Saudi Arabia: What is the Best Place to Live?

Many individuals from third world countries will come to Saudi Arabia for work.  Yet if you get to know any of them, their ultimate dream is to be able to live in the United States.  Even many citizens of Saudi Arabia yearn for an American green card.  This online forum has an interesting discussion of why people from around the world may want to come and live in the United States.

The prominent reasons given for living in the United States are its democracy, freedoms, education and business opportunities.

So I am curious about American Bedu readers.  Where do you live now?  Where would you like to live and why?

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42 Responses

  1. I live in the USA. I am an American citizen, yet I am ashamed. I hate living here. I have lived abroad and have traveled to six different countries. I hate how our government is run by special interests.

  2. . I’m an American and an American citizen. I have traveled to many different countries in South America, Central America, Europe and Africa both Muslim and non-Muslim countries….Just for vacations. I’m a not terribly happy with many things in America especially how the government runs things. But I also believe that opportunities are greater than other places around the world. I took the opportunity to review the online forum and hear are my responses to some statements made: 1. I am not wealthy. I spend my money wisely and can afford (not always) to do many things including traveling and enjoying life as I choose. 2. I object to the comment made that “in America you cannot go into the emergency room/hospital like those in European countries. “ I also object to that comment. I have gone to the emergency and had no problems getting medical treatment. Secondly, many of my international friends I’ve met along the way have also gone to the ER in America when visiting USA and had no problems. Many undocumented immigrants also have no problems getting medical treatment when they visit the ER. 3. I object to prestigious universities such as Harvard is only for the affluent” While this is true, and caters to the affluent Harvard they also offers FREE education to the poor and lower class. Your family income must be under $20,000 a freshman graduating from High School with a 3.0 GPA when you apply. If accepted by Harvard they will pay full tuition, housing and meals for your four year college stay. This program has been in force for over 30 years and annually they accept 100 applicants into their university. I believe many people because they are not in the affluent circle just assume that they only help the affluent never tried or did research. My replies are in regards to some of the inaccurate comments made on the online forum. I am not a doctor, attorney, or politician. I am a hard working person that believes work hard pays off. I don’t own a business and my parents do not have connections. Where you live is a matter or preference. Different strokes for different folks. I live in America. I will live elsewhere maybe, (Germany, Austria, and Spain) if it was something I wanted. Right now, I have things to accomplish so if I choose to live elsewhere for a while, it would not be a financial struggle for me when I move. I’m not pleased with our government but I am not ashamed and I do my part to help bring about change….

  3. Every country has their problems…and America is no exception. However, in America you do have more opportunities and less restrictions if you wanted to be self employed. Either way, hard work is a must and that is for everything worth having.

  4. I live in North Carolina and I like it fine enough, but sometimes I wish I lived somewhere else just for the adventure of it. After we traveled to Syria three years ago, I wanted to live there. Not forever necessarily, but just for the opportunity to experience a different culture and meet new people. I’m sure it would help me better appreciate many things that I take for granted living in the USA while also helping me develop an appreciation for other ways of doing things and drinking chai after every meal. :)

  5. I have lived short term, in Honduras, and Kenya, and visited Thailand, Canada, and Israel. I have a close friend who lives in Jordan and she says that Islam is better in America because Muslims here do it from choice, while many Muslims in Jordan do it because they have to. I have Saudi friends who live here in the US and they think that the government should do much more to help them here in the US. Especially the women from Saudi, seem to have lived in a gilded cage and when they encounter freedom, they do not know what to do. One even commented that she wished the religious police to take the indecently dressed women off the streets. Many just don’t know what to make of having personal freedom.

    I live in Oregon, and think the Muslims here are generally more radical than when I lived in Ohio, where Muslims seem to be absorbed into the culture.

  6. Really interesting point here Ms. Bedu.

    I live in the US and must admit that every time I travel/live overseas, I come home feeling very lucky to live in the United States..

