To Blog Or Not To Blog

That is the question..

Over the past week I’ve been pretty depressed about this whole blogging thing. Why? Well it started with Sumayya Mehtar and the realization of how ruthless and shameless people are nowadays when it comes to other people’s property and work, and since then I have been contemplating my need or desire to continue blogging. If you don’t know the background of this incident you can read my previous post about it: http://www.blueabaya.com/2012/09/copycat-blogger-exposed.html
American Bedu’s post here: http://americanbedu.com/2012/09/07/american-bedu-plagiarized/
Carol’s new touching post about this issue: http://americanbedu.com/2012/09/14/saudi-arabiaworld-remember-your-heritage/
and Aafke’s post here: http://clouddragon.wordpress.com/2012/09/05/thieving-in-blogsphere/

Eventually her fraud site was closed down and before that some of the plagiarized articles which had been reported to Google team were removed by them. Not surprisingly, she opened a new blog (not going to mention the name sorry to “disappoint” you folks) with most of the plagiarized material in it. She lost the AdSense though and her days as a modern day Robin Hood were over.

I checked through her new blog briefly and found a rewritten post on Janadriyah (the one stolen from American Bedu had been removed by Google). When I saw three of my photos from Images of Saudi blog used on that post (cleverly combined with pics of her posing in front of various Janadriyah locations) I just lost it. I mean, is this for real or am I just imagining things because surely nobody would continue stealing after being publicly called out for doing so then claiming she had only then realized stealing was in fact wrong and promising not to ever do it again? This was a bad joke right? I asked my husband to check just in case I was hallucinating or something, because it was simply so MIND BOGGLING.
Nope, it was real, and I was REALLY pissed off.

With smoke coming out of my nostrils from rage, I searched Google images for “Janadriya” to see what that produced. I was shocked to find two additional cases of copyright infringement of my material. This time it was not a attention-desperate blogger though, but reputable online news websites who cannot, unlike Sumayya Mehtar claim ignorance to copyright rules. To my surprise a photo collage that appeared on Al Arabiya English website had used three of my images on it that had been taken from the Images of Saudi photo blog. I was pretty taken aback and could not believe it. If even a newspaper is taking my work without permission, then what else is out there?

Next I Googled “muttawa” to check this key word which often brings hits to my blog. Well surprise surprise, another of my images, on the top results btw, was taken by a local newspapers and even Arab News. Again no credits or mention of sources.

Then I stopped searching, frustrated and angry, finding it pointless. Some of these images even had watermark on them. What is the point of placing the watermarks again? It doesn’t seem to matter if even Alarabiya and ArabNews can use them regardless.

All this just made me feel that my work on Images of Saudi is for what? For people to come and ruthlessly just take it? Or for people to see perhaps a side to Saudi-Arabia they didn’t know before, maybe learn something new or even change their outlook on this country that has such a bad rep in general all over the world?
I started that blog for the purpose of showing the world what Saudi-Arabia is really like, from my perspective of course. When people think of Saudi they usually have a negative and boring image of it. There is more to this country than sand and camels. I wanted to try and portray a more realistic picture of Saudi people too. It’s not all just black and white.

 

Now I started to feel this blog is being used merely by people to come and pick and choose what they like and use as they wish without any recognition. Like a free image gallery of Saudi-Arabia. I felt like a fool. I put so much time in that blog, it’s not just snap a pic and go upload it then click post. It’s much more than that.

Naturally I was aware of the possibility and even likelihood of my images being used without permission when I started blogging and had accepted that, but all this was just too much. I was so naive to think people would have the same level of integrity as I do. I had good faith in people. I’ve always had a problem of trusting people too much.

So I started placing watermarks on some of the most searched (and assuming most stolen) images, if that would deter the laziest people. I placed it blank in the middle so sneaky people can’t crop it out. I don’t care if it looks ugly! This is my work, don’t steal it!
However if I were to place watermarks on all the images, on both blogs, that would mean about 1800 images. Do I have the time? Do I have the energy? No. So what to do?

I have decided to either close down the Images of Saudi blog altogether, or leave it as it is and slowly add watermarks and see how I feel. I’m so utterly frustrated and overwhelmed that I can’t simply get all the images protected with watermark now. I wish there was some easy way to do it, but I noticed that the only way to make it work is doing one by one and carefully selecting the placement. The watermark program I used to do hundreds of images at once (which I lost after the computer crash) simply placed the watermark on the same place on each image and it’s not visible clearly or then can be cropped out on some of the images. Is there a company to hire to do this?? In any case there are still ways to remove the watermark. The disable right click option is annoying to readers and it also means you can’t open many pages or links from the blog.

