From The Magic Kingdom to Middle Earth

Often during my 12 year long sojourn in Saudi Arabia we referred to that country as The Magic Kingdom to account for the unreal Disney like experience of living in a technologically advanced Westernized environment inside a feudal society. And just recently I visited New Zealand to see that, in the wake of Sir Peter Jackson’s successful adaptations of Tolkien, New Zealand is adopting the persona of Middle Earth.
The safety videos on NZ are peopled by Bilbo, Gandalf, Smurd the dragon etc. – when you arrive in Wellington airport the terminal says “Welcome to Middle Earth” – and like all unreality it has a element of reality. Going to New Zealand is like stepping back in time to a land that time forgot.
Stunningly physically beautiful, sparsely populated by well mannered people who take their litter home, there is very little traffic on the contoured two lane roads that swoop up and down and wind between pine woods and verdant green fields with just the occasional logging truck bearing down on you to keep you alert.
And yet underlying this sleepy idyll is a violent and turbulent caulron of volcanic activity that sends plumes of steam, and jets of evil smelling hot water, in the air, and occasional violent earthquakes that have destroyed towns like Napier and cities like Christchurch and killed and injured many people.
It as if God realized that He had created Heaven on Earth in New Zealand and so he counterbalanced that with its own private Hades just below the surface. And the reverse is true in the Middle East.
When God realized he had created a Hell on Earth in Arabia, with its searing heat and barren deserts that can scarcely support life, He gave them the riches of the world’s biggest oil deposits. And that in itself is a mixed blessing.
Imagine if there had been no oil. No nation building, no Gulf Wars, no regime changes under the cloak of bringing freedom and democracy, no money to fund the excesses of greedy politicians and pseudo royal families, and no money to fund Islamic fundamentalism and terrorism. Just tribal Bedouins subsisting on dates and camels milk with kept going by their simple belief in the will of Allah, and dependent on the clan and tribal loyalties for survival.
In my book THE GULF “Reaping the Whirlwind” I have tried to cover all the bases about the impact of big oil on what was a sleepy backwater of The British Empire from the perspective of ex-patriates. Men accustomed to working in highly paid and dangerous jobs in hostile environments, addicted to a life-on-the-edge to escape the feminized intensive care society that the West has become. Men who work hard and play hard.
You can preview my book at:
and download it if you have a Kindle. Or if you prefer a real book you can order the paperback edition from:
The ISBN number is 978-1908147097


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