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On Social Segregation: Beware of the Sections!

Yesterday my mother and I went outside (outside as in “outside the actual compound” YES, my dear people, that is actually doable here…SURPRISE!!!) to get something for lunch. Luckily for us, there are some small places near us that sell (fast) food. However, since my mother has not been outside very much so far, she had some trouble figuring ut which of the two doors she was supposed to use in order…

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To Adapt, or Not to Adapt, That is the Question

Why would the average person move to Saudi Arabia? For many it is all about the luxuries, such as cheap gasoline, luxurious houses and a good salary. But unfortunately, many of those people don’t think about the differences between this country and the country of their origin. In the end, they realize that in order to have a bearable life here, one must adapt to the local customs and rules. However, by…

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Things That You Thought Are Banned in Saudi Arabia But Actually Aren’t

Some people think that Saudi Arabia is a place where things go backwards, meaning that people live like they did in ancient times. That may be true for some things which I probably should not be discussing on here but one of the things that contribute to this general opinion are the things that are (supposedly) banned in this country and to which this post is dedicated. At the very beginning, I…

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On Adventurous Day Trips, Cotton Candy and How I Got a New Name

Some people here believe that friday is always the hottest day of the week. Walking down the road to the gate, my floor long abaya wiping the dust after me and my black hijab covering the majority of my head, I was on my way to the place where a friend and I were supposed to be picked up by another friend of ours, to go to a place called Al Batha…

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The Kindness of Saudi Strangers

I used to be a very nice person, back when I was a child. I am not saying that I am not a nice person anymore, but back then I was more focused on doing at least one good thing for somebody every day. What made me decrease my amount of kindness and what in turn made me less naive is the fact that in western society it seemed to me as…

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Excuse Me, Are You One of Us?

Sometimes, when the sun is shining and you are on vacation, you decide to grab your stuff, finally put on that swim suit again and go finish that English reading assignment by the pool. But as it so happens, you end up doing something completely different instead. I did manage to get my things together and make it down to the pool, but just as I lied down and tried to continue reading Top…

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Riyadh Spring Festival

Friday morning in Riyadh. I have two days to myself so what could I possibly be doing? Homework I guess, but as you may have read previously, I have recently discovered an interest in going outside and just walking around town wherever there is a sidewalk. One of my friends mentioned the Riyadh Spring Festival to me, so I thought: Great! Let’s get outside, look at flowers and mix into the crowd…

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The ‘Women May Not Walk on the Street Alone’ Myth

I have noticed that a lot of the people who are new to Riyadh, including me at the very beginning, are convinced that women are not allowed to leave the house alone, meaning that it is also not allowed for them to walk down the street without male company. That is a very widely spread –I am tempted to say cliché on the internet when it comes to doing research on this…

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Wearing Hijab for a Day

Looking at foreigners’ opinions on Saudi Arabia, I noticed how the most concerning thing for women, is the idea of having to cover one’s hair. If you ever ask a western woman about why she would not accompany her husband to Saudi Arabia, the answer is very likely to be: “I do not want to cover up.”, unless she actually decides to come along. Yesterday night I saw part of an interview…

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What to Be Grateful For?

I have not been writing anything for a while now and thought that I could use some practice again.  Maybe even to just  allow my brain to “breathe” again after cramming for all sorts of assessments, hoping that technology won’t give up on me again three hours before the deadline. Just as I was looking through my Facebook news feed, seeing how my former Kosovar classmates, now seniors, are enjoying themselves in Dubai,…

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