Eid, 25th Birthday, Life

Tea on the plane to Ha’il
A surprise cake during Eid festivities
Birthday cake and balloons from Yasser & his sisters
Dinner with the neighbors to celebrate all the recent marriages.
Beautiful mountains of Ha’il
Surprise from a friend
Baby duck at the farm
Tiny coffee
Y’s camping trip
Stopping to pray on the way back to Ha’il.
The ground had dried after recent rain.




Al Thumamah – الثماما

Last month Y’s family came to stay with us here in Riyadh and one afternoon we took a drive out to the dessert in an area called al Thumamah.

We drove for awhile until finally we crossed the median to continue back in the direction that we came. Pulling off the road into the sand we parked the car at the bottom of a small dune and got out to walk.

The first thing that I noticed were camel tracks, one after another, continuing in lines. I looked up I saw a large beige camel off in the distance. Following Y and his niece we walked in her direction. As we got near something to our right moved. It was a tiny black baby camel that had been curled up in the sand. It stood shakily and began slowly walking towards its mother.


It may not seem like much, but it was a really beautiful thing to see and I’m glad that we took a few minutes to walk in their direction. Checking my photo album as we walked back, I laughed a bit. I had been talking a video of Y and his niece with the camel behind them, when suddenly I dropped the camera view to my feet. When I see something surprising or beautiful I want to see it with my own eyes, not through the screen of my phone or through the lens of my camera.  I think that is something that a lot of us forget to do these days. As much as I love to document things in my life through photos and videos, I don’t want to deprive myself of the actual experience.




ٍRainy day in Riyadh

It doesn’t happen very often, but when it does you realize how much you miss the rain. I’m someone who typically loves a dark rainy day to sit and relax inside, but I also remember days upon days of summer without an afternoon of sunshine. Living in a place where the sun always shines and the ground is always dry means that everyone waits patiently for rain and when it comes, it is welcomed.


Almost everyone is in a good mood when it rains here. I didn’t understand that before I lived in a place like this, but now I think I’m just the same.

الحمد لله‎


Take time…

Take time to notice every moment.

Beautiful Moments

Something that I love is the ever changing sky.
No two moments are the same.
Just blink and something will change.
Don’t forget to look.
I mean really look at all of the beautiful things around you.
Because just as you blink one moment is lost and another begins.
Notice everything.
The colors, the patterns, the shapes, the sizes, the light and the dark.
Notice the beauty in every little thing.
Take time to look and to notice because in just a moment there will be something new to see.
See it. Embrace it. Remember it.

الحمد لله‎


USA Travels – Part 6 – MS

USA Travels

August 4 – August 8

For the last part of my trip I got to spend time at my Mom’s house is Mississippi. Her house is in the country, surrounded by green and so peaceful. سبحان الله I love sitting outside, watching the hummingbirds buzz by, seeing a unique sunset every night and hearing the crickets chirp as it becomes dark.

I had really missed begin around animals so Mom’s 5 dogs (Willy, Gracie, Luna, Stella & Gus) kept me company while everyone was at work, not to mention the two cats (Thelma & Louise) and my bunny (Arnooby) who has been staying there while I’m away.

I always talk about food, but who doesn’t love good food? The first night Mom made spaghetti with a homemade sauce from their garden tomatoes. The second night D made steak and potatoes. The third night Mom and I made corn dogs. The fifth night we went out to eat sushi. The sixth and last night D made baked fish and vegetables. Yum!

My last day Mom took me to a city nearby to go shopping. We spent most of the day browsing in the mall and a couple other shops nearby. I’ve really missed doing that with her and it is something that I’m looking forward to again soon, إن شاء الله

To my mom & D:
I love you and thank you.

الحمد لله‎


USA Travels – Part 4 – DE

USA Travels

July 29 – August 2

I got to spend some time with my Grandparents at their beautiful home in Delaware.
We shared delicious meals together, went riding around on a golf cart, did some shopping at the outlets and antique shops and spent some time at the boardwalk in Rehoboth Beach.

