Category Archives: The World Through My Eyes

Predator Shaykhs

A video aimed at starting debate about something that happens in our community but which is hushed up because of those that are involved.

You can read more about this issue at the following website:



Filed under Campaigns, Funny stuff, Gripes, The World Through My Eyes

US pastie Terry Jones banned from entering Greggs

A lot of British and North East England references so it might not be universally understood.

BBC original here.


Filed under The World Through My Eyes

And quick-dry at that

It’s just a suspicion at this point, I can’t prove anything yet.

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Filed under The World Through My Eyes

Rabee’: Worse than I imagined!

My encounter with Rabee’ quite literally left me with a foul taste in my mouth!

Here in Saudi, choice can be restricted.

We find, as I’m sure you’ve heard, that some are championed over others. Whether this is because of behind-closed-door agreements or just the natural order of things – I really don’t know!

But having lived in the West I can assert that there is certainly a greater freedom of choice. One which allows you to venture outside of “brand names.”

I’d heard of Rabee’ but had never come face to face before. I don’t know what drove me to it, but I thought to myself – hey, a harmless introduction surely can’t go amiss?

We met in the local market and after a brief exchange at the cashier’s till, I opted to bring Rabee’ home with me and serve some tea.

As I sat there in my living room, I could see the steam rising from Rabee’ and felt the heat that was being omitted as I drew closer.

Yak! What kind of garbage was this?!

What foul nastiness was I being exposed to?!

The shock led me to spit my tea back into my cup.

How could anyone pass this off as a quality beverage?

I think I’ll have to stick to the more well established, like Shaykh Lipton.

t chumps

At least until someone can bring me over some of my favourite Illuminati bags from the UK.



Filed under The World Through My Eyes

What’s in the box?

Is this the end of Saudi Arabia as we know it?

the box

I was truly astonished when I noticed the installation of parking meters in downtown Khobar.


Traffic management is a rudimentary concept to the Western world but the shock to me here is this is being introduced amongst a people who have no qualms, and indeed often feel no shame, at parking like this…

parking specialist

And that’s not someone photographed mid three-point-turn or parked precariously for five minutes while he quickly nips to the shop. This is overnight parking!

In fact the word “park” isn’t appropriate here at all.

The verb “to park” contains shades of meaning that suggests that the action is “out of the way” or “to one side.” A more accurate verb that describes what I witness on a daily basis would be “to stop.”

It is more a process of discontinuing the car’s motion, removing the keys and subsequently walking away from it. With little, or often no, attempt to position the car so that it is not causing an obstacle to other vehicles or pedestrians.

In England I witnessed double-parking; here I see triple-parking and don’t even blink owing the familiarity that it possesses. And to describe a street close to a masjid on jumu’ah would require the usage of words like quintuple or larger.

I’m trying to picture the scene of the first local who’s confronted by a Traffic Warden.

“Excuse me, but you can’t park like that!”


“Your car needs to be straight and off the road, parked within these lines *points*”

“Lines? Ish hatha, lines? Lines, ish?”

“And you need to pay too!”

“Bay, ish bay?”

“You know? Give money to leave your car here!”

La, La, La! Ana Fulan bin Fulan Al-Fulani… *wanders off to collect his thobes from the dry cleaners*”


Filed under Saudi, The World Through My Eyes

Hats On Numbers

I used to have a big problem remembering the numbers 7 and 8, as written in Arabic script (٧ and ٨).

Primarily because they’re just inverted versions of one another and I could never recall if I should be giving someone a V or an N (as I used to refer to them).

This went on for some years until I finally sat down and thought to myself:

“I really need a memory aid to get me past this confusion!”

Anyway, on the way back from the masjid tonight I found myself reading the number eight (in Arabic) on a car license plate and it brought back to mind the aid that I developed (and which I’ve now decided to share).

The way I mastered these numbers was to think of the Arabic number 8 (٨) as a Chinese hat sitting on top of a fat man’s head (i.e. the number 8 ) .

Like so…

Having mentally stored this picture in my head whenever I saw the Arabic numeral ٨, I automatically saw an English number 8 underneath and was able to recognise it for its numeric value.


Now, having spent half an hour or so in Paint trying to illustrate this point, I’ve noticed that it works equally well with a medieval wimple wearing snow-damsel.

So there’s still plenty of scope for inventing variant mnemonics.


Filed under Arabic, The World Through My Eyes

You can’t make this stuff up.

I was in a bookshop in search of a specific English textbook that I had in mind for an evening class that I was teaching.

Not holding much hope that I’d find it, I started to wander around the other aisles in case it’d been misfiled or maybe something else might just catch my eye.

Into the “Computing” section, glancing briefly over the titles: “Networks”, “Excel”, “Word Processing.”; Nope, nothing of interest here!

Into “Management”, definitely nothing here.

“Science”, over my head.

What’s this next shelf?

“Women.” Hmm?

I wonder what they’re pushing the women of this ummah to read?

What kind of mind expanding topics do they think ladies are capable of learning and bringing the rest of us  advancements in?

What texts with unfathomable depths of complexity do they think that the female mind can grasp.


Apparently, this shop thinks that women are best intellectually satisfied with shelves full of…

I assume there must be a disclaimer somewhere:

Warning: These books may overwhelm you!

Please ask your husband/father/brother/son for assistance.”


Filed under Saudi, The World Through My Eyes