    On the other hand I wonder how much of this desire to move here is influenced by Hollywood. Let it be known that American movies are NOT an accurate representation of life in the US. A friend of mine that moved here from Surinam observed that the most accurate portrayal of America that he saw before moving here was Sanford and Son, a TV series about a Junkyard dealer.

    Here in the US: Education and working very, very hard rule!

    Final point, in the words of Benjamin Franklin, the US government is TERRIBLE but it is the best there is.

  7. If America that good then why they insist always to have presence in the region where Saudi located. Why they leave the best country and come to this terrible region. I think if you live in the best country then you should stay there and leave the rest of the world in peace.

    http://www.usatoday.com/news/world/iraq/2003-04-27-us-troops_x.htm

    Everywhere I look I see American presence around me. In the north ten years of wars and the largest embassy in the world. Why they leave the best place in the world and come here? Is it because they have high level of morality so they sacrifice their comfort in order to help the people of this region? In the east I see American presence in Kuwait. 5th Fleet in Bahrain. Al Udeid Air Base In Qatar. Al Dhafra Air Base and Jabl Ali port in UAE. Thumrait in Oman. Keeling activities in Yemen by drones and airplanes. I pick only examples of the bases and the facilities they have. After all this, isn’t a wonder they leave the best place and come to this region. Or it maybe their presence in this region will insure that America would maintain itself as the best place to live? Maybe!

  8. anthrogeek, I’m curious if there are countries where the government isn’t run by special interests. I think I’d enjoy living there! Any recommendations?

  9. There is no ‘best place’. It all depends on 1384 different factors that vary from person to person.

    Oh wait, there is Brazil!!!!! I mean, what more can you want? good food, cachaca, great music, freedom of expression and religion, hot women with few clothes, great climate, beaches, good humor, friendship, family ties, and wonderful, honest politicians — oops…

  10. anthrogeek, if you are ashamed, then you have the right to excersice a freedom many in other countries do not have. You are free to move anywhere you want and try to get citizenship there.
    I have lived in many places and visited many more. I have lived in KSA since 2002. I will be home in the USA within the next 18 months.
    The USA has it’s faults, as anywhere does, but I would not call any other country “home”.

  11. I live in the UK. The weather is dreary, people are always complaining and unhappy and most towns are full of grey ugly buildings and concrete. Life seems to be a struggle for most of us. If money were no object, I’d love to live in a tropical island, where the sun shines and I can walk/swim/snorkel on a beautiful beach every day. Where mangos grow on the trees and you see monkeys and hummingbirds. Where the pace of life is slower, people smile and are laid back. Perhaps Costa Rica or The Seychelles or Barbados, I’ve enjoyed my holidays there, beautiful places make me feel alive.

  12. I see it as there is no perfect place to live. If there was, everyone would be swimming to get there. Each country is plaqued by its own problems and has it’s own virtues. I must agree that as an American I do not like how special interest groups rule the political scene. Latest aspect of this is how the banking industry got away with what they did by the help of the government at the public’s expense. I also am not a fan of a two party monopoly on the election scene. However, I am an American and I will try my best to improve my country and its future for the sake of my family and being an American.
    Many people ask me where I will settle down at. I think it will be a small town, with a bus stop close to my house. Ironically, I spent my youth trying to leave my small logging community town in Oregon that I grew up in to see the world. Now I am looking to eventually retire in a small little town, after my kids finish college.

  13. There is always Afghanistan, Saudi Arabia, Iran and Pakistan for those who don’t like it here, especially if you are a woman. Live, learn and continue whining. Ali

    http://www.stonegateinstitute.org/2817/shafia-honor-killings

    “A Sick Notion of Honor”

    by Raheel Raza
    February 6, 2012 at 4:30 am

    http://www.stonegateinstitute.org/2817/shafia-honor-killings

    “You have each been convicted of the planned and deliberate murder of four members of your family. The apparent reason behind these cold-blooded, shameful murders was that the four completely innocent victims offended your twisted notion of honor, a notion of honor that is founded upon the domination and control of women, a sick notion of honor that has absolutely no place in any civilized society.” Ontario Judge Robert Maranger, delivering the verdict in the Shafia murder case.

