Crossing The Line-How NOT To Queue in Saudi Arabia

I’ve said it before I will say it again. Most Saudis don’t know what a queue, also known as a line is.
Other foreign concepts include (but are not limited to):
Standing in a line.
Queuing.
Waiting for your turn.
First come, first served.

Just in case someone might not know what the last phrase means here is what Wikipedia tells us:  “first-come, first-served and first-come, first choice – is a service policy whereby the requests of customers or clients are attended to in the order that they arrived, without other biases or preferences. The policy can be employed when processing sales orders, in determining restaurant seating, on a taxi stand, etc. In Western society, it is the standard policy for the processing of most queues in which people wait for a service or two.

Why doesn’t this concept apply to Saudi-Arabia? Why am I constantly being cut in line by a “VIP” who thinks their existence is more important than others? Why are people in such a hurry to be served first? Why are people so indifferent to others in their presence? What causes this rude behavior? Why is it acceptable to act this way?

Just an example from yesterday.
I was shopping at the IKEA food market and had picked a few must-have items (such as Finnish black licorice, rye crackers, gingerbread and frozen crawfish) and had proceeded to the cashier with my basket. There was one woman standing there so I automatically went to stand behind her, to form a line.

So next thing you know another woman comes from the side and shoves her chocolate bars on the counter and the cashier automatically serves her. I was annoyed but thought this is normal here so I didn’t bother to say anything. Then another woman comes from the other side of the counter and starts waving her money and candy at the cashier. He sees me, but takes her first.

My annoyance is growing. Next I push my basket in front of the cashier and say, excuse me, I’m next. No use. He takes the chocolate bars from the insisting man next to me. A boy comes from the behind him and pushes a licorice bar almost directly in the cashiers hand. All the while I’m standing there with my basket and telling him I’ve been waiting for 10 minutes here. He completely ignores me and proceeds to serve the Saudis as if he didn’t understand anything I just said.

I have the baby in a stroller behind me and she is getting really fussy and my husband is still busy with something else. By now six people have jumped the queue so now I was determined to get served next. Then what completely topped off my irritation was when a girl and her mother came next to me demanding to be served immediately, of course. The girl was waving a chocolate bar. I told her mother excuse me there’s a line here, I was first. She ignored me. Then the girl tried again and I pushed my basket in front of her so that she couldn’t even reach the cashier. And guess what the mother does?

She whispers something in the daughter’s (age around 7 yrs old) ear and next thing you know the kid shows up next to the cashier with her chocolate bar. I glanced at him with a look that could kill but regardless he took the chocolate bar and the girl and mother started giggling in a juvenile manner. That is parenting at its best for you. What an exemplary woman. I’m sure the girl will grow up to be just as rude, selfish and immature as her.

The cashier then finally took my basket, dumped all the stuff out on the counter and started throwing (no joke) THROWING it around. I asked him what are you doing the cookies are fragile they might break! He looked at me with a blank stare. Then I asked him why didn’t you take my things before, I was waiting a long time. He said, because you have so many things.

REALLY? You have got to be freakin kidding me. So the more things I have purchased the longer I have to wait in line for? Everybody with less items is allowed to cut me in line? What if I purchase two items at a time and then make a new purchase every time? If a hundred people come with one item, I will have to wait with my 15 items until you finish them? He obviously had never heard of customer service or first comes first served principle. Just because I chose to buy more doesn’t mean I loose my right to be served when it’s my turn. Sheesh. Who will teach these people manners?? Who will instill customer service into their brains?

What would you have done in this situation? Had a nervous breakdown, called the manager, grabbed the chocolate bars from the other customers hands and thrown them around or just walked away and not bought anything?

For more pics from the Saudi IKEA experience go here: IKEA KSA
Saudi VIP’s Excuse me I’m a VIP need service NOW.

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  • New WifeApril 19, 2012 - 2:24 am

    i would have waited until i got served. i’m not really comfortable with confrontation.ReplyCancel

  • ربة منزلApril 19, 2012 - 2:47 am

    That was really bad management and bad customer service.
    I keep discussing this with my friends. Most of us agree that we only let people cut if they ask nicely. However, if they just try to cut, the reaction would be to tell them firmly not to cut and move forward to make sure they understand that we are serious.
    The guy was really rude and reckless. I would not have moved until the manager is called. I also call the head quarters and make sure they understand that the situation is serious and needs to be fixed.ReplyCancel

    • LaylahApril 19, 2012 - 10:44 am

      If any of them had asked nicely, especially the lady with the kid I would’ve naturally let her go first, and maybe mentioned that there’s a line but this time there’s an exception!
      I guess I was just too tired for a fight and wanted to get my stuff and get the heck out of there!ReplyCancel

    • NoorApril 19, 2012 - 11:51 am

      Oh I think when you have a small kid they should not do that I know we have been at the grocery store when Talal was small and he was crying bc he was sleepy and people were TRYING to pass us that made me mad bc hello I have a small child.ReplyCancel

  • Umm GamarApril 19, 2012 - 5:23 am

    Ya Allah, Laylah u r extremely patient. Freaking rude of the women. And tht immature mother is ruining her child.as for tht prick of a casier, I’d probably shove the broken crackers down his throat,sheesh. May Allah gv u strength especially as u r pregnant.ReplyCancel

    • LaylahApril 19, 2012 - 10:45 am

      I think the cashier was the one with the worst attitude problem, since he allowed the cutting and then didn’t apologize or anything but acted really rude and indifferent.ReplyCancel

  • FarooqApril 19, 2012 - 5:46 am

    Well waiting in queue is a concept not common in Saudi Arabia. Have had to calm myself down so many times when someone cut in front of me. After that I have joined the band wagon, my motto now is “The queue starts where I stand” lol

