Saudi Arabia: A Year End Review of American Bedu

2011 has been quite a year!  American Bedu has prospered.  2011 saw American Bedu surpass 3 million hits and an increased reader base.  American Bedu has 412 subscribers who automatically receive new posts via email.

What were the most popular or controversial posts of American Bedu during 2011?  Which posts had the highest number of reader comments?

Let the countdown begin:

January 2011:  A Saudi Student Love Story and Heartache in Progress was most popular with 182 comments.

February 2011: The post about Saudi national Khalid Aldawsari received 207 comments.

March 2011: Saudi Arabia’s Day of Rage…or Not was most popular with 254 comments.

April 2011:  Muslims in America had a lively discussion with 240 comments.

May 2011: Reaction to the Death of Usama bin Laden was the most popular post in May with 128 comments.

June 2011:  Discussions about the post Removing the Fear of Muslims in the USA had the highest number of comments with 394.

July 2011:  A Perspective on Islam had 154 comments.

August 2011: August was the month of Ramadan and the most popular post happened to be A Non-Muslim is Invited to an Iftar which had 84 comments.

September 2011: Reflections from 9/11 had an active discussion with 138 comments.

October 2011: October was a somber month with the passing of late Crown Prince Sultan.  The post of his passing received 113 comments.

November 2011:  November was a busy month with many posts exceeding comments of 100, but the most active post was about the Mutawa and received 431 comments.

December 2011:  Where is Allah is the most popular post with 359 comments.

The end of a year is also a good time to evaluate and analyze what can make American Bedu blog better and even more appealing?  Would you like to see more posts with straight talk or more videos?  What about polls?  How do like participating in those? An increase in guest posts?  More Interviews?  Let me know!

American Bedu blog wishes everyone a joyous, prosperous and healthy New Year!

Wordless Friday

Saudi Arabia: The Face and Voice of Poverty

 

Poverty does exist in Saudi Arabia just like countries all over the world.  However the poverty of Saudi nationals is seldom discussed.

The following video is in the Arabic language.  It is a television interview with a woman living in the Saudi capital of Riyadh,  The woman lives with a number of daughters and granddaughters. She is divorced and receives Sr1400 monthly only (approximately US$350 – 400).  She is part of a family of about 20 people who all live in the same house.  She laments that they may need to start eating donkey due to the severity of their poverty.

 

Saudi Arabia: Let’s Discover Jubbah

 

Lady Anne Blunt, the granddaughter of Lord Byron, and her husband Wilfrid arrived in Jubbah, Saudi Arabia in January 1879.  They were among the first travelers from the West to set foot in Jubbah.  She described Jubbah as “one of the most curious places in the world, and to my mind one of the most beautiful.”

Jubbah is located in the Hail region of Saudi Arabia and is about 350 kilometers from the capital city of Riyadh.  The city is among the ancient towns of Saudi Arabia and was built 7000 years ago!

Jubbah is known as the centerpiece of some 2000 known rock-art sites across Saudi Arabia. Rock art is recognized as sophisticated, complex and esthetically interesting evidence of how early humans socialized their landscapes. Pictures carved or pecked into rock speak to us all, however faintly or incomprehensibly, across great divides of time, and appeal powerfully to our imaginations. The “simple designs” that the Blunts saw can still be seen today: a veritable gallery of rock art that survives in the stark mountain area west of what is now a small modern town.

Among the most recent markings in the chronology of Jubbah’s early civilizations are 3000-year-old inscriptions in Thamudic, the oldest known script of the Arabian Peninsula. Majeed Khan, the leading authority on the rock art of Arabia and the Middle East, is currently an advisor to the national Antiquities Department; he has spent 27 years studying rock art and inscriptions. The Thamudic script, he says, “evolved independently within the Peninsula from an earlier rock-art system of communication, an embryonic form of writing employing elaborate signs and symbols as ideograms.”

This video features some interesting photos of Jubbah’s rock art.

Saudi Arabia: Is an All-Women Hospital Feasible?

 

Recent medical graduates from the Ibn Sena College of Medicine in Jeddah believe that the time is right to establish an all-women hospital. They believe that Saudi women would prefer and feel more comfortable at an all-women hospital.  The graduates further state that there are enough women who have received degrees from all medical specialties to support an all-women hospital.

Is an all-women hospital feasible?  Is it practical or is it a step backwards?  I know that a woman can easily be seen and attended by a female practitioner at hospitals in the Kingdom.  She would also have a room in the women’s section of the hospital.

Would an all-women hospital impede continued learning on the part of the medical staff and technicians?  Would an all-women hospital be able to have the same exposure with international physicians and sharing of techniques and new practices?

Would one encounter differing cultural practices at an all-women hospital as compared to the existing hospitals in the Kingdom?

Would Saudi society become more accepting of nursing as a profession for Saudi women knowing they could obtain positions at an all-women hospital?

An all-women hospital is not a new suggestion.  It had been proposed in 2010 and I had written my views at that time too.

Even if there is an all-women hospital, male visitors would need to be accommodated.

All-women hospitals are not unheard of.  If one does a google search with the terms women only hospital there are many hits.  Such hospitals do exist in differing parts of the world.

An all-women hospital is an interesting concept.  Knowing the culture and traditions I can understand where such a hospital would be very appealing to families in the Kingdom.  At the same time, when it comes to a patient’s care and treatment, I do not think their choices should be limited to the sex of the individuals who are treating them.

What do you think?

