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…

A smashed up McDonalds:

Wreckage on the streetside:

A discarded sandal:

Smashed street lights:

A smashed up TGI Fridays:

A smashed up Hardeez (A local burger chain).

Smashed up Pizza Hut


Smashed up and ransacked House of Doughnuts

This is the contents of the original email I was sent describing what happened (I’ve taken out the images):

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http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fs8HmCNzIuU

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TvfPwJimb3A

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rxYYYU3A_Js

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YvJnO_1166A

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mQWg8t8V9Bc

UPDATE: (24/09/2009 22:30 GMT) I’ve found the source of the email I got sent. It’s word for work from a forum called Al-Khobar Cafe

Author: Omar

Omar is the main/only contributor to Ohmz.net. He is a Computer Programmer based in Glasgow Scotland.

18 thoughts on “Riots in the streets of Khobar”

  1. Wow.. I was in town and had no idea this happened!
    utterly disgraceful. I’d like to congratulate Saudis in giving the world a riot without any agenda, motive, message or even a point to be made.

  2. dude, can you just summarize what the arabic part is ? And any act of violence has some kind of reason, a trigger. How did these ‘shabaabs’ justify their outburst ? What was the reason(s) ? Thanks

  3. Yes, it’s wrong, yes, we’re a messed up people, yes, disgraceful, but do you really think exposition will fix the problems we have? Instead of writing about what MIGHT have caused this, you write about the aftermath.
    Your act is as just as CNN telling the world the Jewish part of Gaza’s story, man. Have some shame.

  4. Curse them, they are filth I always hated The Shabab of Riyadh for destroying Saudi reputation where ever they travel and now i have even more of a reason to hate them.

    they are uncivilized scum and without any true sense of morality or honor, if it was to me Riydh should have a huge wall around it to keep its shabab inside. i am not saying there are no good people there because there is a lot of good people its just that most of those good people are not form Riyadh in the first place!

    they are filth and all the other provinces should have strict rules to keep such filth out… god i wish they need to go for a visa and an interview before they are allowed to leave their holes.

  5. Linjawi sorry man or madam but dont you think the world NEEDS to know? that we NEED to be shamed? we will never ever change as long as we think no one knows that we are hiding in our dark secret closet we will always remain in it.

    we need to be humiliated because we do not have any other motivation to change.

    what he did is heroic and I love him for it and cheer him on.

    It is time we say enough to our own hypocrisy we should start changing our selves and changing those around us to the better our be damned as dirty animals. If you dont like what is being said about us then change it! dont attack someone for reporting the truth.

    we need to change our selves our government is doing everything it can to help us but as long as we refuse to change we never will be able to use any help we receive and we will never ever amount to anything in this world more than drunk people in Bahrain and in prostitute houses in the far east and Europe, Yes I said it now grow up and have the gut to admit this is the case and that it needs action and not blame on those that report it.

  6. Damnnn,,,this is a complete bullshit …. i used to proudly say that i ve lived 18 yrs in Saudi… and now i am afraid of the fact that my Pakistani friends would taunt me on staying with such kinda people… despite of all the efforts for education in the country by the government … people are still illterate enough to damage their own country’s property….. if they want to bring out their frustration ..they should go to Iraq, Afghanistan, Palestine and places where Muslims are being crushed.. Atleast this act would be justified there…. if they are able to drive out Israeli or Us forces from those counties…. this might hurt alot of saudis but i am a pakistani and i believe i love saudia more than u do becuase i wouldnt have done anething like this despite Saudia not being my country…. request o the Government should be to include a whole subject on mannerism in their curriculum
    .-= Aqu´s last blog ..Gaming Nostalgia: Penguin Adventure (MSX) =-.

  7. I can only theorise why this happened. I think we have some serious problems in the country, and some seriously messed up people.

    I wasn’t there, so I don’t know if there was some catalyst that made these people go from rowdy celebration to riot.

    When i posted this i was in shock over what i’d heard, and the fact that people didn’t know this was happening. I live in Scotland, my parents live in Khobar, and my parents only found out about this by reading my blog. I think that this behaviour was despicable, but I also think that the ensuing media black out was more worrying.

    Saudi is a country that is very quick to hype up it’s merits and very quick to subdue any negative press. For a social problem to be solved people need to know there is a problem.

    I’ll try and get a translation for the Arabic up soon. If people really want I also have my theories about why this kind of thing happens. I’ll consider posting that too.

  8. I didn’t “put blame on” Aramco. I just said that Khobar is more westernised because of Saudi Aramco. What does Aramco have to do with this?

    I have a lot to thank Aramco for, I grew up on their campus, and my dad used to work for them.

  9. This is a disgrace to our people. We should have had more educated people and better crowd control and riot control. The army and National Guard should have been involved to stop this stupid riots.

    Linjawy: if the perpetrators receive a heavy punishment, some people may say it is harsh. Publicizing the pictures and videos of the terrible event would justify the punishment.

    Saudi ARAMCO had a great role in the development of the Eastern Province. Khobar has the highest number of foreigners than any other town. It is highly likely that rioters are from areas outside of Khobar. I do not think that they are solely from Riyadh, although the people their are crazier (check out how they drift in the streets!). They could be from any place. The worst thing would be if the whole riots were organized.

    I fear that the riot taking place during the national day could signify something… I will leave that to the detectives to find out.

    By the way: Hardee’s is not a local burger chain. It is part of Carl Karcher Enterprises, Inc (CKE) in the United States. House of Doughnut is a local Saudi chain.

  10. my father also used to work in Aramco and i believe employees of Aramco and even their children are really civilized. Well if because of these roits , only franchized resturants or foreign brands have been broken down …even that justifies …. it might be a reaction to how muslims are beings treated in Palestime, Afghanistan , Bosnia etc

  11. I really doubt that it was anything that politically motivated. I think it was just a bunch of idiots rioting because they thought it was fun.

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