Riyadh - Day 4- Wed., Nov. 16 - DQ, Prince Sultan, Faisalia Tower, Friend Turki

    We simply were unprepared for meeting so many dignitaries and important people on what we thought would be a simple good will journey on our part. We expected merely an opportunity for Keith to revisit and share his military experience with Peg and a few other interested folks, instead we were treated as dignitaries ourselves. It was exhilarating and humbling at the same time.  


An after-breakfast stroll near the hotel sparks yet another photo of the prominent Faisalia Tower (also called "Al Faisaliah Tower").

Arriving at the Diplomatic Quarter (DQ) to a salute of Saudi National flags suggests the cross cultural nature of this good will visit.

A chance to photograph some of the interesting architectural features of the DQ grounds & buildings.

Peg approaches the office building of Al-Turath.  Modern architecture captures the old traditional central Arabian styles.

The grounds are pleasing and relaxing to be in.  Water fountains provide cooling accents. At the Al Turath office we would have yet another interesting & thorough interview, this time for their magazine.

Located in a different part of the huge DQ complex, here is the entrance to the office of Prince Sultan bin Salman bin Abdul-Aziz Al Saud. The Prince holds many titles including "Secretary General of the Supreme Commission for Tourism" and "President of Al-Turath."

After a warm and casual conversation with Prince Sultan, Keith makes the formal presentation of the box of slides. His sponsorship made our visit possible.

Zahir, the Prince and Keith discuss the ancient artifacts and Keith expresses his gratitude that they are appreciated and now have a good home.

The photographic crews documents the handing over of the slides, while Keith enjoys the genuine friendliness of this prominent Saudi figure.  (He is also known as the "Astronaut Prince.")

Zahir, Prince Sultan, and Keith chat a bit more and learn of his interest in preserving, while improving, local adobe building materials. 

This conversation continues as the Prince shares his love for his "farm" on Wadi Hanifa. (near Diriyah)  He presents a book "Back to Earth" on this topic.  (a fitting title for this astronaut Prince)

Leaving the Prince's office, Keith spots and photographs this clock tower in the DQ.

A quick photo of our fun and always helpful driver, Yuseff with Keith.  

A little tour to the top of the Faisalia Tower and this "certain slant of light," causes Peg to symbolically capture in jest, some of what has gone to his head these past days.

This view to the north shows the other major skyscraper land mark of the city -- the Kingdom Tower - which stands about 302 meters tall.

We couldn't resist a reflective photo through the tower's faceted ball which accented the several angles of the city of Riyadh below.

This view features an abundance of sattelite dishes on rooftops.  Keith reflects on the total absence of TV when he lived here 45 years ago.

The hotel Al-Khozama, bottom center, is seen here in this photo taken from the observation deck of the Tower.

This distant photo to the east shows where Keith lived in 1960 way off on the horizon near the right edge.  All between that is now city, was then barren desert.

Peg meets and chats with Mickel from Africa who is one of many foreign nationals temporarily working in the Kingdom.  

Mickel kindly takes a photo of Peg and Keith together in the Globe Restaurant area inside the "ball" atop the Tower.

Back on ground level & just outside, Peg photographs this waterfall feature, a part of the architecture that is here not interrupted by security barricades and guard vehicles.

Walking a city block or two further on, we turn to catch this view of the night sky and the Faisalia Tower. At 267 meters tall (built in 2000) it is now the 2nd tallest skyscraper in Riyadh (next to the newer Kingdom Tower).

Keith makes contact with an old friend from college days in Chico, California.  Turki Khaled Al-Sudairy, as cordial as ever, is now head of the Human Rights Commission for the Kingdom. A brief, but great, reunion!

Next on our schedule for this busy day was another interview, this one on an evening English radio talk/music show.  The moderator had spent time in the US and and spoke positively of his experience.  He provided a friendly and relaxed format for his program, and we were able to express our appreciation for the hospitality we had received while in the Kingdom.  We were very impressed with the extremely high level of security protecting the Nation's huge communication complex, which houses multiple TV & radio stations, including 3 English radio stations, if we remember correctly. We did not take photos during this time. Like ourselves, our competent radio host was out of business cards and we have sadly forgotten his name (we hope he will drop us a line and provide his name as well as the name of his program).


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