In other news...
At least one Gulf State is going to ban transporting its workers in open trucks and require that they have seats and seat belts. There is a photo which accompanies the story, here. Interesting, though, in the photo there is a "gate" that covers the back of the truck. I have yet to see a gate across the back of a truck transporting workers. Goats and sheep, yes. There is a gate. But usually not on the workers trucks. Just hard metal benches... Saudi Arabia doesn't seem to have as many open trucks transporting workers - there are some - I see more of them in Bahrain than in Saudi Arabia. I do not recall whether we saw them in Kuwait or in Dubai. We saw plenty of them in Egypt - not only were they in the back of the trucks - packed in like sardines - but men were standing on the tail-gate and bumpers of the vehicles holding on to the metal bars which support the canopy as the vehicles were traveling ON THE HIGHWAY! Note that the article states that the plan to ban driving workers in open trucks was drawn up in 2007 but that the ban was "postponed after the business community complained that taking workers by buses to their workplaces and back was not practical and that it would cause [a] huge financial burden for the businessmen." Yes, buses probably cost more than open trucks, but causing a "huge financial burden?" Pluheeez.
The Commission for Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice is blaming the media "for projecting negative impressions about commission members and their activities, saying that this would have a bad impact on Saudi society as a whole." The "media" is 24/7 in this day and age. You cannot turn on the news without being inundated. Ditto with the internet. The newspapers are all on-line. Is it not about impossible to keep anything - negative or positive - out of the media in this "digital" age?
Pre-marital tests have detected 49 HIV cases along with 2,550 cases of Hepatitis B and 651 of Hepatitis C. Most alarming is that "8,796 positive samples for sickle cell anemia" were detected. The highest rate of sickle cell anemia is found here, in the Eastern Province. I would be curious to know how many people were tested - the article doesn't say - that resulted in so many positive tests for sickle cell anemia.
More road carnage. The circumstances in this case, however, seem to be due to the dangerous conditions of the road versus the dangerous driving prevalently practiced by so many in the Sandbox. "The Ministry of Transport had earlier said ... that the road had been redesigned in line with international safety regulations to reduce the number of road accidents that take place there." Perhaps another "redesign" should be looked at.
This is too bad and an accident that never should have happened. I cannot be the only one questioning how two boys - one 12 years old and the other not a boy, but a young man, at 17 years old - could not know better than to PLAY with an "explosive device." Young children might play with an "explosive device" because they wouldn't know any better. But when you are 12 or - for goodness sake - 17! shouldn't you know better?!? Authorities are investigating "to determine the type and source of the
We are in for heavy rain. It has rained quite hard in other parts of the Sandbox, but we've gotten only a few drops and sprinkles, here. Rain is good. We look forward to it and relish it. A good rain cleanses everything and turns the trees green and lush - so much prettier than the tan and gray we are so used to and it controls the dust. If it is overcast all day today and we finally get some rain you will hear no complaining from me!
At 8:30 this morning we are having a treadmill delivered to our house. DH and I have vowed to ourselves and to each other that we ARE going to use it. It will become part of the living room / dining room furniture [it is a very small house - there is no other place to put it]. This is exactly why we have purchased one: "...piling on the pounds is very easy in the Kingdom. Sedentary lifestyles, calorie-rich food... are among the few [huh?] reasons which contribute to expatriates gaining weight almost immediately after they come to the Kingdom..." It didn't happen to me the first year I was here. It didn't happen to me the second year I was here. But BAM! It has happened to me in the past three years and I, personally, have gained FIVE KILOS for each of those THREE years!!! I plan to spend two hours on the treadmill today. No, not running on the treadmill, but walking. There are two biographies on The History Channel this afternoon and there is absolutely NO GOOD REASON why if I have a treadmill in my living room that I am NOT on it instead of on the couch. I'll let you know how that goes...
And, finally, another beheading.