Graffiti, Saudi Style
I live in an area of Riyadh known as Al Nazeem. It's about 17 kilometers away from the center of Riyadh and until recently, it wasn't really a part of Riyadh. This was where the poor and stupid people lived. Since few Saudis own homes, the folks out here had no pride in ownership and didn't care about improving their lot. As the Saudi youth become more disaffected from the traditional culture and take on behaviors normally seen in western urban areas, I get to witness social change every day - slow change - but change all the same. Graffiti and tagging come with that western-influenced social change.
Al Nazeem was, and probably still is, a dangerous place to live and work. We're safe here on our compound, and except for the red tracers flying all around us by whack jobs, high on khat or heroin, spraying the air with their AK-47s, we are sheltered from the madness outside our walls. But, we have to drive through the bedlam to and from work every day. Even the Riyadh police don't like coming out here at night. The ubiquitous Paki and Bangladeshi cabbies, found everywhere in Riyadh at all hours of day and night, are not seen here after nightfall.
We drive backroads going and coming from work in order to bypass heavy and dangerous traffic. One backroad near the compound has rows of houses that have been tagged and painted by graffiti artists/vandals. I took the opportunity to capture a few photos a few days ago. You don't see graffiti downtown, only out here in the wild, wild west. (even though we're east of Riyadh).