Masmak Fort. Chop Chop Square. The old souq. After two and a half years this was just as it was. The flag still hung limp in the warm evening air. The children still tore across the executioner’s ground. Footballs still thudded into walls. Covered women still shopped in the covered market. People still gadded about. The Mosque outside the headquarters of the Organisation for the Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice still advertised the benefits of prayer.

IMAG0943And Riyadh at night is still a sea of bright lights as a trip to the viewing deck of Kingdom Tower, Riyadh’s tallest building, reminds one.