Saudi Arabia/USA: American Bedu Will Be Out of Circulation a Few Days


I’m likely to be away from the blog for a few days.  Tomorrow I will have the first of three procedures towards killing the cancer that has grown and spread in my liver.  During my absence American Bedu will have two trusted moderators looking out for the blog.

It’s been a busy time behind the scenes of American Bedu.  I’ve had doctor’s appointments, been sent to specialists and also doing all kinds of research on the various options for attacking cancer which has spread to the liver.

I’m happy to say that after being examined and assessed by two specialists, I qualify for a procedure called SIR-Spheres.  SIR-Spheres is still considered a relatively new treatment against liver cancer but thus far, it has had very good results.  The doctor who is administering this treatment to me is confident that SIR-Spheres will kill 90 to 100 per cent of the cancer in my liver!  That is literally like a new lease on life for me.

I am both excited and a little scared of the upcoming treatment.  I’m scared just because it is new and unknown to me.  I am excited because it offers such promising results.

I will make every effort to explain SIR-Spheres and the type of treatments I will be undergoing.  In a nutshell, SIR-Spheres is the placement of radioactive particles directly in to my liver.  The SIR-Spheres will gravitate to and attach to the various cancer cells that are in the liver and ultimately kill them.   

The doctor who will be performing the procedure on me advises, “SIR-Spheres microspheres is a powerful weapon against one of the
deadliest forms of cancer,” said Dr. Eric A. Wang, Chief of Vascular &
Interventional Specialists at Charlotte Radiology. “SIR-Spheres
microspheres are proven to extend patients’ lives and, just as
importantly, allow patients to maintain a good quality of life.”

SIR-Spheres is a three procedure process.  The first process, which I will have tomorrow is called mapping (and testing).  A catheter is insert via the femoral artery and routed directly in to the liver.  Once in place, die will be released into the catheter so that the physician can map where the die travels.  He will then clamp off any blood vessels where the die is able to travel outside of the liver.  This is done in order to protect other areas/organs of the body from being damaged by any escaped radioactive particles.  A small number of SIR-spheres will also be deposited in to the liver.

If all goes as expected without any reactions or complications, then two weeks later I will have the second process.  The second (and third) process is the distribution (via catheter again) of the SIR-Spheres into the liver.

This process can cause some pain and discomfort in addition to possible nausea.  Thankfully I have some dear family and friends who will stay with me for a few days after I’ve been released from the hospital.  I will not be able to lift much, strain, or stand too long during the recovery period from the procedure.  For the first few days I also have to limit my exposure to young children or pets as a precaution due to the radiation inside of my body.  My cats will be going on an  “extended overnight stay” with a cat loving friend.

I will be back on the blog between procedures when I feel strong enough.  In the interim I am trying to write posts in advance so my absence will not be felt.

In the meantime, keep your comments and queries coming.  In addition to the blog, I can always be reached directly via email at [email protected]


Mother Hen Warrior Bedu

Saudi Arabia: The Family is Growing

I received the image above from Ali Alyami  with the caption “Don’t they all look so much like their mother.”

I have chosen to post this picture, which some will find humorous and others will find revolting, towards stimulating dialogue on why there are such split and polar views on the image.

For a woman who has grown up in an environment that this is the way women dress and is most comfortable shielding her body from curious eyes, she would feel adrift in the sea without a life raft if she were made to change.  On the other hand, there will be some women in Saudi Arabia who may prefer to have the choice to dress and go out at will.

Let’s think about it…IF the Saudi culture were to change in that women no longer had to cover and wear the abaya, how do you think Saudi culture would ultimately be changed?  Would it be for the better or the worse?  Would what some may view as a move forward ultimately become a major step backwards?

Saudi Arabia: The 2012 Summer Olympics and Ramadan

I am so very disappointed to be wrong.  Back in March 2012 I actually felt confident that Saudi Arabia would be sending women athletes to compete in the London summer Olympics.  However, in April 2012 the backtracking started.  It has only been more firmly cemented in recent announcements that Saudi Arabia will not approve nor send female athletes to the Summer games in London.  Saudi Arabia will go down in history as the only nation not having female athletes in participation at the 2012 Olympic games in London.   This decision has been handed down just two short weeks after a group of Saudi women climbed Mt. Everest in support of global awareness of breast cancer.  In my mind, the triumph of the Saudi women certainly illustrates that they are more than capable of representing the Kingdom at the Olympics!

However, in spite of the lack of female Saudi Olympians, Olympians who practice the Muslim faith may have an additional challenge to contend with as they compete at the summer games.  This year the summer Olympics coincides with the Holy month of Ramadan where Muslims are expected to fast without food or water from sunrise to sunset.  How may fasting impact on their ability to perform?