    On Sunday, January 29, 2012, the Ontario Superior Court imposed mandatory sentences of life in prison with no chance of parole for 25 years, on Mohammad Shafia, 58, his younger, second wife Tooba Yahya, 42, and their son Hamed Shafia, 21. The polygamous Shafia family had come to Canada from Afghanistan. The accused had strong defence lawyers; and the jury deliberated for 15 hours before coming to a unanimous verdict.

    The trio were all found guilty of four counts of first-degree murder. Canada does not impose death sentences and will not extradite people within its borders to jurisdictions that order capital punishment.

    The story of this crime began in 2009. Three sisters – Zainab, 19, Sahar, 17, and Geeti, 13 – and Rona Amir Mohammad, 52, the older and childless first wife of Mohammad Shafia, were found dead in a black Nissan Sentra at the bottom of the Rideau Canal at Kingston Mills, Canada. The court determined that they had been drowned, then placed in the vehicle, which was pushed into the canal.

    The Shafia case elicited what seemed to me an inappropriate – and un-Islamic – reaction among Canadian Muslims. Debate focused on whether the crime was a so-called “honor” murder, rather than the unspeakable suffering and deaths of the victims.

    Some Muslims shied away from the spectre of so-called “honor” murder, seeking to downgrade the slaying of four innocents to problem of “teenage adjustment” or an example of “domestic violence.”

    Let us be clear. Domestic violence is abominable, and so-called “honor” murders are the most dreadful form of domestic violence. Neither should be permitted in any society or within Islam.
    Few Canadian Muslims addressed any means to protect Muslim women from such a fate. The main defendant, the “patriarch” of the family, repeatedly cited “honor” as an obsession – which he shares with many Muslims in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Kurdistan, Saudi Arabia, and other Islamic countries.

    To some, it seemed as if the alleged “honor” of the main killer was more valuable than the denial of honor to the victims. Perhaps “dignity” is a more accurate concept than “honor:” the four dead were unarguably denied the right to, and dignity of, a peaceful life and death. The three girls and the first wife were dishonored by being murdered; not the homicidal, fanatical father. That is how a normal and sane Muslim should view this case.

    Mohammad Shafia declared, “This is my word to you: Be I dead or alive, nothing in the world is above your honor… I am telling you now and I was telling you before that whoever play(s) with my honor, my words are the same… There is no value of life without honor.”
    The Qur’an, the Islamic scripture, follows explicitly the judgment of Jewish law by stating, in verse (aya) 5:32, that God “dictated to the House of Israel that whoever kills a soul unless in retaliation for a killing or corruption of the people – it is as if the murderer had killed all of humanity. And whoever saves one from death – it is as if the person saved all of humanity.”

    So-called “honor” murders, as in the Afghan and Kurdish Sunni Muslim cultures, appear to predate Islamization. But Muslim clerics have failed in their religious duty to prevent them. This raises serious questions about the value of a Muslim woman’s life in such an environment.

    Domestic violence, often culminating in so-called “honor” murders, is not limited to the Muslim communities of the world. In Britain and the U.S. the perpetrators of some would deem a variety of “crimes of passion” include every ethnic group in society.

    Among Muslims and Hindus living in the West, so-called “honor” murders typically involve “punishment” of young women for refusing to conform to retrograde customs, rules, and oversight. In the Shafia case, the Afghan father considered his daughters “too Westernized.”

    Other cases involve independence of thought and action by those who are then slain, or disapproved gender mixing, leading to ostracism, hysteria by parents, and bloodshed.
    Men from Afghanistan and other Muslim countries are convinced they are guardians of women’s virtue, and are obliged to control their wives, daughters, and even their mothers to enforce the “code of honor.”

