Letter from a Kiwi nurse in Saudi Arabia

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Hi, things are very tense here at the moment. The bin laden guy certainly does have the resources to do exactly as he pleases. He is from Saudis wealthiest family and we are talking trillions and although he was tossed out he took his money with him and no doubt invested at least some of it.

He also still has a very loyal following here and that is why everyone is so nervous. Lots of headlines about how he wants revenge not only on his own family but every western person in Saudi. He believes that no non-Muslims should be allowed to defile the holy land.

There have been a few nasty incidents here. A bus load of nurses from our hospital were harassed on the way home and there have been a lot of nasty comments from some of the Saudi staff. The American nurses are leaving in droves. We have a staff meeting tomorrow to try and sort a few issues out. They have offered that anyone can go home at their own expense and come back in 3mths without having to reapply or lose leave etc. All this in an attempt to stem the flood. Don't know how successful it will be.

Have talked to a lot of other kiwis. We have all decided to stay put and await developments. Everyone is a bit nervous but trying to carry on as usual amid all the extra security and stuff. Will just have to wait and see.

It's nice to get mail from home, though. Makes us seem not quite alone and isolated because, of course, if you say you are staying then the Americans think you are being disloyal but they don't quite grasp how far we have to go and if it all turns out to be a false alarm a hell of a long way to come back and very expensive. Also none of us would be able to work without facing huge tax bills. I am sure that Helen Clark1 is not going to give us a special favour in that department.

Ok sheik of Araby, send that rellie of yours a message. Don't f*** with the Kiwis or he will get a big fright !!!!!!

Cheers Carol x

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