Worlds Apart – Our Family Trip to Medina, 1967

A much feted highway connecting the Eastern Province to the Western one had been completed that year and my father jumped at the opportunity to introduce us to his home in Medina. It would be a thought-provoking journey, as we confronted an integral part of our identity that we had not yet been exposed to… This […]

Desert Suburbia – Desert Kingdom

“In the Dhahran that we grew up in, women wore shorts and liquor flowed freely. We bought our food from the company’s ‘commissary’ that sold all things American, including pork products. We moved freely from one area of Dhahran to another on bikes and roller skates, hopped on and off the free bus service driven […]


“The Saudi Airlines Boeing 707 banked to the left and began its descent to Dhahran International Airport. I peered out of the airplane’s window to catch the flickering orange-yellow flares that dotted the sea of red sand below. They said home to me, these flares that defined the skyscape of Saudi Arabia’s Eastern Province. From above they winked and glowed so prettily in the oncoming dusk … on the ground they filled the air around us with a nauseating stench of rotten eggs … pungent testimony of Saudi Arabia’s oil wealth that kept the industrialized world so well-oiled and so well-heeled.” (Brownies and Kalashnikovs, p.3)