A Short Rant 

I love chat, text, email, forums and I love this blog. I think it is pretty amazing how we can share things with people near and far. However, the Internet can also be a cruel place.

I place part of the blame on the anonymity that the Internet allows. People think that they can say whatever they like behind the mask of a username and profile picture. Since I started writing about my experiences in Saudi I have received numerous comments that made me think, what’s wrong with people? After I received my first *negative* comment I switched my settings to allow for moderated comments. That was a long while ago. Now anything that is submitted is reviewed and either accepted and made public or deleted. Just to clarify, when I say negative I don’t mean a comment with an opposing view. I am referring to comments that are meant to be hurtful. Also, let me mention that all but one of those comments that I have received were posted using a fake email. I am so tempted to actually share some of the awful words, استغفر الله, but I will refrain and just say may Allah guide us.

Before you comment on someone’s blog, social media account, YouTube video or whatever else, remind yourself that the person you’re writing to is a HUMAN BEING and they have feelings just like you. If your comment is not constructive, and could possibly be viewed as hurtful, don’t send it! Keep it to yourself and go on with life. There is no benefit in spreading hate and hurting others.

The other issue is the fact that I feel written word is not complete communication in that there is difficulty with tone and emotion. What we mean when we write something is often misinterpreted. In my own experience this happens very infrequently when speaking with someone face to face. As a shy person, and someone who likes to write, this can be super frustrating. It has happened to me more than once and I really hope that it becomes a less frequent occurrence in my life.

Ive been writing here on this blog since 2013 and I feel really grateful that I have been able to share my experiences (even though my posts became less and less frequent over time). While sometimes I feel like it is not worth it to share parts of my life this publicly, I remember that with every hateful comment I receive a lot more lovely ones. 

So, for now, I will keep sharing some beautiful and POSITIVE aspects of my life, as a Muslim, a wife, an educator and a new mom. 

الحمدلله

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Back at it…

Back in Riyadh and back to work.

Somehow I’m already 6 weeks into this 8 week session. I don’t really know how that happened, but I would say it is most likely because I have been genuinely enjoying my classes.

These weeks I’ve been assigned 3 intermediate level groups. I teach a class in writing, reading & listening.

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The classrooms where I work now have only smart-boards, so I spend quite a bit of my time preparing for lessons in front of a computer. That means when I go home I don’t usually open my laptop unless I need to finish up a powerpoint or other document for class.

I was thinking of this blog today and realized that I completely missed my 3rd blogiversary. 3 years ago I started this blog without much direction. A few months later I got a job and moved to Saudi Arabia. Ever since then I have been trying to use this as a space to share my life here in the Kingdom and any other travels that I might experience.

So far I don’t think that I’ve been very successful, but I’m sure that is due to my inconsistency in posting. I said the same thing last year and while not much has changed, I am still hoping that it will.

Once again I really appreciate all of you who may have stumbled upon my blog and taken the time to read through it. Thank you for all of your comments, messages and emails.

الحمدلله


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Back in KSA

الحمدلله
I’m back in Riyadh.
And I have big news…

Our papers requesting permission from the Saudi government to get married were finally approved this past May. We went to the court to sign our marriage contract with the sheikh and now we are legally married here in KSA, الحمدلله.

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In 10 days we’ll have a wedding with our family and friends in Y’s hometown to celebrate our marriage. I’m so excited and at times I still feel the need to pinch myself to see if I’m dreaming.

Let me say a huge thank you to anyone who has offered their support, love, encouragement, advice or just lent me an ear when I was in need. Patience has paid off, الحمدلله.

الحمدلله


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Something I’m not…

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All of my close friends and family members know this about me. I’m the person who wakes up in the morning and typically needs about an hour to “wake up”. Before that hour you probably won’t get a coherent or generally pleasant conversation out of me or a truly genuine smile for that matter. I’m not trying to say that I’m awful, but really…I’m just not a morning person.
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Recently I’ve realized that some people (morning people) don’t really understand this. It’s not that I’m in a bad mood or that I “woke up on the wrong side of the bed”. It’s just that my body is awake and upright, but my brain is still laying down dreaming. Unfortunately, there is not enough coffee in the world that could transform me into a morning person, it just takes a little time.

I’m just thinking back to the summers breaks when I used to work at my family’s diner. They weren’t the earliest of mornings, but I remember walking in the door and saying to my mom and grandmother, “don’t talk to me yet.” That probably seems incredibly rude, but they knew and understood exactly what I meant. I should really thank them a lot for being so patient with me those days.
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Can you guess who the bottom half of this picture is? Hahaha. I’m only joking, but sometimes I feel like this is how others view me. I’m quiet, slightly distant and a bit uncommunicative, but I swear I still I love you all.

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Just be patient with me and all of the other non-morning people out there. As soon as we “wake up” we’ll be back to our normal selves. It could be an hour or it could be after noon, but we’ll get there.

الحمد لله‎


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Positivity

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I think we all need a little reminder sometimes.

Be positive.

I’m lucky enough to have a significant other who is willing to do just that all while being loving and patient. May God keep him safe, happy and healthy always ♥ ameen.

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Every once in a while I fall into this deep place of negativity where nearly all my words are a complaint. I don’t even notice it. I can feel myself being frustrated by minuscule items of life, but I never seem to realize that it has nothing to do with anyone or anything around me…it’s all in my head. It’s me.