How about a watermark like this on all the images from now on :)

P.S. I contacted both news websites and Al Arabiya english responded promptly, took the images down and are now investigating the matter.
Albawaba did not remove the image but placed a mention of the source on the image caption.
Sumayya Mehtar’s new blog is now for invite only.
P.P.S The good news is Carol aka American Bedu has asked me to help by providing her with images for the American Bedu documentary project! I am so honored and excited about it :) The primary message of the documentary is the need for building bridges between cultures and spreading awareness of support for cancer.
Here is the link for the trailer and fundraiser: https://www.wepay.com/donations/fundraiser-for-the-americanbedu-documentary
Half of the proceeds resulting from the sale of the documentary are being directly sent to organizations involved in cancer research and patient support.

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  • ElisabethSeptember 14, 2012 - 2:11 pm

    Assalamu 3alaykom wr wb sis,

    I ran across your blog recently, and I’ve enjoyed receiving your articles in my inbox, and browsing the archives. I really appreciate the work you’re doing, and I sincerely hope you’ll continue to write. Already you’ve inspired and encouraged me in the few weeks I’ve been acquainted with your blog, so I’m sure you’ve done the same for countless others. There will always be those whose wrongdoing discourages us and makes our work feel pointless, but Allah is the final Judge and Rewarder – keep writing to please Him :)

    Your sister in Islam <3ReplyCancel

    • LaylahSeptember 15, 2012 - 6:06 pm

      wa aleikum salaam,Thank you Elisabeth for the inspiring and encouraging words :)ReplyCancel

  • DanielletriniSeptember 14, 2012 - 4:59 pm

    Oh no please don’t stop blogging. I really enjoy your blog and have learnt so much about Saudi Arabia from it. As you said I thought only about sand and camels when I thought of Saudi and now I feel like I have visited through your eyes. I think what they have done is horrible and I understand your frustration but I really hope you have sisu and keep at it.

    Sincerely,
    Danielle.ReplyCancel

    • LaylahSeptember 15, 2012 - 6:08 pm

      Danielle, thank you, and I don’t know where my sisu was yesterday! There was something bothering me in my personal life and I think it got to my overall mood too much (I could also blame the hormones)but today after reading all these amazing comments I feel much better!!ReplyCancel

  • AnonymousSeptember 14, 2012 - 8:05 pm

    Salam Laila,
    Maybe you can disable right click.

    [1] On Blogger Layout, add widget “HTML/Javascript”.
    [2] Add this piece of code:

    function checkV(e)
    { if (isN4)
    { if (e.which==2||e.which==3)
    { dPUW=alert(PopUpURL);
    return false;

    }
    }
    else return false;
    }

    isIE = document.all;
    isNN = !document.all&&document.getElementById;
    isN4 = document.layers;
    if (isIE||isNN) document.oncontextmenu=checkV;
    else
    { document.captureEvents(Event.MOUSEDOWN || Event.MOUSEUP);
    document.onmousedown=checkV;
    }

    Sorry I can’t test it, but I hope it works!
    There is another way to copy besides right click, though.ReplyCancel

    • LaylahSeptember 15, 2012 - 6:10 pm

      thanks for this, I had this on for a while but got annoyed by it,and so did readers and they can always use the keyboard to copy paste!ReplyCancel

  • AnonymousSeptember 14, 2012 - 8:15 pm

    & the code start with and end with

    …. codes
    …. codes

    Correct the space, I had to put it coz this comment don’t accept it.
    & you can leave the Title blank. Hope it works.ReplyCancel

  • AnonymousSeptember 14, 2012 - 11:22 pm

    Hi Laylah,

    I enjoy your blog immensely and I hope you will continue to blog once you feel a little better despite what have recently happened. The pictures you’ve put up in the Images of Saudi is excellent so I hope you will not pull down the blog either. I guess the best step is to put watermarks on each and every picture from now onwards. Yeah, I know, tedious work. But at least it will deter some unethical people from using your pictures to generate income. Back to the blog, please continue writing. Or make this this blog as an invites-only blog. How about that? You’ve garnered quite a large number of followers so perhaps you can make this as an invites-only for the moment. I’m sure you know unethical people will always be present in the virtual-sphere. That is the reason why even to submit an assignment in university, students need to run the text through “turnitin” to confirm whether their work is original or plagarised. I wish there is a “turnitin” for blogs as well.

    Be strong.

    SirehReplyCancel

    • LaylahSeptember 15, 2012 - 6:12 pm

      Thank you Sireh! Some amazing friends of mine have promised to help me place the watermarks on them! So maybe I will not have to pull it down after all.
      I wish there was a “turnitin” at Saudi universities :DReplyCancel

  • AnonymousSeptember 15, 2012 - 1:13 am

    Don’t be discouraged by these dodgy ppl!..100 more people benefit from your photos and work then the mere 2 or 3 that have abused it. Not many people are taking beautiful photos of saudi and it would be such a shame to have those lost. I think you should sleep on it..get some of that good finnish chocolate in your system lol! and think about maybe watermarking each photo over a period of time. Seriously the photo blog is one of my favourite things i am always checking it out to see if you have uploaded new photos.
    #ReplyCancel

    • LaylahSeptember 15, 2012 - 6:14 pm

      Thanks I feel much better today and after having some Finnish oven pancake the world looks much better again! Glad to hear you enjoy the photo blog so much, gives me motivation to continue!ReplyCancel

  • bigstick1September 15, 2012 - 2:20 am

    Layla:

    Hey. I know this has gotten you down and you feel that it is futile and useless but it is not. You have reached out to many people and through this blog you have given yourself a new avenue to obtain friends, share ideas, and seek change. Let’s look at you and I. We don’t agree on several things but I have great respect for you and I value your opinion even if I don’t agree with it at times. In addition, you are opening up an avenue for women to include expats and western women that is garnering greater respect and understanding. In fact you and Susie and American Bedu are bloggers who have help open a new doors and ushered in a new realm/era for women. That is helping open doors even in the smallest of ways.

    Here is the Geek in me. During the original star trek “Uhura”,Nichelle Nichole, an African American woman wanted to quit but she was asked to reconsider by Rev. Martin Luther King. As he felt she was a gateway to allowing the world to both humanize and elevate African Americans. She by putting herself in this light in a rare opportunity gave a face and a voice to both women and African Americans. In this she help open a small rift which in many ways humanized and equalized both women and African Americans by her portrayal in a wide view and now iconized piece of cinema history which has shape generations today in their thinking.

    Now in no way am I even close to Rev. Martin Luther King but I assure you, you are a portal to a new beginning and a new voice of expats and western women within the Saudi culture. In this you are opening doors and YOU should not feel so destroyed and not validated as this stuff kinda does go with the terrority. You could look at it differently in that you are being revered and copied. Thus you have something worthy to share. It is said that a form of immulating is flattery maybe plagerism is also a form of flattery. Even if it should be dealt with in the proper manner to right the wrong.

    In other words even if wronged feel a sense of warmth in one respect that someone felt you contributed such works worthy of praise to which could be and was published. Mighty high praise even if it was done by plagerism. This too can be righted. What cannot is the silence of your voice and thoughts thus you have allowed a criminal or the violator to win over a victim instead of a criminal or violator to be put in place by a survivor with a message.

    Live long and prosper my friend. :)

    From you friendly Geek:

    BIGReplyCancel

    • LaylahSeptember 15, 2012 - 6:26 pm

      Bigstick-is that really you being so positive? Are you writing this in high fever or something :) totally joking btw. I appreciate your encouraging words very much and yes I agree what you say about the plagiarism, in a way it could be also seen as a positive thing since someone saw it worthwhile of stealing lol

      I’m having a much better day today and back on my feet!

      Thanks for your message my friend!ReplyCancel

  • ShimshimSeptember 15, 2012 - 2:25 am

    Layla, I do hope that you continue with the blog. I total understand how mad and frustrated you must be feeling. But I know that I am not alone when I say as one of your fans, I want you to keep going! I have been inspired by you, to the point where I started my own blog, but you have a truly wonderful gift in writing and telling a story, not forgetting your wonderful photos. The time and effort that you have put into your blog is amazing, and the topics are always engaging. Please don’t let this experience stop you, I am sure other bloggers have faced similar fates at some point too, maybe they can share there tips or methods to overcome this nasty business. Hang in there – stay strong!ReplyCancel

    • LaylahSeptember 15, 2012 - 8:02 pm

      Shimshim-I am very flattered by your words thank you so much for taking the time to write them!ReplyCancel

