Travel

In photos: The last bus ride in Saudi Arabia

Sami Al Amri made it his mission to document one of the last commutes on Riyadh's "Khat Al Balda".

By Sekka Editorial

“Khat Al Balda” buses, which were independently owned and run by Saudi nationals, were  one of the main commute options in Riyadh, Jeddah and Medina. Courtesy.


For more than 30 years, and up until recently, Saudi’s “Khat Al Balda” buses, which were independently owned and run by Saudi nationals, were  one of the main commute options in Riyadh, Jeddah and Medina, especially in the 1970s. On these buses, engineers, administrators and blue collar workers of diverse nationalities got to their destinations every day, with many forming bonds along the way.

But before those vehicles were grounded starting from December 2017, 36-year-old up-and-coming Saudi photographer Sami Al Amri made it his mission to document  one of the last commutes on those buses in his hometown Riyadh.

“I was inspired to document this the day the construction work was announced on the Riyadh Metro [five years ago], because I knew that those buses, and those rides, would soon be nothing but a sweet memory for those born in the 1970s and 1980s.”

Sami Al Amri. Courtesy.

Equipped with his phone, a Fuji camera, a backpack and a cap, Sami started his documentation journey.

“I’m passionate about documenting the daily street life and people,” he says. “I love to hear about their lives, and to document them through my camera.”

Sami aims to spend some time in other Khaleeji cities and to document the street life there. His dream is to also spend some time in Cairo, Sana’a and India. He is currently in the process of setting up a blog, where he will visually document more of Saudi’s history.

Sekka Editorial