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All seems safe here in Riyadh

Reader comment on item: State Department: Whole of Middle East and North Africa Dangerous to Americans

Submitted by Walter Harbert (United Kingdom), Dec 23, 2005 at 23:53

In response to the State Department's advisory about the situation here in the Arabian peninsula I'd like to offer my assessment of the situation. I have been working here in Saudi Arabia for around twenty years, of which 10 years have been spent here in Riyadh. The Saudi authorities have been doing a pretty good job of clearing up the terrorist problem since the residential compound incidents. Yes, the residential compound that I live in has Saudi Arabian National Guard personnel guarding it with machine gun emplacements and concrete barriers. I appreciate that very much and feel safe when I go home at night. I myself come and go freely and don't see any problems when I am out shopping or just roaming around. In fact, if you look at the situation here in Riyadh, a city having a population of several million (not everyone is a terrorist) and consider the number of Westerners living here in the city numbering somewhere in the thousands the probability of being hit by terrorists is slim to none. The Saudis have increased security and you can bet on encountering several checkpoints a week. Now I am not saying that there isn't a problem here, only that it seems that the State Department is exaggerating it somewhat for Saudi Arabia.

If anyone would like to know more about the situation here in Riyadh from one who is actually living and working here I would be happy to have a dialog with them.
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