    Contrast this with an experience I had in Singapore on my last trip, I was at the counter paying for the food while my mother in law was taking it away. The 10 yr old girl behind me didnt know that we were together so she immediately spoke up, “How can that lady cut into queue before me”. I had to explain that the lady was with me. After which she didnt say anything. But if looks could kill, there would have been bloodshed in foodstall. lol

    I think people working at the counters should be more strict with regards to handling customers, rather than just be a faceless entity processing whatever is shoved onto the counter. But alas since they usually are people from third world countries, I doubt that they could ever manage to do it.ReplyCancel

    • HahnApril 19, 2012 - 9:37 am

      Third world countries ? in terms of waiting in line, queuing, I guess KSA is the fourth world country compared to ” Third World Countries ” ;)
      In third world countries, cutting a line will result being shouted at, at least from what I experienced.ReplyCancel

    • LaylahApril 19, 2012 - 10:48 am

      Farooq-the cashier was Saudi, they all are in IKEA! Which is of course an exception here. But I’ve noticed some of the Asian cashiers are too afraid to say anything to line jumping Saudis in fears of loosing their jobs, they just go with the flow so to say. And that naturally only worsens the problem!ReplyCancel

    • LaylahApril 19, 2012 - 10:49 am

      Hahn-I agree, many so called third world countries I’ve been to have perfectly functioning customer service and line forming citizens. I guess that’s why it’s so shocking to see it happening here, as if it is indeed a fourth world country in terms of waiting for ones turn.ReplyCancel

    • NoorApril 19, 2012 - 11:53 am

      Oh I agree look at countries like Malaysia they are third world countries and less rich than Saudi yet people have manners and they city is even made for the people yet we live in Riyadh the capital where women can not drive and they do not even make sidewalks for us to walk on I mean what goes?ReplyCancel

  • AlejandraApril 19, 2012 - 7:01 am

    I would have literally thrown everything in his face one item at a time and then proceeded to walk off without purchasing anything. and then i would’ve sent ikea headquarters a really detailed complaint.ReplyCancel

    • LaylahApril 19, 2012 - 10:50 am

      Alejandra-lol I would’ve loved to see the look on his face! Most likely, the same blank stare.ReplyCancel

  • HahnApril 19, 2012 - 9:29 am

    Nice topic Laylah, and how on earth could you be that patient ?
    I hate ” line cutter ” folks, almost happen to me every time,almost… but simply by saying, “excuse me, I came here first, before you,so wait for your turn ! ” ( in a very heavy Najd Arabic accent which I learnt from TV series ) they backed off,,,, with a surprised look ( I guess ,,, if the line cutter was a lady )
    But I agree with ربة منزل, if they asked nicely (with reasonable amount of goods in supermarket cashier, 1 to 5 :P ), I’d allow them to go before me.ReplyCancel

  • happy daysApril 19, 2012 - 10:35 am

    You shouldnt have buged until u filed a complaint…….I think this is most important……The employees knowing that they have to face a manager.ReplyCancel

    • LaylahApril 19, 2012 - 10:52 am

      It was really late, like 1130 pm and I had no energy to go to manager who most likely would not have given a damn..ReplyCancel

    • NoorApril 19, 2012 - 11:54 am

      Filed a complaint in Saudi ha what a joke.ReplyCancel

  • NoorApril 19, 2012 - 11:49 am

    Oh do not get me started on the rude azz people here. I will be standing at the grocery store getting something and some woman will just push me out of her way and start looking same with lines like you, really it irritates me and let me tell you I usually say something lol :p

    Oh just last week my son and I was at granada and their was some filipino girls getting ice-cream, they were not covered or anything and the Arab guy working was so in awe by them I was just lefts standing there waiting forever while he stared I finally said EXCUSE ME CAN I GET AN ICE-CREAM IF YOU HAVE THE TIME.ReplyCancel

    • LaylahApril 22, 2012 - 8:58 pm

      Noor-what do you usually say and do you use Arabic or english?ReplyCancel

  • Oum SanaaApril 19, 2012 - 12:26 pm

    Muslim appearance without muslim behavior… I hate impoliteness.ReplyCancel

    • AnonymousMay 2, 2012 - 5:38 am

      Oh, I so like your comment – “Muslim appearance without muslim behaviour. How very true. In fact, there are some others ‘not so muslim behaviours’ going on here, for example, letting the maid sit motionless without food while the boss-lady and her friends (or family) are enjoying delicious food with giggles and chats. How humiliating. Oops, my comment is out of topic. As Muslim, I just don’t understand why these ladies looking down other ladies by acting such?ReplyCancel

    • AnonymousMay 2, 2012 - 5:45 am

      Oh, I so agree with your comment – “Muslim appearance without muslim behavior”. How very true. In fact, there are other ‘not so muslim behaviors’ going on here, for example, letting a maid sit motionless without food while the lady-boss and her friends (or whole family) are enjoying delicious food with giggles and chat. How very humiliating for the maid. Sorry, my comment is out of topic. It’s just, as a Muslim, I cannot understand why these Muslim ladies look down other people by acting such?ReplyCancel

  • AnonymousApril 19, 2012 - 2:25 pm

    Wow..i can imagine such arrogance and disrespect happening in this situation…i wonder what would have happened if ure husband came to save the day? Do u think the saudi cashier would have changed his tone or maybe its just depends on his mood for the day” ..wether he wants to scan 1 item or… 2, BIG life decisions for a pea brain lol. Seriously laylah u need to write a book it would be a best seller and not only that but extremely funny in a sad kinda way.
    Also are we gonna see part 2 of ure wedding story..hoping its on its way..cnt wait!
    #MorenaReplyCancel

