Saturday, January 29, 2011

Protests in Jeddah After the Flood

With the eyes of the world watching the events unfolding in Egypt, citizens of Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, also staged a peaceful protest of their own today in reaction to this past week's severe flooding of the city caused by unusual torrential rains. It appears as though nothing much has been done since last year's horrible flooding, nor has anyone been held accountable for the bad city planning and corruption which is to blame.

UPDATE 29JAN2011 - Well it's no surprise that the original video has been completely removed from YouTube. On Feb. 6, I found another video which is now posted - we'll see how long this one stays up on YouTube.

For more insight on the desperate situation in Jeddah due to the flooding, please read this post on Haphazard by a fellow blogger.

Jeddah Flood Victims Need Help

Jeddah flood victims need your help NOW!!!

Several NGOs and YIG (Young Initiative Group) have been tirelessly helping flood victims since last Wednesday's devastating rains. YIG is asking for your help and donations. Please donate, water bottles, food, clothes, blankets, flashlights etc. Please bring your items to AL-Harithy Exhibition Center also known as Jeddah Center for Forums and Events which located on the corner of Hera Street and Madinah Rd. Driving directions are below.

Al Harithy Exhibition center is open for everyone! If you can volunteer or donate needed items, it is open from 9am-9pm starting today, Friday, January 28, 2010. They will continue to take donations at this location for several more days. It is imperative that you get your donations there as soon as possible.

Females are needed for buying, receiving, sorting and packing the donations received. They will be working inside the Exhibition Center. Males with 4X4 cars are needed on the field. Gentlemen are asked to be available in the parking lot and be there in the morning or as soon as possible to register. You will be assigned to a group to head to a specific area for delivery and distribution and to support the groups which they are assigned to.

Females are more than welcome anytime to participate inside the Exhibition Center to help sorting and packing the donations received.

Please do not forget to register once you enter. YIG would like to keep track of all volunteers. If students need community service hours, please make sure you indicate that upon signing in. If you are younger than 18 years of age, you must have your parents approval to volunteer. YIG and all other organizations involved do not take any liability for damage to vehicles or individuals while volunteering. Please be aware of this disclaimer.

For further information, please join the YIG (Young Initiative Group) Facebook group page for constant updates.

Thank you!

Best Regards,
Zulikha Hussain
Independent Consultant
Interfaith Activist/Youth Activist

Increase awareness + Increase tolerance + enrich ourselves and others. = Peaceful world

Directions to Al-Harithy Exhibition Center

From the City:

Following the signs for the airport or for Madina, leave Jeddah City on Madina Road going north. Prepare to leave Madina Road at the Hera'a Street exit. Pass the Aramex offices on your right and go straight ahead at the traffic lights. Then with the Exhibition Centre on your right, take the first right turn.

From the North:

After passing the airport, leave Madina Road at the Hera'a Street Exit and make a U-turn under the Flyover. With the Exhibition Centre on your right, take the first right turn.

From the East & South:

The roads from the Jizan & the south and Riyadh & the east join the main highway from Makkah and the Jeddah Ring Road. Once on the Ring Road, follow the signs for the airport and Madina. Ignore all signs for the city centre or the port.
Leave the Ring Road following the sign for the South (Saudia) Terminal of the airport, then with the airport on your right, follow the signs for Jeddah City. Do not take the airport terminal slip road.
At the intersection with Madina Road (options for Madina, Corniche or City Centre), follow the City Centre sign to join Madina Road going south. Leave Madina Road at the Hera'a Street exit and make a U-turn under the Flyover.
With the Exhibition Centre on your right, take the first right turn.

To see more photos and read more about the severe flooding that Jeddah experienced this past week:

Arab News "Jeddah Flood, Photo Gallery"

Arab News "Flood Hit Jeddah Still in Shock"

Arab News "Jeddah Flood Death Toll Rises to 11"

There are also many videos posted on YouTube about the Jeddah Flood of 2011.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Jeddah Flooding - January 26, 2011

These are videos from the most recent flooding to occur in Jeddah just today. In November 2009, there was also severe flooding, and the number of casualties was widely believed to be greatly under-reported.

Widespread corruption is to blame. Contracts were not fulfilled, monies were absconded by unscrupulous businessmen, and the people are left to suffer every time it rains in the city of Jeddah.

Luckily I am not in Jeddah right now.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

2011 Weblog Award Nominations

The 2011 Bloggie Awards nominations are open now until Sunday, January 16th. The Bloggies is the longest running and most prestigious blogging awards contest in the blogosphere.

The Bloggies nominating ballot is BIG - there are 29 categories! Some of the categories are for geographical areas, travel, gossip, photography, entertainment, politics, parenting, humor, writing, fashion, science, and so on. You can take a look at the 2010 Bloggies and check out some of the outstanding blogs nominated for categories that you are interested in.

If you are going to make a nomination, you must nominate a minimum of at least three different blogs. You may only submit one nomination ballot, but you can nominate several blogs in the various categories. You will then receive an email with a link in it for you to click on - that will then register your nominations.

Susie's Big Adventure has been nominated the past two years in the Asian category, winning in 2009. If you can spare a few minutes to nominate my blog again, I would really appreciate it! Thanks so much!

Click here to go to the 2011 Bloggies Nominations Page.

Thursday, January 6, 2011


This past week my hubby Adnan took me out to take photos. Photography is one of my hobbies, and since there's not much else for me to do, going out to take photos around the city has become a treat for me and has become one of my favorite things to do here. There is still quite an aversion to cameras in Saudi Arabia - especially by women. Photographs of uncovered women (with their hair, faces, or some skin showing) have been used to blackmail women for money or to force them to have sex with the blackmailer or other unseemly things. If they were to be exposed, the photos would bring disgrace to the women and their families. When out in public it is perfectly legal here to take photos now, although people are still uncomfortable about it. Taking photos of certain areas, like government buildings and the place where public executions are carried out, is prohibited. It's a shame because many of the government buildings are really beautiful. I don't quite understand why a photo of a building is a problem, but that's the way it is.

I had asked my husband to take me to an area of the city that has some sculptures that I haven't been able to photograph yet because it is so far away and we don't get down there very often. So we left the house bright and early at 7am on a weekend day because traffic would be lighter at that time. Many of my photos are taken from a moving vehicle because it's just about impossible to pull over and take time to lay up my shots when traffic is heavy. Adnan pulled over so I could get out and take some photos of some nearby sculptures. I told him that there was a sign that said "No Photography!" but he just said to hurry up and get my shots and get back in the car. As I was taking my last shot, a police car drove by. Damn! I got back into the car and Adnan pulled out into the street headed for the next set of sculptures. The police car slowed down, let us pass him, and then he put his flashing lights on and used the loud speaker to tell us to pull over. Uh-oh!

"Oh S#!T!" hubby said as he veered over to the right and came to a stop. When the officer approached our car, Adnan and he exchanged cordial greetings and shook hands. (I had never seen anything like this happen in the states before, that's why I am mentioning it.) My husband showed the officer his driver's license and vehicle papers, and the policeman asked Adnan to step out of the car. After they spoke for a minute, I was asked to get out of the car and show the officer the last few photos I had taken on my digital camera screen. Apparently there was a government building that I wasn't aware of, across the street beyond the sculptures I was photographing. I showed the officer the last dozen or so photos I had taken. Luckily that government building wasn't in any of the pictures. The officer smiled and sent us on our merry way when he saw this one: