Hello fellow followers and visitors! I have taken a L O N G break from the blog. Sorry about the distance…I have been so involved in this virtual school work with my kids, and trying to get the classes done on time. It is really trying for all of us. The boredom they experience from same home routine everyday without many friends to really play with is hard to remedy. I am also in a graduate class online, and find myself up until the wee hours of the morning to get all of my work done. Now that all school has been concluded on Dec. 18th for 2020, we are on vacation and break. Much needed!!
I hope you also have some time to just be and relax this winter season. My family is outside Saudi at this time, however we know that there will be some nice low-key celebrations on compounds and in homes in Saudi for Christmas and New Year. These are not holidays celebrated by Saudi’s, however they recognize that others do celebrate them. You can find wrapping paper at Zamil art store by the Corniche, as well as chocoloates, etc. at Tamimi and Alosra supermarkets and perhaps Lulu.
This week Saudi has closed their land, sea and air space in reaction to a new strain of Covid found in the UK. This was the approach taken this spring and summer, into fall in Saudi. “Saudi Arabia has taken the only sensible and prudent approach by stopping international air travel for a week until there is more clarity about the impact of this new strain.” (Arab News, 22 Dec. 2020, https://www.arabnews.com/node/1780786)
Expats and others who work and travel to and from Saudi will now need to wait until the travel restrictions are lifted. That means for those outside the country that want to get back, there might be a need to change tickets depending on how long this travel ban is in effect. Undoubtedly there will be folks stuck outside the Kingdom waiting to get back to their job, home, etc., while others are stuck inside and can’t get out for Christmas or New Year’s. However restricting travel is a good measure to protect the population from a more severe Covid infection. They do not have the space in hospitals to deal with large numbers of infections, as well as the sheer volume of pilgrims coming to Mecca. The restrictions and curfews worked out for the first wave, so we will see this time how this goes.