Why Am I Here?

I wanted to share something very powerful that touched me deeply today, a song called “We Are Here” by Alicia Keys, one of my favorite artists of all time. Please listen to it. If you don’t listen to music for religious reasons, then read the lyrics.

Dear Alicia, Thank you for this wonderful song and the touching message. I admire your courage, your beautiful character and amazing talent. You are like a ray of light in the dark, a true shining star. You bring depth to such a superficial industry. With this song you spread warmth and meaning to a world full of cold and selfishness.. I hope your message reaches millions and I wish for them to feel the same peace, love and hope in their hearts as I did, while listening to your song. with love and my utmost respect,


Alicia Keys explains about the meaning of the lyrics, which you can read on her Facebook page:

“The day I wrote this song, I was sitting in a circle of people of all ages and we were asked, “Why are you here.” Why am I here?? This really hit me on a deep level. I realized no one had ever asked me that question before.  As I prepare to give birth to a new child, I can’t help and think about the world I’m bringing my baby into. No matter where we come from, when we see the state of the world today, we can all feel the growing frustration and desire to make a difference. And we all have a voice – we just need to know how to make it heard. I have a vision that I believe is more than a dream, that I know can be our reality. I believe in mutual respect and cooperation among all peoples and all nations. It is time to end all forms of racial injustice for our black brothers and sisters and all people of color. I believe we have an ability to end poverty, oppression, and hopelessness that often breeds despair, terror, and violence.  I believe in Peace & Love & Unity. I believe that this vision can be a reality.  And, it’s not about me. It’s about WE. Together we can give birth to a kinder and more peaceful world for ALL children. Our souls were brought together so that we can love each other sister, brother. We Are Here. We are here for all of us. That’s why #WeAreHere.”

So I had to ask myself the same question, why am I here? The answer depends on the point of view I’m looking at the question.. but I wanted to answer specifically in the context of this blog, why am I here, on Blue Abaya? I would say..

I am here to help others.

I am here to bridge cultural gaps.

I am here to surprise you.

I am here to bring West and East closer together.

I am here to spread positivity.

I am here to initiate change.

I am here to make you smile.

I am here to help you think out of the box.

I am here to open your mind to something different.

I am here to learn.

I am here to connect with people all around the world.


Now I ask you, Blue Abaya readers, why are you here, on Blue Abaya? What brought you here? I would love to hear from you! Yes YOU!  Please leave me a comment below, I would be so very grateful!we are hereP.S  I wrote this quote with my daughter while we did watercolor painting :)

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  • Susie Johnson KhalilSeptember 13, 2014 - 8:16 am

    Love this song! I am here (in Saudi Arabia) because this is where my husband wants to be. So I am being the dutiful wife and have followed my husband. While this is not the place I really want to live, I am here and trying to make the best out of my experience of living here, which includes trying to bridge the gap of misunderstandings between Saudi Arabia and the rest of the world. Sometimes I don’t do a very good job of it, but just getting the discussions going and opening the lines of communication are steps in the right direction.ReplyCancel

  • Soile HaapalainenSeptember 13, 2014 - 8:38 am

    I’m here right now, because life didn’t turn out the way I planned, or thought it would. But it’s ok, I’m quite happy and in peace with myself. I’m in Saudi because I want to travel, experience new cultures, meet new people and do things I would not be able to do at/from home. I’m here because this is where my life took me, and this is where I’m supposed to be, for now.

    And I’m on Blue Abaya, not only because you are my friend, but also because your blog is amazing, I’ve learned so much more about Saudi by reading it. So, thanks!ReplyCancel

  • ValerieSeptember 13, 2014 - 9:49 am

    I love Alicia Keys too and this song is one of her best so far!!

    to answer why am I here for? I am here to find new interesting things about a country I know nothing of before coming to Blue Abaya! So thank you for that and please don’t stop doing all those things for us. take care lady!ReplyCancel

  • LaylaSeptember 13, 2014 - 11:33 am

    Thank you Valerie!
    I’m happy to hear that!ReplyCancel

  • Robin DaySeptember 13, 2014 - 12:17 pm

    I am in Saudi arabia to be with my husband to support him while he works. It’s cheaper than trying to run 2 households both here in Saudi and our home in the USA all year. I also get to avoid the snow and cold weather back home during the winter.ReplyCancel

  • Karen CrociSeptember 13, 2014 - 12:22 pm

    I am here to learn and to teach. Sometimes I am the student. Sometimes I am the teacher. But I am woven into the fabric of the universe because I can do nothing else. It is my path, and I must follow it.ReplyCancel

  • Margaretha Beverloo SmithSeptember 13, 2014 - 4:33 pm

    Hi Layla, I chose to follow my husband here a year ago, because I was extremely curious of a country and a culture that we know absolutely nothing about in my home country Sweden. I saw glimpses of Riyadh air base on CNN during the first Gulf war. That was all I knew.
    In Sweden we also have a constant debate going about immigrants in general and muslims in particular, based on ignorance and fear. I decided to come here, look, listen and learn, and then blog about my expat life – in Swedish. Trying to do my tiny part of building a bridge between the cultures and the religions. And I am happy to say I am getting great feedback from Sweden!
    I am here on Blue Abaya, because your website was my guiding star when we had decided about the move, and I first started to look for something to hold on to, something that could give me a hint of what to expect. I also sent you a couple of emails, Layla, with questions that were vital to me. And you always replied, in reassuring words. For that I am unspeakably grateful!
    You are doing so much for this country you should be the Saudi Ambassador somewhere in the western world :)ReplyCancel

