07/12/2009

could you live in Saudi Arabia?

Could YOU live in Saudi Arabia? 
Could you live in a country where women can't drive a car?
Could you live in a country where women and men are not equal
Could you live in a country where woman can not leave the house without a 'male apron'
Could you live in a country where the main hobby for a woman is shopping

I've been living in United Arab Emirates, Abu Dhabi for 2 years and now here in Egypt, Cairo almost two years. Even if both are Muslim countries I've NOT felt like a prisoner because I'm a Western, Scandinavian woman.

In Abu Dhabi I drove our car. Here in Cairo - no, no, I would never drive here because of the chaotic situation out there! I'm afraid of the traffic here! 
In UAE and Egypt I haven't had any problems because I'm a Western woman NOT wearing a scarf or any other Muslim clothing.
On the contrary. In both countries I've met very nice, helpful and friendly ordinary people.
We've orientated both countries daily life easily.


What has been interesting I've seen several Saudi women in Cairo how they releave their Guccis, Fendis, and other Western stuff. 
Before they leave here they totally cover up, you can only see the eyes of that woman who you talked yesterday like any other woman this world. 
But now I can see her reactions only from her eyes...

It must be hard and difficult to live double life!? 
To be and feel free out of Saudi Arabia and hide again when back at home...
or is it hard?


SUSIE,  
her blog:  
living two years in Jeddah 

was interviewed by GHADA on her blog: GHADA'S WORLD.  Check it out!




Could YOU live in Saudi Arabia?



BLOGitseSUOMEKSI pähkäillään Suomen lipun polttoa Kauppatorilla...

21 comments:

  1. Thank you for the plug to my interview and my blog!

    I think most Western women would have to answer your question, "NO!" Most of my friends back int he states would not even be willing to try living here for a specified short period of time.

    What your observation about Saudi women - when in Egypt or other countries - tells me is that IF they had the choice in Saudi Arabia of whether to cover themselves up in black from head to toe as they are required to do, or to dress modestly in clothing and colors of their own choosing, that they would choose the freedom to dress as they please.

    The whole problem in Saudi Arabia is that men want to maintain strict control over the women, and until more men step up to defend women's rights, nothing will change.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Like Susie above pointed out, most Western women , including myself, would say no. The lack of freedom is something that is very hard to take,especially if you are not used to it.But I believe there is some difference between living in Saudi Arabia compared with Egypt and Abu Dhabi.
    Serkkuni tytär on töissä Abu Dhabissa, lentoyhtiössä,ja mun tietääkseni ei ole mitenkään kärsinyt siellä noiden yllämainittujen seikkojen vuoksi.Tosin taitavat olla suurimmaksi osaksi omalla länsimaisten alueella kun ovat maassa, ne Abu Dhabin ulkomaalaisetlentoemot ...

    ReplyDelete
  3. I am not sure I could. It would certainly be a culture shock at first for sure.

    Living all my life here in the United States I must admit it would be a huge change of customs for me and I would be afraid of offending someone because I know nothing of their culture :-(

    Thanks for being so fast to comment today!!

    Brandy

    ReplyDelete
  4. I like what you have written here. Saudi Arabia is a very different Islamic country than other Gulf countries. My friend, a Kuwaiti woman, finds it hard to live in a place like Saudi Arabia. I myself, as a Western Muslim woman would not live in Saudi Arabia. I may visit someday to visit my friends, do my umrah, but never live permentally. Freedom of mind and freedom to be who I want to be are important to me.

    Thanks so much for posting a link to the interview.

    ReplyDelete
  5. I am also living in a Muslim country and hell no..But I am seeing so many women and men here in Turkey gladly willing to accept those standarts thanks to our ruling Islamic party, and they call it democracy

    ReplyDelete
  6. SUSIE
    you said: "...men want to maintain strict control over the women, and until more men step up to defend women's rights, nothing will change."
    That is the situation in many other countries -
    there's a LOT of work to be done until women in those countries are treated equal with men.
    Do I sound feminist? I'm not.
    Or if it means that I want to support women - then I am. But I don't have a need to be an activist.
    Susie, thank you for your comment!

