The Race for the White House – How Ugly Can it Get?

I’ve no doubt that this American election is probably getting the widest coverage and attention in world history. This is in part due to the influx of new internet technologies which make it easy to reach a broader global audience but also because whichever way this campaign goes it is making world history. The United States will either have its first Black President (fingers crossed) or the first woman as Vice President.

In the meantime there is less than a month until Election Day and Americans the world over will be casting their vote. So not surprisingly, the campaigns are turning up the heat and starting to get really ugly.

In my personal view, the Obama campaign has been a gentlemanly campaign. He has responded to allegations and attacks by the McCain campaign as well as comparing the McCain campaign to another round of the Bush era…kind of like calling a spade a spade…

The McCain campaign has been going overboard. Instead of giving the American people and rest of the world substance on their views, perspectives, plans and strategies I’m hearing more of why I should not vote for Obama.

Trying to portray Obama as a domestic terrorist due to affiliations with Ayers who was part of the Weatherman when Obama was only eight years old is really stretching it in my view. In fact, watching Orbit news the other night, I think McCain’s tactics to allude that Obama is in bed with terrorists and a closet muslim backfired while campaigning in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. Since his supporters were on national TV chanting Obama was a terrorist, an Arab and a muslim, McCain had to publicly come round and correct those misimpressions…even though that has been the not-so-subtle message he has been trying to portray all along of Obama.

However the ugliest of allegations I have read was today when reading another blog which is not only politically oriented but clearly so anti-Obama. This blogger is insinuating that Obama was in fact born in Kenya and therefore ineligible to run for the position as President of the United States. I’ve included the link for those of you who wish to read this lurid albeit fascinating post.

At the same time, I not surprised and saddened how Palin continues to show her true colors and continued denial ability or accountability even though she was found to misuse her influence and position as Governor of Alaska. During interviews and campaigning she continues to blow off the fact that Alaskan officials found her guilty of such charges. What does this say of Sarah Palin and what does this say of the judgement of John McCain in choosing her as a running mate? Last but certainly not least, I think it is very telling that NOW (National Organization of Women) officially endorsed Obama as their candidate of choice. Within their endorsement they also made it clear that NOW was against Sarah Palin and that is a bad example for women and women rights.

I agree with NOW… and as we all know, a picture can say a 1000 words and I think this picture speaks volumes on the ethics and values of Sarah Palin and that perhaps she is spending too much time climbing the golden staircase instead of taking care of her family.

I leave this post asking my valued readers how is this election campaign and its tactics presenting America? What do Saudis think of the directions of the campaign and what views do you have on the future direction of the USA-KSA relationship?


Update:  Here is Jacob Liam born 13 October and weighing in at 6.11 ounces and 20 inches long:

No photos to share…yet but wished to let regular (and new) readers know that as of today, 13 October, my baby is a Baba…which yes, also means I’m a jeddah!  For those not familiar with the arabic terms, I’m advising that I became a Grandmother today when my daughter-in-law gave birth to a healthy baby boy!!!!

Saudi Arabia Today: What Would the Prophet (PBUH) Think?

Ramadan 1429 has come and gone. It was again a time when most Saudis switched their days to night and night to days. It was also a time of great commercialism for businesses, malls, media and more. Each night a series of special Ramadan shows were shown on the majority of Arab channels. A lot of these shows did not have anything to do with Ramadan or Islam but were either comedies or dramas but presented during Ramadan due to the higher viewership. The malls and businesses ran continuous Ramadan specials. For example Mobiliy, which recently acquired the hi-speed wireless internet company, Al Bayanat, offered free installation and a free month of service to anyone who chose to receive WIIMAX services during Ramadan. Orbit satellite television offered special subscription packages for those who signed up during Ramadan. And of course, the malls and souks not wanting to lose out on business opportunities stayed open until the wee hours of the morning. Before I forget to mention, working hours were also shortened during Ramadan to make it easier for those who were fasting. All of these “Ramadan conveniences” further perpetuated and encouraged residents of Saudi Arabia to sleep throughout the day (it was hot and one could not eat) and party away or shop all night while eating what one wished.


That’s just on the topic of Ramadan. Now let’s focus in general on everyday life. Saudi Arabia has the highest number of traffic fatalities in the world due to the reckless driving that is normal here. I question whether it is reckless or the drivers simply do not care and observe any kind of courtesy of the road. The same patterns can be seen when in a mall or other business as well. There’s no such thing as an orderly or mannerly line. A lot of Saudi citizens simply believe it is their right to cut ahead and be the next served.


The Saudi youth give an impression of selfish, vain and arrogant (as do some of the adults too). One sees little discipline or ethics in place. I could go on with more negatives but I think what is highlighted has been enough.


On the positive side you still continue to see Saudi generosity and compassion to the elderly. Children are revered. Saudi Arabia continues to be one of the world’s largest donors of humanitarian aid.


But it does make one wonder, if the Prophet (pbuh) were to return to Saudi Arabia for even just one week, what would he think of what he sees today of the people? I think if he were to return during Ramadan he would be pleased in some cases but saddened and appalled in many others. He would possibly shake his head in sadness and shock wondering what happened to the people in that so many were no longer practicing the true spirit and meaning of Ramadan? Why were so many not practicing the true spirit and meaning of Islam with kindness, patience and tolerance?


Would the Prophet (pbuh) even recognize the Saudi Arabia of today?


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