    In another cultural stream marked by social pathology, members of youth gangs increasingly kill rivals or uninvolved bystanders because they feel “disrespected.” The psychology is identical: both the so-called “honor” murderer and the gang member deserve no respect from the rest of society, especially not from people of religion.

    Muslim women caught in this paradigm of stagnant pseudo-morality may first be warned, then attacked, with acid thrown in their faces or other mutilations, before they are finally battered to death. This twisted sense of “honor” may induce family members to conspire, as in the Shafia case, to commit these crimes, because “honor” is defined by group responsibility rather than individual worth.
    In some countries, so-called “honor” murders are not stigmatized. The perpetrators are acclaimed as heroes.

    According to a United Nations report, 4,000 women were killed in Pakistan in the name of honor between 1998 and 2003. In a study of female deaths in Alexandria, Egypt, 47% of the women were killed by a relative after the woman had been raped. In Jordan and Lebanon, 70 to 75% of the perpetrators of so-called “honor murders” are the women’s brothers. Further, part of Article 340 of the Royal Jordanian Penal Code states, “he who discovers his wife or one of his female relatives committing adultery and kills, wounds, or injures one of them, is exempted from any penalty.”

    Paradoxically, for too many decades, even centuries, the concept of the “crime of passion,” as well as the original doctrine of “temporary insanity” or “diminished responsibility” functioned similarly in Western law to protect the murderers.
    Muslims need to find positive ways to deal with this blot on our faith. Communities must educate male leaders about respecting equal rights for women within the religion as well as obeying the guarantees in the constitutions of many countries.

    Immigrants must be informed of the legal requirements of a responsible newcomer to a country that seeks to protect women and children. Traditionally, prospective Muslim emigrants to non-Muslim lands were warned, in the words of Muhammad himself, that a Muslim in a non-Muslim country must obey the laws and customs of the country to which the Muslim moves, or return to a Muslim country.
    But women – Muslim women – must first take the initiative in defending their right to personal security. In many countries of the world the law provides means to do so. Elsewhere the struggle for legal protection as well as social enlightenment has just begun.
    We must hope that the verdict in the Shafia trial will contribute to clearer understanding of the nature of so-called “honor” murders.

  14. I was raised in India, lived in saudi, UK, and currently In USA.

    I love living in the USA, the oppurtunities are great, Life is easier than any other place i have lived in and we LOVE it here.

    We plan to retire in India, that’s HOME , and that’s where our families are.

    so I share my love for both USA and INDIA , i think i prefer USA a bit more , certainly would not consider moving anywhere else for my working career. this is the place to be.

  15. Live in the US. It has it problems and I don’t agree with the politicans on some things but at least here I have the freedom to voice my opinion and try to a call for a change. For all its problems I think it is one of the best places to live but I am somewhat biased.

  16. I live in the United States and have traveled to Europe, Canada, Mexico and I must say I may like to visit other nations but I like it in the United States the best. Why? because you have the freedom to call out your leaders yell at someone you do not like and most of all if you are religious you can practice what you wish except where religious laws are against those of the nations. I also have the right to choose what I want to do again as long as I do not infringe upon someone elses rights.

  17. Iam french, and I love living here in France :)! I feel so lucky! I also lived in Australia for a few years and it’s a really nice place!

  18. I am Canadian and so very proud to be one. I have travelled extensively as a tourist but am always happy to return to the freedoms, safety and relatively good standard of living Canada provides for her people. I feel we have more freedom here than in teh USA and certainly less ‘big brother’ issues.I love how we embrace multi-culturalism/ mutli-religious groups in Canada without issues. If I were younger I think I’d like to try living in another country such as Sudan for a year or two but not at this point in my life.
    I am especially proud to be a Canadian right now because of the verdict for the Shafia family. Yesterday Imams here issued a Fatwah against honour killings.

    http://www.ctv.ca/CTVNews/Canada/20120204/imams-fatwa-honour-killings-120204/

    http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/2012/02/04/honour-killing-imams-fatwa-against_n_1254697.html?ref=canada

    I am not proud of our current Prime Minister’s stand on the environment and our tar sands and asbestos issues. I am not enjoying his right wing politics at all and I do not like how he bends to the USA regarding our rights as travellers but we fared pretty well compared to other countries financially over the past couple of years and I suppose we have him to thank for that.

