Saturday, September 3, 2011

Arabian Nights and Days

As some of you know I have been working on a project in Saudi Arabia for the past several months. We are doing the preliminary planning for a 2 million square foot expansion at King Fahad Medical City in Riyadh. The expansion includes a 10-story Neuroscience Center, a 10-Story Cancer center, a proton thearpy suite, a 6-story lab and office building, and a new central energy plant to support it all with emergency generators, chillers, cooling towers, etc. It is a super interesting project and the trips over to KSA weren't at all scary. I know I had a lot of family, friends, and co-workers that were worried about me traveling to the middle east, especially with the Arab Spring protests going on this year. Luckily the areas we were in were safe, civilized and the whole experience reinforced what I already knew...most people in the world just want to get up, go to work, earn a good living, and come home to a safe house, play with their kids, enjoy time with their families and eat a good meal.

I could fill pages with stories...but rather than that here are some photos that Mindy (one of the architects with HKS) took during our trip in April. I returned in June (with an interesting lost luggage story that I'll tell sometime). I'm getting ready to return in October when hopefully it is cooler.

Andrew telling one of his "tall" tales before dinner

The feast that Ayed aranged was quite included Camel (which I didn't try since even Ayed said he didn't like it)

Ayed, me, Bob B, Bob P looking at the article in the newspaper about or visit with the Saudi Minister of Health the day before.

Everyone posing with the was kind of a big deal to meet with their version of the Surgeon General

The KFMC SUV didn't have 3 rows of seats so when Mindy insisted on going shopping the last day, Preston and I had to ride on the floor in the back.

A sandstorm blew in our last day. Bob B needed a mask, so did I but I didn't have one. Abdullah is smilling because he got a kick out of our discomfort.

"Suit" shopping at the mall in Riyadh.

A copy of the article in the paper. I'm on the far right of the photo.

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