Dear Riyadh

Dearest Riyadh,

I hope this letter finds you in good health and inshallah the dust is not covering you too much. How have you been doing otherwise? How is your great grandfather Old Diriyah doing? I have been wanting to visit him for a long time but it has been too hot! I heard he has done some serious gardening in Wadi Hanifa.

Is the traffic still overwhelming you and are the fumes making your lungs hurt? As a nurse I worry for your health! Perhaps you should get some more greenery and parks to ease the pain. I bet your inhabitants would enjoy having serene places like that too.

Certainly they would prefer a park for their picnics instead of the dirty and dark parking lots or construction areas they use now. I honestly never understood why you allow those rich folk to keep perfectly good land as empty wastelands in your best areas. At least demand them to plant some trees in those ugly eyesores! Imagine how beautiful you could become! Like your name implies, “Gardens”.

riyadh industrial city sunset

Speaking of construction, have you ever counted how many cranes you have? You must hold the world record! Or perhaps your Uncle-Dubai wins that title.
Have you ever considered obtaining some of the qualities your Uncle has? Don’t get me wrong, I am not implying you should become just like him. I know he has his faults. But everyone should always try harder and strive to become better cities don’t you think?

Maybe a cinema would be just the thing to would cheer you up?
You could implement it with your own Saudi twist! Have a separate hall for women and men and put guards at the doors. That way you could keep the religious police from ruining it!

That reminds me, do you still have the annoying problem with cockroaches? They seem to get their tentacles into everything don’t they! How will you ever get rid of them? I guess it’s impossible to totally eliminate pests like that. It becomes especially difficult when lots of people are harbouring them and the government is not helping you fight them off. I feel for you.

Do you think the street cats deserve the bad treatment they get from most people here? After all they are God’s creation and we must look after them, not try to kill them! I try to feed them every once in a while I hope you don’t mind.

I wanted to ask you, have you seen any Saudi women driving on your streets? If you do, please be mindful and fix those potholes, make clear road signs and set up street lighting. But the biggest problem of your streets will always be the road hooligans, don’t you think?

Lastly I wanted to thank you for all the amazing experiences you have given me!

Riyadh, you are like a box of dates from Salehia. One never knows what’s inside the somewhat ugly exterior unless they give it a taste first. Many people assume there’s always just a hard seed inside, not even bothering to bite into the date.  Little do they know that it can also be filled with nuts, cookies or even chocolates. It’s just waiting to be found.

dear riyadh it

Hope to hear from you soon!

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  • AngelAugust 23, 2011 - 10:53 am

    masha allah very well written :) and very beautiful LaylahReplyCancel

  • FajinaAugust 23, 2011 - 12:22 pm

    Like you rememberd me in your last post i will say mashaAllah!! A very interessting picture, and even the letter you`ve written is an interessting way to write about a town !!ReplyCancel

  • SoileAugust 23, 2011 - 3:26 pm


    Oon postannut mun ABC’t.ReplyCancel

  • LaylahAugust 23, 2011 - 3:33 pm

    Thanks Angel and Fajina!Soile I will check them out now!ReplyCancel

  • Chick Flick JournalAugust 23, 2011 - 3:41 pm

    mashAllah the way you rite is really good. Cute letter and I LOVE the picture!ReplyCancel

  • LaylahAugust 24, 2011 - 6:19 pm

    Thanks CFJ!!ReplyCancel

  • Ms RosenstareAugust 24, 2011 - 9:07 pm

    Onko sinulla tietoa jos blogi “Sand gets in my eyes” jatkuu jossain muualla?
    Seuraan myös sinun kirjoituksia, mielenkiintoista luettavaa!ReplyCancel

  • LaylahAugust 26, 2011 - 11:49 pm

    Moi Rosenstare!Kiitos kommentista! Tietaakseni ei jatku enaa, sen pitaja lopetti vahan sen jalkeen kun blogi blokattiin saudeissa..ReplyCancel

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