  19. Perhaps I am in the minority when I say that as a whole, I like the American governmental system as it seems to be less corrupt than many other systems, particularly considering the large scale on which it operates. That said, of course I have issues with some of the ways in which things are run in America, but no country is perfect.

    I love living in the United States (born & raised here). However, I have a thirst for travel and knowledge of other countries, cultures, etc. I am hoping to live abroad -countries still to be determined- later in life just to experience something different.

    Living in the UK felt like I went back in time about 5 years as far as quality of life, nutritional education, etc. I did love the people overall, enjoyed my experience there, and wouldn’t be averse to living there again.

    I believe there are good and bad things to every culture and place one may live.

    Top on my list of countries to visit (or perhaps live someday) is Spain. :)

  20. I am Canadian and currently reside in Saudi Arabia. I came here originally to make taxfree money (2005). However the CDN $ almost immediately started to increase thus decreasing my earnings. But my financial responsibilities required I remain here. Then I married a Saudi in 2008. I did go home (2010) but was unable to get even a part time job as a nurse. So I returned here to live with my husband.
    Canada appears like the land of milk and honey to those that do not live there. Many Canadians do not own a home. Utilities are very expenses and the taxes are high. Our government works hard to get more money out of us. I have noticed that in the 5 years since I was away, the people appear poorer, there are more visible minorities in my city ( I am assuming immigrants) and the majority of students at the university were Asian, Indian and Arab descent not Caucasian ( not sure what that signifies just an observation). There are changes everywhere in all countries ( even here in Saudi they are hopeful for some positive changes).
    On a positive note,Canada does have the same social rules and laws and they apply to everyone. Schools and health care are available to all residing on Canadian soil.The ability to commit white collar crimes are low because our busines practices are stringently regulated. Canada is home. I tolerate living here but I am hopeful it is not a forever thing. I feel at times very frustrated with the social restrictions here,the visible poverty and the many stories of abuse and corruption all supported with hypocrisy and ”wasta”.

  21. Canadians are taxed rather high but we have to have the taxes to support our health care, old age pensions, and other social services lacking in many countries. As everywhere in the world Canada is experiencing higher poverty. As the the universities … I think we have a high rate of “visible minorities” because they are willing to work hard to obtain the high grades necessary to get into the universities. Canadian and American students can be very, very lazy and spoiled.

  22. Wendy…interesting comment…when my husband was trying to find doctors to hire for the new practice he was looking for hard workers like him who would grow the practice. He hired a couple of foreigners and I mentioned that for balance he might want to have a few Americans in the crowd. He told me that they had interviewed Americans and they all were not interested in much other than vacation time and how hard they had to work. Once they heard what was likely, they withdrew their names!! The Indians were willing to work hard. So I think you might be right.

  23. Suzanne-Not so sure.

    Linda-I just may at some point.

  24. @oby – your husband is looking at experienced already trained folks who put intheir time , i see the incoming ones, and you should see the shock in their eyes when i mentioned the intern hours !!! and then the denial.. laziness doesn’t begin to describe it and the newer crop of asians, are the same, they seem to think they should have a life outside the hospital :-) ha ha ha alternately the ones from abroad really slog .. guess they have more to lose or more to prove.

    Either way i’m not looking forward to JULY !!!!

  25. I remember years ago we went on a cruise to the Bahamas and I noticed nearly all the workers were non-Americans. (We had assigned tables at night and our waiter was from Turkey.) I wondered why there were no Americans (or none that I saw) until I realized the hours required to work on that ship! Not only were these guys up for the midnight buffet, but they were awake bright and early helping with breakfast. I recall thinking few Americans would put up with those hours.

