Saudi Grandeur

Feb. 6, 2005 6:50 p.m.
Riyadh, Saudi Arabia

They stop serving alcohol on flights into Riyadh about an hour and a half before landing. They also make several announcements about picking up any half-empty drinks.

I had the pleasure of sitting in the back of the plane next to a young Westerner in a T-shirt and baseball cap. He was a most enthusiastic air guitarist. He would remove his cap and attempt to hang it on his tray hook in order to be able to swing his head unencumbered, but the hat kept falling. I'm not sure what he was listening to, but through his headphones it sounded like Neil Young.

I went to a top government advisor's house for dinner. First, there were snacks around a table: pistachios and what I believed to be pringles. Our team went with Perrier. Then in the dining room there was salmon, lamb, beef, kebabs, chicken, hoummos, and Q and A. Our team ate steadily, then went to the tent.

The tent was outside in the yard. It was giant, not like the two-man tent I am carrying in my duffel bag. There were soft chairs. In one corner was a flatscreen. In the other corner servants brought tea and coffee. There was a box of cigars. The Cohibas were limited edition. Half of our team smoked with elan and brio.

Finally, there was honey from Yemen. Someone said it was the most expensive honey in the world. It was poured on a mild white pudding. When it hit your tongue you stopped thinking for a moment.

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Hi, Mr. Harrigan

Your article about Venezuela is the best I have seen about my country. Most of the people North of the Mexican border do not know about the Venezuelan reality, and they are getting the Web's (paid by Chavez) misinformation, especially from the European (mostly FRENCH) newspapers or the infamous

Here in Canada we barely read about Venezuela. I just have subscribed to FOX News with the hope to get some information about my country. Keep on going that way, it will help my country to get back on to the path of democracy.


Dear Mr. Harrigan,

We would like to express our most sincere congratulations on the series of reports that you produced on Venezuela.

— RG

Dear Sir(s):

I am a Venezuelan citizen and want to say thank you because most of the time I feel that the world has forgotten Venezuela and can't see the dangerous president we have. Your reports, Venezuela I, II, and III tell very much about our reality.

Thank you,

Muchas gracias por tan interesentes reportajes y sobre todo tan pegado a la realidad, Saludos y adelante, Jacobo

Hello Steven,

Brave and excellent work. Miracles sometimes do happen with guts.

Best regards,

Mr. Harrigan

Thanks so much for you excellent report on Venezuela. Please go ahead. Keep talking to the world about the dictatorship of Chavez.

— Manuel

Steve Harrigan currently serves as a Miami-based correspondent for Fox News Channel (FNC). He joined the network in 2001 as a Moscow-based correspondent.