Cultural security

I was traveling through Qatar last weekend on my way to India. As we went through a security checkpoint, I noticed that they seemed far more relaxed than I had experienced in other cities and countries. For instance, they did not appear to be the least bit concerned by the fact that we might have had liquids in our unchecked baggage. Neither did they care if we removed shoes and belts.

I found it even more laid back traveling from Riyadh to Jeddah in Saudi Arabia two weeks ago. I watched those going before me and saw that they seemingly could carry anything and just get a slight wanding by security. I decided to test the system. I left metal pens, glasses, belts and shoes all on. An American who was going through behind me was more politically correct. He started to empty out everything. Security kept shaking his head saying “no” and waving him through the metal detector. Of course I set off the detector which rang like a Las Vegas slot machine hitting the jackpot. As I arrived on the other side, the security person barely touched my sides, then looked at the person behind me, smiling and saying “good” as he pointed to me.

I did hear that they profile and maybe that is the reason. Let’s hope so. Of course this is only a guidline until such time as a “Johnnie Walker Lynn” type tries to bring something prohibited through and gets arrested.

Well, let’s hope he gets arrested.

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