2024-02 Saudi Arabia, Map, Projects

2024 Saudi Arabia

This short trip, between February 12th and 26th, was to visit friends living in Riyadh. We took the trip with some reservations given the hostilities in the Middle East, between Israel and Hamas in Gaza. However, we felt these events might be far enough away from our destination that we need not be concerned. Our Riyadh friends’ lack of concern gave us the confidence to commit.

2024-02 Saudi Arabia, Map, Projects
The flight between Frankfurt and Riyadh

During our stay we visited the following sites:

  1. Masmak Fortress (Riyadh)
  2. Diriyah (Riyadh)
  3. Edge of the World (near Sadus)
  4. Souq Al Zal (Riyadh)
  5. National Museum of Saudi Arabia (Riyadh)
  6. King Abdulaziz Historical Center (Riyadh)
  7. Wadi Namar (Riyadh)
  8. Red Sand Dunes (near Al Awsat):
  9. Al Manjour (near Dhurma)
  10. Al Ghat Heritage Village (Al Ghat)
  11. Judah’s Thumb (near Judah)
  12. The King Abdulaziz Centre for World Culture (Dammam)

Blog Posts

  • Getting There

    Getting There

    Prior to our departure to Saudi Arabia, I enjoyed my last Guinness in the Maple Leaf Lounge at Pearson. Alcohol and pork are illegal in Saudi Arabia. Our flight left Toronto at 4:20PM and arrived in Frankfurt about 6:30AM local time. We had several hours layover before our connecting flight took us to Riyadh. Regardless…

  • Disorientation


    The differences between Canada and Saudi Arabia can be disorientating: language, writing, religion, culture, dress, weather and landscape among others. But once you find your north, things become clear.

  • In Contradistinction

    In Contradistinction

    When going to a place for the first time, there are expectations garnered by various means and then there is reality. They rarely match, yet, this fact is always a surprise. Things in Saudi Arabia are not so black and white. In the west, the burqa is often taken as a symbol of repression, yet…

  • Deera Square

    Deera Square

    Deera Square “is a public space in the ad-Dirah neighborhood [SIC] of Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, located adjacent to the al-Hukm Palace compound and Imam Turki bin Abdullah Grand Mosque in the Qasr al-Hukm District.” The square goes by various names, including as Justice Square (Arabic: ميدان العدل) or Safa Square (Arabic: ساحة الصفاة)1. In the west, it is sometimes referred to as Chop-Chop Square1, as this is the location of…

  • The Ablution Area

    The Ablution Area

    In the rich tapestry of the English language, the label ‘Ablution Area’ presents itself as a peculiar choice for such a universal and unpretentious activity as attending to nature’s calls. One might reflect on whether its selection is a quirk of the whims of translation, perhaps aided by an overzealous interpreter with a thesaurus, or…