Two Places

I wish we have places like these in Riyadh:

  • ta2_marbouta_2T-Marbouta is a cafe in Beirut that I visited when I was in Lebanon last year. Located in Pavilion St. of Hamra, this place offers something different than what you can usually find in other cafes in the city. With its little library and weekly events and art performances, it has become a favorite a spot for students and young activists. There is this place in Khobar called Otacuschez, which offers a relatively similar experience, but unfortunately there is nothing like that in Riyadh.

  • citizen_spaceCitizen Space, a coworking space in San Francisco. What is a coworking space? It is basically a cafe-like community/collaboration space for developers, writers and independents. There are many places like these in cities around the world now, and I think it would be great if creative people in Riyadh can have such thing. I mean, let’s face it: this is not exactly a friendly city for writers and artists; a coworking space should be perfect for many of us who seek a healthy, inspiring environment to work and create here.

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.

Movies in Riyadh

Despite the fact that cinema theaters are not allowed in the country, it seems that an active community of movie enthusiasts is flourishing these days in Riyadh, offering several opportunities for people to watch films at special screenings in different parts of the city. If you are in town these days, you might want to check them out. Here’s a short guide for the movies that will be screened starting tomorrow:

The following screenings will be at King Fahd Cultural Center (map) and they are open to women only:

Tuesday, July 8

10:00-12:00 — Four Arabic short films
14:00-16:00 — Four Saudi Short films

Wednesday, July 9

10:00-12:00 — Letters of Iwo Jima

For more info, contact Hana Abdullah: haom at hotmail dot co dot uk

The following screenings will be at the Society of Culture and Arts (map) and they are open to men only:

Wednesday, July 9

21:00-21:12 — Absence (Drama from Bahrain)
21:15-23:00 — An Inconvenient Truth (Documentary)

Wednesday, July 16

20:30-23:00 — United 93

For more info, contact Faisal Auda: face_off995 at hotmail dot com

All screenings are free of charge.

Fouad in Riyadh

I was in Jeddah when Fouad was released, but unfortunately I could not meet him then because I had to leave the next day. Last night he paid a visit to Riyadh, and fellow blogger Sami Omar hosted a dinner in his honor in Shurfa Restaurant. We were also joined by Jihad, Herbaz, Medical Practitioner and Mohammed al-Saleh. Needless to say, we had a great time. It was really good to see him after this long time and I hope we will have a chance to get together again soon inshallah. There is only so much you can say in five hours :-)

Discussion Panel on Human Rights at KSU

human rights at KSUMany people in the KSU community have been excited about appointing Abdullah al-Othman as a new rector. Although I despised all the ass-kissing published in the university newsletter after he took the helm at Saudi Arabia’s oldest university, I must give the man some credit for many good initiatives that he’s been pushing. One of the these initiatives is opening the campus for new voices rarely heard around here.

As part of their regular weekly events, the student affairs deanship at KSU will host tomorrow a discussion panel featuring Mufleh al-Qahtani and Saleh al-Khathlan from the National Society for Human Rights. It should be a good chance to raise awareness among ignorant students — if they show up, that is — and also talk about the current state of human rights conditions in the country.

Unfortunately, I have a practical exam at the same time so I won’t be able to attend, but I will try to finish early and catch what’s left by the time I’m done with my exam.

This is an open event, so if you are interested I highly encourage you to come. Girls are out of luck because AFAIK this event won’t be transmitted to the girls’ campus in Olaysha. Unless, of course, you have the ovaries to come to the boys’ campus and try to find a seat there. A few female journalists were allowed to attend Prince Turki al-Faisal lecture last month at Hamad al-Jassir auditorium.

What: Human Right — Between Reality and Ambition
Who: Mufleh al-Qahtani, VP of NSHR; Saleh al-Khathlan, member of NSHR
When: Monday, April 21, 2008. 12:30 PM
Where: Building No.7, Auditorium 7A, opposite to the College of Arts