A Dufus Moment in Riyadh

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kingdom building.jpg
As we were driving in from the airport into the heart of Riyadh, I saw a beautiful building with a hole in it called the “Kingdom Centre,” built by the well-known global investor Prince Alwaleed.
I left my hotel to look for it and to get a picture for all of you — but I couldn’t find it.
It turns out, much to my embarrassment, that we were staying in the building. I was just walking around it I guess and didn’t get enough perspective to see it above me.
More later — I have been here only for a few hours and it has been a fascinating, eye-opening trip already.
— Steve Clemons

Comments

8 comments on “A Dufus Moment in Riyadh

  1. Mr.Murder says:

    Golden Dufus?
    They named an award after Dubya? Or was it Dan Quayle?
    As for the splendid architecture, it lacks one thing that would give greatest warmth.
    Oakley is at home….

    Reply

  2. PissedOffAmerican says:

    Ah, those golden dufus moments.
    I remember exiting my truck once while engaged in a cell phone conversation with a friend.
    Having shut the truck off, engaged the emergency brake, and opening the door to exit, I then described to my conversation partner the delirious panic I was experiencing in being unable to locate my cell phone, no matter how conscientiously I searched the truck. After about the third search, my friend was gracious enough to inform me that my phone was firmly afixed to my ear, along with my left hand, which he assumed I must have also misplaced.

    Reply

  3. Old Bogus says:

    Is this an upside down guillotine?

    Reply

  4. dmd76 says:

    Sorry, didn’t know links couldn’t be included in comments. I quoted http://www.neatorama.com/2007/07/16/the-eiffel-tower-story/ in my comment above.

    Reply

  5. dmd76 says:

    A story I’d heard somewhere before:
    Guy de Maupassant, the novelist best known for The Necklace, was said to eat regularly at a restaurant on the [Eiffel] tower’s second floor. His reason: It was the only place in Paris where he was sure he wouldn’t see the tower.

    Reply

  6. Sudhir Afridi says:

    By Sudhir Ahmad Afridi
    Two Afghan citizens were kidnapped in Khyber Wali Khel here on Sunday
    In a taxi car bearing No 4520 LEF, four Afghan passengers including a woman were traveling from Torkham to Peshawar in the afternoon when some unknown kidnappers wearing masks kidnapped two of them in Khyber Wali Khel area. According to eyewitnesses the kidnappers were seven in number. They stooped the taxi car and asked the two Afghan citizens to get off silently and go with them, told the driver. After kidnapping the two Afghans the kidnappers took them to an unknown location while Khasadars started their traditional search operation, but in vain.
    It is very interesting to note that kidnappers kidnap the rich Afghan people on the main Khyber Pass in the daytime, which is very crowded International route. In the last two months the unknown kidnappers have kidnapped very important persons including the Pakistani ambassador to Kabul Traiq Azizudin, a Turkish citizen and an Afghan engineers. According to a source the Afghan based Turkish had a large amount of dollars, which had been snatched from him before he was set free near Michani in Mohmand Agency. The contingents of Khasadars are often on the routine patrolling in this area, but by the time kidnappers pick up some one then the Khasadars are not available which is deplorable. The political administration has failed so far to detain any culprits who are earning a very bad name for the tribal society. The people also blame the local administration and the khasadars officials for their failure to make the International road a safe one for the traffic and passengers.