  • JennySeptember 15, 2012 - 2:49 am

    I am so sorry to hear about all the plagerism. I’ve followed your blog for almost a year now and I’ve loved having this window into other cultures- both the glimpses of Finland and life in Saudi Arabia. I think, just like American Bedu, you are involved in an important cause that extends beyond a creative hobby. Your blog helps to take down walls of prejudice and ignorance. You write so well and have such nice photography that I am not surprised others are tempted to steal your work. I hope that you will continue to blog. If I see images stolen from your blog on other sites I will be quick to send them an angry complaint, hopefully other readers would do the same.ReplyCancel

    • LaylahSeptember 15, 2012 - 8:30 pm

      Hi Jenny, always so nice to hear your thoughts. I’m touched by your words, thank you!ReplyCancel

  • AnonymousSeptember 15, 2012 - 3:25 am

    Assalaamu alaikum
    To be quite frank, instead of whining over copyright infringements, why not voice and speak out against the demonizing of ours and your Beloved Prophet, Muhammad (prayers and peace be upon him).

    Why don’t you (as a Muslim) share the truth about Islam with your follows, instead of highlighting what displeases you about the Saudis?

    You have a venue where your voice can be heard and listened to. You tweeted about the threat of female Saudi students wanting to learn how to drive, but what about Islam and the Messenger and how it is being attacked by non-Muslims.

    Our, your Prophet’s reputation and character is to be protected by us (Muslims).

    what have you to say about the Youtube video? Voice to your readers and follower how wrong this is. That freedom of speak doesn’t mean it’s ok to infringe on others rights. The Prophet has the right not to have his charter assasinated and we Muslims (you) much stand up for his right and the rights of our fellow Muslims.

    Let your voice be heard. Use this blog to sound off. Don’t be a silent shaytaan. don’t whine about things that service no purpose within the purpose to which you, I and the rest of humanity was created for (Allaah says, “I created mankind and Jinn to worship Me.”)ReplyCancel

    • AnonymousSeptember 15, 2012 - 3:41 pm

      Actually it’s not your place to tell Laylah how to write this blog. That ridiculous and offensive video has nothing to do with the fact that it’s WRONG to copy someone’s work! Is it wrong to mock people’s beliefs? YES. But your analogy in this is just plain stupid (excuse me but it is). Because following your logic it would actually be pointless to talk about anything (including offended muslims) because there are more serious things going on in this world like children starving in Africa. Jeesh.ReplyCancel

    • LaylahSeptember 15, 2012 - 9:49 pm

      Oh hello there it’s you again, mrs Positivity! Man I missed your comments. This has got to be my all time favorite though “don’t be a silent shaytaan”. Sorry but I still can’t stop laughing at it :D

      Well you know what? First of all, I’m gonna write about whatever I feel like, not what you would like me to write about. Why don’t you start your own blog if you feel the Prophet needs someone to defend him? I think his real actions and words speak for themselves and there is no need to.
      There are plenty sites out there that serve the purpose that you have mentioned here. I’m not an expert on religion and I’m not going to start blogging on religious matters.

      So you also follow me on twitter eh? If I annoy you so much, may I ask why? Look twitter is FULL of people tweeting about the Messenger and what true Islam is, there is no need for me to dive in. If people want to learn about Islam there will be ways for them to find out. One or two tweets from me won’t make any difference in those minds that have already been made up.

      What have I got to say about the Youtube video?
      Why are you even mentioning it? Don’t you know it’s better to just leave it and ignore those kind of people just like the Messenger himself did?
      You seem to want to PROMOTE the film by even bringing that pathetic stupid video up for discussion on a thread that has nothing to do with it.
      What’s the point?

      You said Prophet has the right not to have his character assassinated. What a horrible thing to say! You think such an idiotic worthless piece of crap clip could somehow assassinate his real character? Astaghferallah. You should watch what you write. Remember that thousands of people come to this blog daily and will see your comment.

      “Indeed, it is We who sent down the Qur’an and indeed, We will be its guardian.”

      Or as you seem to think “we” here doesn’t mean God but in fact YOU? You don’t think God can take care of this on his own? I trust in God and that people like these will get a due punished one day. In the meanwhile, the best we can do ignore them and move on. Not incite more hatred and violence like some Muslims like to do.

      Did you see what Saudi grand mufti said today?
      “The mufti said the attempts of a filmmaker filled with hatred to Islam would not harm the great personality of the Prophet (pbuh) or anything in Islam in any manner but would only reflect on the people who spread venomous ideas.”