    • LaylahApril 22, 2012 - 8:57 pm

      Morena-I’m sure the cashier would’ve changed his attirude if my husband had come and shouted at him, them both being Saudi and all! lol @ peabrain well he is just scanning items after items, so what’s the issue in scanning 15 in a row or 3 at a time five times? News flash: Same end result.ReplyCancel

  • WhiteRaven SladeApril 19, 2012 - 2:47 pm

    Class differences in play? How can a cashier feel they could dare order women from a higher class to line up? Might be a factor. Maybe your courtesy was misinterpreted as something similar? He didn’t feel he had to respect your items because from his perspective, your politeness was interpreted as you not having equal class status as those other women?ReplyCancel

    • LaylahApril 22, 2012 - 8:54 pm

      whiteraven-possible.I was courteous at first I guess but I did step up many times to say something.The women (and men) were just randomly cutting everyone present in the line, basically their goal was to get served before anyone else.ReplyCancel

  • AnonymousApril 19, 2012 - 3:12 pm

    Don’t know how I would have reacted. The Same thing used to happen to me when I lived in Rio de Janeiro & I learned how to be feisty for every little thing. As for Saudi, I’m really nervous as I’m moving there in August/September. I’m a Black French woman & have heard from people I know who live there that jumping queues is a massive issue their, especially if you are foreigner & they perceive you to be from a Third World Country.
    RahmaReplyCancel

    • LaylahApril 22, 2012 - 8:51 pm

      Rahma- I’m pretty sure the Asians and black Africans have it much worse :( they are often seen as the “lowest”..but don’t let this discourage you! You know your own worth and nobody can take that away from you if you don’t let them!ReplyCancel

  • RobynApril 19, 2012 - 5:15 pm

    i love the middle east-but i have to say, arriving back in kuwait, at the airport…was landing with a big bump-byt the time you had been pushed and shoved at , at the carousel and the visa line, you were ready to get back on a plane…ReplyCancel

  • AnonymousApril 20, 2012 - 9:52 am

    I’m sorry to hear of your bad esperience. Here in Turkey this sometimes happens at ATM, I’m waiting in a queue when the others behind me pass if they see even small space between me and the first on line. Once I just walked away and went to another ATM without queue.

    In supermarkets they often take first those customers who have only one or two items but that customer or the cashier usually asks politely if they could be first. I always let them as they have asked politely and especially when I’m buying lots of things. Sometimes people have let me pass when seeing that I have only one item, without me even asking, which has been very nice.

    Some cashiers don’t say a word, even greeting, which seems a bit rude but I’m trying not to take it personally. I always prefer those supermarkets where they greet me and where everything goes well and smoothly. Greetings from Turkey :)

    MariaReplyCancel

  • Om Lujain©April 20, 2012 - 12:38 pm

    You let all those people cut the line? You have some serious patience! Key to surviving is to be firm.. very firm.. no smiling… no confused look. Make your statement… let them see you mean business! God… ufff.. the nerve of some people!ReplyCancel

    • LaylahApril 22, 2012 - 8:44 pm

      Om Lujain-well I didn’t exactly LET them, they just did. What can I do punch them in the face lolReplyCancel

    • Umm IbrahimMay 2, 2012 - 7:12 pm

      Uh yah! You body block then push their stuff off the counter and give them a rude look with a fat EXCUSE ME in Saudi.ReplyCancel

  • swedemomApril 20, 2012 - 4:44 pm

    I see your Scandinavian roots coming out! Seriously though, what appalling behavior. I would have been furious.

    Sadly though, I don’t think this type of behavior is unique to Saudis. My children and I attended an event on our compound a couple of months ago with a face painting booth. My children waited patiently and appropriately in line. There were gobs of children who cut in line and were horribly behaved. I didn’t see one parent step in and stop the bad behavior. Not one. I was really angry. My children aren’t perfect, but I expect them to do their best in public and if they are behaving poorly in public, they are removed from the situation. With such bad behavior from the kids on the compound, I haven’t taken my kids to other events because it just gets brutal.ReplyCancel

    • LaylahApril 22, 2012 - 8:47 pm

      swedemom-that is appalling. I’m so sorry you had to go through that! Don’t get discouraged though! Just tell your kids (who I’m sure know all too well) what the best behavior is and that unfortunately not all cultures see it the same way..Please don’t let this stop you from going :(

      I’m curious to which cultures the badly behaving kids were from?ReplyCancel

  • Hilary BeathApril 20, 2012 - 6:30 pm

    canadianinriyadh dot blogspot dot com has an interesting post of a semi positive nature on queuing /2010/06/line-up-etiquette dot html
    This is what she said.
    Okay this is one beef that Canadians always have when they come to Saudi. In Canada, we are all very (ridiculously?) uptight about not cutting in line for anything in any situation. Whatever the line up, the attitude is always first come first serve no matter who you are. The level of personal insult incurred with a cut in is on the order of slapping everyone you have just cut in front of. We have a tradition of equality that people take really seriously even if you’re just buying donuts and you are pretty sure the guy in front of you is drunk: if you are truly Canadian, you will still wait patiently behind the drunken man while he spills the contents of his wallet out and asks how much a single timbit costs in pennies.

    Here in Riyadh, things are different. The culture here is hierarchical by nature and it is reflected in little things such as line ups. Whenever you go to the airport or pass through Bahrain, you will often see Saudi nationals jumping lines to pass through customs. Part of the story is that there are less documents to check and so they actually pass through very quickly, and another part of it is that there is sometimes simply an attitude of entitlement present that is tolerated far more in the Middle East than it is in Canada and the U.S. Even purchasing clothing, I have literally gotten to the counter after lining up only to have a local with her entourage swoop in from behind me and demand to be cashed out first. It happens at the grocery store too, especially when prayer is just about to hit and a scramble occurs.

