This morning I was contacted by BBC radio to participate in a radio program entitled "Do We Need to Rethink our Relationship with Saudi Arabia?" The hour long show will only be available to listen to online for 28 days, so if you are interested in learning about Saudi culture from Westerners' perspectives, do tune in.
|Susie in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, 2015|
Guests on the program presented their personal experiences of living in or visiting Saudi Arabia. One topic discussed is the case of UK pensioner Karl Andree, age 74, who has spent over a year in a Saudi prison since being arrested by Saudi religious police for transporting homemade wine in his car. Alcoholic beverages are strictly prohibited in Saudi Arabia and punishments are harsh. Andree has been sentenced to 360 lashes. It should be noted that Andree has lived in Saudi Arabia for 25 years, so he was well aware of Saudi's prohibition on alcohol when he broke the law.
One guest related his disturbing confrontations with the Saudi religious police during his visits to KSA for Hajj, the religious pilgrimage all Muslims are required to make during their lifetime.
Other topics touched upon during the program include human rights, public beheadings, women's issues, culture shock, and hypocrisy.
I was the final guest on the show and I can be heard at about 53 minutes into the show. Please CLICK HERE to listen to the program, but be sure to do it before November 10, 2015.