Blog Love- Reader Testimonials

The Blue Abaya blog has reached over 3 MILLION views and it’s time to say a huge big heartfelt THANK YOU for all the readers and fans of Blue Abaya for the continuous support and encouragement since this blog started in 2010.

To celebrate this milestone and share some love, we’ve collected some of the lovely comments Blue Abaya readers have left here on the blog over the past 4 years.  More testimonials can be found here: Blue Abaya Hall of Fame: Blog Fan Mail

Words cannot describe how grateful I feel and how humbling it has been to read through all these comments again, now that they’re all in one place it feels more profound…this has been the best reward for blogging so far and makes all the hard work worthwhile. I must come back to this post every time I feel I need a kick in the butt or when I have those days that I feel nobody reads my blog and I need a little reminder, that yes, there are people who read and appreciate what I do. Which is really amazing and something I appreciate immensely. -Laura (Laylah)

Blue Abaya Testimonials & Blog Love est. 2010:

“When I moved to Riyadh from the US two years ago I was in culture shock and very depressed to be in such a foreign and strange place. Blue abayas blogposts helped me cope with the craziness and look at the negativity of this country from a different light. Layla put humour and sarcasm in such bizarre situations that made me only laugh and actually look fwd to hear about more experiences … Everyday is a new experience in Ksa…Love you Layla!”


“If only, every culture around the world would have a Laylah.”


“Blue Abaya gives a wonderful insight into Saudi Arabian culture and isn’t afraid of being critical. It is always a pleasure to visit her blog because there is always something new and interesting to discover.”


“…Of all the ramblings I just wanted to say I found your site & musings the most informative & realistic.And by far the most tongue-in-cheek humourous!
I am under no illussions now about what I am coming to, yet at the same time filled with a sense of positivity to see, experience & sample as much as I can with what there is on offer. I am even looking forward to the move with excited trepidation, though I know it is going to be a challenge of note.
I just wanted you to know that all your ramblings are very appreciated & that a simple picture of your great dane touched my heart (we have had 6 over the years) as did a simple little patch of wildflowers in the desert.And allthough you have highlighted the hard truth realism, it’s the human factor that embodies your spirit of positivity, that shines through and triumphs any of the adversity……
Thank you for shining your little light!…”


“Great article! you should be in Shura Council instead of those dysfunctional members who hardly address the issue of poverty and inequality.”


“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..”


“I spent more than a year in Riyadh struggling with the culture shock before I accidentally found Blue Abaya’s blog. It made me understand, be more aware, and laugh. It opened my eyes to see the positives in KSA and see the humor in the negatives. I look forward to each blog; it’s a family event for us to read the new blog together, laugh together, then discuss it. THANK YOU Layla!”


“Please never stop writing! Reading your stories is the last thing I do before I go to bed. I feel I already know you. You are an inspiration to all of us by your positive attitude and your humour. God bless you and your family :). Xoxox from Ottawa”


“I am Saudi and I was looking expats experience about Janadriah and found your blog! I’ve never been to this blog before, and surprisingly, I finally find someone who talks about the KSA with true and fair stories.
I am really proud of you and people like 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.”


“That is the most sweet letter I’ve read. I’m so touched and really overwhelmed.
People like you, Princess Laylah, are always a delight to have around.
Hope you stay in Saudi forever. We need people like you.
I hope I can talk on behalf of all the patients, if not all Saudis, and say THANK YOU for you to come to the desert land and help in healing and make it better for those who needed it the most. For your merciful work and efforts and for your gratitude.
We feel humble by your kindness.
Wish you all the best and happiness in your life.””Excellent photographes once again ms Layla! You are a spokesperson for the Saudi Kingdom.”


“Her blog opened new worlds and countries(Finnland, Saudi Arabia) to me, and reading differences and similarity brought me to be a person to adapt and accept differences in my own life as well. I love the way she expresses her experiences.”


“People like me would never find out about these place if not visiting your site.Thank you and keep sharing!”