  26. And they wouldn’t put up with the lousy pay either.

  27. What an interesting topic!
    I am French born Pakistani, living in USA until 1 month back when I moved here to KSA.
    I am a French / USA / Pakistani citizen and now an Iqama holder too :) at least for a year :) I have visited many countries too. It was very very interesting to read all your comments, and I do agree with many people in many ways, i still would like to add my two cents ;)
    There is no such place as the perfect place. Every country, every city has its pros and cons. But having moved from a beautiful place like Paris to USA, I must say that USA was a big change, in many good ways and some few negative things.
    The “standard of Living” in USA in very very good compared to Europe. Life is cheaper in many ways, except education and health.
    Which may sound little shocking for some, but it is true, good education and good health care is in fact very expensive in USA but unfortunately too many times European love to picture the USA as if they let people die in the ER because they don’t have insurance….THIS IS NOT TRUE. Even ILLEGAL immigrants get emergency care. All the “tourists” who, on purpose, plan to give birth in USA, are taken care of without paying a dime! Or some others literally come as tourists to have their major surgeries done (heart / lungs etc…) for FREE. Trust me these cases are not “real” emergencies, they are pre-planned.
    (My hubby is a doc, so i know what I am talking about)
    Freedom of religion, i think there is no place like USA, no matter what people say, think, or the media reports, I know for fact that you are free to practice your religion. Ask the people in France, the Muslims in France….. I felt blessed to be in America, i became a better Muslim living in USA.
    The problem is MEDIA; they like to picture USA, a “Hollywood” style country, drugs, alcohol, sex……NOT true! Yes there is all this, just like any other place in the world…..so what? But there are millions of other positive things. Have you seen a better customer service anywhere else? Have you seen many “hijabis” in government offices, libraries, schools, stores etc?
    In France, it’s only recently, 6 or 7 years ago that big chain stores started having “customer service” counters. Before that, returning, exchanging any item was close to impossible. Europeans are learning from USA. Even today, try returning or exchanging an item at a store in Europe…. you will be surprised :)
    My only concern in the USA is that it’s all about money; people spend more than they can really afford. There is an immense social/ media pressure. YOU have to have everything, people have so much of everything, and kids are so so spoiled! Seems like it’s all about buying the best, buying the biggest and buying the most. That makes me a little irritated; you can see people with literally not much, getting trapped by credit card companies. People are almost like encouraged to buy, put on a credit card regardless of their means. Americans seem very content on the surface but too many are under HUGE HUGE debts. It is the worse consumer society i have seen. I guess it’s very very good for their businesses but it is a very bad example for the future generation.
    My first impression when I landed to USA was; ” Wahoo everyone is so rich here” and then with time, you kind of learn how you can FINANCE practically everything and anything, furniture, TV’s, cars….
    In France, credit cards are a fairly new concept, cash and debit cards are mainly used. I guess 5 or 6 years back, it was so so so hard to get a store credit card, they would ask for pay stubs, bank statements etc…. not everyone could have a credit card. But things are changing there too….
    ANYWAYS,….. i could be off topic now……sorry :(
    One last thing, for those you mention Pakistan, India, Afghanistan…. believe me , again, it really depends on YOUR PERSONAL situation, some people really live large there too :)
    Pakistan is not only what you see on TV, the women’s condition is bad on some places, and as good if not better than any western country.

    So really….. it really depends on tooooo many factors.
    I want to discover different cultures, and take the best of them.
    I want to live where I am respected for who I am, So far it’s USA regardless of its many flaws.
    I LOVE USA
    I ADORE FRANCE
    I LIKE just “OK” Pakistan
    I AM TRYING TO ADAPT IN KSA

    Home is where my hubby and kids are :)

    sorry readers if i am so off topic, i just wanted to say all this. :) thanks for your patience.

  28. Since I am a Canadian, born in Canada of immigrant parents from mainland China, I will agree at least with Ali that domestic violence and murder should never be couched in “honour” killings.