    So anyways, I’m sharing all this with you as a preface to a recent experience. I went to McDonalds and there were two Saudi women waiting for their food after ordering, busy chatting. I fully expected them to continue blocking the counter until they got their food and left. But not long after I arrived, one of them saw me and pushed her friend out of the way to make way for me. Yes actually, a lot of them (the majority of them!) are polite and respectful, but since line up etiquette is so very important in Canada, we really remember the bad stuff more than we notice the good. The reality is that for every one Saudi that cuts the line there are ten that will wait patiently just like you.

    I mean, this doesn’t change the fact that I’ve become obsessively territorial when I’m waiting in line and deliberately spread my bags out as far as possible as a preventative measure, but it is a reminder that there are a lot of Saudis out there who feel that showing respect and courtesy to others is just a part of our every day lives.ReplyCancel

    • AnonymousApril 22, 2012 - 5:14 am

      Thank you Ms. Hilary for your sound and considerate response. Before criticizing others, we should take a look at ourselves first. No one is perfect, Saudi or non Saudi. If your’re not Saudi and live in the Kingdom, that means you’re a guest. There’s also an etiquette for the guest. don’t talk bad about the host and its family members. I find that many expates make mokery, criticize and downright speak ill of their host country. How would you (expate) feel after inviting someone into your home, they start emailing, tweeting, blogging, etc. about the condition of your home and how your family members are behaving. As a guest who doesn’t like the behavior of their, you have a right to leave. You don’t have to tolerate such behaviour. Just excuse yourself. Leave.

      UmmAbdullaah Khadijah bint Charles, USAReplyCancel

    • GeoffApril 22, 2012 - 4:01 pm

      Laylah is hardly a guest here. As to expats just excusing themselves and leaving, most of us can’t or couldn’t as our passports were confiscated by our employers upon arrival. Your diatribe is that most familiar rhetoric of the great American racist and nationalist that we still have running around. I’ve been reading this blog for about 6 months now and don’t find it offensive in the least. There are some things that need to change in the world. Not just here, but in everybody’s home country as well. Blogging is an outlet for that, an outlet for the anger and the resentment and the frustration that one sometimes feels. Please don’t read my blog, it’s all truth, all the time. Being here has helped me realize what foreigners to a new land go through, and I assure you, I’ll be better for it when I do return to the US. I will actually go out of my way to make foreigners feel more comfortable and welcome. What I won’t do is physically shove them out of line at the gas station, the bank, the grocery store etc…And yes that happens to me here in the Eastern Region about once a week.-Geoff, Dammam, Eastern Region, KSAReplyCancel

    • LaylahApril 22, 2012 - 8:10 pm

      Umm A
      I’m really tired of responding to ignorant comments such as yours who clearly have no clue about what’s going on.
      Thanks Geoff for doing it on my behalf, very much appreciate it :)ReplyCancel

    • LaylahApril 22, 2012 - 8:43 pm

      Umm A you know what I’m going to say the same thing back to you. You’re a guest on my blog. If you don’t like what’s on here. Leave. Just excuse yourself and leave. Oh and please stop commenting and talking bad about your host lol.ReplyCancel

    • HopeApril 23, 2012 - 10:19 pm

      Um Abdallah… First of all, She is a resident, a mother to a saudi girl and a wife to a saudi man, and she is also Muslim by the way. This is her method of raising awareness to social issues that directly affect her and affect the society! She is using humor and real life experiences to solve some of these issues that Go AGAINST the teachings of the prophet Sallah ALlah alaih wasalam and the Quran…… She is doing a great deed! Our religion tells us that if something wrong happens, we are obligated to FIX IT! How do u want ure country to get fixed if u want everyone to accept the current condition and be quiet about it… When you travel abroad, and someone is rude to you, or steals something from you, do u stay quiet because you feel that u are a guest, and that you lose your right to open your mouth?WHy do u think its ok for you and your people to talk about whats going in Syria, Libya, Egypt and all over the world, and even curse their leaders but NO one is allowed to say a word about your perfect country?ReplyCancel

    • AnonymousApril 24, 2012 - 11:25 pm

      Lol, Hilary I’ve have the Canadian experience of queueing. Living in Canada at the moment, I’ve found the opposite problem that Laylah describes – quite a few instances where I’ve been accused of cutting in line when I haven’t, often VERY RUDELY. There was one time where one guy started verbally abusing me, even when I quietly explained that I was doing no such thing (at first I just had no idea what he was ranting about). It’s the opposite problem, but it’s just as rude. Perhaps queueing just brings out the worst in people of all cultures..?ReplyCancel

  • AnonymousApril 20, 2012 - 6:42 pm

    You should have let him ring up all the goods you bought…and then say ‘on second thought i dont think i will be buying these things’ and leave lol….ReplyCancel

    • LaylahApril 22, 2012 - 8:37 pm

      hahaha but I could not leave that stuff, it were anywhere else yes. But this is the only place for my Scandinavian goodies!ReplyCancel

  • AnonymousApril 20, 2012 - 7:50 pm

    This is a really, for me as a westerner, really strange cultural difference. Even here at home (wester country) in predominately immigrant neighborhoods you can from time to time find a older Arab lady or Somali man say “please me first I have only one thing”… At least here in Sweden, there is nothing wrong with letting someone cut in line if they have only one item and you have maybe 15, but that is for the person who is in fronts place to decide wether to give you that privilege or not :) I dread the day I move and have to deal with this :PReplyCancel

  • flawlessvelvetApril 21, 2012 - 1:00 am

    You really should have asked for the manager. I also think people think that you won’t do anything because you’re foreign? Because I’m a guy, I can’t really do anything if a woman cuts the line, but my mother would go ballistic. I love taking her out lol.ReplyCancel

    • LaylahApril 22, 2012 - 8:36 pm

      flawlessvelver-maybe you’re right. But they were cutting each other in line too, I mean ppl were as if in a competition who gets served next.

