Thursday, May 13, 2010

Bravo King Abdullah: Better Late than Never

“King Abdullah is the ruler. If he wills it, then it will be done.’’ Prince Talal,

Director's Comment: It could be climate change, artificial (use of science to make rain) or coincidences, but some regions in Saudi Arabia have been getting unprecedented, albeit sporadic, heavy rainstorms in recent months. On Nov. 25, 2009, the Saudi economic, intellectual and liberal capital, Jeddah (dubbed ‘The City by the Red Sea’) was hit by a few hours of heavy rain. This should have been a welcome event because it hardly rains in Saudi Arabia, one of the most barren areas on earth. Instead, it became a nightmare of disproportionate magnitude for the residents of Jeddah, especially the destitute and marginalized citizens and immigrants. Due to an inexcusable absence of adequate, let alone modern, drainage and sewage systems, the water from the rain inundated dry riverbeds outside Jeddah, mixed with waste material from Jeddah’s sewage dump (known as Musk Lake), and flooded the city with over three feet of water. More than 100 people lost their lives, hundreds more were injured and thousands of homes, businesses, and cars were destroyed and swept away.

The Jeddah flood and subsequent disasters (as in a similar, albeit less destructive rainfall in the poverty stricken Jizan region and recently in Riyadh on May 3, 2010) could have easily been avoided had there been systems of prioritization, accountability and transparency where public funds are accounted for, spent on immediate and relevant projects, and corrupt officials held accountable to the people. Sad to say, but none of these exists. After the Jeddah tragedy, King Abdullah called on the governor of Mecca, his nephew Prince Khalid Al-Faisal, to form a committee to investigate the situation and report his findings to the King so the latter could take proper action against corrupt officals who failed to do their job and squandered public money.

The prince formed a committee composed of officials who should have been the target of the investigation. They reported to the King three months later and nothing came out of it until May 11.

For reasons only those who intimately know the underpinnings of the Saudi system and its ruling elites can understand (speculate), King Abdullah ordered trials of Jeddah officials who betrayed public trust. The King announcement came eight days after the Riyadh May 3rd floods where three people lost their lives. The question is why did it take this long and why only Jeddah officials and not those of Jizan and Riyadh?

Read article

No comments:

Blog Archive


United States (14) Saudi women (13) Human Rights (12) women's rights (9) Wahhabism (8) Human Rights Watch (5) Saudi Arabia (5) extremism (5) male guardianship (5) religious freedom (5) women drivers (5) Amnesty International (4) Prince Naif (4) Saudi blogger (4) Twitter (4) censorship (4) conference (4) freedom of media (4) judicial system (4) political reform (4) Facebook (3) Fouad Alfarhan (3) Iran (3) King Abdullah (3) President Obama (3) Saudi royal family (3) Sharia law (3) democracy (3) demonstration (3) employment (3) royal family (3) Blogs (2) CDHR (2) Crown Prince Sultan (2) France (2) Freedom House (2) Hezbollah (2) Israel (2) Jeddah (2) Lebanon (2) Minority Rights (2) Syria (2) Terrorism (2) The Washington Post (2) U.S. Congress (2) Wajeha al-Huwaider (2) arrest (2) child brides (2) education (2) freedom of internet (2) freedom of speech (2) headscarf (2) religious police (2) torture (2) Abaya (1) About CDHR (1) Afghanistan (1) Ahmed Subhy Mansour (1) Al-Doumaini (1) Al-Faleh (1) Al-Hamid (1) BBC News (1) Boston Globe (1) Clare Lopez (1) Contact (1) Dan Burton (1) Economic Reform (1) Farzana Hassan (1) Hamas (1) Hariri Family (1) Iraq (1) Islamic Society of Boston (1) Jihadist (1) King Fahd (1) Mansour al-Nogaidan (1) Middle East (1) Ministry of Interior (1) Muqtada Al-Sadr (1) Muslim Brotherhood (1) Olympics (1) Pakistan (1) President Bush (1) Prime Minister Fouad Siniora (1) Prince Abdul Rahman (1) Prince Al-Waleed (1) Prince Talal (1) Riyadh (1) Sarah Leah Whitson (1) Sarkozy (1) Saudi Embassy (1) Shia (1) Sudairi Seven (1) Sue Myrick (1) Sunni (1) Taliban (1) The Stoning of Soraya M. (1) Thomas Farr (1) adultery (1) burka (1) child abuse (1) female comic (1) film (1) foreign workers (1) hijab (1) honor killings (1) khalwa (1) niqab (1) non-Saudis (1) oil (1) political culture (1) sex segregation (1) stoning (1) succession (1) voting (1) youtube (1)