December Saudi Fun Quiz


The December Fun Quiz has been added to our quiz page or you can access it directly from here.

And just a little hint…you might want to go back and review December postings for the answers!

Wishing for a Happier 2009

2009-print-preview-blog1This post is actually much more personal than many I have written.  It is New Year’s Eve and 2008 is coming to a close.  There have been some good highlights in 2008 such as the birth of my first grandson and the American Bedu blog achieving more success than I could  have imagined.  That has introduced me to many great readers who became friends.


Also 2008 brought some events I’d rather erase and forget about such as my bout with cancer and some relatives also battling cancer.  So, I’d like to think that 2009 will bring a happier and healthier time.


I want to thank all of my readers for their continued support through the tough times and wish you a very happy 2009.


Saudi Arabia: The One Place Where Men May Wear as much Perfume as Women

I’m sure we have all been in the situation where one has had an encounter where a woman may enter a room and the whole room is engulfed and permeated by the scent of her strong perfume?  Can you imagine that in Saudi Arabia it is more likely for the man to be found wearing the stronger scent than the woman?  One of my conclusions as to why this is so is perhaps the man does not believe in deodorant and instead believes a strong scent is a more pleasant aroma?  I have also observed that particularly with the men (and sometimes the women) who wear the strong scents that they may have long exited a room but the scent remains behind them for hours.  Now I’m not adverse to scent at all and am known to wear (light) scent myself at times.  Among my favorite is a natural lavender scent made by our own blogger Aafke.  But I do think that in some places signs should be posted that strong scent is not permissible, such as in hospitals and especially on floors where patients may be in weakened conditions with low immune systems.


I should also mention that it is so expected that men and women alike will use and enjoy strong scents that in many homes there will be a collection of scents for guests to use either attractively arranged in a washroom or sometimes even on a small table in an entrance foyer.

WARNING — American Bedu has been CLONED!!!

identity-theftI had a disconcerting experience last night.  I was doing research for an upcoming blog post and was wondering whether any blogs had discussed the specific topic before and did a google blog search with specific key words.  To my surprise a url came up that was certainly NOT my blog but was citing one of MY posts.  Of course I clicked to see what this URL was all about…

Upon clicking that link I was taken to a retro looking ugly blog which is cited as “American Bedu” and contains so many of my posts from the past several years.   It did not have any fancy graphics but it does carry a bunch of google ads.

Now please — before I continue any further with this post, DO NOT click on the link I gave you.   Why?  All this will do is continue to support whoever cloned my blog.

The cloning is just a Google ad scam. If you can hijack contents from many bloggers you may be able to direct searches to the site and hope the visitors will click on those adds and make a few pennies for each click. The site is using RSS feeds to clone the content of other sites. The best approach is not to provide a link to the site and thus providing it with visitors.

If you are too curious and wish to see the cloned blog, then please do the following and report the site to Google in hopes that enough reports will raise a red flag with Google to close the Google ad account associated with the site. Here is how that can be accomplished:

– When you get to the site find the Google ads on the right
– Click on the bottom left corner where you see the words “Ads by Google”
– A Google page comes up you will find a link at the bottom with the flowing “Send Google your thoughts on the site or the ads you just saw”. Click on that link to see the feedback form.
– Click on “Also Report a Violation?”
– Add a check mark next to “the website”
– Add a Check mark next to “The site is hosting/distributing my copyrighted content”
– Add a comment to the effect “This is a clone site that hijacks content from other blogs.”
– Provide your email to authenticate your comment if you want that option (not required but adds further legitimacy to your report)

This really takes less than 1 minute of your time, but it is worth reporting these content hijackers. Google does run a good business with their ads and they depend on reports like this to catch violators of their policies. The more people reporting the site the better the chances they will close the account.

And I guess under lessons learned, anyone else out there who has a blog should check time to time to make sure your blog has also not been a victim of cloning!!

Saudi Arabia: RV’s – A Market Opportunity


Saudi families tend to be larger than the typical western family.  There may be at least 6-8 children, sometimes more.  And oftentimes when traveling, in addition to the husband, wife, children and housemaid, a mother-in-law or other cousins may be traveling along too.  Therefore it is not unusual to see vehicles on the streets and highways of Saudi Arabia fully packed with individuals with as many as four in the front seat and perhaps seven in the back seat.  Large cars and SUV’s are popular vehicles of choice among Saudi families.  Mini-vans still seem to be in the minority and not seen as often as the large cars or SUV’s.


