Jan 28, 2009

A Freedom Called Bahrain...

This is actually a pic on the bridge heading back to KSA! Anyone here in the great Kingdom will be sure to know about Bahrain. Its about 20 minutes from Al Khobar, and links to Saudi Arabia via the King Fahad Causeway. Many expats go there to have some fun... in ways they can not have it here in Saudi. But that is not the only means of Freedom it holds. I know how I feel when we are crossing the causeway, its like something has been lifted off me, that I can smile, and be happy. I can see a bit of the life I have always been used to.... aaaah I can finally EXHALE! I for one, do not drink (il7amdlilaaah), so partying it up and drinking is not the freedom I am seeking. There are other freedoms this tiny country holds. Its the freedom of just being me. Its the freedom to hold my life in my own hands, not requesting anyone to take me from one place or another. I have the freedom to jump into my car, and take ME to wherever I want to go.. no questions asked. No drama! Last night here in Riyadh, my husband and I were in jarir bookstore, and when we came out, we noticed that an idiot parked right next to us was parked so close the driver seat could hardly be opened! I could have squeezed through, but my husband couldn't. The sad thing was, I could not squeeze right in, and get us out of the parking spot so that my husband could take over without violating the rule of DWF (Driving while Female). So my husband had to enter through the passenger seat to the drivers seat, all because I was of the wrong bloody sex! Anyway.. lemme get back to the freedom called Bahrain, Its not merely the issue of driving. I LOVE to just walk around, and get some fresh air, that can not be done here in Saudi as easily, even while next to your own husband you have other men staring at you !! ( Some of these men show NO shame!)- I remember an incident, while I was with my elder brother in Mall of Dhahran, we were walking, and there was this man that was walking with his wife, staring at me! He was just staring, showing no respect to his wife, and showing NO respect to my brother right next to me. My brother gave him the most evil look and said 'what the hell are you staring at, keep your eyes moving'. The man got freaked out, his wife stared hard at him and began yelling at him.. and my brother and I kept walking (Someone was definitely sleeping on the couch that night.. lol) In Bahrain you can go watch a movie (something i love doing) with your friends or family. You can go to a nice restaurant, and get to actually experience the restaurant. You can walk through the malls, and try things on (change rooms are forbidden here in the KS of A- I believe there were some cases of cameras being installed or something). Anyway only a person that has experienced it can truly appreciate trying something on before buying it, and not being forced to return to the store a few times before you get the right fit! Another hobby I have always had, that i can't really do much here in Saudi is to take pictures. I love taking pictures of daily life, and just snapping away. that is a big no-no in Saudi, as you may offend someone and take a picture that is not wanted. Thus my camera usually remains in my purse at all times, with little use. On the other hand, in Bahrain, I can walk into the mall, and take pictures without getting a second look from those around me. i can snap pictures just about anywhere.. and I love it! There are many more little bits of freedom I feel when in Bahrain, but my time is up.. and I must say bye for now


  1. WOW. I guess what they say about Saudi is true. I can never imagine living like that.
    Good luck dear, I hope that this kind of environment doesn't affect your sanity, especially when you've lived so freely here in the US. You did say you previously lived in the US right?

  2. Salam Alaykum, thank you so much for dropping by my blog and commenting :) it meant a lot to me! Insha'allah I would love to have some friends in Riyadh when I arrive, I don't have any family or friends, so it would be wonderful to be able to have someone to talk to. I am moving from Toronto, but its via Oman because my parents live there so I've been spending some months with them getting ready for the big day. I luv reading your posts because I learn so much from them Now I know its best to leave my camera at home when out in KSA :) My husband has already warned me about 1) not being able to drive under any cirucmstances and 2) covering my face... but I think i'm really gonna miss going to the movies, and chilling in those comfy couches at coffee shops, which is my all time fave thing to do. Insha'allah i will try to make up fr that by doing other things that I can't do anywhere else but Saudi. Bahrain sounds like a good place to run to when u're feeling particularly low, and even without all the drinking and partying, i'm sure its still such a break from shackles of life in KSA. I think i might end up there too! I pray u get a chance to take a break and feel better soon Inshallah.
    Take Care Sis :)

  3. Yemenia68- I lived in Marietta Georgia when I was very young, but spent the rest of my life in Canada (Kuwait/Syria/ the UAE -where I was born). It takes lots of patience to live here.. and u get ur ups and downs.. so u might find me writing some blogs about the aspects of life here.. (when I am in the mood).. lol

    Mev- So you're in Oman now.. that's great.. I have only been to Oman once and it was to a little village near the Al Ain border.. I felt like I truly went back in time.. but it was relaxing. As for the camera.. don't always leave it at home.. keep it in ur purse.. u just may find some odd times where u can take a shot :D As for ur husbands warnings.. Driving is a BIG NO-NO (funny this is its not actually illegal.. no where in the law books say its illegal... but its simply not 'allowed'. AAs for the face veil.. I must say that i don't cover my face (all the time) and don't really get bothered except for the few times I have come face to face with the Hay'a (religious police) and they have asked me to cover my face. You will find there are times when you feel more comfortable just covering ur face.. due to the uncomfortable looks you get from some of the folks around you! When do u arrive in Riyadh?

  4. Alhamdulillah, Oman is a very nice place, very peaceful, serene and a very nice environment for women. I'm gonna b spending some holidays w/ my parents here in the future, so i think it will quite a nice break from KSA. I should be arriving in Riyadh Insha'allah towards the end of Feb, but i'm gonna be without internet for a while coz we're moving to a new apartment and its completely empty and devoid of all types of connections :(. I guess it'll take me some time to settle down n get connected. How long have u been in Riyadh sis? I was thinkin of signing up for the Arabic courses offered at Daar-ul-dhikr. Would u recommend it? Oh, btw, I tagged u :)

  5. Ok I live in Bahrain...and I want to know exactly where you were and what day it was that you "smelled fresh air" ...lol. Bahrain has been decidedly smelly of late and not sure why. People blame it on the sea...but if its the sea causing that smell...Im not buying anymore fish from the local markets. :(

  6. haha im saudi and im staying for a year its different from england but ill get over it, i cant say i dont like saudi coz i cant drive because i cant drive anyway, and i refuse to cover my face, i also told the religious police i dont cover for men i cover for Allah and when someone proves to me niqaab is required in islam, then i will cover my face, there is only one madhab who beleives a womans face is 3awra to me that is seriously outnumbered. but jeddah is more relaxed then riyadh


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