Islam does have an exemption that Muslims who travel during Ramadan are not required to fast during that period of traveling but are expected to make up those lost days at a later time.  As a result, some Muslim athletes could withhold from fasting during the Olympic games as they will be away from their homes.

I am of two minds on the issue of fasting.  Part of the reason for the fast is for Muslims to emphasize and experience the feeling of those who are less fortunate and face hunger.  Yet, on the other hand, fasting while expecting to be at peak performance does not mix.

I want to know what you think.  What message do you receive from Saudi’s decision to not have female athletes on their team?  Secondly, should Muslim athletes in London continue their fasting in spite of the extra exertion that will place upon them during competition?

Saudi Arabia: Mothering With Polygamy

I have a question.  How and when does a woman living in polygamy tell her children that Daddy has another family?  How does polygamy impact on the children?  Does it make him or her feel less wanted by the father?

An interview that I conducted back in April 2009 was with a Saudi woman who grew up in a family of polygamy.  Her words continue to pierce my heart as she shared her perspective.

“I resented my “other” family terribly when I was little. I love my father, and adored him when I was small, but he was always so busy. When he came to see us, it was primarily to see my mother (can you say conjugal visit?).  I tried hard in everything to make him notice me and my efforts.”

In another earlier interview from May 2008 another Saudi woman shared very candidly what it felt like to grow up in polygamy.

“For me, I didn’t like my father having more than one wife. It was not good for us; not from my father but because of the woman. She will never like the other wife, for sure. At least that’s my feeling about that. I also do not like any man who will have many wives. It is not good for the kids. Yes, 100%, it is not good for the kids.”

Saudi Life had a recent article which tackles mothering while in a polygamous relationship.  I think the author provides practical and sincere advice but the overall reality of being a child or a mother in polygamy is not cut and dried as American Bedu earlier interviews illustrate.

Saudi Arabia: In Case You Thought Saudi Women were Meek…

Is there a global stereotype about the Saudi woman that she is meek and fearful to speak out?  I think this video clearly dispels such impressions:

The video illustrates how the Muttawa (Religious Police) can “troll” the local malls and approach anyone, including women, on what they perceive as inappropriate.   

For some reason, the luxurious Hayat Mall where the incident in the video takes place seems to be a favorite haunt of the Muttawa.  I wonder if it is because Hayat Mall has a large proportion of shops which cater to women seeking a ballroom gown?

Hayat Mall was one of the malls which my late husband and I enjoyed going to.  We’d arrive at the mall after dinner and evening prayers to stroll around for exercise.  And yes, we’d typically see the presence of the Muttawa in the mall as well.

However, the video certainly demonstrates that a Saudi woman is NOT meek or fearful to speak out in public and against the Muttawa.  I applaud her actions and salute her for also taking the initiative to capture the entire event on video too.

Saudi Arabia: Who is Hamzah Jamjoom?

You may not immediately recognize the name of this young Saudi but most will have heard of the 3D film Imax Arabia.  Hamzah is a Saudi film maker and actually ended up as the star in his own film.

Hamzah got the idea of creating Imax Arabia after the negative impressions of Saudi Arabia following 9/11.  He wanted to show that all Saudis were NOT terrorists and that Saudi Arabia is a land of beauty and peace.

I had the pleasure of viewing Imax Arabia in 3D and enjoyed the film immensely.  It takes one through the different provinces of Saudi Arabia, its history and last but not least, its people.  Hamzah even brings the audience in to his own family home in Jeddah.

Imax Arabia is now more easily available for folks to view as it has been released on Netflix streaming so it can be watched at any time.

It is an American Bedu recommended film.

Saudi Arabia: Lightening McQueen Has Arrived!

Being a Grandmother I have become intimately familiar with what my little grandsons like and their favorite is the character, Lightening McQueen, of CARS fame.  Now to my surprise, I have learned that Lightening McQueen has arrived in the Kingdom too!

Lightening McQueen’s tour in the Kingdom began earlier this month but does continue for a few more days.  Just think, kids can now go see McQueen AND even get their picture taken with him right now in Riyadh!  Now if my eldest grandson knew this, he’d be demanding that Granny Bedu take him to Riyadh!

Even before he was one year old he became mesmerized with anything Lightening McQueen.  He’s now 3.5 years and his love of Lightening McQueen has not diminished in the least.  When I spend time with him, one of our favorite and special activities is for Granny Bedu to make up stories about Lightening and Baby McQueen.

Therefore, as a Grandmother I am just tickled to see that apparently Lightening McQueen is also loved in the Kingdom by little ones there too! 

Now I am curious for those of you who are in the Kingdom and have seen what’s available in the local Lightening McQueen market.  Do any of the Lightening McQueen’s or other CARS toys have Arabic markings on them or if a talking toy, speak Arabic?  I’m not only wondering how Lightening McQueen may have been marketed for the Arab consumers but if the toys are different, I’d love to acquire one for my eldest Grandson.


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