And then I flew to Bahrain. This was a novel trip, at the behest of Laurence Smith, who has organised some fascinating and varied jobs for me over the years (from drawing his family Christmas cards, caricaturing in Amsterdam, live-drawing a day of talks for a disability charity, to illustrating a giant mural based on the suggestions of 100 employees drawn live on a massive roll of paper). This time it was another workplace training event, for healthcare workers. And it was to be in Saudi Arabia.
I didn't advertise this widely in advance because, in all honesty, I feared Saudi Arabia's human rights record wasn't something I wanted to be associated with. Then, when you visit a country and see things first hand, you discover that most people are getting on with regular lives, regardless of what their government is up to. In my whistle stop two day visit, which took four days with travel, I met a number of doctors and professionals who all seem to love the life out here. Some were Saudis, and some from other countries. All told me about the increased liberalising of the country which may have a few years to go progress wise but, on the surface, looks familiar and pleasant. It may not seem much, but they have cinemas, women are allowed to drive and not wear head coverings, and there are no Religious Police any more. Like I say, baby steps.
My Books and where to get them:
Prince Of Denmark Street - Amazon - Etsy
Midsummer Nights Dream Team - Amazon - Etsy