      May Allah guide you to the right path, ameen.
      ReplyCancel

    • HopeSeptember 15, 2012 - 11:11 pm

      Assalam Alaikum UMMM ..

      Before you start preaching people on Islam, please practice the essence of our religion, “MANNERS” especially in how you talk to other people. Prophet Muhammad Peace be upon him said “I have been sent ONLY to perfect good character.” Having a judgmental, forceful, rude, aggressive, arrogant approach only deters people away.

      In the Quran, Suran Al-Imran (3:159) God says to the prophet: “So by mercy from Allah , [O Muhammad], you were lenient with them. And if you had been rude [in speech] and harsh in heart, they would have disbanded from about you. ….” . Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم), “Indeed from among you are those who drive people away.” He said it three times.

      You talk at Layla in such a way as if you are the only person on this earth who knows the TRUTH and is following it. EVen if you think you have any knowledgable, you need to humble yourself and take advice from truly knowledgable people ….

      Luqman (the wise and intelligent ) advised his son in the Quran (31: 19) : “O my son!… Do not turn your face away in disgust from people, nor walk arrogantly in the land. Surely, Allah does not love any arrogant boaster. Be moderate in your pace and lower your voice. Truly the harshest of all voices is the voice of the donkey”.

      At last, it seems that you always turn over the mood by your repeated negativity. Prophet Muhammad (Sallallahu ‘alayhi wa Sallam) said: “Let him who believes in Allah and the Last day, either speak good or keep silent…”
      ReplyCancel

    • AnonymousSeptember 16, 2012 - 2:05 pm

      Assalaamu alaikum

      @Laylah and Hope

      You’ve expressed some good points and I humblely take your advise along with apologizing for my rants.

      Sorry:(ReplyCancel

  • SanaSeptember 15, 2012 - 3:34 am

    Hey,
    I had heard about your blog for a long time and I recently started reading it. I really appreciate your work as a recent expat to the Saudi community. It’s a shame what people do nowadays but please keep blogging and don’t let that stop you. You can take precautions such as placing watermarks but like you said that will only stop the lazy people from stealing. I wish people knew that stealing is stealing whether you do it offline or online.ReplyCancel

    • LaylahSeptember 15, 2012 - 9:51 pm

      Hi Sana thanks for leaving a comment, I won’t let them get to me anymore!ReplyCancel

  • MiuSeptember 15, 2012 - 6:25 am

    It must be very devastating to discover your pictures being stolen over and over again, but I am so glad you did not decide to stop blogging completely.
    I’ve found your unique blog only recently and I really like reading your posts!ReplyCancel

    • LaylahSeptember 15, 2012 - 9:53 pm

      Hi Miu yes it’s pretty frustrating! thank you for the nice comment :)ReplyCancel

  • L KSeptember 15, 2012 - 7:02 am

    as salaamu alaikum,

    I just subscribed to your blog so I would be REALLY unhappy if you shut it down. Although I understand your frustration, and I pray that you find the ease in this situation, I think your blog is needed to educate, or at least, give a different perspective of Saudi.ReplyCancel

    • LaylahSeptember 15, 2012 - 9:54 pm

      wa aleikum salaam and thanks for subscribing!I am full of energy today and will not let these people get to me anymore!ReplyCancel

  • L KSeptember 15, 2012 - 7:05 am

    as salaamu alaikum,

    I just subscribed to your blog so I would be really unhappy if you shut it down, however, I truly sympathize with your frustration. On the other hand, in my opinion, if you shut it down, you’re allowing the “other” to win. Your blog is providing a important service:providing an alternative perspective on Saudi.ReplyCancel

  • RuBearSeptember 15, 2012 - 9:04 am

    you are the best example to follow and learn from .. Don’t give up.

    You bring up a high ratios of people via your style of writing, the correct beautiful words & eloquence, thank you for everything …

    I am sure that you will be rewarded for changing this world to better.

