April 25, 2010 - Phil Hodgen

Making new friends in Riyadh via Twitter

Last night I met three new friends.  All via Twitter.  This came about because I made initial contact with @saudilawyer — Bander Algonaithan — on Twitter.

Bander is a lawyer (me too) who likes Apple computers, phones, etc. (me too) in Riyadh (he lives here, I’m visiting).  What’s not to like?  🙂

He recently left White & Case and has started a new law firm in Riyadh. is the firm’s website, and they’re still building it out.  I wish him the best of success with this.  I am sure he will do well.

Bander introduced me to Abdulrahman AlBallaa and his brother Turki AlBallaa.  Turki manages the law firm as its Executive Director.  He is @saudi on Twitter, and his website is A Saudi Life.  Abdulrahman has some business plans that are very interesting to me, but I’m not sure they can be shared online until they are finalized.

All three of the are keen Apple fans.  All of us have iPhones (of course).  Abdulrahman and Bander have iPads, even though they are not yet on sale in Saudi Arabia.  (I have one also, the wifi version, and have ordered the 3G version which should arrive at my office from Apple, just about the time I return from this trip.)

Abdulrahman and I ganged up on Bander, trying to persuade him to convert his law firm totally over to Apple computers.  This is what we have done with our law firm, and I would never go back to Windows computers at this point.  Unfortunately, Bander says that support for Arabic on the Mac platform is not as good as it is in Microsoft Office on Windows.

Anyway, it was a good evening and I will keep in touch and hope to see them next time I am in Riyadh.

Thanks, gentlemen!