    “On Sunday, January 29, 2012, the Ontario Superior Court imposed mandatory sentences of life in prison with no chance of parole for 25 years, on Mohammad Shafia, 58, his younger, second wife Tooba Yahya, 42, and their son Hamed Shafia, 21. The polygamous Shafia family had come to Canada from Afghanistan. The accused had strong defence lawyers; and the jury deliberated for 15 hours before coming to a unanimous verdict.”

    The trio were all found guilty of four counts of first-degree murder. Canada does not impose death sentences and will not extradite people within its borders to jurisdictions that order capital punishment.

    The story of this crime began in 2009. Three sisters – Zainab, 19, Sahar, 17, and Geeti, 13 – and Rona Amir Mohammad, 52, the older and childless first wife of Mohammad Shafia, were found dead in a black Nissan Sentra at the bottom of the Rideau Canal at Kingston Mills, Canada. The court determined that they had been drowned, then placed in the vehicle, which was pushed into the canal.

    The Shafia case elicited what seemed to me an inappropriate – and un-Islamic – reaction among Canadian Muslims. Debate focused on whether the crime was a so-called “honor” murder, rather than the unspeakable suffering and deaths of the victims.”

    The case has received national press for last few weeks. It was pretty horrific in general, to the Canadian public.

    Anyway back to American Bedu’s question:

    I have not yet visited Asia….at all yet. Yes, well and I’ve been around for over half a century! But have been to Europe and I can’t help but notice, non-white visible minorities when I’ve been there:

    I feel incredibly blessed to be a Canadian. You will find alot of Canadians stand in line at the airports, holding out their passports boldly: most of them wouldn’t be hiding it, that’s for sure!

    No, Canada is not the greatest, but the more I travel in our huge country, the more I realize that living in a multicultural society that hasn’t broken out in internal war, is in itself a real feat. We do have to keep ongoing relations with First Nations (native Indians) and the Inuit in the Arctic.

    I am not surprised by the irony that alot of Saudis dream of living in the U.S., despite their wrong impressions that society might appear more “hedonistic”, etc. to them.

    I do wonder what Saudis think of Canada in general?

  29. The latest census statistics for Canada was released by the authorities…I was amazed that our population only increased by 2 million within the last 4 years. Our natural birthrate has dropped like many of the developed countries. So a real spike in population needs to be immigrant based.

    Canada is a HUGE country. It just knocks off my socks when I travel around.

    To answer to Terry, yes absolutely there are more visible minorities: remember many non-whites are Canadian born.

    I’ve never been to Asia before in the past 50 yrs. …and look at my face of who I am.

  30. I predict for instance in 20-30 yrs. Vancouver may become like Hawaii, more interracial mixing.

    I wrote something recently just to give people the breadth of Pacific Rim influence on Vancouver’s demographics.

    http://www.velo-city2012blog.com/?p=2201

    So, when I go to Europe..honest, as a visible minority..I feel stifled..the weight of Eurocentric history weighing down, no matter how beautiful the museums, architecture, art..which I love. I could not live there permanently.

    Nor in the KSA. Not live there permanently.

  31. Either Canada or Norway

  32. Jean, I live in Vancouver and it’s very mixed now. As to what Saudis think of Canada … I expect not much at all because we are not really a focus of news, etc. Many people abroad think that Americans and Canadians are one in the same (grrrrrrrrr) because we live in North America. I know many Canadians who are ignorant of ME and African countries so I don’t post any blame at all. :)

  33. On another note about Vancouver and surrounding burbs – there is a road that is home to a Mosque, and Sikh Temple, a Hindu Temple, a Buddhist Temple, a Christian church but can’t remember the denomination and Hare Krishnas. These religious places all share their parking lots and facilities with one another when the situation demands it. ALL get along!!!! Gotta love Canada!

  34. A very cool: I believe at 1 of the Sikh temples either in Richmond or Surrey, which are both suburbs of Vancouver, a young woman in her early 20’s became leader at the temple.

