The Phileas Club 60 – Special: A Day in Riyadh

On this episode we talk about… Life in Riyadh!

Remember you can support a show at

More info on the show:

You can also download the MP3, or subscribe via iTunes or RSS.


  1. Great episode as usual. Greetings from a Moroccan listener fond of all of your shows (both french and english)! GG! And Thanks @turkialballaa for sharing!

  2. Loïc Dieudonné says:

    These episodes are such a great idea, i did’nt know anything about how people lived in Saudi Arabia, that was really enlightening and fun to listen to as well. Thanks a lot for doing this kind of show !

  3. Adrien Le Guillou says:

    Awesome episode and great idea in general ! I hope more of those will come.
    Thanks a lot for this podcast!

  4. Hey Patrick. This was an interesting episode. Thank you and Turki for providing a glimpse into a day-in-the-life. I found the episode both enlightening & insightful.

    But as is the case with all such one-on-one interviews, it only explores the world through the lens of the interviewee… in this case, from the perspective of an individual within the Saudi ruling political/religious party (Sunni/Wahhabism) <– ie. radical fundamentalism fueling groups like ISIS & al-Qaeda. I recently watched a PBS Frontline piece on Saudi Arabia titled, "Saudi Arabia Uncovered: (With undercover footage and on-the-ground reporting, FRONTLINE reveals a side of Saudi Arabia that's rarely seen, and traces the efforts of men and women who are working to bring about change" . If you want to watch the episode, it can be found on any of the torrent sites.

    Frontline's piece explores the "other side" of Saudi Arabia. It shows a side of Saudi not portrayed to the Western media such as wide spread poverty, imprisonment for activism/speech and horrific public executions. One simple example of this fundamentalist ideology intruding into everyday life which particularly struck me involved the Saudi "religious police" assaulting a boy playing a lute in a public. They break his fingers and smash his musical instrument. Apparently it's immoral and violates sharia law to play music in public??? Jeeze! Is this Saudi Arabia or the backwards country town depicted in Footloose?

    Again, I'm not criticizing Turki's depiction of his country. I just find it interesting how one's POV can be skewed when coming from a position of power. I'm sure the same would apply me were I interviewed about my country, so again, don't take this a personal attack against Turki. Anyways, just wanted to chime in. If you get a chance, maybe track down the Frontline piece. If nothing else, it provides yet another data point. Watching this documentary and reading this NYT opinion piece, , helped me better understand the sectarian dissent dividing countries like Saudi and Iran. Being an ignorant American, I tend of think of Islam as one big monolithic "thing"… like Christianity. But that's silly because Christianity ISN'T one big monolithic thing… duh! It has many different denominations, the same as Islam. The difference is Christianity in the 21st century has mostly learned to live in peace with its various branches whereas the fundamentalist version of Islam practiced by the ruling elite of Saudi Arabia has decided to violently crush the pluralism of Islam that once existed for thousands of years.

    • Hey EP, I absolutely understand your sentiment, and honestly I agree with it. The thing is, we get a lot of reports of this nature on Saudi Arabia and other similar countries I think. What we never get in traditional media however, is how people feel and think on the ground… This is what I’m trying to provide with the show, and with these episodes. It’s tricky of course, because I don’t think Turki is allowed to say everything he wants, so we have to take that report with a grain of salt. But I still think it’s very valuable to have, to get that perspective we never get.

      Thanks for the comment!

Speak Your Mind