“you have encouraged me to start my own blog! you are a force to be reckoned with laylah.. you had me laughing so loud.  thanks, just the pick-me-up i needed ”


“I love your blog, it makes me laugh at work when all I want to do is take cover. I find it witty, intelligent and extremely resourceful. I must admit that I often come here on a daily basis to check if there is something new. My advice to you is to keep writing as you are clearly blessed to be able to write so well. It would be haram if you were to stop.
Lotsa love and encouragement always,”


“You should write a book! seriously i would buy it asap you writing skills are intriguing and I’m sure you have so many stories to tell. Ever thought about it? You’ll give Jean Sasoon and her false stories a run for her money.”


“Mashallah sis……I’m so HAPPY I discovered your most interesting blog. It was very informative and I feel so refreshed after reading your stories and checking out your most AMAZING pictures!……May Allah bless you and us all for all our good deeds in this life and Inshallah grant us the hereafter!  Jazak Allah Khair!”


“Better than National Geographic : ))) thanks for sharing”


“Thanks for your wonderful blog. I lived in the kingdom for 9 years 77-86 and was a journalist for Arab News. Your blog helps me keep up with the changes–important for me as I frequently speak on the kingdom”


“Inspiring work , Realizing there is more things beyond camel ,desert and palm tree ”


“Hi, I am a regular reader of your blog from India and reading your blog makes me really feel that I have travelled to Saudi and I am experiencing all the beautiful things you decribe. I love your humour and satire and I have spent many a enjoyable hour browsing through your site. This is the first time I am commenting though .Keep up the good work and God bless your family.”


“Your blogs are really informative.. Being busy in work left my exploration hobby aside, but thanks to your articles we get to know so many things about the kingdom..”


“I’ve noticed that you surely use a LOT of time and work hard to create your posts. Your blog is so informative and rich, showing KSA from a different and thus interesting perspective. And the photos make it feel just like a free holiday in a country where I’ve never visited.”


“How beautiful! Your pictures are so vivid Layla! I am new to this blog but loving it already!”


“I’m few months in Arabia and your lovely blog is helping me to survive here!! thanks for all your suggestions!! I have a 3 years old daughter and it’s hard to keep her busy, but I,m trying everything you suggested!!!thank for sharing with us your experience!! hope to meet you!”


“Salam alaykum
I discovered your blog few days ago while searching for swimming pools for women in Riyadh. You really have a nice blog and really informative. I learned a lot of things about Riyadh and Saudi people (I am not saudi, I am from Algeria liviving in Riyadh). Please keep blogging.


“Love your blog and thank you for providing the information about life in KSA.”


“Hi! I read your blogs and I wanted to say thank you and keep writing! Your photos are always so beautiful.”


“Your blog is very unique, I love seeing the personal pictures you post as well as your captions…
…I’m living the Saudi life vicariously through your blog.”


“I read your blog and I love it!! You give me hope for my life in the future….

…The thing I love best about your blog is the pictures. Lets face it; a pictures worth a thousand words. I feel like even if I never go to Saudi I’ll have seen it all.”


“…I love that your blog also has a personal touch- you share some of your experience in KSA, which can be very useful to people in similar situations. Your blog shows that working and living in KSA is not scary but can be even enjoyable.”


“…I love this blog so much. I live in Scotland and it seems whenever I’m really cold and miserable, you’ve posted something awesome with beautiful pictures.”


“…as i said before,you make saudi look like a charming place to be,and i really like how positive your blog portrait saudi and brings the good in a time where bad is what all being said about it….”


“Thank you very much for your informative blog. I spent a good part of the afternoon today, reading and learning interesting tidbits about life in Saudi…”


“assalamu alaikum sister mine is to say jaza killahu khair, for making the world see one of the authenticity of Islam’s prophet Muhammad (s.a.w) sayings may Allah make it easy for all of us.”


“Seriously, I thought my life ended after I moved to Riyadh this Summer, but after discovering your blog today, I realised there is so much fun to be discovered! So thanks so much for that (: Also, after a bit of reading, I can safely assure you that you’re aMazING! Eeek, I love what you write! Your positive tone, unwavering Eemaan, and refreshing outlook on life has presented Saudi to me in a whole new perspective.”


