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 forRead more

Takalamy. A Conversation with Young Saudi Females

While a part of the Saudi society is sometimes seen as moving backwards in time, there is another part, less known, which is going in the opposite direction. The western media will rarely show us this side. I recently learned about the Takalamy initiative. I would describe the Takalamy initiativeRead more

The Attack of the Flying Muttawa

This is the most shocking story involving the Saudi religious police I’ve heard for a while. From beginning to end, it just amazes me how in this day and age an incident like this could still occur. In short: A British man and his Saudi wife were assaulted by Haia’ officials at DanubeRead more

Guide to Riyadh’s National Museum

The National Museum, which is part of the King Abdul Aziz Historical center in Riyadh, is one of the largest in the Middle East and undoubtedly the most famous and most visited museum in Saudi Arabia. An impressive collection of artifacts, scriptures and antiquities are inside this two storyRead more

Ten Things to do in Al-Balad Historical District, Jeddah

Al-Balad, which literally translates to “The City”, is the historical area of Saudi-Arabia’s second largest city Jeddah. Founded in the 7th century, Balad historically served as the city center of Jeddah until the big oil boom when most families started moving out the area. AlRead more

Gone Fishing in Finland

Blue Abaya has been MIA while enjoying a nice relaxing break midst the Finnish summer. Every year we visit my home country Finland, where my family speeds most of the time at a so called ‘summerhouse’, typical for Finns to retreat to during the very short-lived Finnish summer. NormallyRead more

Ramadan and Eid al Fitr in Saudi Arabia

Learn all about the Holy Month of Ramadan and Eid al Fitr holidays in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia from the following Blue Abaya posts. The first post on Ramadan is back from 2010 when the blog began and it’s called ‘Magic Month in the Kingdom‘. A good read for those not familiarRead more

Never Forget Who You Are

My dearest daughter and son, While you’re both fast asleep in your beds napping, I’m thinking about the two of you, here in a hospital bed waiting for spinal surgery. All kinds of thoughts are running through my head. You both are always my first concern and I can’t help thinkingRead more

The Saudi-Finnish Temperature Extremes Chart

It was a sweltering + 44C  last day of May in Riyadh Saudi-Arabia today. Meanwhile back in my home country Finland, they’re experiencing temperatures around+ 10C, which is actually quite normal for this time of year even though it might sound freezing cold to Saudis. Despite it being only 10Read more

Images of Saudi is back!

Some of the Blue Abaya readers probably remember “Images of Saudi” which is a photo journal-type photography blog I kept for a few years from the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. Images of Saudi is actually still online, but for a year now it’s been set for private invite-only viewing.Read more

Misyar Marriage: The Prostitution and Betrayal of the Female Gender

Misyar marriages have been discussed a lot in the Kingdom’s news lately, causing debate whether or not these marriages are acceptable/legal. The  Saudi Ministry of Social Affairs has recently announced that it will welcome misyar marriage applications for those who want to get married toRead more

Top Ten Restaurants in the Eastern Province (Dammam, Al Khobar, Jubail)

What are the best and most popular restaurants in the Eastern Province? Blue Abaya in collaboration with Suzanne Greenfield, the founder of the Foodies groups, recently conducted a poll among members of the ‘EP Foodies’ Facebook group, to find the most popular restaurants in Dammam, AlRead more