Friday, August 26, 2005

He's ba-ack

After almost a year's absence, The Religious Policeman, the best blog to come out of Saudi Arabia, is back. (No, that is not his real photo.) I thought maybe he was in a prison cell, seriously. In fact, he has left the happy kingdom and moved to England.

A writing sample:

There are those people in Jeddah. They have a Corniche, so they think they're living on the Mediterranean. They tend to smile and laugh. You occasionally see couples furtively holding hands. What libertines.

Then there are people like me who live in Riyadh. We're more proper. No holding hands. Not a lot of smiling either - what is there to smile about in Riyadh?

Then there are the people from Qassim, pronounced Gass-eem. A district centered round Burayda, 200 miles north of Riyadh. Where Wahabbi (who invented our really fun version of Islam) originally came from. Burayda is described in Lonely Planet or the Rough Guide as the "most unfriendly place in Saudi Arabia". And then some. Remember those old movies about creepy New England towns called Spookyburg or Witchville, where some innocent guy wanders in by mistake, it's all knee deep in mist and the silent locals just stare and don't say anything, the guy ends up next morning as a puddle of ectoplasm on the ground? Well Burayda makes those places look like New Orleans. In Mardi Gras.

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