      I love your mother.ReplyCancel

  • JeanApril 21, 2012 - 7:27 pm

    I would have asked to speak with the manager and identify the cashier, etc.

    However this must be done carefully: being not Saudi and looking visibly so, means not to give the impression that you are ‘entitled’ to great service.

    As for the queuing problem, I noticed this..in Italy compared to Germany where they line up. :)

    I’m sure in China it’s like that: pushing and shoving to get what one needs under certain circumstances.ReplyCancel

    • LaylahApril 22, 2012 - 8:29 pm

      Jean-I actually think the Chinese are very diligent people and despite their great numbers I have the impression Chinese are a line forming and patient people :)ReplyCancel

    • Hilary BeathApril 24, 2012 - 1:40 pm

      No, Laylah, I lived in China and they are not line-forming people! Well, they might form a line for the train, but then the train comes and suddenly it’s every person for him/herself – a mad crush. Bus stops almost never have lines – you have to learn to push to get on. Same with the queue for having your vegies and fruit weighed. The one with the longest arms who can reach over and put theirs on the scales first – that’s the lucky one. They push in all over the place, and Mainland Chinese are noticeable in the international airports too as the ones who come in from the side of the line and push in.ReplyCancel

    • AnonymousApril 24, 2012 - 11:18 pm

      Definitely agree with Hilary, I’m Chinese-born but grew up in the UK – having grown up with those social norms of queueing, I often found myself so frustrated by the sheer nerve of people – when queueing for the toilet or at the metro doors, some people will just place themselves in front of you without even looking at you (and British reticence prevented me from confronting them too). However things are improving in major cities as people become wealthier, more educated and open to international influence – I’ve seen queuing norms emerging in the metro stations at rush hour, but there’s always a few that have the nerve to cut, and the problem is that almost no one will call them out on it. I see the problem as largely stemming from the sheer density of people, when you live with that many strangers, there’s little incentive to be nice because you’ll never see them again (it’s the same in London); also politeness to strangers is just not a social norm that’s ingrained.
      However having said that respect for the elderly, family members and to women is very much a positive part of China’s social norms, and you could also say that people here are very patient – to being knocked around and shoved by other people (you have to be) :P When I lived there I just learned to be a bit more assertive in crowds and not feel personally insulted by the slights of strangers. Norms are slow to change, but they are changing!
      YunnanReplyCancel

    • LaylahApril 26, 2012 - 11:07 pm

      thanks for the insight! I guess the Chinese that I dealt with were very westernized then, since I only met polite and rule abiding chinese people :)ReplyCancel

  • talalApril 21, 2012 - 10:32 pm

    Poor laylah,
    You have to be a local to understand why people do this, it is a mix of envy, jealousness and selfishness. as I was raised by mother, I was taught by her to manipulate, lie, be rude, be loud, push others over, to anyone who is not from my family (standards of home education). this was important when I grew up in public schools, being nice or respectful to others was harmful to myself and unrewarding and perceived as weakness. I changed this however when I went med school to a better modern behavior.
    What you describe, can be noticed everywhere; Wasta. Traffic, healthcare priorities .. etc. and if you would do anything about it, then you’ll be struck with profound apathy by administration, even the people.
    I would continue with my day, right now I became a very patient person and I hope influence others by example.
    – @Drtalal07ReplyCancel

    • LaylahApril 22, 2012 - 8:35 pm

      Dr Talal-Wow. I’m sort of shocked about your home education model, but also it is far too common for me as I have seen this happen with the thousands of families I have treated and seen in the hospital.
      What actually shook me is how bluntly and honestly you told us about your experience. Now that takes real courage!
      And then after all what you were taught, you managed to change your behavior and have become the perfect gentleman! Way to go, wish there were more like you around here!
      I guess slowly change will come when people start realizing how bad their behavior is..Inshallah..

      Again thanks for the insightful comment.

      P.s I didn’t quite understand how it’s envy that makes these ppl cut in line?ReplyCancel

  • AnonymousApril 23, 2012 - 1:21 pm

    @Geoff:Thanks for your comments.It gives me the opportunity to shread your theory. As for me being a “American racist and nationalist,” LOL x10- I’m so far from it. Being an African American descendent of people taken as slaves from their home country,family, placed in a foreign land to work and build the land on their back with their flesh and blood. By the contrary and my exitance, I Geoff could not be racist nor a nationlist. ;D

    Laylah, Laylah. Complement Geoff now for coming to your defense, as if you needed it. This is so short lived. For Allaah tells us in the Qur’an “When the Day comes all friends will become enemies of one another, except the righteous (God fearing people). 43:67

    Many of the people you speak about in an ill fashion are Muslims, good or bad. Should bad or ill behavior be excused, by no means, no. Proof of that is the Prophet (prayers and peace be upon him) said, “The best amongst you are those with good character.” So, here we know that bad behavior is not acceptable, but at the same time, nor is backbiting, which is what you’re engaging in with these type of blog entries.

    The Deen is is good advise: “O you who believe! Avoid much suspicion; indeed some suspicions are sins. And spy not neither backbite one another. Would one of you like to eat the flesh of his dead brother? You would hate it (so hate backbiting). And fear Allah, verily Allah is the one who accepts repenteance, Most Merciful.” (Al-Hujuraat)

    Abu Hurairah narrated that the Prophet said, “Do you know what backbiting is?” They said, “Allah and His Messenger know best.” He then said, “It is to say something about your brother that he would dislike.” Someone asked him, “But what if what I say is true?’ The Messenger of Allah said, “If what you say about his is true, you are backbiting him, but if it is not true, then you have slandered him.” (Muslim)

    Your invinting me to leave contradicts your invitation. I guess you didn’t really mean it when you said, “I would love to hear your thoughts, opinions and impressions please do leave a comment!”