    • LaylaSeptember 13, 2014 - 7:05 pm

      Dear Margaretha,
      Thank you for your amazing message, it really made my day! very happy to hear you’re also blogging and will definitely stop by your blog too even though my Swedish is a bit rusty :)
      I’m humbled by your compliments, and also it’s very encouraging to me, to keep on doing what I’ve been doing for years, sometimes I doubt myself but then hearing back from readers always gives me new motivation, so thank you for that!!ReplyCancel

  • Um E DaniaSeptember 13, 2014 - 6:55 pm

    I am here in Saudi Arabia because I preferred living in a Muslim country than UK. I came with my husband and now staying from last 4 years and enjoying every bit of it. I am thankful to Almighty Allah who gave me a chance to visit Haram. ReplyCancel

  • LaylaSeptember 13, 2014 - 7:16 pm

    Hi Susan,
    thanks so much for your kind comment! Will you be coming to work in Riyadh? all the best on your journey to the ‘magic kingdom’ :)ReplyCancel

  • SireenSeptember 14, 2014 - 8:15 am

    I am here in Saudi, because my husband works here, so I wanted to stay with him. This is not the place I would willingly chose to live in, but I’m trying to make the best of it. While my stay here, I’ve learned more about the Saudi culture and made wonderful friends from different parts of the World.
    I am here on Layla’s blog, because it’s informative, funny and witty. When I read her blog, I feel that I’m not the only one with different views when it comes to Saudi. I enjoy her writings and her out of the box ideas:)ReplyCancel

    • LaylaSeptember 17, 2014 - 4:47 am

      Hi Sireen and thank you for the comment :) great to hear you are trying to make the best of it! What else can we do right?

      Glad you enjoy my out of the box ideas:)ReplyCancel

  • jinkySeptember 15, 2014 - 5:27 am

    Hi there ms. Layla i just came across your blog because i googled what are the best restaurants in riyadh and your blogsite was one of the answers that google gave and i found it great and even laughed about your comment and stand with mcdonalds and i told myself she’s my kind of girl. Anyway i found myself going thru your site further and became more interested with you and your blogs cause you saw something good here in this country wherein all i have are negative thoughts ands feelings and i have all reasons to leave but i just cant as of now. And i want to know,thru your eyes and experiences what are the good
    things this country has to offer. Thank you.

    From your new follower.. please dont stop what you do cause unknowingly you are helping and changing people’s lives.. you are a blessing and continue to be one. May God bless you always. In your cause may allah bless you.ReplyCancel

    • LaylaSeptember 17, 2014 - 4:35 am

      hello there jinky :)
      I’m touched by your message, thank you for taking the time to write your comment, it gave me something to think about and definitely inspired me to keep on writing!

      all the best to you and god bless you!ReplyCancel

  • LaylaSeptember 17, 2014 - 4:44 am

    thank you jean :)ReplyCancel

  • EstelleSeptember 19, 2014 - 5:11 pm

    Asalamu alaikum,

    I am on Blue Abaya because I love the writing, the pictures and more than everything to see an outspoken successful woman making the best of her life in KSA.

    I love that you created your own business. I admire that your professionalism on blogging has been acknowledge by magazines.

    And much more.

    To my eyes, this is not an exception for the women of Saudi. It is on the line of our beloved Khadija (RA) who was too a successful business woman, outspoken and kind human being.

    I just wish more women – saudi born, half saudi by marriage (as I like to say) or just living in KSA – will create such spaces to inspire others. And to also show that yes living in KSA is beautiful. Just like everywhere else, your intention and the way you react to things will really matter for your happiness level. It is all attitude based.

    I may not agree all the times with the blog’s views (and Alhamdulelah different people think differently ;) ) – and I am sorry to commenting mostly when I don’t – but I truly enjoy this space.

    Wa salam,ReplyCancel

    • LaylaOctober 21, 2014 - 12:27 am

      Wa aleikum salaam Estelle,
      Please forgive me for this late reply,

      I wanted to make sure you know how grateful I am for your comment and for having you here as a reader. Thank you <3ReplyCancel

  • Merja Narvo-AkkolaNovember 15, 2014 - 7:05 am

    I am here to make my little small part to make girls’ and boys’ dreams come true. I try to develop education to be more equality and equity for all children in this country so that they can dream and grow to their best potential and live full lifeReplyCancel

  • Bible ScholarDecember 9, 2014 - 1:52 pm

    In islam our purpose to be here is simple, to know God who created us, and to worships Him properly, so by that all thing will be followed such as helping other, forbiding evil in sociaty etc. because basicly those are God’s commandments.ReplyCancel

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