    YAELIAN
    Abu Dhabi is rich of oil, people are educated, women work as well as men etc.
    I didn't have any problems there!
    Minulla ei ollut Abussa minkaanlaisia sopeutumisongelmia. Siella ihmiset ovat koulutettuja, oljy tuo (no, ainakin toi) vaurautta, naiset kayvat toissa jne.
    Abussa oli, en tieda onko viela, suomalainen nainen lennonjohdossa toissa. Terveisia jos sattuu tasta viestista vinkin saamaan! :)

    BRANDY
    Oh no. Don't even imagine living in SA! :) You should first try Europe, Africa, South America...
    Life in SA is SO different from our perspective...Not even me couldn't live there. Freedom is very important to me!
    See you! :)

    GHADA
    Nice to see you here!
    Was it very difficult for you, as a Western Muslim woman, to find your 'place' in a society after converting to Muslim? or have you always been Western Muslim woman?
    How about your life after 9/11 - more difficult?

    Oh no. I have so many questions that it's better I'll visit your blog! :)

    SHRADDA
    I know you couldn't! :)

    ReplyDelete
  7. I often think I could live anywhere. However, I imagine that it would be so difficult to adjust to a lifestyle where I felt disregarded or less than. It's really hard to say for certain since I have never even visited SA.

    ReplyDelete
  8. My answer is quite clearly, no. I admire your sense of adventure and your transparency in writing. Thanks for stopping by today. Merry SITSmas!

    ReplyDelete
  9. I studied in Oman for a month a few years ago, and if given the opportunity (and ability to leave during the height of summer, haha) I would live there in a heartbeat. I completely fell in love with the country, but Oman and Saudi Arabia are two VERY different countries.

    I'm so glad you stopped by to wish me a merry sitsmas, as I've now discovered your blog! :)

    Merry SITSmas!

    ReplyDelete
  10. No, never ever could I live there!!!
    (And never ever would I drive in Cairo.)

    ReplyDelete
  11. If I knew it was only for a certain amount of time I could do it.
    Better than being separate from hubby.
    But no longer than a year, I guess....I would go nuts :)

    ReplyDelete
  12. To be honest any country outside of America scares me. Anything can happen to you...

    ReplyDelete
  13. Personally, I don't think I could. I'm not sure I could even visit... I love travelling and experiencing new places, but not keen on places which place expectations on me because of my gender.

    ReplyDelete
  14. I'm not sure that I could live in Saudia Arabia......

    ReplyDelete
  15. Sure as a Western woman I could, as long as I felt safe. I would love to write about my experience for say, 2-3 months.

    ReplyDelete
  16. I can't imagine living outside of the USA...while it would be interesting I don't think I could do it long term.

    On another note, Merry SITSmas! :)

    ReplyDelete
  17. No I couldn't. I'm such a feminist that I would be stoned to death immediately.

    ReplyDelete
  18. AMANDA
    Oman IS BEAUTIFUL! We visited there once. I can imagine why you fell in love with that country!
    It's very HOT in UAE too, OVER +40C (104F) during the summer...
    Thanks for you visit - see you again!

    ALLU
    Hahah, I understand you. You just visited Egypt so you know how chaotic and dangerous the traffic is!

    NICOLE
    It's different to live a certain period of time than 'forever' or not knowing if you ever get out of the country. Like Susie's situation.
    I know I could live a year in SA but I don't want to! I know there're for example Scandinavian expats. They know it's not forever.
    I met a Danish woman who lived here for one year and went back to SA where they lived 15 yrs!!! before coming here. She was so happy to go back!

    MAMA KAT
    hm...can't 'anything happen' in America? Don't worry be happy where you are! :-)

    RACHEL COTTERILL
    and you should cover up yourself, totally! I know what you mean...

    ANGIE
    It's okay...how about living in Europe?

    SONIA
    I know what you mean but visiting is different than living as you know. I KNOW that you'd write a book or a blog full of interesting postings about your trip!

    ERIN BASSET
    Your country has everything so I understand your point. Thanks for your visit!

    ANNIE
    I’m sorry but I smile. I do know what you mean! That could happen to me too – especially because I’m not a hat/scarf person. There I should cover my head when out of the house. Hm…but I could stay inside!!! :)

    ReplyDelete
  19. :) I will answer your questions in some upcoming blogs about my conversion. :) I am posting a link of this post on my blog.

    ReplyDelete
  20. GHADA
    great! please email me when your post is published!
    toblogitse@gmail.com
    See you! :)

    ReplyDelete

Note: only a member of this blog may post a comment.

PostRank Topblogs 2009 - #1 in Expats PostRank Topblogs 2009 - Engagement Award PostRank Topblogs 2009 - Shaker Award
 
Web Statistics Creative Commons License
This work by BLOGitse is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 1.0 Finland License.