Saudi Arabia: Why Should WE Like Arabs?

Some of us may not know any Arabs and form their impression on what they read or see in the media.

I think Carl Medearis sums up well why we should like Arabs.  I encourage everyone to read this link and then share their impressions and opinions on the words of Carl Medearis.

Carl Medearis is dedicated to building bridges among faiths and especially bridges between Muslims and non-Muslims.

Merry Christmas from American Bedu blog

American Bedu wishes everyone who celebrates a joyous Christmas today!

Earlier in the month one of the US talk show hosts challenged parents to present their children with an early and “non-traditional” Christmas gift and to record their reaction.

This video kind of illustrates the stereotype expectations and innocence of children.  Warning – near the end there are remarks which contain adult content.

May everyone find what they wish for under their Christmas tree today!

Saudi Arabia: Celebrating Christmas in the Kingdom

Christmas may not be as widely visible in Saudi Arabia as in other parts of the world, yet it is not impossible to celebrate Christmas in Saudi Arabia.

Celebrations may need to be low key or held in private places but they do take place.  Some Saudi employers also recognize that their non-Muslim employees are far away from families during the Christmas season and will help arrange or turn a blind eye to a Christmas party.

Western compounds generally resemble a small Western village during the Christmas season with villas decorated with flashing lights and a Christmas tree in the window.  Santa is even known to make appearances at the Western compounds.

It is common for bakeries in the Kingdom to carry Christmas cakes which many Saudis like to present to their non-Muslim friends.

Some shops will have gifts which have an obvious Christmas cheer to them decked out in red and green wrappings.  Other little shops may even have Saudi style Christmas ornaments such as camels which may say “Christmas, Riyadh 2011.”

An expatriate should never assume that it is okay to openly celebrate or decorate in a public office as seen in the States.  Christmas decorations are generally frowned upon in public areas which get a lot of traffic.  However some expats are encouraged to decorate a private conference room and hold a holiday celebration.

When I was in Saudi I attended holiday celebrations where both expats and Saudis were gathered.  It was a pleasure sharing such a tradition with Saudis.

My husband and I always respected and shared each others traditions regardless of where we were located.

In closing this post, here is a fun link to use and send holiday greetings to friends and family.

Saudi Arabia/World: Opportunity for Low Cost International Calls

American Bedu was contacted by representatives of Nymgo inviting American Bedu readers to try their international calling service.

 

Nymgo: Low Price International Calls

From now until February 9th 2012, Nymgo is offering free promo codes to get you started calling anywhere for FREE! Click the image below to claim your voucher.

In early 2012, Nymgo will be the first known VoIP software company to bring its extreme pricing to international calls on its native iOS and Android apps.

While both smartphones and VoIP technology have been around for years, Nymgo has married these two concepts together to bring crystal clear mobile-to-anywhere calling at the same rates we have come to expect from PC’s.

Because Nymgo specializes in paid VoIP long distance calling, it is able to focus on giving consumers the first real alternative to that which is offered by the mobile network operators. You always know where you stand with Nymgo. You get a great quality of service, backed by our Fair Pricing and Every Day Low Pricing policies.

Nymgo doesn’t offer you fancy promotions that promise the earth but in reality deliver nothing. Nymgo prices remain to be the lowest in the market of VOIP calls coupled with the best voice quality and customer service. No calling credit expiry dates with our Pay As You Go service.

Nymgo gives it to you straight, including some great value adds – such as the ability to record your conversations, low cost texting and access the same phone book from wherever you happen to be at the time; at home, around the corner or on the other side of the world.

You pay the advertised Pay As You Go price with Nymgo. And that’s all you pay.

They don’t tie you up in long term contracts either. You can cancel either service at any time, without incurring any penalty charges.

Saudi Arabia/USA: Is It Damaging For US Businesses to Advertise With Muslims?

Lowes, established in 1946, is the 2nd largest home improvement retailer worldwide.  Its corporate headquarters are located in Mooresville, NC, just minutes up Interstate I-77 from where I live.

Lowes has recently found itself as a subject of controversy for pulling its commercials from the television show All American Muslim.  There are those who say that Lowes pulled its ads due to pressure from groups who felt it was inappropriate for Lowes to advertise on a show which was about American Muslims and Islam.

However I think Lowes chose to pull its commercials because it found that its Facebook page and website were becoming filled with comments that were Anti-Islam rhetoric rather than oriented on Lowes and its services.

Yet this is a factor that any business or blogger for that matter need to take into account when featuring aspects of Islam in the United States due to the amount of Islamophobia which exists in the United States.

Lowes corporate headquarters in Mooresville, NC, is located in a predominant Christian Bible belt community.  There are few Muslims in the area.  Even though Lowes is only about 30 minutes from the cosmopolitan city of Charlotte, the Bible belt community is still prevalent.

Personally I think the unaired Lowes commercial was not a positive message or service to Lowes or Muslims.  I think that the commercial was oriented to dispelling fear of Muslims yet the music at the beginning and expressions of the Muslim men in the commercial are not welcoming – which was likely the initial intent.  However concluding the commercial with the men proud of their home decorated so lavishly for Christmas is not a cultural appropriate message to send either.  That aspect of the commercial is bound to incite Muslims and deepen an impression that the West do not understand Islam to air such a commercial.

But I will let you, American Bedu readers, to be the judge about the commercial and ultimately the question, is it damaging for a US corporation to advertise with Muslims?  Why or why not?

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