    We will fight these bastards and necessarily win.ReplyCancel

    • LaylahSeptember 15, 2012 - 9:58 pm

      RuBear-thanks so much for this I am really touched and flattered by your comment !!thank you..ReplyCancel

  • Carol-AnneSeptember 15, 2012 - 10:10 am

    I agree with what the others have said – both your blog and photo blog are fantastic! You have such a good eye for photos! It was reading your blog that helped me decide that i want to go to Saudi. Reading it was like a breath of fresh air as a lot of what you read focusses on the negative so its great to get a full picture. I too would be furious if i was in your shoes. Hopefully the advice posted above will helpReplyCancel

    • LaylahSeptember 15, 2012 - 9:59 pm

      Carol-Anne-thanks for the kind words, really means a lot to me.ReplyCancel

  • Jah69September 15, 2012 - 10:22 am

    Please don’t stop blogging because of others. Sad to hear that even the newspapers are taking your material without your permission. I think you should put a big disclaimer banner to the top of the blog letting readers know that if they would like to use your material that they should ask for your permission first, as it is your material.

    As for Summya…. she really has no remorse whatsoever! She knew full well what she was doing and continues to do it just shows that she really does not care. If you can you should report her new blog because she is just being bold with her nonsense now.ReplyCancel

    • LaylahSeptember 15, 2012 - 10:00 pm

      Jah69-thanks for the comment, I won’t let them other me anymore! I will think about the disclaimer idea too thanks!ReplyCancel

  • SamuelSeptember 15, 2012 - 2:12 pm

    Hei, löysin blogisi muutama päivä sitten ja toivon, ettet lopeta blogiasi.

    Minusta blogiesi avulla suorittamasi tiedonlevitys on sen verran tärkeä asia, että sitä kannattaa jatkaa, vaikka jotkut varastavatkin tuottamaasi materiaalia. Internetiä käyttää niin moni ihminen, että siihen joukkoon mahtuu useita sellaisia, jotka eivät välitä tekijänoikeuksista. Sille ei kovin paljon ole tehtävissä, mutta sen ei minusta saisi antaa estää kirjoittamista ja kuvien julkaisua. Toki päätät itse, mitä teet.ReplyCancel

    • LaylahSeptember 15, 2012 - 10:02 pm

      Moi Samuel!Kiitos kovasti kommentista, kiva kuulla suomalaista nakokantaa! Tanaan loyty taas kadoskissa olltu sisu ja paatin jatkaa kuvablogia jonkin ajan kuluttua, kun saan ensin ne kuvat vesileimattua kaikki. Muutama ystava on luvannut auttaa siina urakassa :)ReplyCancel

  • bigstick1September 15, 2012 - 8:45 pm

    Layla:

    I know so out of character for me to be positive. :) I hear at the stroke of midnight I will turn back into the orge that is me. :)

    BigReplyCancel

    • LaylahSeptember 15, 2012 - 10:06 pm

      Bigstick I thought there was something fishy about it! Good you posted this comment 15 min before midnight :DReplyCancel

  • LaylahSeptember 15, 2012 - 10:04 pm

    Thank you everyone for these encouraging comments, they have really picked my spirits up and today I am full of the Finnish “sisu” and energy and moving on ahead not letting these people get me down!

    I’m really moved by the comments they mean so much to me, thank you.ReplyCancel

  • ••❤MingMing❤••September 16, 2012 - 1:45 am

    I’m so sorry to hear this…I can imagine your frustration and anger… I’ve been in such situation 2 years ago… I was logged on a fashion site where I could create unique combination of clothes, designs, (heard about polyvore?) I used my own photos, wallpapers. One day I saw the exact copy of my work and the girl kept on copying mine and other ppls work, I tried to chance my user name several times and I reported her…it worked. Water mark is a good Idea. Maybe try to make your blog a closed space for chosen readers?I think I found this ugly cow copy-cat on FB.

    Don’t worry dear your blog is the best! No copy-cow will ever beat you! You have your readers You have our support!ReplyCancel

    • LaylahSeptember 18, 2012 - 11:25 am

      Hi MingMing! I don’t want ot make it closed because so many people will not ask to join it (I know I am lazy to send the requests even though I like a blog sometimes)
      She is on fb indeed, posts a lot of the blog stuff on there too.

      I am so touched by all the support coming in from readers and it has given me a lot more motivation!ReplyCancel

  • SathyaSeptember 16, 2012 - 9:02 am

    I sincerely hope you continue with the blog, its keeping me going in Saudi for 18 months now. Lot of lazy morons out there, don’t let them get to youReplyCancel

    • LaylahSeptember 18, 2012 - 11:27 am

      Wow that is so nice to hear Sathya thanks for the support!!ReplyCancel

  • American BeduSeptember 16, 2012 - 1:06 pm

    Layla,

    I am so honored that some of your photos will be showcased in the documentary. Your photos are going to help the world see the many hidden treasures held in Saudi!

