Riots in the streets of Khobar

UPDATE: (25/09/2009) Saudi media has picked up on this There is an article in the Al-Youm (Today) newspaper.

Last night (23rd of Sept. 2009) marked Saudi Arabia’s national day, and as a Saudi I am absolutely disgusted by what has happened in Khobar, my home town. I wasn’t there, I’m safe and sound on another continent, but thanks to the internet I’ve seen videos of riots on the corniche where hundreds of youths just smashed the place up.

As of this writing there is zero news coverage of this, I only found out about it because I saw some pictures on facebook which were posted by some friends of mine who live there. The people of Khobar are disgusted and embarressed by this behaviour.

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The people of Khobar are some of the most westernised people in the Kindgom, mainly due the the heavy influence of Saudi Aramco the countries largest oil company which used to hire a great number of Americans, and from what I understand most of the people involved in the riots are from other parts of the country, but who’s to tell.
Regardless It’s still disgusting, I’ve seen Photos and videos of people just smashing shit up!

People opening Fire in the middle of the Road:

Another video of people smashing up a starbucks:

According to the local authorities (Police, National Defence and SWAT teams by my translation) were involved in a number of skirmishes with the rioters in teh city center, which led to the rioters fleeing and congregating on the corniche. The rioters were assaulting the emergency services by throwing stones at them, and attacking them, gun shots were also apparently heard within the crowds.
This lead to a large part of the eastern part of the city beign closed off by the emergency services.
By the descriptions I’ve heard of what was happening it looked like a civil war was breaking out in khobar. The rioters were rampaging about the town smashing things up and assualting people in restaurants and coffee shops, apparently both physically and sexually.

Don’t confuse these riots with the ones in Iran, these people are uncivilized savages who’ve just gone a rampage, I very much doubt that they have an agenda, other than enjoying themselves at the expense of others.

This year Saudi’s national day comes shortly after the Eid Il Fitr a three day festival marking the end of a month of fasting during Ramadan, lots of people visit the eastern province, where Khobar is, during the eid holiday either to visit family or to go shopping in the many shopping malls in the area. I think spirits may have been high witht he two coinciding but it really doesn’t excuse this.

I’ve posted a whole bunch of photos of the aftermath… Continue reading “Riots in the streets of Khobar”