Saudi Arabia/USA: The Joy of Meeting American Bedu Followers


Right now as I write this posting, I am quarantined.  Literally.  I was at the local hospital receiving regular infusions when I learned my white blood counts are critically low which puts me at high risk for catching germs and infections.  Although I was given shots to help boost my white blood counts it is still prudent for me to remain quarantined.

My local friends know me very well.  Because I live in a very central location which makes it easy for well wishers to come by, a friend who lives in the North Carolina countryside collected me and has me isolated at her home.  I am restricted to phone and email visitations only.  It’s a strong test in strength and patience for someone like me who thrives on interacting with people.

Speaking of which, it gives me great joy to share my experience of meeting two American Bedu followers two weeks ago!  I had traveled to California where I attended a short 1.5 day conference on interfaith and understanding/blessing Muslims.  The conference was fabulous as I want to do my share in bringing Muslim-non-Muslim communities together in my local area.

A terrific side bonus of attending this conference was that it FINALLY allowed me to personally meet Valerie and Majid.  I’m not sure who is the longest time follower of my blog but I certainly know Valerie has to be among the top five.  She discovered my blog in 2006 which is also the year of American Bedu’s creation.  She (and her husband) read my blog regularly.  She may not comment routinely but I always know she is following the posts.

Valerie and I started corresponding by emails several years ago.  These in turn led to warm and engaging phone conversations.  She and her husband sent some very special care packages when I was laid up during my aggressive chemotherapy treatments.  When I learned I was finally coming near her and Majid’s home turf I was excited beyond myself just hoping perhaps we could finally get together and meet!

Valerie and Majid were equally enthusiastic and we planned to meet for dinner the evening my conference concluded.  I was staying about 45 minutes away from them and by Los Angeles standards that’s a trip around the block.  They would pick me up at my hotel and we’d all go out to dinner.

As I waited in my hotel room for their arrival I reminisced about all the correspondence and phone calls we had shared.  I had not met either of them but felt that I knew who they were as if we’d always been intimate friends.  I knew their professional backgrounds, their unique and lovely courtship and how a strong professional American woman and a proud Arab man forged a life together.  When I finally saw them, I could see how they truly were like two peas in a pod.  They fit together so well and complimented each other.  They reminded me much of Abdullah and I!

Our meeting contained none of the awkwardness of meeting someone for the first time.  We exchanged Saudi style kisses and then embraced in warm hugs of love and friendship.  Yes; this included a hug between Majid and I who I view as a brother. A few tears fell unchecked as it was an emotional meeting too with all that each of us had been through.

Thanks to American Bedu blog I had been corresponding with Valerie prior to her marriage to Majid.  It’s never easy for any American and non-American Arab to marry.  There’s always time and red tape involved.  Therefore it was all the more special to meet them both together and as a married couple in the United States!  They still have the glow of newlyweds and knowing their spirits, I’m sure that glow will always remain.

I can’t speak for other bloggers but for myself, starting American Bedu blog has provided me with gifts and blessings that have exceeded the words and comments exchanged with each post. I never forget that behind each comment is a real live individual who has chosen to take the time to read what I wrote and want to share a comment(s).  In some cases, I get the opportunity, like with Valerie and Majid, to know the person(s) behind the words.  This is a special and added blessing in life.

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9 Responses

  1. How wonderful that you were able to meet! I love the pictures!

  2. Salaams Carol! How wonderful! Insha Allaah you will get to meet more of us, too. I’m in PA, but if I’m ever your way, I’ll be sure to look you up, Insha Allaah. Be well, and stay strong Carol.

  3. Awesome!

  4. First of all, hang in there Carol.
    It is so nice that you have a chance to finally meet. I hope to show more of side of me sometime too as I have been a long time blogger here on American Bedu.

  5. Meeting Valerie and Majid was a wonderful time which I look forward to repeating. I am happy to meet others who follow American Bedu blog if logistics allow themselves.

  6. This is a much appreciated means of communication and creativity. I hope your counts will be up soon and I am glad you have many loving friends.

  7. Salaam alaikhoum carol. If I am ever in your area I will let you know. I was wandering, you know the revert brother and his wife I mentioned. I know they may visit the US at some time, would you be interested in meeting them also? Maybe you could help them meet other followers of americain bedu, as I know that his wife, in particular, is a very outgoing friendly sister who likes nothing more than to spend time with the other ladies (and gents.! when appropriate). She and her husband are not segregationist minded. Maybe you also have contacts with the greater muslim community as well which you could maybe facilitate – especially for him. Hope everything gets back to normal quickly, insha allah. Maasalaama, Amelia

  8. Salam Alaikum Amelia,

    I would suggest that if the couple are planning to come to the US they also do some research before they arrive such as what mosque or Islamic center is in the area of their destination. They can easily make some local contacts before they arrive!

    I am always happy to hear from individuals and like to make everyone feel welcomed!

    Best Regards, Bedu

  9. […] think April 2011 must be the month for American Bedu to get to meet blogging friends!  This week I had the honor to finally meet Saudi national extraordinaire Hala […]

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