Disclaimer: I do not wish to make a political statement at all with those post. There have already been several bloggers who’ve already covered it from that angle. Saudi Jeans – Many Questions, No Answers and Precognitive – Saudi Hooligans are two I recommend. I deal in pictures, and if you want to see lots of them, you’ve come to the right place. I try to keep a neutral political tone on my blog, but if this post, or any others is causing issues, please drop me an email and I will have it removed.
EDIT: Finally, press coverage detailing the extent of the destruction. Arab News. I’ve been told this video depicts protesters firing handguns at the corniche. I’m no expert in guns and I can’t verify. Would Appreciate help!
EDIT: A local Arabic newspaper has reported that ‘hundreds’ of hooligans had been arrested. And around 60 have been sentenced to lashing. Though the sentence has been delayed temporarily.
EDIT: According to Arab News, local volunteer youths have apologized to shop-owners at the corniche and given them plaques titled “Apology”. A great mature gesture I think… A great post by SGIME about this.
As King Abdullah inaugurated his brainchild, the KAUST university in Jeddah, AlKhobar burned. Well, maybe that’s a bit of an over-dramatization. But there can be no doubt, that as the King of their country unveiled its biggest achievement in education, a few locals of Saudi Arabia demonstrated their lack of it.
On the night of September 23rd, Saudi Arabia’s national day, hundreds of Saudi youths who had gathered for the annual fireworks display at AlKhobar’s corniche decided to resort to hooliganism to demonstrate love for their country. As the fireworks died down, the crowd got fired up. Fueled by what can only be called intense boredom, hundreds of youths laid waste to the trendy corniche road, sacking restaurants, looting shops and destroying pretty much anything in their path.
A number of friends who were at the corniche at the time described the intensity (and complete ridiculousness of the situation):
“Yeah man i was there.. they attacked Starbucks when I was inside. I got stuck inside. they tried to take it down by throwing metal chairs at the glass walls and then exploded a bunch of stuff in the family section. Everyone was screaming like hell.”
We went for a ride to the corniche around midnight couldn’t reach the road because the police and security had blocked it. [We] were stuck in the jam for around 30 minutes on the connecting road. Okayy, they were simply berserk… What was disturbing was probably a man in shorts, wearing sunglasses and shamag (Saudi headgear) covering his face dancing with a teddy bear :S
A video showing the chaos of the night:
Given the socio-economic situation in Saudi Arabia and the demographics involved in the riots (mid-teens), the reason for the chaos was not due to dissatisfaction and was definitely not anti-establishment. Judging from the type of chaos described, it was just a huge crowd of intensely bored guys who’d become very excited at seeing the fireworks and didn’t have any avenue of release.
The photos in this post do in no way belong to me, nor do I claim any form of copyright. I’ve posted them here for you’re viewing pleasure (as well as hosted them). If you own the copyrights to any of these shots and would like me to remove them, please sent an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Photo credits go to Ozman A (from Facebook) and the gentleman calling himself “Sultan AlSharqia” on alkhobarcafe.com
There have been rumors of people with guns as well, but those are baseless.
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