    I’m looking forward to your future posts!

    Love,
    CarolReplyCancel

    • LaylahSeptember 18, 2012 - 11:28 am

      Hi Bedu, thank you so much for the support,I so appreciate it.
      I hope you will like my photos,

      Love LaylaReplyCancel

  • MYRKSeptember 16, 2012 - 1:48 pm

    Hi ,

    I enjoy reading your blog and i believe you are doing an amazing job of projecting an Image of Saudi to the world at large which is very different from the general perception.
    I have also had similar problems recently and can understand your feelings. however i just thought of sharing my pictures with you. you can refer to
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/81031705@N04/

    Regards
    MYRK
    ReplyCancel

    • LaylahSeptember 18, 2012 - 11:32 am

      MYRK-thank you for saying this, that is exactly what my aim has been since I started it and so glad to hear you think I had accomplished this :)

      Btw lovely Photos, some are from Diriyah?ReplyCancel

  • AnonymousSeptember 16, 2012 - 8:29 pm

    Please continue the blog! I have learned so much about life in Saudi, and I have a much more positive view of the country as a result. Your stories are so interesting and entertaining. MariReplyCancel

    • LaylahSeptember 18, 2012 - 11:34 am

      Hi Mari, thank you, I will when I get the photos watermarked first!
      Funny how so many negative people have left comments on Images of Saudi saying I am giving such a bad impression of Saudi-Arabia and that I should stop posting pics because I always just mock the country and religion.. always wondered how people can be so depressingly negative in their views.ReplyCancel

  • EstelleSeptember 16, 2012 - 9:20 pm

    Asalam alaikum Dear,

    I really enjoy your blog. You are really talented. Please continue !
    When a new article is coming into my internet mail box it is always a good surprise to me.

    Choukran jazeelan for your work here

    EstelleReplyCancel

    • LaylahSeptember 18, 2012 - 11:35 am

      wa aleikum salaam Estelle,
      thank you!ReplyCancel

  • KellySeptember 17, 2012 - 4:09 pm

    Add me to the list of people who like reading your blog.

    Keeping track of content scrapers and photo,er, liberators for my own interior design blog has taken time I’ll never get back either. It seems to be part of being a blogger, unfortunately. :P

    I’ve traveled around the world but I’ve never been to Saudi Arabia or Finland; I enjoy seeing them through your eyes and seeing comments from other readers as well.

    Chin up!ReplyCancel

    • LaylahSeptember 18, 2012 - 11:37 am

      Hi Kelly, thanks for the encouraging comment!ReplyCancel

  • AnonymousSeptember 17, 2012 - 6:43 pm

    Hello,

    You should right protect her images so when they try and take you information they are told that they have to contact your for permission.ReplyCancel

  • ButchVSeptember 18, 2012 - 7:35 am

    Hi Laylah! I always enjoy visiting your blog. It helps me to appreciate a different culture in a way that textbooks or travel guides cannot.

    Might I suggest that you get an application that will allow batch processing of watermarks? Off-hand, I can recommend Faststone Image Browser. It has an option to incorporate watermarks onto all images in a folder. There’s a bit of a learning curve, but at least the application is free.ReplyCancel

    • LaylahSeptember 18, 2012 - 11:39 am

      Hi ButchV
      Thank you for the comment and suggestion!
      I had a program like this, but the problem is the watermark placement needs to be selected carefully for each image so that it’s visible, and the program automatically places it on the same place for each image..
      But I’m lucky to have a great friend who is going to help with the watermarking!ReplyCancel

  • IldiSeptember 18, 2012 - 8:36 am

    Dear Laylah, pls don’t give up.

    For about a year I daily follow your blog, read awesome articles from your individual style shines my days! Loving your spicy writing style, as you discribe Saudi and neighbourhood,events, own life stories. That would be a big loss for us readers to watching you disappearing.

    That UNBELIVABLE SHAME what copycat and even officional press made with your work! Equal like breaking into your home and touch, catch, damage, throw away and steal your property, life, and things important to you. Great way to make that long watermark into photos! And set back no right clicking. Readers who lost their mood or became frustrated just by this action don’t deserve your world! C’mon!!!

