...

I applaud you for that, but sadly that's not where the difference lies. Take a look at the governments and things start changing drastically.

Sadly, we, both Arabs & Westerners, judge the other on what we know about them and that is what we hear on the news, forgetting that all those politicians are running their own agendas through people like us, no matter where we come from.

Keep up

Life Out East said...

An inspiring blog. I live in a nationalist country (Thailand) and it makes you realise just how much we Brits, generally, are not racist. Whereas I tend to see people as people, regardless of how they look, in Thailand there is a strong them and us scenario. I'm sure this is the case in a lot of other places too.
Keep up the good work!

A girl from Riyadh said...

Nice post. I realized that I did the right thing adding your blog in my Favorites.
Emphasizing in the humanity (regardless of all other aspects) is an important step toward understanding each others and accepting each others.
However, I am sure that both of us are going to face difficulties to change the misconception that results of media and of lack of communication. Of course I mean through aspects of culture, art, science… not through troops ;)

Anonymous said...

As an arab who spent many years in England, I agree with 'most' of what you say.

Anonymous said...

Great Post!

I lived as an adolescent in Jeddah for seven years 68-75 and am now writing my memoirs...and would like to show the extreme warmth the bedouins and arabs showed my Dad (he spoke broken arabic) and my family during that time...who knows maybe i can help with the understanding between the two cultures.

saif said...

*thumbs up*

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