Saudi Arabia: American Bedu Special Report

 

My Dear Readers, Thanks to YOU, American Bedu blog will likely reach the 2 million mark before the end of 06 January.  I never imagined when I started American Bedu back in September 2006 that I’d have 1000 hits on the blog let alone two million!

Blogging has become an entity of its own.  Individuals and organizations use blogs to market and promote and have their voice heard.  In a country such as Saudi Arabia which is conservative and has limitations on who can or can not enter the Kingdom, for many day to day life in Saudi Arabia is seen through their imagination or what the traditional media sources have stated.  Blogging provides alternative views and usually views presented by individuals with their feet on the ground.  Blogs and bloggers are now voices which are listened to and taken seriously.  Bloggers can make a difference and can be educators and bridge builders.

I look back on when I started American Bedu and ask myself…what has made American Bedu a success that it receives thousands of hits each day?  I like to think that it is the atmosphere that has been created on American Bedu.  Many of us have become somewhat of a virtual family and like any family, we may have some heated squabbles but we eventually all make up in the end.  I also like to think American Bedu is popular because the blog is direct and open with no pretenses.  It pretty much is a “what you see is what you get” kind of blog.  I am not hesitant to undertake any topic, even those that are perceived as controversial.  The only way which one can gain further understanding on issues unknown or on which there are opposing views is to address topics and dialogue.

I’ve never claimed to be an expert on Saudi Arabia yet I do consider it my other home.  It is the land of my late husband and I am  honored to have had time to share his homeland with him.  I saw some of the worse and experienced the best of the country and its people.  I write about my experiences, observations and perceptions from the heart.  If any errors are made, only I am to blame.

Just for fun, I decided to scroll through some of my earlier blog posts all written during my first year of blogging.  These posts may not have been the most commented upon but they served to bring a smile on my face and remember so many of my own experiences on life in the Kingdom!

Till the day I departed Saudi Arabia, I was never an advocate of the abaya.  I fully understood the need to be respectful of the customs and culture but that did not mean I had to agree with it.  I challenged the need to wear the abaya all the time even after I got busted for going without one!

When I reread my first post about vacuum cleaners all I could do was smile and shake my head.  My husband and I ended up having to replace five vacuum cleaners due to the confusion of housemaids on what appliances could be plugged in where!  Our home happened to have both 110 and 220 outlets in different rooms!

I loved the generosity of Saudis during Eid, even among strangers they do not know!  Yes, Eid al Fitr has become more commercialized each year but yet it is also a time which brings special smiles on the faces of children.  My husband and I saw our little nephew’s face just light up when a Saudi couple surprised us on Eid day while we were in Makkah.

Perspectives of Islam are always controversial subjects.  Yet the time my husband was approached while in a mosque for prayer will always give me a start of surprise.  It seems that to some Saudi muslims simply being in the mosque for pray and praying are not enough.  Some Saudi muslims believe that a Muslim man must also have a certain appearance of conformity.

Little did I know that back in October 2007 when I wrote a post about Cancer in Saudi Arabia that less than one year later both me and my husband would be diagnosed with our own cancers.

Working in the Kingdom can be a positive and lucrative experience for many expatriates.  However the process towards employment can be a real challenge requiring lots of documentation and much patience!

Rereading my earliest post on items to bring to Saudi Arabia I smile fondly but also note that even after I lived in the Kingdom for several years I believe the recommendations still apply.  However I think in due time Saudi Arabia will eventually have its own equivalents of amazon.com or e-bay.

The Equestrian Club of Riyadh always brings back the fondest of memories for me.  The Equestrian Club was a favorite weekend outing for Abdullah and I.

There were some very humorous incidents which took place in Saudi Arabia too.  Well…they were humorous as long as there were not serious repercussions due to the culture and conservatism.

So many folks wanted to know what typical Saudi homes were like so I did my best to describe a typical home for them.

For most new arrivals to Saudi Arabia, if possible, they wish to perform Umrah.  After hurriedly meeting and greeting Abdullah’s extended family on our arrival to Saudi Arabia, we then made our way to perform umrah together as a married couple.  It was an act which bonded Abdullah and I together forever.

05 October 2006 was when Abdullah and I boarded the Saudi Airlines flights which took us to the Kingdom to begin our new chapters in our married life.  There have been times that I wish I could turn back time to that day.  I miss the love of my life.

