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In Memoriam: Roger Harrison 1946–2021

It is with great sadness that The Saudi British Society acknowledges the sudden but peaceful passing of a dear friend and supporter, Roger Harrison, at his home on the Spanish island of Mallorca on Saturday 16th October 2021, at the age of 75 years.

Roger came to know many of us as friends within the British expat community during his time in Jeddah as a Senior Reporter with Saudi Arabia’s leading English language newspaper, Arab News, from 2001 to 2013 before leaving the Kingdom to seek new opportunities in Ras Al-Khaimah in the UAE. His skills, however, spread far beyond his profession as a press reporter. He was a hugely impressive and creative photographer and an extensive writer with a passion for words, including writing motor articles having test-driven some very expensive cars! Roger had an exhaustive ability to seek out a story to tell, which also led to his being sought after as an accomplished speaker with a clear and powerful voice. 

Above all, he loved every aspect of living and working in Saudi Arabia, including the Saudi people themselves with whom he became the closest of friends at all levels of society. And the respect was mutual.

One of Roger’s many accomplishments was to be amongst the last journalists to interview the famed explorer and adventurer Sir Wilfred Thesiger in 2002. More recently, he authored the book, Wings over Arabia, published by Medina Publishing, which chronicles in pictures and entertaining text the flight of three gliders, whose pilots included Prince Sultan bin Salman and Prince Bandar bin Khaled Al-Faisal, with their support crew in a circular route crossing the western half of Saudi Arabia over some spectacular and rarely seen desert terrain. Members of The Saudi British Society may recall hearing Roger giving a talk on the book and his experiences in October 2014.

Roger also recently supported the Society by providing access to his extensive library of photographs for our new website which he did with alacrity, such was his generosity of spirit and willingness to help when asked.

His talents touched a great number of lives and many of us are proud to have known him as a very dear friend.

The Arab News published their own tribute to their former colleague and friend which was written by Prince Sultan bin Salman https://www.arabnews.com/node/1951261/media

Roger leaves behind his wife Sian, and son Ben (recently married to Kerry). Our sincere thoughts and deep respects are with the family. ‘The Rog’ will be greatly missed.

If you wish to share any recollections of Roger, the family would appreciate if you communicate directly with sian_harrison@fmail.co.uk

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