    Great offer from friends to help with watermarks.More ppl may finish it earlier together -even you have thousends photos… :)

    I wrote only about your blog, but Images of Saudi style shows your big effort and much care as well! I always imagine-like a kid- that for a great shout you climb or lie prone to catch moments (in abaya :D)! That’s giant work to fight with back-pain as sitting at PC for hours, or not to see starts in eyes etc. No one sees you behind the scenes…

    So all words spread only to one way Dear:

    PLS KEEP BLOGGING! THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR YOUR EFFORTS!

    ReplyCancel

    • LaylahSeptember 18, 2012 - 11:42 am

      Hi Ildi!
      Thank you for the comment I am touched by your words, and thanks for following the blogs for over a year :)
      I like your description of me climbing up things and lying prone with abaya to take some pics, this is very true sometimes lol
      My husband sometimes says people must think that is some crazy american woman hahaReplyCancel

  • SarahSeptember 18, 2012 - 9:30 am

    I just found this blog, and as a new expat in Riyadh I can’t begin to thank you enough. I will be reading the whole site over the next few days. The pages I have seen thus far are very well written, informative, and genuine. Thank you for taking the time to do this. Please don’t let the inadequacies of others who feel the need to use your work without permission slow you down. There will always be people like that in this world, if you stop they win. Again, much thanks!ReplyCancel

    • LaylahSeptember 18, 2012 - 12:05 pm

      Hi Sarah!
      Welcome to Riyadh and that is great to hear you have found use of this blog!ReplyCancel

  • CaliforniaKatSeptember 18, 2012 - 12:18 pm

    When I started blogging in 2007, it only took less than 24 hours for someone to plagiarize me. I plodded on. A few months later, a known Greek newspaper republished an entire article without permission or credit, then followed the lawyers, U.S. embassy, Greek embassy, national tourist organisation and official Greek government websites also copying material. Even CNN, the Economist and Bloomberg have plagiarized me, not to mention other expats rewriting my stories as their own. Then readers who don’t know the situation accuse me of copying them. It’s absurd.

    It’s at a point where I’m completely unmotivated to post new material because no one will do the honorable thing and admit what they did, remove it, link back or give credit. In Google searches, I’m competing against my material on someone else’s website, and sometimes I’m not at the top so I’m losing against myself.

    What I’m saying is I understand your frustration. It feels disrespectful because you’d never do it to anyone else.

    Every action comes with consequences, and ultimately we must decide if what we love and do outweigh what we dislike and can’t control. The sad fact is there will always be ignorant, lazy and small people in the world. That does not make you a fool; it means you are generous, trusting and want to believe the best in people.ReplyCancel

  • AuraSeptember 23, 2012 - 11:01 am

    Hei Laylah,

    googlella löytyi tällainen: http://desertmoonsdiary.blogspot.fi/ Ilmeisesti sinunkin blogiasi plagioineen henkilön blogi. http://desertmoonsdiary.blogspot.fi/p/my-profile.html

    Olet ehkä tietoinenkin sivustosta, mutta ainakaan tuo ei ole “invite only”.

    En tiedä, onko tuolla sinulta tai muilta varastettua sisältöä, mutta kannattaa varmaan vilkaista… Blogisi on ainakin linkitetty sivupalkissa. Ei tarvitse julkaista tätä kommenttia, jos et halua blogin osoitetta näkyviin kommenttiboksiin. :)ReplyCancel

  • JeanSeptember 23, 2012 - 1:45 pm

    Congrats. on “working” for American Bedu. I’m sure you’ll enjoy it.

    See your blogging in a much bigger picture: a digital legacy for your family and close friends.ReplyCancel

  • YaelianSeptember 24, 2012 - 9:21 pm

    Voi miten kurja juttu tuo plagiointi;että jollain on otsaa tehtä tuollaista! Blogimaailmassa kuuluu kysyä lupa,ennenkuin sellaista voi tehdä.Olen itse törmännyt kerran jossain valokuvaani,jota oli käytetty ilman lupaa,ja kaiketi niitä kuvia on otettu enemmänkin.Olenkin joskus miettinyt sitä vesileiman laittamista,mutta sellaisen lätkiminen keskelle kuvaa ei kauheasti kyllä innosta.Tsemppejä!ReplyCancel

  • julieOctober 31, 2012 - 1:40 pm

    Layla thank you for sharing this experience with us….I have been writing my own blog for about two years now and it has not even occurred to me to check if anyone has plagarised content!
    I post a combination of images I find on the internet and also my own and in the case if using images from another blog or website I make absolutely 100% certain that I mention or link back to theReplyCancel

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