Saudi Arabia: Use Your Imagination


I’ve noticed that so many of you write so well and have a wonderful imagination.  Therefore I am going to try something new this month and if it seems to be enjoyed by the majority I will make it a new monthly fun feature on the American Bedu Blog – Let’s Write a Story!

Being the blog hostess/moderator I guess gives me the honor to start a story and we’ll see in which direction it ultimately goes as other readers add to it.

Without any more ado, here goes….

Fatima was a 22 year old Saudi girl from Taif.  Her father had been working for an Aramco facility outside of Jeddah for the past 18 years.  One day he came home after a long day’s work and told the family he had some very important news for them.  He had been offered and accepted a position with Aramco’s US headquarters in Houston, Texas.  Yes, in three short weeks the family was going to relocate to America.  Fatima had mixed feelings when she was told this news.  She and her family would be categorized as “moderate Saudis.”  She and her siblings had traveled multiple times outside of Saudi Arabia to places such as Cairo, Beirut, Athens and Turkey.  But the relocation to America would be the first experience for Fatima to spend time in a more Westernized (vice Mediterranean) country.  She was excited at the prospect to see America but concurrently sad and scared to be leaving the country that was most familiar and home to her as well as having to say goodbye (for a period of time) to her extended family and good friends.

At 22 years old, Fatima was also in her final year of University.  However her father assured her that she would be able to continue her studies after they settled in at the University of Texas.

As the clock counted down the days to departure, Fatima was like a swinging pendulum herself with dual thoughts of both excitement and apprehension.  How would people in America receive her and her family?  While one may call her open minded, she also had strong values such as believing in her right to wear both a hijjab and niqab.  Would that make her feel persecuted or discriminated in America?  And what would it feel like to leave the all-girls University in Jeddah which she attended and start at a new University where boys and girls were mixed together?  What pressures would she encounter?  What other challenges would she have to face?

Before they knew it, the day arrived and Fatima and her family were boarding the Saudi Airlines flight from Jeddah where they would begin their journey to Houston.  They would first fly direct to Washington, DC where they would spend one week on a mini-holiday touring the capital of the United States.

The 16 hour flight was uneventful but long.  Fatima managed to get some sleep on the flight and by the time they touched down at Washington, Dulles airport she felt refreshed.  She and her family gathered up their belongings, thanked the flight attendants for a peaceful flight and descended from the aircraft into the bus that would take them to US Customs and Immigration.

And now, it is YOUR turn to pick up the story!


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