Feast & Fun at Al Kharj Farm South of Riyadh

The town of Al Kharj is located about 55 miles southeast of Riyadh.  Here is located an Army training and depot detachment.  Also in this area is King's experimental farm and other agricultural activities.  On this day, a few of us were invited by our Riyadh civilian friends to join them for a day of traditional feasting and play at the farm of a royal prince. 

Unfortunately memory for most of the names of those in attendance have faded. 

Good Riyadh friend Jamal/Gamal  Sharif is on far left; Sgt Don Elkins & Keith are on right; not sure of name of good friend in middle, but might be Jalal.

In a cool shaded farm place we start the day with snakes & good conversation (Don & Jamal in center). 

Friends Jalal?, Keith, Don & Jamal relax.

While a bit gristly, it was an honor to be able to observe the butchering of the sheep for our  feast.

With help from the holders, the animals throat is efficiently slit

It is then bled out with the un-wasted blood flowing down the irrigation ditch.

Keith & Jamal join the other for this unusual photo op. Part of life & death in central Saudi Arabia.

The next step (not shown) was to cut a slit in the skin of one leg.  A fellow then began blowing air under the skin. This was continued with patting & massaging until the entire skin stretched as a balloon around the animal's body. Thus the entire skin could be removed and used as a container or water bag.

While the mutton is being cooked it is time for a welcomed cooling swim.

Some swim while others watch the activities at this farm water reservoir. 

Jamal & local farmers show off the cotton crop (most of the farmers were Palestinian).

After  some heavy political discussions (Palestine question being one topic), it was back to the water for more good natured "rough-house" play.

Using the traditional mode of eating with the right hand only, we start the feast back in our cool sheltered area. The mutton on rice is on the big tray.

Delicious food, good friends, lively conversation & playful attitudes made the feast most enjoyable.

The photo is blurred but the playful fun of the moment comes through.

Good friends Don & Jamal pose together after the feast.

Tragically, the last photo of our hosts was too close to the end of the film roll and parts were badly distorted. 

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