And we finally have a verdict .. Justice Served !
For months and months, I kept postponing this blog-post. It was too huge and too tragic for me to write about.
The number of deaths, injuries and losses. The horrific pictures and videos. The idiotic statements of many officials. The entirely destroyed neighborhoods. The news reports and the lack of them at times. I saw, read and watched all of this planning to write some kind of journalistic investigation filled with statistics, statements and facts. Months later, after hearing the verdict, I found myself writing this instead!
Writing about Farman Ali Khan, a Pakistani hero who saved 14 lives before drowning. About students and teachers stuck or “detained” in schools and universities for over a day before being rescued. About two or three helpless girls screaming while filming the water surrounding their house carrying everything with it, including corpses! The unforgettable scenes of people fighting water, swimming and suddenly disappearing. A group of people led by a woman protesting all of that horror. About the one-year “anniversary” of the second flood when children went to visit the scourged areas. Jeddah’s youth shooting a heart-breaking short film in that memory.
Anger, bitterness, grief and a desire to revenge occupied enough space in our lives. Finally, we had our revenge; and people responsible will suffer consequences.
After three years of investigations and testimonies, we have a verdict! ONE man will spend ONE year in prison and pay ONE thousand riyals (266,67 dollar) fine. That’s about 2 riyals and 10 prison-days for every lost soul (according to Saudi media, 130 people died in the floods) and I’m not including the injuries nor the destruction.
Justice’s served, the Saudi version of justice I mean!