    It’s ok, I’ll excuse myself now, because I’ve conveyed the message whether you dare to post it or not, it’s what, uo to you. It’s your blog, do as you please, for now, that is.

    Ma’salaama Dear Laylah :)

    UmmAbdullaah Khadijah USA and KSAReplyCancel

    • AnonymousApril 23, 2012 - 4:20 pm

      *inviting
      *up to you

      UmmAbdullaah Khadijah USA and KSAReplyCancel

    • LaylahApril 23, 2012 - 5:21 pm

      Oh goodness.

      Read the rest of the “invitation” which also says you should remain respectful to blog owner. I find you very condescending.

      No worries I will publish your comment so everyone can see yet again how this holier than thou attitude has become an epidemic. You really give Muslims such a negative image. A shame really.ReplyCancel

    • HopeApril 23, 2012 - 10:34 pm

      Sometimes its a waste of time to even bother replying to people like her. Its better to ignore and actually not post her comment.. at least for our sake..:-) ..

      Layla, always know that when ure on the truth , you will always get attacked by ignorant people… The people who cut in line were rude and disrespectful.. But you mashallah, you did the noble thing by staying calm and staying patient.. I would have made a scene, called the manager, fought with the lady and her kid… Next time, something like this happens to me, I will remember how you held yourself given that it was very late at night, and how u had a crying child and the fact that your pregnant… Thanks again for showing us the true manners of Islam….. Shame on the people who are defending ill manners..!!ReplyCancel

    • AnonymousSeptember 20, 2012 - 8:14 am

      “Being an African American descendent of people taken as slaves from their home country,family, placed in a foreign land to work and build the land on their back with their flesh and blood.”

      Hmm, sounds almost like you’re criticising the hosts of your ancestors – how rude!

      (that was sarcasm BTW!)ReplyCancel

  • AnonymousApril 23, 2012 - 2:42 pm

    Ibn al-Qayyim: The Qur’aan is the cure for the ill of every reasoning man (woman) and it is the remedy for the for the disease of ignorance.ReplyCancel

  • ربة منزلApril 23, 2012 - 11:53 pm

    Hi Layla!
    I was just talking to group of friends about what happened to you and if they went through similar situations. One of them told me she was shopping at Zara and there were like ten women all pushing to be at the cashier in the same time. The guy yelled so loud that if the women did not stand in a line this instant, no one will buy anything. In a blink of an eye, a line was formed and everything went smoothly. no one disrespected the rules when they were made clear. I think this can be a solution that all stores should enforce on their staff and customers.ReplyCancel

  • KatjaApril 24, 2012 - 6:50 am

    Hei Layla
    todella törkeät käytöstavat joillakin siellä Saudi-Arabiassa. Mietin ennen kommenttien lukemista, johtuiko se ihonväristä? Ehkä, tai siitä että meidät on opetettu olemaan ystävällisiä ja kunnioittaa toisia ihmisiä. Silloin he käyttivät tilaisuutta hyväkseen. Ehkäpä hekin olivat väsyneitä ja halusivat päästä kotiin. mutta se ei oikeuta ketään ohittelemaan kassajonossa.

    Minua ei ole pahemmin ohiteltu täällä Suomessa (en muista yhtäkään kertaa). Mutta yhdessä lasten tapahtumassa, missä oli lapsia eri kulttuureista (suomenkansalaisia, vanhemmat tulleet ulkomailta), lastani yritettiin ohittaa ongintajonossa. Nämä pojat olivat yllätys yllätys tummaihoisia (ei tietoa mistä kulttuurista, olisivat voineet olla vaaleitakin, kun kyse lasten ongintajonosta). Minua ärsyttää sellainen ohittelu, joten olin haukkana pitämässä lapseni puolia jonossa (minun lastani ei ohitella!). No, meidän takana jonottava poika joutui odottamaan pidempään, koska nämä pojat etuilivat häntä. Että sellaista! Olisi pitänyt kysyä pojilta, mistä kulttuurista he tulevat ja miksi he ohittavat. en viitsinyt pilata lasteni iloa, joten annoin olla. Toisaalta, olis pojat saaneet opetuksen. Avaan suuni ensi kerralla :)

    kirjoittelemasi perusteella, täällä on paljon helpompaa saada palvelua tasavertaisesti. Muuttofirmat ovat aivan toista luokkaa täällä kuin siellä. Voi hyvänen aika, miten inhottavaa käytöstä olet joutunut kokemaan. minulta varmaan katkeaisi suoni päästä, olisin niin kiukkuinen!

    Hyvää odotusta ja ihania hetkiä perheen kanssa. Lupaathan kirjoittaa yhden postauksen jostakin tosi kivasta jutusta Saudi-Arabiasta. Siis jokin esimerkki, missä henkilö tekee jotain nätisti. Haluaisin uskoa, että siellä kuitenkin on jokunen hyvin käyttäytyvä ihminen ;) ainakin mcdonaldsin jonossa oli ja tuo zaran myyjä oli järkevä!

    Terveiset Suomesta! Lumet alkavat sulaa Etelä-Suomessa kokonaan. Lapissa on vielä lunta missä hiihtää.ReplyCancel

    • KatjaApril 25, 2012 - 8:49 am

      Hi Layla
      I write also in english that everyone can understand (up is in finnish).
      Very rude behave someone there. I think was it because of your skincolour? Or maybe that we are taught to be freandly and respectful each other and they used your kind. They noticed that you allow to cut the line/queue. Or maybe they where also tired and wanted to go home as fast as can. But that’s not right reason to behave unfreandly and rude to others.

