Coronaviruses

Right now it seems that the world has been in a state of chaos ever since the Corona virus outbreak. Some countries are doing a great job and handling it well. Other countries seem to be struggling (looking at you, USA). One of the countries that is doing a fantastic job of keeping the number…

Niqabi or not?

When I first came to Saudi back in 2015, it was almost like a whole different world. The kingdom was still a closed,  almost secretive society. The Ha’ia roamed the streets, looking for people doing something they shouldn’t be doing. Women weren’t allowed to drive! It was a very strict place, and to top it…

chocoffee

One thing I learned about living in Saudi is that food plays a central role in everyone’s life here. Every week I collect so many chocolates and candies from students as sweet as the goodies they give me. It is common for my colleagues to knock on my office door with fresh baked goods. Saudis…

Home

Most days in Saudi, I do okay. I get up, go to work, collect my daughter, cook dinner, do laundry, etc. Basically I am in a routine. It’s not the most exciting thing, but that’s life. Plus it is almost like a coping mechanism to deal with living a million miles away from home. When…

Umrah

One thing that shocks most people when they find out that I have lived in Saudi Arabia for 4 years is that I hadn’t made Umrah. Most people make that their number one priority when they arrive here. And while it was definitely a priority of mine, I just never felt the timing was right….

Bird Paradise Bahrain

On my last vacation to Bahrain, I stumbled upon a new favorite place- Alazizia Birds Kingdom. Many of the places I have visited in the MENA region that have animals haven’t really taken good care of the animals (with the exception of NOFA), so I was a bit skeptical about going to the Bird Kingdom…

Coffee Hour

One of my favorite things about my job is the people I work with. We are all very diverse, and come from multiple countries and backgrounds. Once a week we gather for something called “coffee hour.” The organizer brings “ghawah,” or Arabic coffee, and everyone else brings something to eat with the coffee. While we…

Hidden Talents

Riyadh’s bespoke community really has some hidden gems.     With a growing number of festivals and events, you can find a lot of small businesses selling gorgeous handmade goods popping up. It is becoming increasingly common for these shops to advertise their goods through snapchat and instagram. Buyers can text a whatsapp number to place…

Dahlia

Whenever I see someone I haven’t seen in a while, I’m always greeted with a “I noticed you’ve stopped blogging.” And, in my awkward state, I always groan “yeahhhhh” awkwardly in reply. Not totally because they are right and I have stopped blogging, but mostly because I am surprised anyone at all reads my blog….

What no one tells you about being an expat

When I was still new a co-worker invited me to an event under the notion that I wasn’t Muslim. As soon as she realized I was Muslim she basically gave me the ultimatum of taking my hijab off (not that eloquently- she told me to ask my husband if I could take it off, as if its his decision) or not coming at all. Clearly I chose the latter.

What’s really under the abaya?

If you ask anyone to describe what a Saudi woman wears, most likely they will say a long, black garment. Technically, that answer is correct. Saudi women are required to wear an abaya, or robe-like garment when they are in public. With that being said, just because women wear abayas in public, doesn’t mean that they aren’t…

Travel Travel Travel

What is the best thing about living in Saudi Arabia? You are 90 minutes from Makkah, 2 hours from Dubai, 2 hrs 50 minutes from Egypt,  5 hours from Turkey, and 8 hours from Hong Kong. Seriously, living here is a travelers dream. I am hoping to sneak away and take another break to Dubai…