Saudi Arabia: Blogging Brings People Together

I initially created American Bedu blog back in 2006 to share experiences and perspectives of life in Saudi Arabia as the wife of a Saudi and being part of a large extended Saudi family.  I wanted to provide straightforward and candid views based on my observations and discussions with both Saudis and expatriates alike.  Little did I realize at the time how much my own life would change through the creation of this blog.

To begin with the blog was been favorably received and now has readers from all parts of the world.  I learned that there is an avid demand and interest in all aspects of Saudi Arabia and particularly about Saudi life and the lives of women in Saudi Arabia.  I also learned that there is a void or perhaps I should say a chasm in understanding the closed society of Saudi Arabia.  While Saudi nationals and global citizens have many many similarities the culture between East and West is different resulting in wide misunderstandings or misperceptions of each other.

I have found though that when individuals from the blogosphere have an opportunity to either speak and/or meet face-to-face a lot of misunderstandings and misperceptions are cleared up if not disappear.  A recent article I wrote on “Why the West is Viewed as So Immoral” quickly became one of the most commented upon posts on American Bedu.  However the majority of the comments only served to highlight the differences, distinctions and disagreements between individuals.  But as one commenter remarked, if we all were in one room sharing coffee together and talking, the responses and reactions would likely be very different.  We can and are entitled to agree to disagree and that can be done both personally and impersonally in a professional and dignified manner.  Yet the anonymity of a blog or online forum oftentimes seems to encourage participants to leave their manners away from the keyboard.

I can not recall exactly how many readers I have personally met who follow American Bedu.  It has been quite a few I’m happy to say.  I’ve met readers both within and outside of Saudi Arabia.  Each time has been a special experience.  This past weekend I had the opportunity to personally meet “Strange One.”  Contrary to the name used by this reader, it was a wonderful time.

Since Strange One traveled to meet with me, I made sure to welcome her on her arrival with some tasty Saudi Champagne.  I wanted her to get a feel of the traditional Saudi hospitality.  It was such a pleasure to meet her and have an active dialogue on blogging, Saudi Arabia and Saudi life and culture.  She also had the opportunity to meet firsthand the well-traveled Tripod and Saheba!

I am very happy to have had the opportunity to meet Strange One.  Now when I read her comments on the blog I see her face and smile remembering our lovely visit.  So I ask, if YOU had an opportunity to personally meet individuals who participate at the same blog or on the same forum, would you WANT to meet them face-to-face?


27 Responses

  1. Oh HELL yeah there’s some people on here I’d like to meet face to face!! LMAO!!! But seriously, I have never but it would be cool. We were supposed to meet up with Aafke and Radha (when she was still in Michigan) but I guess Aafke was too busy enjoying her tour of the Southwest to come north. 😦

  2. I can’t meet anyone unless they are willing to come to North Carolina. But it has been a pleasure meeting all those who I have met from the blog. Aafke will be returning to the US and I’m hoping she will come through NC this time.

  3. North Carolina is a beautiful state. Aafke would love it!

  4. It’s not so easy! 😦 The dreamrabbit doesn’t want to share…
    I will try to get to NC next time (Januari?), will you come to NC Lynn? Radha? Carol said we could do a blogger-meeting… That would be fun!

    What’s up with the picture?
    Did anybody else notice that it’s ”Headless Nick” in front of that laptop???

  5. As a general rule, I would be very happy to meet in person those I have met on the web.

  6. The major reason I started Clouddragon is because I thought that when I give my opinion on other blogs it is only fair to show who I am. The other reason was that I consider most bloggers very generous to be sharing and giving so much, and I wanted to give of myself in return.

  7. Hi, I would definitely like to meet readers of my Blog, that would be cool. I also like to meet other bloggers.
    You have highlighted the power of blogging here, it doesn’t matter your race,religion or anything else for that matter, we can all come together as bloggers or blog readers.

  8. I’ve been part of one forum for about 7 years and a few of us have met. One lady from Washington flew across the country to another one’s wedding in Massachusetts three years ago. Another from Georgia met one lady when she and her husband were in Cape Cod on their honeymoon. I met the three ladies who lived in NC. (One now lives in Ohio, but I met her twice in Asheville before she moved.)

    Of course I met Samer and his friends via the internet and traveled all the way to Syria for that face-to-face meeting. Now he wants me to travel to Germany while he has several days off for Christmas, but, c’mon, it’s Christmas and like the busiest time of the year for me so how can I plan a trip?!

