MSM steal blogger’s photo

Saudi blogger Fahad al-Hazmi is shocked to find that a picture he took of the Moroccan intellectual Mohammed A’abed al-Jabri, who passed away last week, has been used without his permission in many newspapers and websites. The culprits include Asharq al-Awsat, al-Riyadh, Elaph,, and Islam Today. It seems to me that this infringement of copyright was the result of pure laziness. The photo editors of these newspapers and websites did not have a picture of al-Jabri to use with his obituaries. They googled his name and put one of the first pics they found, without seeking permission of the original owner or even giving him credit. Laziness, of course, is no excuse.

Breaking News: Crisis in Riyadh

It is raining heavily on the capital Riyadh at the moment, and the situation looks disastrous. From what I can see, it is a scary reminder of the Jeddah floods. People are stuck in highways and streets around the city, especially in the north and east. Major roads are blocked. At least one person is dead. The Civil Defense and the Ministry of Health have announced a state of emergency. You can follow the news on Twitter in real time using the hashtag #riyadhrain. You can also use, which aggregates content from Twitter. People in Riyadh are advised to stay home as heavy rains are expected to continue.

UPDATE: Watch these videos taken in Riyadh earlier today:

UPDATE 20:50 5/3/10:: It started raining in Hofuf and other cities in the Eastern Province.

UPDATE 21:00 5/4/10:: Jihad has created this very useful interactive map of Riyadh. The map shows blocked roads and streets in red so drivers can avoid them. The roads in green are reported to be okay. You can contribute to the map by using this form. The info on the map are for the last three hours.

Royal Mixing

King and Royal Prince with women

Amidst the current debate and controversy over gender mixing that is taking place in the country, this picture made it to the front pages of some local newspapers today. The picture shows King Abdullah and Crown Prince Sultan surrounded by female participants at the National Dialogue in the southern city of Najran. Although the photo was taken on April 11, it was only published today which may indicate the green light to publish it was only obtained recently. Al-Watan daily published what they called the story of the picture, along with the full names of the women who appear in it.

Old Pictures from Saudi Arabia

Around two years ago, Google announced that they teamed up with LIFE to put 10,000,000 historic images from the photo archive online. Last night I spent some time searching the archive for images from Saudi Arabia. Here’s some pics that I found:

This picture of Crown Prince — and later King — Faisal was taken in San Francesco, 1945. He was leading the Saudi delegate to the conference to adopt the Charter of the UN.

Taken in 1942, this is a view showing the country 20 miles east of Hofuf, my hometown and where I currently spend most of time.

Former Saudi minister of petroleum Abdullah al-Tariki is seen here at his office in Riyadh. The picture was taken in May 1961.

In the ‘60s, retired American industrialist Thomas W. Kendall and his family took a vacation around the world using their private plane. One of their stops was on the shores of Jeddah.

Today’s Links

  • This is awful: after Michael reposted the abaya pictures, he received death threats via his BlackBerry. The phone calls did not shake him, but later he later received an email with a link to an extremist website that had his images. He had to take the pictures down, again. That’s a real shame, but I can’t blame him. I recently received some hate mail as well after my post on al-Barrak’s fatwa.
  • As I said before, Maureen Dowd was here. I don’t know what to say about her column. Today I don’t feel particularly optimistic. Hell, I don’t feel optimistic at all, actually. It seems that Dowd met only the fancy people. Also, what’s up with this: “He has encouraged housing developments with architecture that allows families, and boys and girls within families, to communicate more freely.”?