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I’m sharing this with you all because I know that I can’t be the only one who has this dilemma and perhaps some of you need a reminder, just like I needed one yesterday. So, I’m saying these things to you with love and sincerity.

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Here’s to change.
Be positive. Enjoy your life. Be happy.
and don’t forget to THANK GOD for everything.

الحمد لله‎


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King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz • الملك عبدالله بن عبدالعزيز

King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz • الملك عبدالله بن عبدالعزيز

I was sitting on the couch with Y when suddenly he said, “There are all of these things on Twitter saying that King Abdullah died, but I don’t know…”

“Do you think it’s true?” I asked.
“I’m not sure…” he replied.

We went on doing whatever it was that we were doing. I think we had the MBC movie channel on the TV and both of us were sort of mindlessly scrolling through social media dashboards on our phones. All of a sudden the channel changed to the live feed from Makkah. Not just one of the channels, but all of them.

I could tell by the look on Y’s face that this had more significant meaning than a strange technical glitch. A few moments later the channel quickly changed to a news broadcast. The man on the screen announced the death of the King.

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Y looked at me with such sorrow in his eyes and said, “King Abdullah is one reason that I met you”.

إنا لله و إنا إليه راجعون
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الحمد لله‎


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The Farm in Al Majma’ah

The Farm in Al Majma’ah
المزرعة في المجمعة

My dear friend A invited me to join her and her family at their farm in a small city north of Riyadh called Al Majma’ah. A’s brother also invited Y and so we gladly excepted. I’m so glad that we did because it was a fantastic experience that I hope I get to have again.


[THIS VIDEO CONTAINS MUSIC]

A’s brother told Y that it was about an hour drive. Y knew once we saw a road sign that it would be at least double that, but we enjoyed the ride anyways. Through the desert we went. Finally we arrived to the town and a few moments later we were pulling off the road onto a dirt path that led us to an area with a gate and cement wall. We got out of the car. Y went off with the guys and I went into the kitchen to greet the girls.

I sat in the kitchen for a few minutes chatting with A’s sister in law H, who greeted me warmly. Soon after A’s mom came in along with A’s aunt and two of her cousins. They smiled at me and I felt so comfortable being there with them, even from the very beginning.

We sat to have coffee and sweets. Soon after we went to sit outside and A’s aunt started a fire. Teas warmed in pots along the outside of the fire and a few ears of corn were roasted. They played some music and the kids danced. Eventually A’s mom called us back inside to have dinner.

It was cold, colder than I have experienced here in Saudi Arabia. I had on layers and layers, including 3 pairs of socks at one point and I was loving it. Eventually we went into one of the rooms and set out all of the blankets on the floor. We slept.

The next morning we got up and had breakfast. The typical Saudi breakfast with beans, eggs, liver with peppers etc. After the breakfast A and I went for a walk around the farm. She showed me the lines of date palms and we laughed at some camels just beyond the cement wall.

When we got back A’s mom, sister and sister in law had started to barbecue chicken on the grill. When it was finished we ate and then relaxed.

Soon after Y and I put our things in the car and started out journey back to Riyadh.

الحمد لله‎


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With new friends

I finally got around to inviting the girls from work over for some late night tea and snacks. I’ve been really blessed to have met such lovely ladies at KSU and it’s amazing how well we get along while we have only known each other for a short time. Here are some of the snapchat photos from that night.

The spread
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Green tea with mint
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Cake from Eman
Snapchat--2886039132974171407Gift from Shazia
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Gift from Fateha
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I was surprised by some housewarming gifts. I was given gorgeous serving dishes and a dainty little silver tea set. They’re so lovely and the perfect things for entertaining on nights like the one that I shared with these girls.

Working abroad allows me to constantly meet new people from all over the world. There are people who come and go, but then there are the fantastic people that I know I will have to do my best to keep in contact with when we go separate ways. This is a beautiful thing about working and living in another country. You find people that you have connections with and at the same time there is almost always incredibly interesting conversation as we all come from very different lives and backgrounds.

الحمد لله‎

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When life happens..?

Well…I just kind of stopped posting all of a sudden and it’s not because I haven’t thought about writing. I just haven’t made time to sit down and do it. There is always something else to do (i.e. go to work or go to sleep). I think most people feel that way, but last week I finally made the decision that I wasn’t willing to live like that. I need to enjoy myself even if it means being tired at work in the morning or not writing a 100% complete lesson plan every day. I feel it has taken me a bit of time to realize that time management doesn’t mean that everything is going to fit into my day, but that I’ve got to make compromises in order to make at least pieces of them fit.

Here is a peak into my recent phone image gallery:

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Sweet roses from a sweet friend.
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Hand made Ferrero Rocher
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Coffee break with the students
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Mid-term exam time
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The usual spread
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At the hospital
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Red grapefruit
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Chocolove…the name definitely fits
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Rain in Riyadh
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Junk food junkies in the office
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No students
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Coffee and Anoosh cookies
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Chocolate covered oreo

Now we’re into final exams, which means in a couple of weeks I will have a few days to just relax between the semesters. God willing my posts will be more frequent from now on. I’ve really missed sharing here and I actually do have a lot to tell you. I still haven’t finished posting about my trip to Turkey, last week I went camping outside of Riyadh for the first time and this Friday my best friend has a party for her engagement.

You’ll hear from me again real soon, ان شاء الله.


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