    Reply

  7. Sudhir Afridi says:

    By Sudhir Ahmad Afridi
    FCR is a brainchild of British
    Frontier Crimes Regulations (FCR) was practically imposed by the British Regime in 1901 when the Britishers had almost conquered the whole of the Sub-Continent. Before this the British Government had amended some clauses in Frontier Crimes Regulations (FCR) some ten and twenty years back of its implementation in 1901 for making it practicable. To say in short the British regime had enacted this inhuman and undemocratic black law in the tribal areas on the border with Afghanistan just to control and subdue the militancy and insurgency against the British forces in this belt. By the time the tribal areas were a part of NWFP, which was a province of Afghan Government, but it is a point to be noted that the Afghan Government too had not implemented its writ effectively. We can say that the tribesmen even at that time were not willing to be enslaved or ruled over by the Afghan Government. But from time to time the tribesmen had extended their cooperation to the Afghan rulers and had tried to be friendly to them in their own interests. The tribal people historically since long have not been willing to wear the yoke of government writ in their necks. Mean to say that they have been happy through out the history to be out of the writ of any government. They are pleased to be in anarchy and don’t like supremacy of the law to control them. But at the same time the tribal chiefs and the common tribesmen together and unanimously had agreed to introduce some unwritten cultural traditions and customs, which could rule over them and control them commonly known as “Tribal Jirga System”. Most of the tribal traditions in the past were harmonious with Islamic code of life. Though some of the traditions even at that time till now are deadly opposite to Islamic code of life. For example, the Tribal Pathans used to kill a woman and man married or unmarried reportedly involved in adultery without having any four eyewitnesses or solid proof. In other words it was honour killing, which is opposite to Islam. This and some other crimes in tribal areas took place mainly on the basis of doubt and the British government had included this cultural evil in FCR. The political administration punishes a person reportedly involved in violation of FCR merely on doubt though in all other systems including Islam the convicted person avails from doubt and gets free. A family in the past would dishonour a woman by sending her to the enemy family after they would have killed some person of their enemy family by pretending that the opposite family member was allegedly involved in adultery or immoral activities commonly known as “Toorh”.
    Similarly “Swarah” has also been a negative cultural aspect of the rigid tribal system in which an innocent girl had to bear all the blames of her family for committing a crime against the enemy family. We are happy that “Swara” a tribal Custom has almost come to an end with the passage of time as most of the evil cultural traditions and customs have lost their places in the tribal society. Most of the time a person in tribal society cannot build a home, hujra or mosque on his own property without the consent of his immediate and close neighbors. This cultural custom or negative aspect of our society had been included in FCR by the Btishers.The British rulers and officers wished to somehow convince the tribal people that their own cultural values would be imposed in the tribal areas, so that they could be soothed and pacified not to resist against the British army. British army just wanted to rule over the tribal Pukhtoons with satisfaction and peace, that is why they picked up the negative and inhuman cultural points and gave them a legal form, which is clearly depicted in Frontier Crimes Regulations “FCR”. The political administration since then uses its prerogative powers against the tribesmen and even stop the people not to construct any thing if it does not suit the administration. In the tribal society a powerful person could create a way even on the top of the moutain whereas a poor cannot claim to walk in the plain land. The policy of might is right also prevails over here in FATA.
    Tribal Jirga System is the landmark of FCR, but it should be clear that a Jirga of elders in a village is independent and powerful to settle any issue or conflict, however under FCR the Jirga of the elders is bound to put signatures on a plain white sheet of paper before they resolve any conflict. An officer of political administration is authorized to write the contents and details of the decision of the Jirga according to his wishes. The Jirga is only supposed to represent the two sides of the conflict. Basically in tribal system the Jirga will be formed on the assent of the opposite sides whereas in FCR the Jirga would be formed by administration which will decide whatever the administration wishes. Jirgas sponsored by political administration have struck the last nail into the coffin of FCR in FATA due to their negative role since long.
    The British Raj had approved monthly “Kharchas” in the name of “mate for food”, so that common people could gather in the Hujras of Maliks for the resolution of their disputes and conflicts, however that tradition has also come to abortion in FATA, as the Maliks get their financial aids monthly but in return spend nothing on the people to feed them. The traditional maliks in most of the tribal areas have left their traditional role to solve peoples’ problems. Most of the young maliks themselves wish to somehow bury FCR with all its remnants, so that a new era of civilized life could be started. They are sure that under FCR their new generation could not be developed and that FATA would always be misused for the so-called national interests. As far as positive tribal culture, traditions and customs are concerned, there is no doubt that all the positive cultural values will be surely protected which are harmonious with human rights and Islam.
    Under the territorial and collective responsibility clauses the political administration put innocent people for indefinite period behind the bars which is a stigma on the face of FCR.The tortured and oppressed tribesmen could not knock at the door of higher courts for a speedy justice as under the constitution of Pakistan tribal areas are out of the reach of judiciary and Parliament. The President of Pakistan holds all powers regarding FATA for bringing any change in the fate of the tribesmen if he is willing so, otherwise no body or institution could challenge him. The President, Governor NWFP and the Political agents are not answerable to any body whatsoever they do and plan for the tribal people. This is a gross violation of human rights and democracy. The political agent possesses all powers of legislative, judiciary and executive, which make him king of the 21st century. Without any reason a political agent can put any body in jail from seven to fourteen years and after completing the period in jail he can be pushed back to suffer more there. The funds with political agent are not auditable and all the funds are at the disposal of political agent in FATA, which have given incentives to corruption on large scale. The funds created inside the agency or that which are provided by the Central government for the development schemes go to the pockets of officers in FATA.
    Sudhir Ahmad Afridi
    afridicolumnist@hotmail.com