Visiting them at their place down in DE always reminds me of the vacations that we used to take to Florida and Maryland. There are always tons of laughs and good chats.

To my grandparents, mom and family:
I love you and thank you.

الحمد لله‎


USA Travels – Part 3

Here I go again.
Tuesday morning I had to wake up at 2am to catch my flight from Albany, NY to Baltimore, MD.
The airport in Albany is tiny. Checking in is generally quick and security is mostly painless. I got through everything and sat at the gate waiting for my flight.
The flight was short at only about 50 minutes. The woman sitting next to me was listening to music on her phone and couldn’t stay still in her seat. She was snapping her fingers and shaking herself as much as possible while still being restrained by her seatbelt. That had me entertained while I continuously failed to sleep.
After landing I waited in the baggage claim area for my mom’s flight to arrive a few hours later. I watched videos on my phone and observed people as they came and went.

A little later I saw my mom searching around. I was looking straight at her and I swear she saw me, but she kept walking. I started laughing and that is when she turned around and realized that it was me.

We hopped in the car with my grandparents and drove around Baltimore visiting the neighborhood where my Grandfather grew up.
We stopped and I grabbed this delicious watermelon slushy.
As we continued to drive I tried to stay awake but my eyelids became heavy and closed.

الحمد لله‎


USA Travels – Part 2 – NY

USA Travels
New York

July 22 – July 28

I got to spend some time in my hometown with my dad in the very house that I grew up in.
It is a place filled with the kind of natural beauty that never gets old, yet never changes.
In every direction there are rounded mountains covered with green trees.
Two majestic lakes border either end, one flowing into the other by a swirling river.
Multiple waterfalls splash along the river’s path.

To my dad, grandparents, aunts, family and friends:
I love you and thank you.

الحمد لله‎


Desert Adventure

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم

Desert Adventure
June 27, 2014

Today Y and I decided to drive a short ways outside of Riyadh to see the desert. Suddenly he went off the main road, hopped out of the car with a pen in his hand, went around to all four of the tires and finally jumped back inside. He smiled at me and said, “Okay, let’s give this a try.”

“When was the first time that you drove in the desert?” I asked.
“I was a kid and my uncle took me and two of my cousins to teach us,” he replied.
“Is your uncle good at it?” I questioned.
“Yeah, but really there are just a few things that you need to drive in the desert,” he smirked, “An SUV, to let a little air out of the tires and to leave your heart at home.”
I just smiled at him.
“If you’re scared, it won’t work because as soon as you slow down or stop you get stuck,” he said.
“Because the tires will sink in once you stop, right?” I guessed.
“Yes, exactly,” he answered, “Let me show you something.”

Y is good at driving in the desert because he thinks quickly and has patience. There were 2 or 3 times that it seemed like we were going to be stuck, yet slowly Y pulled us out and we continued on.

After a bit of fun throwing sand, swerving and bouncing around in our seats, we went back to the place where we had started. About 5 meters in the car stopped, the wheels spun and when Y got out to check the front end it was in pretty deep.

He laughed as he got back into the car saying, “We’re stuck…I didn’t imagine that, but the 4 wheel drive stopped working.”

Two minutes later a guy stopped behind us offering help. He called his friend to come help pull us out. I sat in the car as they talked to each other outside waiting for the others to arrive. I’ve noticed that most Saudi people get great pleasure out of helping others. It doesn’t seem that they find it a burden or a loss of precious time, but rather as something easy. I guess they just feel that if they were in the same position that they would hope someone would stop to help them as well. I like to think about it as a “pay it forward” system.

A few minutes after the others arrived we were out. Y thanked the guys and they were on their way. We decided to take a short walk in the sand taking off our shoes, walking up a small dune and sitting down for a few quiet moments.

As we walked back to the car to go back to the city I realized yet again how such simple things make life beautiful. We just have to remember to enjoy what we have, to smile, to laugh and to let go of the things that cause us stress.

الحمد لله‎