It makes my heart swell with pride to know that my country is trying to do something for the Palestinians in Gaza. A friend who works in the military hospital here in Riyadh told me that for the past two days the hospital has been discharging people left and right to accommodate the wounded from Gaza and today the first airlift arrived. Everyone here in Saudi feels helpless and frustrated when we see the photos of the Israeli air raids aftermath. The photos of bleeding children and leveled buildings are driving us crazy. We need to have something to do. It’s so bad that many people went to government hospitals wanting to donate blood to the Palestinians. So many that the Health minister had to issue a statement saying that the Palestinians need supplies not blood.
Update Jan 3rd
The Saudi government organized a charity for Gaza that was broadcast on TV for the past two days and the last time I checked which was about four hours ago they had collected over eleven million dollars mostly from average Saudis to send to Gaza. One of the stories that they showed tonight was that of a lady who brought her welfare check to give to the cause. Another brought her whole jewelry box and told them this is all I have and I want to give it to the Palestinians suffering in Gaza. On TV there were a number of glass boxes with signs stating 10 riyal notes, 50 riyal notes, …etc. And Saudis would walk by putting their money in the appropriate box with several throwing notes into the 500 riyals box.
Update Jan 5th
the donations have reached 125 million riyals which is over 33 million dollars from both average Saudis, royalty and commercial establishments.
I was really looking forward to the new year especially since both the Hijri and Gregorian new year fall only within a couple of days of each other so it’s a new year both religiously and globally. But the crisis in Gaza has seriously put a damper on everything. Like they say on the world news channels:
“380 Palestinians and 4 Israelis killed.”
Take it straight from the horse’s mouth, a (so-called) Wahabi Saudi, the Israeli occupation and ethnic cleansing of Palestine is the pulsating heart of all things that lead to Islamic terrorism and the injustice of it all is the true axle of evil. More on that last sentence later.
Hopefully 2009 will get more peaceful as it ages.
Yesterday during a press conference with Bush in Baghdad a journalist threw his shoes at Bush’s head. According to eyewitnesses, he stood up about 12 feet from Bush and shouted in Arabic: “This is a gift from the Iraqis; this is the farewell kiss, you dog!” He then threw a shoe at Bush, who ducked and narrowly avoided it. And then he threw his other shoe, shouting in Arabic, “This is from the widows, the orphans and those who were killed in Iraq!” Bush reportedly tried to brush off the incident telling people that that is true democracy when anyone can draw attention to themselves but he was obviously shaken. Here’s the video of what happened:
In Arab culture throwing a shoe at someone is the ultimate insult. If a person just shows the bottom of his shoes when crossing their legs, you can be sure that they have little respect for the person in front of them. So to have the shoe taken off and thrown at someone’s head is definitely big.
I’m not gong to parade my ignorance of the situation in Iraq. I don’t know much about the details but I do know that there is a lot of sectarian violence and fighting between the Sunnis and the Shia. And Bush did the world a tremendous favor by getting rid of Saddam. There’s an Arabic saying that only what’s truly right is right to do. So he can’t go liberate a country from its dictator, especially based on false allegations and for personal gain, in the name of righteousness while there’s a much bigger injustice that he’s sponsoring in the very same neighborhood. How can he give that whole cowboy hero act in the Middle East and then with a straight face talk about supporting Israel in it’s occupation of Palestine? The whole Middle East would much rather see Israel gone than Saddam and that would eliminate Muslim terrorism like nothing else. Israel’s occupancy of Palestine is the fountain source that all Muslim terrorists use to recruit. To Arabs he just looks like a two-faced hypocrite and I’m glad he’s leaving office.