Well, without intending to, I ended up giving a run down of the first year of posts for American Bedu blog starting from 2007 back to 2006.  I hope some of you have looked up those older entries.  I hope that all of you will continue to be with American Bedu for the next milestone marker.

THANK YOU for being a part of American Bedu and helping this blog achieve the 2 million mark!

 

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19 Responses

  1. Congratulations Carol! You did it!
    I’m visitor number 2000055. I’m happy your blog has many readers and hope that your readership count increases even more.

  2. Mabrook, Carol! You are an inspiration to us all!

  3. oooh, who won? Was it me? Oh I hope so! I really want that Hello Kitty abaya!! Congrats on your milestone I was happy to do my part!

  4. MABRUK!! Have really enjoyed your blog. Must say there have been days where I’ve checked out your blog more than once a day 🙂

  5. Mabrook!! Mabrook!! I am visiter 2,000,846…I wonder if vistor 2,000,000 even realized the milestone?? Anyhow….Congrats to you and I am enjoying the jog down memory lane….

  6. Congrats! 🙂

  7. wow….it happened…and guess what….I don’t know yet who was number 2 million!!!!!

    Thank you ALL for making this possible!

  8. You don’t know yet?

    Oh, well, yeah, it was ME. YEAH, I won!! I’ll e-mail you my address so you can me my Major Award!! Thank you, thank you, so much. I’ll be happy to do an interview on how it feels to be American Bedu’s 2 millionth visitor. I’m just so honored ((blush)).

  9. I would actually be delighted to interview you!!

  10. I would love to read an interview of our heroine Lynn! Whoo hoo for being the 2 millionth! 😉

  11. I agree…she’s been a long time reader of the blog and I think it would be great to interview her.

  12. LOL If you interviewed me you would find out what a LIAR I am!

    I’m sorry Susanne, I don’t really know who it was but I thought I’d try anyway. It’s just that I really wanted to win but had totally forgotten to even watch for it. 😦 Congrats to whoever it was though.

  13. this is where I get frustrated that my blogging platform (which otherwise I love) does not indicate which viewer of the blog is what number. ):

    You should still consider an interview Lynn!

  14. Haha….Lynn, actually I had a hunch you were kidding, but I felt like playing along with your being honored complete with a blush! 😀 I found it funny!

    I agree…you need to be interviewed! 🙂

  15. Oh man! I thought you’d be able to tell. Well, then, I guess you are just going to have to give EVERYone a prize!!

    I don’t know that an interview with me would have any relevance on this blog considering that I have no connection what so ever to Saudi Arabia. But if anyone has a burning question I’d probably answer it. 😉

  16. I know this is completely off topic, but I could severely use some advice at this point.

    I have read other blogs (earlier today) , with other posts about how Saudi men treat women they are serious about. I’m confused because he has done a lot of things they were saying is bad, but he has also done other things that serious saudi men do. So which is it?

    I met him and his friends at the same exact time, so he didn’t need to introduce me to his friends. Athough, he did introduce me to his uncles, and cousins. All males, as he doesn’t have any female relatives in the states.

    His mother also knows about me, we have said “Hi” and he has been teaching me arabic so I can have a conversation with her, as she doesn’t speak more than a couple words in english. She asks about me every time they talk (atleast he says she does) and he doesn’t have any sisters, so thats a no go.

    As for his male friends and relatives, yes I have hung out with them, but he is very, very protective around them. One of his friends touched my hair once, and he smacked them. And he gets severely offended if a guy talks to me or looks at me that he doesn’t know. Even men he does know (that he isn’t necessarily friends with) he watches like a hawk when I talk with them.

    So, not too sure at this point. I am sorry, I would have posted on a more relevant blog, but I didn’t see any around this date!!

    Thanks!!

  17. Well, seriously I wanted to be the 2 millionth (badly). I the first I would do, everyday, is come to this blog and check the statistics and tell myself “I am getting there … getting there!”

    It so happened that I had to travel back to KSA and this is the first time I checked since I arrived. I was so disappointed to see that the mark has passed 😦
    Oh well …

    That does not stop me from wishing you, Carol, many congrats and thank you for making this blog a meeting place for open minded discussions.

    Looking forward to being the 3millionth, Insha’allah! 🙂

  18. Well I missed it completely, I was traveling.

  19. Welcome back to America, Aafke!

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