Local News

Saudi Arabia Bombing Hits Close To Home For Wayne County Woman

Posted May 23, 2003

— Last week's terrorist attack in Saudi Arabia hits home for a North Carolina family. They were in the city of "Riyadh" when their compound came under attack.

Barbara Arnold, director of the Wayne County women's shelter, said she could have easily died in Saudi Arabia, if not for a phone call from the United States asking her to come home to Goldsboro.

"I feel like it has been a divine intervention, that everything occurred as it was supposed to," she said. "I think that there are some guardian angels that are looking out for all of us."

Arnold's temporary home was part of the Riyadh compound hit last week by terrorists. The gunmen shot into a window where Arnold often sits. The gunmen killed 25 people, including eight Americans.

Arnold was called home for work just before the attack. She said the Saudi guards gave their lives to save her family and the others inside.

"It was their job to do that, but when you're facing an enemy that has machine guns and has explosives, you know what's going to happen to you," she said.

Until her family comes home, Arnold said she will worry and wait.

"You just kind of worry day-to-day what's going to happen and hope to God that the security that's in place is going to keep everyone safe," she said.

Arnold said her family's safety is not guaranteed anywhere.

"Life is short. Make sure that you let people know how you feel before anything happens," she said.

The Arnold family may have to stay in Riyadh until August, when their contract with the Saudi military ends.


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