      Nowone hasn’t cut line here in Finland (I don’t remember any examble). But some boy try to cut line to my daughter in a kids happening. My daughter queue in line and boy (brown skin, I don’t know which culture he came from) tryed to come front of her. I don’t tolerate behave like that and I was helping my child to take her place in queue. Well, the next boy had to wait longer, because this line cutter boy went next to us “fishing”(kids “fish” surprises, they give a coin ang have surprise).

      Here in Finland is more easier to get served equally (you know that well!). About movingcompany: it’s something I would newer understood to be in this life! It’s good that you tell us somewhere can be like that. That would’t happend here. It sounds like you took unrespectful teenagers moving your stuff (no education, behaving, attitude to do that). You are very tolerantly person, I can say. I would’t survive there (If I wouldn’t have to, of course people survive anywhere).

      Have a good time with your family. I hope you have something good experience and exambles to write from Saudi. I would like to read something very nice forexambe what is good there. I understand there is also good persons, hope thigs going better there. At least in McDonalds line where very goodbehave Saudi girls and Zara seller took good firm control-yeah!

      Greetings from Finland. Snow has gone from South, but in North you can still ski :)ReplyCancel

    • LaylahApril 26, 2012 - 11:19 pm

      Katja-kiitos kommenteista, thanks so much for your thoughtful comments and shedding some Finnish perspective on this.
      Indeed, I also have NEVER been cut in line in Finland. It just doesn’t happen.

      It might have something to do with me being western and they assumed I won’t say anything about the line cutting. However I do find most of my western friends are always speaking up against this rude behavior, so one might assume that it’s better not to cut a western person in line because they will cause a scene.

      Those Saudis that do engage in this bad behavior cut everyone in line, it doesn’t matter to them who is the other person, at least this is how I’ve perceived it.

      Luckily there are many Saudis that are polite and very well mannered and will offer you to cut in front of them in the line, especially if they see a woman and the whole place is full of men, the men will try to be polite and give the woman a chance to go first, so that she doesn’t have to feel awkward in the situation.

      There is good and bad everywhere and I write about all sorts of things from Saudi. Some people just cannot seem to handle it if I mention anything negative. As if this is the world’s most perfect country or me being a foreigner, I am not allowed to expose any negative things or suggest improvements.

      The mean comments on here have no effect on what I write. They will always be people like that who like to come and show their superiority, make fun, act rude, whatever.
      Their lives must be so empty that they need to take it out anonymously like cowards on the internet. So easy to write all sort of BS and insults as anonymous.

      Anyways I hope to hear from you again Katja :)ReplyCancel

    • KatjaMay 7, 2012 - 8:20 pm

      Hei Laylah
      Tulen lukemaan mielenkiintoista blogiasi. Käyn jättämässä puumerkkiä silloin tällöin :) Mukavaa viikon jatkoa!

      I’ll stop by, have a nice week!ReplyCancel

  • AnonymousApril 24, 2012 - 9:57 am

    And of the people are some who say, “We believe in Allah and the Last Day,” but they are not believers.
    They [think to] deceive Allah and those who believe, but they deceive not except themselves and perceive [it] not.
    In their hearts is disease, so Allah has increased their disease; and for them is a painful punishment because they [habitually] used to lie.
    And when it is said to them, “Do not cause corruption on the earth,” they say, “We are but reformers.”
    Unquestionably, it is they who are the corrupters, but they perceive [it] not. (2:8-12)ReplyCancel

    • ربة منزلApril 24, 2012 - 8:23 pm

      You are taking this the wrong way! Come on! I am Saudi and I totally agree with what Layla has written. She did not mean no harm and you cannot accuse her of harm since you do not know what is in her heart. Layla wrote what she saw and what she experienced and did not make anything up.
      What she wrote about is a problem that many people have been talking about for a while and it needs to be solved. Not ignored. As a muslim, you must already know that giving advice to each other and correcting the wrong is part of our duty to our society.
      I do not understand what your comments are suggesting.. But they are a clear example of misusing the Quran and Hadeeth.ReplyCancel

    • LaylahApril 26, 2012 - 11:05 pm

      I have no idea what the above anonymous rude commenter volume #1567 is implying here or who this comment is directed to, but it sure is condescending and actually accusing someone of having disease in their heart and being an apostate.
      How disgusting.

      Maybe it’s directed toward me, since clearly this person has some sort of personal problems with me. Perhaps jealousy.

      This is the last comment from you I will accept here. Go elsewhere with your misery. You are a truly miserable, sad and dark person. I feel sorry for you. Hope you see the light some day.ReplyCancel

  • flawlessvelvetApril 24, 2012 - 10:38 pm

    Give it a rest, lady!ReplyCancel

  • KristineApril 28, 2012 - 11:45 pm

    This public bad behavior, like cutting in line was so difficult for me to accept and understand. There is such a dichotomy between public behavior and private. For example, you could be at a grocery store reaching for the last apple, and then a “Saudi” will swipe it away before you can reach it. Yet, if you are a guest at this person’s home, they will serve that same apple to you on a silver platter and insist you eat the whole thing. I just wish that private hospitality and regard for others extended more into the public sphere. Please, I’m not saying all Saudi’s, but I’ve had enough experiences to make a generalization. I guess I wish there was more consisency in behavior.ReplyCancel

  • AshaApril 30, 2012 - 9:19 am

    You should have complained to the store Manager. If that didn’t work, you should write to Ikea directly. You can’t do much to improve the behavior of the customers but I wouldn’t have let Ikea & their staff get away with this.ReplyCancel

