Saudi Men and the Pressure to Perform

Picture an 86-year old bedridden man. He has recently married a 16-year old girl, his third wife. He feels the need for a little “boost” to his manhood to fully enjoy the newlywed marital life and satisfy his new bride. Viagra no longer works for him. What can he do?  The man isRead more

Tourism in Saudi-Arabia Faces Many Obstacles

“My Kingdom will survive only insofar as it remains a country difficult to access, where the foreigner will have no other aim, with his task fulfilled, but to get out.” – King Abdul Aziz bin Saud, c. 1930 Not exactly the most welcoming words coming from the ruler of a country thatRead more

Lost in Translation: Eid activities!

Eid mubarak everyone! The holidays have begun and there will be lots of entertainment and activities during the next three days around Riyadh. Check out my pictures from last year’s celebrations here. If expats were more aware of all the interesting cultural events going on, I bet theirRead more

Ramadan- Favorite Month For Saudi Religious Police

Ramadan, the busiest season of the year for the members of the Commission for the Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice (CPVPV) aka Saudi religious police force. I like to refer to them more familiarly as the muttawa or Hai’a. DISCLAIMER: This entire post is written in a sarcastic tone,Read more

Dear Riyadh

Dearest Riyadh, I hope this letter finds you in good health and inshallah the dust is not covering you too much. How have you been doing otherwise? How is your great grandfather Old Diriyah doing? I have been wanting to visit him for a long time but it has been too hot! I heard he has done someRead more

Remember to say Mashallah!

Something I learned the hard way in Saudi-Arabia was the importance of saying mashallah, maashallah, mashallaah, or mash’Allah. When I had just started working as a nurse I was full of excitement and I was very talkative with my patients. I wouldn’t give second thought to complimentingRead more

The different sides to Ramadan in Saudi Arabia

Ramadan is here and Muslims all over the world will be fasting this month. Saudi-Arabia turns into a much more accommodating place for fasting people to live during the holy month. There are many exceptions in everyday life that enable easier days of fasting, especially for Saudis it seems. OtherRead more

Housemaids, villains or victims?

Housemaids In Saudi-Arabia have been making many headlines lately. Indonesian and Philippino housemaids are among the most numerous in Saudi-Arabia and both nationalities have been accused of crimes against their employers and vice versa. Following the execution of an Indonesian housemaid that hadRead more

The Saudi husband vs the Finnish husband

This post is not to be taken too seriously and YES it contains sweeping generalisations of both cultures. This is a humorous comparison of the typical Saudi man and his Finnish counterpart as husbands.. The Saudi man is very romantic, sweet talk is what he knows. The Finnish man doesn’t talkRead more

Saudi women’s long journey from back seat to front seat

June 17th is here and according to the Saudi Women to Drive Campaign, Saudi women will start driving their cars themselves from today onward. Last time Saudi women sat in the drivers seat was in a protest back in 1990. I’m so excited about this and wish I could participate but this is a causeRead more

The Eternal Veil

Imagine a man that has never seen the face of his wife, ever. How about a son or a daughter that does not know how their mother looks like? Such men and women still exist in Saudi-Arabia. Recently in the news was the story of a Saudi man that had never seen his wife’s face. After 10 years ofRead more

Janadriyah Cultural Heritage Festival in 2011

Janadriyah Cultural Heritage festival of Saudi Arabia is held annually on the outskirts of Riyadh at the Janadriyah Village. This post depicts images from the festival in 2011. For more information about the folk festival itself, the timings and dates of Al Janadriya, check out Blue Abaya guides toRead more