I wanted to write this letter to all of you to express my gratitude for everything you have given me during the years. I will not be seeing you for a while because I will soon be going on maternity leave.
It is all of you wonderful patients that I will miss the most from the ward. You have been the reason for me to keep coming to the work despite the difficulties I’ve had with some staff members. There were mornings when I wanted to hide under my blanket and not go to work but then I remembered one of you and got up with a smile on my face.
Everyday I had a chance to meet one of you lovely and friendly Saudis.
Some of you were very sick and depressed, yet you always had a smile to offer to me. I want to thank you for making my day so many times. I hope somehow I could have made your day brighter and given you hope through your stay at the hospital.
Thank you for showing me the Saudi hospitality, even if you were very poor, you still wanted to offer something to show your gratitude. And the countless times you offered me arabic coffee or tea, chocolates and dates and other special Saudi sweets. I enjoyed those moments chatting with your families, you made me feel welcome and accepted me for who I was. I am grateful for the times you invited me to sit down with you on the carpet you had placed on the floor and offered me to join you for dinner. Pardon me if I did not always have the time to join, I still appreciated the gesture.
Thank you for all the good laughs we have shared. You’ve showed me a sense of humor and understanding a joke is universal despite our cultural differences. You showed me Saudi people have a great sense of humor!
Thank you for teaching me about Islam and for all the books, Qurans and tapes you’ve given me. Especially for the ones in my own language which you managed to find!
Thank you for teaching me Arabic and being patient with me if I did not know the correct phrases.
Thank you for the invitations you made to your houses, farms and weddings and apologies for not being able to attend them all.
I’ve learned a great deal about the Saudi way of life because of you. I will be forever grateful to have had the chance to get to know you and help you.
You’ve showed me that all of us, men and women, whatever our religion or nationality, share the same hopes and dreams in our lives. Ultimately, we are all the same.
Illness brings out the same reactions in all humans everywhere in the world. You showed me your vulnerable side, the side often hidden from public eyes.
As this chapter in my life ends I wish you good health and all the best.
I will miss you and hope to return to my job someday!