  • AnonymousMay 1, 2012 - 6:54 pm

    Salam aleikum,hei!
    We hv this same issue here in UAE.Arabs in abaya think they hv some sort of VIP pass to every single thing under the sun.Wether it’s paying for a ticket to a park or paying for your clothes at Mango,prepare to be cut in front.
    I’m normally very shy and don’t say anything to anyone but this type of behavior drives me insane.What I normally do,is ask them w sharp note:Excuse me,I was here before you,do you mind?. I’m never rude or aggressive,simply firm.
    Cause what’s the worst that could happen.Shell scream at me or pull out a magic wasta from her purse who will deport me?Nah…Shell prob.curse me but that decision I leave up to her.
    When it comes to these lovely islamic scholars that you get visiting you time to time…world is full of bitter ppl.And my humble theory is that these bitter people have fewer friends than the happy and content ones.And because of this,they have more time to spare on Internet,taking down the happy ppl,rather than look for friends outside to,I dunno,have a coffee with?!
    So whatever Umm Abu or anyone else says,your just clearly funny,realistic and a great writer.Maybe her “Memoirs of an Unhappy African American,living nowhere near Saudi,yet offended by your comments towards them”blog didn’t get that many readers…wonder why.
    EmanReplyCancel

  • Umm IbrahimMay 2, 2012 - 7:08 pm

    asalaamu alaikum, sister I had similar issues when my family as in Saudi for a year…cept I’m ghetto and I know it and basically you a) body block the area around you, so people can NOT physically get infront of you or beside you…and b) be rude as sh!t and push their kr@p off the counter and say “9ayb” to their face or HARAAM! I was in line once at CityMax ith like 2 things…and was 1 person away from the frnt when this hoity toity Saudi lady came over, pushed infront of me and plopped her stuff down on the counter…girl…I as MAD…I pushed her aside and said really loudly “law samahti!” and the pushed HER stuff to the ground…man, and she obviously didnt do anything…she didnt say anything…and frankly…I dont care. I think maybe she thought I as Syrian or something cuz I wear overhead abayaat…so maybe she didnt realize I was American…but who cares, thats NOT OK. Id be in grocery stores and have people put their carts in the MIDDLE of the aisle…girl…I’d move their carts and give them a NASTY look! Ohhh…I was soo rude to people because they are rude back. Some Saudi guys would always think my husband as some Pakistani low wage laborer…LOL and I have a friend whose husband is Mexican have similar problems. Just be ghetto and dont put up with no kr@p and learn how to BODY BLOCK! Thats what I did and it worked!ReplyCancel

  • CieloMay 22, 2012 - 2:13 pm

    Just like what my husband often tells me “do what they are doing coz they will eat you alive” Honestly, my conscience cannot take it seeing someone in line and all of a sudden I will squeeze myself to be ahead of somebody else but sometimes you loose your patience and calm. That is why I avoid going out on weekends and if I do I make sure my dear husband is always with me :-) very nice post Laylah! keep it up!ReplyCancel

  • AnisahMay 31, 2012 - 4:17 pm

    This is much worse than I saw in Amman. Do you think they knew you were not Saudi and did it more to you, than to another Saudi?

    I was surprised at the rudeness in Jordan. The only place I saw people standing in line and not cutting in was at the American embassy. I also experienced this when I lived in Kansas, when the Muslim (mostly Arab) women would have get togethers. Kids in the US learn to stand in line in Kindergarten. I guess some people never learn.

    AnisahReplyCancel

  • Iman (Lifes Balance Beam)June 22, 2012 - 1:49 am

    ahh i experienced this in egypt! what I learned? be MORE agressive than them. i wuld literally take the peoples things off of the belt, put it BACK in their shopping bakets and took MY turn in line. my aunt was literaly jumped infront of in the store in egypt, she walked right back around the lady, pushed her buggie back. the lady got mad and my aunt gave her a death stare lol and pointed her finger telling her “if you move my things, you will have a problem” … lets just say we got checked out FAST lolReplyCancel

  • AnonymousAugust 19, 2012 - 1:04 pm

    Wow. I love traveling to foreign countries, but I can’t fathom wanting to go there. Those people all sound absolutely dreadful.ReplyCancel

    • AnonymousSeptember 20, 2012 - 7:50 am

      …Oh, I see you answered my question above.ReplyCancel

  • AnonymousSeptember 20, 2012 - 7:32 am

    Well I’m from the UK where cutting in line in a queue is the very height of bad manners, so this is one cultural difference I would find very difficult to understand and accept with grace. I think I would have seriously lost my sh*t with that cashier and all the customers who skipped in front of me. I’m not proud of this but after a few people cutting in front of me I probably would have gone Incredible Hulk, grabbed the other customer’s shopping, thrown it on the floor and bellowed “SERVE ME NOW!!” at the cashier (…and received a lifetime ban at IKEA). I admire the coolness with which you handled the situation.

    Do you think that any of the people who cut in front of you were thinking ‘She’s a foreigner, if I cut in front of her she won’t complain’?ReplyCancel

  • GoriNiqabiWifeApril 27, 2013 - 6:44 am

    Assalam alaikum,

    I’m so sorry that you had to experience something like that! I can’t believe people can be so rude and childish and un-Islamic! What kind of Muslims are these people? May Allah reward you for your patience. I can’t imagine being in that situation. I’m not an aggressive or pushy person so I think I would be walked all over by those kinds of people. I guess living there you have to toughen up if that’s what you deal with on regular basis in public. I would just remind the people that act this way, it’s not what a good Muslim would do and Allah frowns upon such people that are so impatient and treat other Muslims like this.ReplyCancel

  • Saudi Positives » Blue AbayaNovember 11, 2015 - 3:20 am

    […] response to the negative behaviors seen in line cutting post, I was asked by a Finnish reader to write about an example of a very good behavior or a nice deed I […]ReplyCancel

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