Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Our World: Unexpected Outfit

Sometimes I am taken aback by the products or store displays in this ultra-conservative and religious country of Saudi Arabia.  From the tank top saying "I like you," to the plaid short shorts, to the strappy gladiator style heels, and all the exposed skin in between, I certainly didn't expect to see something like this in the Forever 21 window display of a popular mall in Jeddah. 

In other shops here, I have seen marijuana graphics on clothing and accessories - in a country where the penalty for drug trafficking is death.


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Monday, September 29, 2014

Arabic Business Signs

Colorful signs adorn businesses in Jeddah.  Day laborers looking for work wait in the back of trucks parked on the street. 

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Jeddah: Graphic Business Sign

Business signs here in Jeddah area often written in both Arabic and English.  If the sign is only written in Arabic, usually there will also be graphics to indicate what type of business it is. 

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Jeddah Villa

Typically villas in Jeddah are surrounded by high walls for privacy.  Tinted metallic glass is a favorite choice for buildings here, also providing privacy and reflecting the heat.  Even though many villas and apartment buildings have balconies, I have rarely caught a glimpse of anyone utilizing the balconies.

Friday, September 26, 2014

SkyWatch: Al Balad Scene

I love shots like this. Women and children walking by.  Laundry drying in the sun, hung on the balcony.  A slice of life in Jeddah.

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Thursday, September 25, 2014

Jeddah: Residential Buildings

Many apartment buildings in Jeddah are roughly the same size, shape, and design. The only differences appear to be in the finishing materials and the shapes of the windows.  In denser populated areas, I feel claustrophobic around buildings like these and almost feel that they are falling down upon me.  

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Bigger Than Life

Bigger than life images of the King can be seen all over the city of Jeddah. 

I try to focus on the positives about living here in Saudi Arabia.  Admittedly there are many things I must suck up, overlook, or ignore - otherwise it would drive me crazy.  Yesterday's post was about Saudi National Day, celebrating the birthday of this country.  Today I felt that I had to share an astounding article written by a young Saudi female university professor named Bayan Perazzo entitled "Why I Refuse to Celebrate Saudi National Day."  

On her Twitter account, Bayan describes herself as "a liberal feminist and excellent driver stuck in the wrong country."  She is a PhD candidate in International Law and Human Rights, holds a Master's Degree in Middle Eastern Politics and Islamic Law, and a Bachelor's degree in Sociology.  It is because of Saudi women like Bayan that I continue to have hope, as many here in Saudi Arabia do, that one day, among other things, this country will treat its women and foreign workers with the respect they deserve. The sheer gumption and courage this articulate young woman shows by speaking out like she does in a country that does not have freedom of speech and denies women their rights will amaze you.  This article will educate you and wow you.  Do yourself a favor and read it.  Your brain will thank you for it.  Follow Bayan on Twitter: @BintBattuta87 

CLICK HERE to read "Why I Refuse to Celebrate Saudi National Day."  

To read more thought provoking articles by Bayan, CLICK HERE.