“Thank you for your courage, commitment, and honesty”


“Hi !
I just wanted to thank you for your website, I love it … I’m a french student in arabic language, I lived in different arab countries but I’ve been dreaming of visiting/living in the Kingdom for a long time now, and I hope that one day I might be able to (though I’m a convert for now I can’t, because I don’t have a mahram). Meanwhile your blog helps me a lot to learn and discover things about this country (other than the usual bad stuff your hear in the media), so thank you again !
Best regards”


“This blogs makes you believe that ‘LIFE’ do exists in KSA :)”


“The best and the most interesting blog I have read so far. Talented writing about important topics in KSA and the writer has great sense of humor as well. Also the photos of the blog are amazing.”


“By far the best Saudi expat blog! Blue Abaya gives true insight on the pleasures and hardships of being an expatriate (woman) in Saudi Arabia, all the while maintaining a great sense of humor. This blog has had great impact on me personally, as well. I discovered it a year before moving to the Kingdom and started following it faithfully, as each post gave me courage and reduced my anxiety about moving to this foreign land. Not only that, but it inspired me to create my own expat blog. Thank you Blue Abaya, keep up the amazing work! :)”


“Thanks for showing us the real and contrasting sides Laylah. Write more about the ordinary side of KSA.”


“Thanks a lot for the beautiful pictures. who would have thought KSA has such beautiful scenary….”


“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 <3″


“Haha Laylah, you made my morning at office again – what a fun to read your humorous post!…”


“…thanks for your blog, its making this city a little bit easier to live in.”


“Hi. I just found your blog yesterday, but Have read through a lot already. Very very interesting posts… I hope you’ll write a whole lot more…”


“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…”


“We are moving to Saudi next year and I just love your blog. Keep us updated on living in Riyadh. So looking forward to it!”


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…”


“Hello from Canada, I Love your sense of humor. You made me laugh, and I really needed that today.”


“Blue abaya’s style of writing is witty and funny, she candidly describes exactly the same frustrations, trials and tribulations ex pats face living in the kingdom, she tells it so well! Keep up the good work!”


“Laylah tells us her real and personal experience inSaudi and that is why I love her blog. Although I may not totally agree with everything but she is one of the rare expats who truly embraces a different culture and doesnt complain too much hehe. She has a positive outlook on life and that is how everyone should live be it in KSA or USA. Love you Laylah”


“I am an avid fan…as others stated before, you have a unique style of communicating…open, funny and honest. I also live the experiences though your blog even though I have been living in KSA a number of years, guess am not as keen or adventurous…so it is fun to visit all the places from the comfort of my home LOL keep on blogging!”


“That is sooo unbelievably beautiful! And magical! I wish I handled cold better I might try to go! Thank you so much for sharing these. I’ve never seen anything like it.”


“I’ve been a reader for a while now and every time I come to your blog it amazes me. Your stories are interesting yet different compared to many other blogs, and at the same time your writings are honest, but Oh, for Pete’s Sake, you do your best trying to be fair. Afterall we Finns know a little bit about honesty, or at least we are supposed to. I don’t think many readers can get this. I know it’s hard to get accustomed to a new country and their traditions and cultural settings. I’ve been thru that too. But you coming from Finland to KSA. I don’t think I could have done that. Too many restrictions, but yet you seem to look at the glass half full! Keep on writing! “


“It’s pleasure to read your opinion about our lifestyle and culture in Saudi Arabia, it means a lot to hear this type of positive reactions about Islam and people here….”


“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….”


“You make me no longer dread the impending move to Saudi! Thank you for you always entertaining commentary and wonderful outlook on life! You are fantastic, mashallah!”


“Was gifted your web name by a precious friend about to join the expat life. As a RN in South Africa with a few RN friends in Saudi I am amazed to see how beautiful it actually is through your hard work. Blessed thank you so much.”


“Wonderful blog and website. It’s been so useful since we arrived in Kingdom.”


“Thank you so much for your postings. Every since childhood I’ve been fascinated by the cultures of the dessert! Your pictures and posts make it come alive for me.”


“…Thanks for putting out such great information for all of us to access. It has been very helpful to me as I weigh my options.”