    So, yeah, it’s rather neat to meet people you’ve talked to online. I recommend it. 🙂

  9. Glad for the positive feedback thus far. So who would want to participate in an American Bloggers get together after the New Year?

    I’m not in a position to travel so would need it to be in North Carolina.

    Let me know and I’d be pleased to start making details.

  10. I would love to meet fellow bloggers. However, the on-line relationship has a life of its own. Meeting face-to-face opens another dimension, which could be enriching. I’ve never met another blogger, but I have met writers after reading their books.

    I’d consider coming to NC, if work schedule and family affairs permit.

  11. Hmmmm, a trip to North Carolina in January? I betcha that is do-able. Charlotte?

  12. Sounds like fun!

  13. Some people I’d like to meet- some not so much. I did meet someone from another blog once. She was nothing like I thought she’d be!

  14. Could be fun…not sure it would work for me with school schedules and all.

  15. Oh no, my online persona off “cool”redness would be blown away. 🙂 Ive never met anyone from online but I do exchange personal emails and chat with a few so that a closer relationship has been established.

    Never been to the eastcoast except when leaving or entering the country…sounds very intriguing.

  16. AB,
    I had a great time visiting with you (and Tripod and Saheba, too 🙂 )! Your hospitality’s amazing! Thank you for the Saudi Champagne and an introduction to some of the Saudi customs. If I ever happen to be in the area again, I will most definitely try to stop by! 🙂

    I don’t know what my schedule is going to be like for next week, let alone next year, but it sounds like a great opportunity for a group of us to meet up together. 🙂 Let me know what time next year everyone decides on, and I’ll see if I can make it.

    I would most definitely be interested in meeting other people who participate in the same blog and/or comment on mine. It would be nice to finally meet some of you face to face! 🙂

  17. It does not necessary have to be in January although I know Aafke will be in the States then. If March would be better or alternatively during a school break if that’s better, let me know. Yes; folks would need to come to Charlotte airport but we’d gather in the Lake Norman area.

  18. Carol…. You know that I plan to visit you in NC.. I just don’t know when! Can’t wait! Soooo looking forward to seeing you and the cats too!
    Hey.. am I the first online friend you met? I know I am Aafke’s first!
    There are some people who come to this blog who have very interesting personalities and who I want to meet so much… and It’d always be nice to put faces to the persons we meet online… so I agree… It would be fantabulous if we could get together.. I’m sure we’ll have fun.. and plenty of good arguments too! We might as well solve all the worlds problems! 😉

  19. forgot to say… I’m glad you had the chance to meet strangeone and strangeone had the chance to meet you… and I’m glad that it was a wonderful experience. I have always considered StrangeOne to be an interesting person with great intellectual abilities… I’m sure it’s fun to meet with her!

  20. Yes Nader is my first, meaning the first person I met due to blogging! We had a great day, even though I was sick the day before.

    It will have to be January, beginning of February, March I will be back in the Netherlands again.

    I think it’s a brilliant idea, we’ll solve all the world’s problems in one meeting!

  21. I agree that many of us could solve so many problems simply by getting together, getting to know one another and feeling comfortable with each other.

    Nader, you are among the first whom I’d met in KSA through blogging! All told, I am guessing that I probably met about 50 folks in Saudi and many from simply being at a function and the topic of blogging would come up. My blog would be mentioned and then after waiting to hear just what was said about my blog, i’d decided whether to acknowledge myself or not! (smile)

    Now I want to know when you would be planning a trip to NC for you do have a fan club in this part so that’s when the big get together should be!!!

  22. What, AA was in the Southwest? Darn it, I missed her.

  23. Jan will be pretty tough – no vacations, I might, just might be able to manage mar/apr. will be a welcome break.

    yes Aafke it will be nice to meet you too. 🙂
    and lynn – i miss MI , — does anyone say that anymore – more specifically i miss ann arbor.

  24. I don’t blame you for missing Michigan. It is a great state! But so is MA. I love the east coast.

  25. Nader,
    I was very glad I got to meet Carol, too, as she has been such a big help in so many ways. 🙂 Thanks for the compliment! You seem very interesting and intelligent too! 🙂 I would welcome the opportunity to meet you or most any of the other regulars on this blog as you all seem like nice, caring people. ^^

  26. Well, I’m thinking of setting a date in March when the weather should be nice and also gives folks who are interested time to plan.

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