US Ambassador Leaves Riyadh
Clink, clink noises coupled with wafting fumes of roasted lamb carried through the US Embassy halls on Wednesday. As the crowd of luncheon attendees silenced themselves, Mr. James Smith, US Ambassador to Saudi Arabia, gave his farewell speech.
Of course, I wasn't actually part of this special good-bye party for the Ambassador, but I just happened to be at the US Embassy for a meeting in the next room that had to do with Academic Advising in Riyadh and I overheard--and smelled!--the entire thing.
Nevertheless, we were told that Ambassador James Smith still hasn't been replaced yet. He will be missed. He and his wife, Dr. Janette, were gracious enough to invite my students to the US Embassy back in 2012 in order to meet the two of them for an Earth Day Award, our girls participated in. Dr. Janette told my girls about the story of how she came about to be her husband's wife, and her speaking skills were just superb. My students giggled their way through the session, and happily received their photographs via email after the day.
I hope the new Ambassador will have the same humble, down-to-earth nature that Ambassador Smith has. And I hope the new Ambassador continues to reach out to the students of Riyadh, building bridges of commonality.