What I am also surprised by is given the large size of Saudi families coupled with the poor facilities on roadways for long trips, why RV’s are not more popular and in use?   I realize it may not be practical for a Saudi family to outright own an RV but for a long trip such as from Riyadh to Makkah an RV could make that trip much more comfortable and palatable.  There would be plenty of room for everyone, meals could be prepared, no need to worry or fear stopping at the atrocious washroom facilities along the way and the whole environment would be much more relaxed and less crowded.  RV’s have immense storage space so no worries on how to fit everyone and luggage into too small of a vehicle.


I recall many pleasurable trips in America in an RV.  In fact one of my father’s favorite rituals was to drive each summer from the state of Pennsylvania to Alaska via the Alaskan Highway through Canada.  During this trip one would see the miracles of nature at ones own leisurely pace and really appreciate the diversity of America, Canada and the Great State of Alaska.


So why aren’t RV’s as prevalent or popular in Saudi Arabia?  Why is it difficult to find a place where one can rent an RV in Saudi Arabia?  My own conclusion, right or wrong, is that I wonder whether those families who could afford the RV rental are simply flying to their destinations instead whereas it may be those families on tighter budgets who are cramped into the vehicles making such long journeys?  And of course one does have to take into account appropriate parking facilities when in an RV too.

Another Experiment with Blog Design

abedulogo2As you may have noticed, I decided to change the blog design yet again. Your comments from the last change gave me many good ideas. I hope you enjoy the new theme. Here are some of the new features that I hope you will enjoy:

– Having two widget columns allows you to see what I consider the most important information (i.e. Recent Articles and Saudi News feed) without having to scroll to the next page.

– Other functions like the Music Jukebox and Recent Comments can also be found with only a small amount of scrolling.

– The widgets will stay in every page, which is an improvement over the previous theme.

Finally, the banner has changed to give the new theme a fresh look.

I also read a suggestion to increase the font size for the articles. This has been a constant issue as the view of readers depends on their monitor size. It is hard to satisfy all the needs of the different monitors that are used. Therefore, I decided to keep using the current font and provide readers that need to enlarge the article with a tip to increase the size of the display.

– Simply press Ctrl and the Plus sign (+) simultaneously to increase the display. This can be repeated until you reach a comfortable reading size for the display

–  Similarly, use Ctrl and the Minus sign (-) to reduce it.

As always keep the comments coming, it does help me improve the blog and its content.

Once Again – Encounter with Riyadh Street Cat


I’m becoming convinced my house must have a homing device reaching out to the Saudi street cats encouraging them to come and stay at my house.  My most recent encounter involved a young Saudi street kitten.  This kitten could not have been more than six months old.  It was a cute kitten, a tortioseshell calico with long hair and the fluffiest bushy tail.  Now what makes this story unusual is we have no idea how this kitten made its way to our home.  For you see, we have several internal courtyards within our home.  What I mean by internal courtyard is that one can only enter these courtyards from internal access of the home; there is no external access.  These courtyards also have high 11 foot walls so privacy is assured.  Somehow this little kitten got into one of these internal courtyards which meant either we had to get it out via the 11 foot wall or somehow catch it and bring it in through my home in order to take it back out to the street.  At this time my schedule was precluding me from spending much time at my home and I was not even aware we had  this kitten in the courtyard until it had been there already for a few days.  Fortunately my housemaid is a compassionate individual and made sure the little kitten was receiving food and water while it was stuck with us.


Now given my last experience with a Saudi street cat, I had no desire for a repeat and spending  more time in the hospital.  I called my trusty vet, Dr. Majed  and asked his advice on how to safely remove this kitty and return it back to the street.  He suggested either placing a ladder at the wall or stacking up two tables, one atop another which should allow the kitten the height it would need to score the wall.  I kept this advice in mind and figured I’d try one of those options the following day. 


In the meantime I had to leave my residence to visit someone in the hospital.  Little did I know my housemaid who was feeling sorry for the kitten being trapped in the courtyard decided to take matters in her own hands.  I was not there to observe this but she went into the courtyard and managed to capture the kitten.  She then put it into a pillowcase and carried it within the pillowcase to the street where she then released it.  I was very pleased to learn that she rescued and in turn released the cat but also concerned given my own experiences which ended up with me in the hospital!  Thankfully she was not bitten or scratched and this story has a happy ending.


I will reiterate that I learned my own lesson and as much as I continue to love cats I will no longer make any attempt to touch an unknown Saudi street cat.


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