    She was/is a university student at one of the local universities. She was featured in the news in a Canadian national newspaper about 2 yrs. ago.

  35. To Suzzanne, perhaps the reason tha Americans do not work on cruise ships is because they like being home the the United States. I am tried of people saying that Americans are lazy people, or that the children are stupid compared to the rest of the world. The news media is so busy dumping on the people of this nation from both the right and the left that the perception of this country is so bad. One post wanted to know why the United Staes is everywhere in the world well since the Marshall Plan after World War II the United States was looked upon as a nation that could help out. Do you really think that the average citizen of the United States wants to spend so much treasure in people and money for other nations that is the long run dislike us. Tell me why when other nations have problems they call on the United Staes to help out. It cost this nation more then we get in revenue or in assistance when we need it. If there is a natural disaster in the United States many people of the world say it is because we deserve it. Why do pople from what may be called (third World Countires) work long hours for little money, perhaps they have to because making so little before what companies from the United States pay looks grand to them. What has happened in the United States in recent years is that people come here not to become Americans, but to make a better life for themselves but they retain the identity of their original nation. My Great Grandfather came here as an immigrant and would not allow his children top speak Itialian because he believed that language of the United States was English and he came to become an American not a transplanted Itialian. Yes we had traditions but we are Americans first. My family has married people from many different nations and we all respect each others traditions and learn from them Is on e better that the other nop but the one fact is we are all Americans first. I worked very hard throughout my life finally got to go to college became a teacher and a business owner could I have done that on my own in many other nations perhaps but as a female with children it may not have been psooible. Where is the best place to live it is where your heart is and that is fine, but it is not right to put down other nations in the mean time. Oh one last note anthrogeek10 you will not find any country in the world that does not have special interests and if you do please let us know where they are.

  36. Crantode, that’s a good point. Thank you for what you shared. Actually as soon as I posted what I did the other day, it crossed my mind that Americans are often FAULTED for working too much, too long hours and not taking vacations and enjoying life like many in other countries do. (Perhaps this is characteristic more of previous generations than the ones Radaa sees every July??) Anyway Wendy may be more correct in that the pay wasn’t good enough or like you said, maybe we just like having our feet firmly planted on land. :)

    I enjoyed the examples from your family. Thanks again.

  37. Thank you for your response. Be well.

  38. Crantode’s comment struck a chord with me. My grandparents were also immigrants who were so very proud to become American.

    I remember I used to get upset at my Grandparents because I wanted to learn Serbian and they would refuse because they were Americans now.

  39. I did the same thing and got the same response from my Grandfather because I wanted to learn Italian which would have saved me oh so much grief when I got to college and had to take a language to graduate. lol Learning Latin in High School was not much help. Hope you are doing well.

  40. I live in england,but do not like the cold winter weather,so ideally would like to have a second home in an islamic country to escape to in winter!

  41. I thinkthe language learing is also based on how they emigrated then – as whole families.. adn now, nowadays students come here , marry ahev kids, or young families come to the US, like in our case we both with 2 small kids came here and yes we assimilated and our kids are the avg american, they still needed to learnt our mother tounge so as to be able to communicate with the grand parents and tons of relatives back home. I think inthis day adn age it is much better to be multi-lingual..

    I made it a point to teach my kdis the Tamil script so they could write to their great grandmother.. while they whined the whole time that they were americans and they needed nothing but english !!! sigh, try explaiing to teens the benefit of learning :-)

    Now they are glad they are multi-lingual and i just wish wish they had a chance to learn arabic fromthat side of the family, oh well.

  42. @sussanne430
    I agree that americans ont he whole are harder working than many other people in other countries, however in my field, i see the immigrants ( new ones) working waaaayyyy harder and the current crop of americans ( white/asian/ and all) not wanting to put inthe effort, of course there are exceptions but generally they expect to have a life outside the hospital :-) which is not terrible. just different to how we trained.

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