Saudi Arabia: The Gentle Nature of Abdullah


One way I have of coping with the untimely death of my late Saudi husband is to write about him and/or experiences we had together.  The Saudi man can have many faces and Abdullah was no exception.  To the “outside world” and especially in a professional work environment, Abdullah might appear intimidating or unapproachable.  I think these are typical traits of the Saudi man raised in a conservative environment where privacy is protected.  Yet my Abdullah was a gentle soul from the time of his birth.  Not everyone who crossed his path may have had the opportunity to see this side of him but those who did never forgot.


This topic is on my mind as just this past week the nurse who takes care of me often when I receive my chemo treatments was recollecting about the time she got to meet Abdullah personally.  She saw him during his period of rapid decline and as an oncology nurse she recognized the signs that he did not have long in this world on Earth.  Yet in spite of his decline and pain she said his spirit and gentle nature shown through to her.  She called him the gentle soul which I think is a most apt term to describe my late husband.


My husband did not like conflict or discord and he would do all in his power that those around him and dear to him were happy and content.  He would perform many acts of kindness for others who may not have known him and will never know him but he helped them because he knew he could.  He was a gentle man who did not want attention drawn to him.  He was a “doer” by nature.


In my experience of living in Saudi Arabia and being part of an extended Saudi family, most individuals who “do” do so because they see a need they can fulfill but do not wish to be recognized for their actions.  As a result the outside world probably does not have the exposure or knowledge of how individual Saudis can be very caring and generous.


I wish I could share some of the acts of kindness my late husband performed but I know that in spite of his passing, my husband would prefer such actions to remain private.  I will generically state that my late husband assisted individuals to obtain necessary medical care; children to have educational resources; needy families to not go hungry and many other noble actions.


All men in Saudi use their positions and contacts as that is a common cultural practice in Saudi Arabia and the Middle East region.  (WASTA)  Abdullah was no exception but he was discriminatory in when and how he called upon his WASTA.  He was also quite successful on making things happen through his own persistence and beliefs.


It still seems surreal he has been gone 1.5 years already when my memories of him remain so crystal clear.  We only had seven years together as a married couple but they were among the most precious years I’ve experienced and have left a lifetime impact and love of Saudi Arabia upon me.

2 Responses

  1. Dear noble lady,

    I am sure Abdullah is great because he chose a great sincere lady like you. Such feelings may only exist in noble souls like yours.

    May Allah accepts your husband and forgive him and May Allah bless you and keep strong in this life.

  2. Thanks for sharing this as you remember Abdullah.

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