Thursday, May 23, 2013

I finally found my periscope

Dear Readers,

I came to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia exactly 18 months ago. After a brief sojourn in Ta'if, I was taken to Al Muwayh to work as a specialist Pediatrician in the Ministry of Health's general hospital. My "incoming" was fraught with difficulties, and my regular readers probably remember the problems I faced during my first two weeks in the Kingdom. Of course, the difficulties did not end then, and even today, I continue to make compromises with myself as and when the need arises.

Imagine, therefore, my pleasant surprise when I discovered so much new information about Saudi Arabia today, while surf. ing the net. I came across a listing of blogs based on Saudi Arabia on the www.expatsblog.com site. These blogs have been maintained regularly. For example, the blog http://workinginsaudiarabia.blogspot.com has been online since 2007, and has had more than a million visits! The site http://www.blueabaya.com is a fantastic blog, as is the site http://www.americanbedu.com. These last few blogs have tremendous posts, great pictures and super blog views .

I call this my periscope because, until now, I was living at the bottom of a deep well and could barely look outside it. Knowing that there are other people out there who are also bloggers like me, and who have been writing such fantastic accounts of their life in Saudi Arabia has been a shocker, no less, for me. I have thoroughly enjoyed their blog entries, although I do not see their point of view when they criticise the Saudi government. The reason is simple. If you are in a foreign country to earn your livelihood, you must not speak against them ... it is an uncharitable thing to do! So, I am going to restrict myself to writing positive things about my stay here in the Kingdom. As they say, every cloud has a silver lining. So also this. I am going to concentrate on the positives. There are many, and there is no doubt there are negatives too, but it is not for me to be a judge of what they are and what they do as long as I am working here and earning my livelihood thanks to their generosity.

So, what is the periscope showing me? I read a post on ten things to do when you are in Abha. I read a beautiful post on the people and the village of Ushaigar (2 and a half hours' drive to the north-west of Riyadh). I read a post about the liberal lifestyle and dress of the Saudi women in the 1950s and 1960s before abayas and face covering were made compulsary. I think these posts have opened my eyes to the beautiful things that Saudi Arabia has to offer and it will be my endeavour to discover these things for myself in the months to come. Do stay with me, dear reader, for more revelations about this country.

Thank you for reading. That is all for today.

No comments: