Last rant on the G20 Summit

Apologies for the hiatus. I was planning to write a long wrap-up post about the G20 Summit, but the week after my London trip was hectic and it’s too late now. Instead, I will link to some of what my fellow bloggers wrote.

The only thing that I want to add here is regarding the Saudi contribution to the IMF. I attended the press conference of British PM Gordon Brown where BBC Arabic asked him about this and he totally ignored the question. Later on the same day, I had a chance to ask the same question to Michael Froman, deputy assistant to Obama and deputy national security adviser for international economic affairs. He said Saudi Arabia did not publicly announce how much they plan to contribute to the IMF.

Read more from G20Voice bloggers:

Overall, attending the G20 Summit in London was a great experience, and the G20Voice bloggers were awesome. The best part was probably attending the Obama press conference. We had to stand in line for 90 minutes to get in, but it was worth it. Here’s my favourite moment from the event:


I’m flying to London later tonight to blog the G20 Summit. 50 bloggers from 22 different countries have been invited by a group of British NGOs to provide a different kind of coverage for this global event, where world leaders will meet to discuss the current economic crisis and try to find answers and solutions. More from there later…

Comedy Night in Riyadh

It is often said that in Riyadh people either pray or shop, and other than that not much is going on here. Tomorrow, however, will be an exception: Smile Productions are presenting a night of live stand up comedy performance, featuring Steve Gribbin and Kiven Bridges from the Comedy Story in London. The show will also feature 3 local talents for the first time on stage, so this should be interesting too. If you need more information, please contact Peter: or call him: 0594370662.

Edge of Arabia

I hear that London is full of Saudis these days. A friend recently told me that Leicester Square now looks like Tahlia St., with Saudi boys occupying all the tables at all restaurants and cafes. The only difference, probably, is the presence of uncovered women, a breed that is too rare in our Tahlia back here in Riyadh. Those boys show a usual face of Saudi Arabia, one that I’m not particularly proud of.

But comes October, London will be the venue for another face of this country, and it is certainly one that we are all proud of and glad to show to the whole world.

Edge of Arabia, is a pioneering exhibition that is set to shed new light on the largely unknown contemporary art culture of Saudi Arabia. A new generation of artists will be in London this october to take part in the first ever comprehensive exhibition of contemporary Saudi art staged in the UK. It will feature the work of 17 Saudi contemporary artists, male and female, whose work explores the complex and diverse identities of 21st century life in the Middle East.

The exhibition is organized by the award-winning Offscreen Education Programme and will run from 16th October – 13th December 2008 at the SOAS Brunei Gallery, University of London. For more info, check out the press release (PDF).