Commodore, Royal Saudi Navy (Retired)
The city of Taif is located just north of the southwestern part of Saudi Arabia. It is part of Makkah Province. It is located on the slopes of the Sarawat Mountains at an elevation of more than 6,000 feet above sea level. This city enjoys one of the most pleasant and refreshing weather in the Kingdom. Unlike most parts of Saudi Arabia, it has very cool days even during the simmering summers. Due to its pleasant climatic conditions and beautiful location, it is known as the unofficial summer capital of the Kingdom. Taif has a population of around a million people. This city has one of the most beautiful natural parks in the Kingdom. It has very rich soil and since the dawn of history, Taif has been called the garden of Hijaz. Its cool weather and above average rainfall makes it suitable for growing many kinds of fruit such as pomegranates and grapes. It is also known for its unique roses, which are the main source of the famous rosewater. This is why thousands of Saudis and people from other Gulf countries visit Taif every summer to spend their vacations. Many people enjoy the breathtaking sceneries of the mountain slopes. The most beautiful one is called the Alhada district, which in Arabic means tranquility. This tranquility was, however, interrupted by a very cowardly act by few terrorists who wanted to create unrest in the Kingdom. Last Friday, two wanted terrorists planned an attack on public buildings in Taif, which was thwarted. Sadly, one of the officers, Sgt. Awad Siraj Al-Maliki, was martyred during the anti-terror operation. We all know the true intentions of these terrorists who belong to Daesh. They want to disturb the peace in the Kingdom. It was not the first attempt. They have repeatedly tried to create unrest in the Kingdom and failed. This time, however, they chose a city very close to the holiest city in the world and on the holiest day of the week and during the holiest of the months. Sadly, they are carrying out such attacks in in the name of Islam. Most of these terrorists are wanted in one criminal case or the other. Apparently, most of the terrorists are young and naïve. The question is: Who is behind them and who is recruiting them and brainwashing them? Terrorism, nowadays, has become an issue for every country across the world. It is the responsibility of all governments and every person living on this planet to join hands to fight terrorism. It is not about hitting a particular area or targeting a particular people. Terrorism is spreading like a cancer and concerted efforts are required to treat this disease. The terrorist group, Daesh, is becoming a threat to world peace and threatening the stability of many countries particularly in the Middle East. During the past few days, we saw a wave of terrorist attacks across the world. As for Saudi Arabia, it not only important to look for and hunt down the terrorists but efforts should be made to nab those who brainwash the youth of the country. These terrorists will never succeed in disturbing the peace in the Kingdom. It will not take long in completely eradicating this menace from the Saudi society. Written by Abdulateef Al-Mulhim. Terror in City of Tranquility reprinted with permission of Arab News and Abdulateef Al-Mulhim.