    Reply

  8. Sudhir Afridi says:

    By Sudhir Ahmad Afridi
    FCR is a brainchild of British
    Frontier Crimes Regulations (FCR) was practically imposed by the British Regime in 1901 when the Britishers had almost conquered the whole of the Sub-Continent. Before this the British Government had amended some clauses in Frontier Crimes Regulations (FCR) some ten and twenty years back of its implementation in 1901 for making it practicable. To say in short the British regime had enacted this inhuman and undemocratic black law in the tribal areas on the border with Afghanistan just to control and subdue the militancy and insurgency against the British forces in this belt. By the time the tribal areas were a part of NWFP, which was a province of Afghan Government, but it is a point to be noted that the Afghan Government too had not implemented its writ effectively. We can say that the tribesmen even at that time were not willing to be enslaved or ruled over by the Afghan Government. But from time to time the tribesmen had extended their cooperation to the Afghan rulers and had tried to be friendly to them in their own interests. The tribal people historically since long have not been willing to wear the yoke of government writ in their necks. Mean to say that they have been happy through out the history to be out of the writ of any government. They are pleased to be in anarchy and don’t like supremacy of the law to control them. But at the same time the tribal chiefs and the common tribesmen together and unanimously had agreed to introduce some unwritten cultural traditions and customs, which could rule over them and control them commonly known as “Tribal Jirga System”. Most of the tribal traditions in the past were harmonious with Islamic code of life. Though some of the traditions even at that time till now are deadly opposite to Islamic code of life. For example, the Tribal Pathans used to kill a woman and man married or unmarried reportedly involved in adultery without having any four eyewitnesses or solid proof. In other words it was honour killing, which is opposite to Islam. This and some other crimes in tribal areas took place mainly on the basis of doubt and the British government had included this cultural evil in FCR. The political administration punishes a person reportedly involved in violation of FCR merely on doubt though in all other systems including Islam the convicted person avails from doubt and gets free. A family in the past would dishonour a woman by sending her to the enemy family after they would have killed some person of their enemy family by pretending that the opposite family member was allegedly involved in adultery or immoral activities commonly known as “Toorh”.
    Similarly “Swarah” has also been a negative cultural aspect of the rigid tribal system in which an innocent girl had to bear all the blames of her family for committing a crime against the enemy family. We are happy that “Swara” a tribal Custom has almost come to an end with the passage of time as most of the evil cultural traditions and customs have lost their places in the tribal society. Most of the time a person in tribal society cannot build a home, hujra or mosque on his own property without the consent of his immediate and close neighbors. This cultural custom or negative aspect of our society had been included in FCR by the Btishers.The British rulers and officers wished to somehow convince the tribal people that their own cultural values would be imposed in the tribal areas, so that they could be soothed and pacified not to resist against the British army. British army just wanted to rule over the tribal Pukhtoons with satisfaction and peace, that is why they picked up the negative and inhuman cultural points and gave them a legal form, which is clearly depicted in Frontier Crimes Regulations “FCR”. The political administration since then uses its prerogative powers against the tribesmen and even stop the people not to construct any thing if it does not suit the administration. In the tribal society a powerful person could create a way even on the top of the moutain whereas a poor cannot claim to walk in the plain land. The policy of might is right also prevails over here in FATA.
    Tribal Jirga System is the landmark of FCR, but it should be clear that a Jirga of elders in a village is independent and powerful to settle any issue or conflict, however under FCR the Jirga of the elders is bound to put signatures on a plain white sheet of paper before they resolve any conflict. An officer of political administration is authorized to write the contents and details of the decision of the Jirga according to his wishes. The Jirga is only supposed to represent the two sides of the conflict. Basically in tribal system the Jirga will be formed on the assent of the opposite sides whereas in FCR the Jirga would be formed by administration which will decide whatever the administration wishes. Jirgas sponsored by political administration have struck the last nail into the coffin of FCR in FATA due to their negative role since long.
    The British Raj had approved monthly “Kharchas” in the name of “mate for food”, so that common people could gather in the Hujras of Maliks for the resolution of their disputes and conflicts, however that tradition has also come to abortion in FATA, as the Maliks get their financial aids monthly but in return spend nothing on the people to feed them. The traditional maliks in most of the tribal areas have left their traditional role to solve peoples’ problems. Most of the young maliks themselves wish to somehow bury FCR with all its remnants, so that a new era of civilized life could be started. They are sure that under FCR their new generation could not be developed and that FATA would always be misused for the so-called national interests. As far as positive tribal culture, traditions and customs are concerned, there is no doubt that all the positive cultural values will be surely protected which are harmonious with human rights and Islam.
    Under the territorial and collective responsibility clauses the political administration put innocent people for indefinite period behind the bars which is a stigma on the face of FCR.The tortured and oppressed tribesmen could not knock at the door of higher courts for a speedy justice as under the constitution of Pakistan tribal areas are out of the reach of judiciary and Parliament. The President of Pakistan holds all powers regarding FATA for bringing any change in the fate of the tribesmen if he is willing so, otherwise no body or institution could challenge him. The President, Governor NWFP and the Political agents are not answerable to any body whatsoever they do and plan for the tribal people. This is a gross violation of human rights and democracy. The political agent possesses all powers of legislative, judiciary and executive, which make him king of the 21st century. Without any reason a political agent can put any body in jail from seven to fourteen years and after completing the period in jail he can be pushed back to suffer more there. The funds with political agent are not auditable and all the funds are at the disposal of political agent in FATA, which have given incentives to corruption on large scale. The funds created inside the agency or that which are provided by the Central government for the development schemes go to the pockets of officers in FATA.
    Sudhir Ahmad Afridi
    afridicolumnist@hotmail.com

    Reply

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