“I love your blog so much, I am from Canada and find it so interesting hearing a “western” view of the very different country of Saudi Arabia. I find it funny to see that the women in Saudi Arabia find Western women as interesting as I find them. If I could I would like to go to Saudi as you have described a very positive interesting and beautiful place. Keep on telling it the way it is as I look forward to reading your blog…I have read every post!!”


“Thanks for all of the good info. We are scheduled to arrive in country this summer. I’m trying to gather any “doss and don’ts” that I can. Love your blog!”


“Your blog is very informative, interesting and fun to read.  I’m definitely a fan!..


“Blue Abaya is a fantastic blog. The writing is entertaining, honest, and compassionate. The pictures are excellent, and the mood and feel of the blog transport me. I love the mix of cultures— glimpses of Finland and views of the Desert and real life in Saudi Arabia. It’s one of my very favorite blogs”


“This is so beautiful…I think you should publish a book with all these amazing photos of The Magic Kingdom. Just like you did the photo blog…I would definitely buy it.”


“Laylah, just wanted to say that I adore your blog and check in a couple times each week to see if you’ve posted anything new. When I first stumbled upon it I was absolutely delighted because although I’m America, my Dad’s family is from Suomi. And I’m in grad school studying the Middle East and Arabic. You offer unique observations and help demystify Saudi. I even cited your blog for my undergraduate thesis about modernity in Saudi Arabia. Keep it up and let the haters hate!”


“Hi Layla,
I just moved to Riyadh and I found your site helpful, funny and beautiful.I am Saudi by the way .
Thank you so much”


“This is the only blog I read. Enough said.”


“Wonderful post and photos such a positive message that you are sending!
You make me wish I were in Saudi Arabia! Did I just say that out loud???”


My son is an expat working in Arabia and, like others, I was apprehensive about his safety. I stumbled on your website and it made a huge difference in easing my mind. Thank you.
I am now looking forward to traveling to Riyadh to visit him. I would love to be there during Janadriyah…”


“You’re article deserves standing ovation, I dont know if you’re a Saudi or not But if you are you have my Oscar layla, I wish there are more people like You this world would become a living heaven!!” 


Thank you each and every one who commented! Words can’t describe how grateful I feel and how humbling it has been to read through all these…this has been the best reward for blogging so far and makes all the hard work worthwhile.

Love, Laura (aka Layla)



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  • MariaNovember 10, 2014 - 3:07 pm

    Thank you for the tremendous efforts Layla and welcome to Caroline!ReplyCancel

  • Susie Johnson KhalilNovember 11, 2014 - 8:50 am

    Ditto what all of them said! You are the most talented, the funniest, the best – I am so proud to call you my friend! xoxReplyCancel

  • ZahraNovember 11, 2014 - 12:45 pm

    Asalamu alaikum Layla! I am a reader from Algeria for many years already because I love your postings and beautiful photos of this land I so want to visit. I hope to see more of your humour posts in the future?? Will you be finishing the story of Sinta housemaid soon?ReplyCancel

    • LaylaNovember 11, 2014 - 3:59 pm

      wa aleikum salaam Zahra!

      thank you for being a reader and I promise to do my best for the final part of the Sinta story! I’m sorry for the delay, just so incredibly busy with the projects mentioned in this post and also remember I’m a stay at home mom of two very crazy toddlers! Life is hectic :)ReplyCancel

  • LaylaNovember 18, 2014 - 2:35 am

    Thank you Leanne for reading and commenting :) Wish you all the best in your endeavors!ReplyCancel

  • Bushra Qamar AhmedDecember 3, 2015 - 9:23 am

    Moving to ksa was scary and it was soooo difficult for me to find something fun for me here until I found blue abaya website:-)
    For all the places I visited including tourist sites, peaceful gardens, spa or shopping places in kingdom ,I have always followed the blue abaya website. The best thing I like about her is her honesty focusing details which are “actually” important or interesting.
    So thanks to you for your wonderful guidance on road trip to abha we followed exactly the same and checked all top ten things to do smile emoticon it made our Eid very special.
    Keep it up Layla ! Your blogs are as amazing as you are!
    Bushra qamarReplyCancel

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