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Lost in Riyadh-Blog

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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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Lost in Riyadh-Blog

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

I have noticed that a lot of the people who are new to Riyadh are convinced that women are not allowed to leave the house alone, including any attempts at walking down the street all by themselves. Intimidated by the initial culture shock after my arrival, mindful of the harshness of cultural expectations following me every step of the way, I began asking around among my Saudi friends whether I should dare…

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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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Cultural Pas Faux: Shaking Hands

Today, one of my western friends seemed to be very surprised about the fact that in Saudi Arabia men and women who are not related to each other do not shake hands, as it is, generally speaking, socially unacceptable. I can imagine that some of you may be very surprised as well when finding out about this, so I thought that a post about this cultural norm may end up being helpful…

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Learn to Dance in the Rain Before You Get on Your Jet Ski

Even though it is only the beginning of March right now, it gets very warm here, especially at midday. I see girls come to school in dresses and skirts and whenever I go outside covered up, I already start feeling uncomfortable temperature wise. Before coming here I, as many other globetrotters, had the issue of what to take with me to Riyadh and what to leave behind. Knowing about how hot it…

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Slices of Life

One day in my journalism class back in Junior year, my teacher suggested that we add a “slices of life” section to our school’s news blog but whether we actually did that or not, I can’t remember. Basically, a slices of life section contains short things that…let’s say just happened. Maybe somebody said something very funny. If so, a journalist can write that funny quote down and here you have your slices…

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