Carol Fleming (aka American Bedu) created this daily blog in September 2006 about the customs, culture and traditions of day-to-day life in Saudi Arabia . Carol is an independent consultant and writer. Her services and expertise are available to companies and individuals. Areas of expertise include research and analysis; writing and editing; public relations; marketing; strategic communications; cultural training; and international affairs.
Her diverse experience began in 1983 where she worked for 20 years in the governmental sector as an intelligence officer for the Central Intelligence Agency with a focus on Southeast Asia and the Middle East. She oversaw and managed sensitive issues in the area of weapons proliferation, counterintelligence, national security and emerging technologies. Her work took her to more than 100 countries which included postings abroad. Ms. Fleming received multiple awards and recognition for her accomplishments throughout her career.
In the private sector she was the Country Director for an international U.S. Corporation specializing in media and public relations in Pakistan. Ms. Fleming was responsible for launching the business in Pakistan. On her arrival to Pakistan in October 2005 she engaged a crew and traveled to the earthquake devastated area of Kashmir and produced a documentary which was gifted to the Government of Pakistan towards relief efforts in attracting international aid. She also oversaw and directed the production of a documentary on behalf of the U.S. Army for the “Last MASH Standing.”
Since 2006 Ms. Fleming has worked as an independent consultant using her key strengths and skills in research, analysis, strategic communications, writing, media and public diplomacy. Clients have included Saudi Arabian Television which engaged Ms. Fleming as a media consultant where she produced special programs, conducted VIP interviews and was featured as a political analyst. She performed a market survey and analysis for a Saudi technology firm which resulted in identification of new markets for the firm. She was also engaged as a consultant editor on behalf of Booz, Allen and Hamilton for their interests in Saudi Arabia.
Ms. Fleming is a freelance writer and has been a contributor to the Saudi publication, Oasis Magazine; Voyager Magazine, the in-flight magazine for BMI airlines; contributing author of “Bridges; An Anthology” published by Pathbinder Publishing; and co-author of “Patriots for Hire.”
Carol Fleming has knowledge of Urdu, Arabic and Spanish in addition to a slight knowledge of Russian, Serbian and French. She is fully conversant in all Microsoft software applications and firearms qualified.
Ms. Fleming works well under pressure. She is a problem solver who enjoys challenges and new initiatives. She is both a dependable and adaptable professional.
In her spare time she enjoys golf, travel, reading and writing.
She may be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org
On the personal side, Carol lived in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia with her husband and their 2 cats. (see post ” A Continuing Love Story” on how they initially met). Carol’s husband, Abdullah Othman Al-Ajroush, was a career diplomat with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs for 33 years. In spite of Carol having been a career spy and Abdullah a gentleman’s diplomat, they managed to work through governmental challenges and approvals and have a relationship of a lifetime. Due to Abdullah’s position and Carol’s former background their marriage was ultimately approved by the King of Saudi Arabia in order for Carol to live in the Kingdom and be legally recognized as Abdullah’s wife.
Abdullah christianed Carol “American Bedu” when after learning she was from a small village (literally) in Northwest Pennsylvania, USA. He quipped “only Bedus come from villages so I guess that makes you my American Bedu” and the name has stuck ever since.
In 2008 Abdullah was diagnosed with a rare and aggressive leukemia. He passed away in February 2010 after a long and brave fight. As a result, Carol’s life has changed in many directions but she retains her fondness for Saudi Arabia, which she views as a second home.
Carol’s own cancer relapsed in 2008 and she continues her own battle against metastatic breast cancer to this day. She faces each day as a gift and believes in living life to the fullest.
Carol immensely enjoys foreign cultures, customs and traditions as well as following international affairs and current events. She is a strong advocate for the education and empowerment of women and readily volunteers her skills to this cause.