06 December, 2006

My Last Post From Saudi Arabia

With 18 hours left, I think this is my last post from KSA. The only major thing in my life that didn't happen here was being born. 25 years, with all it ups and downs, happy times and sad time. I went to school here, I graduated from college here. All my friends and memories. I admit that I wasn't the best friend and I truly appreciate the few of that kept up with my weirdness -especially recently- and I hope they will always remember these times because my brain is doing its tricks again and all of my memories from school are already lost and of college already fading.

It is hard to leave the place where you've lived for a quarter of a century especially if you're leaving for a place thats totally new and much more complex, but after 25 years here I've decided its enough. I know that a lot of people will not fully understand my choice especially that I'm leaving a great opportunity here -according to almost everybody in Egypt I have discussed this with- for getting an M.S. degree -which I have already started- but some point during the past two years it stopped being about getting good education and became an issue of personal development.

A lot of people like living in KSA, my folks love it here. But circumstances changed a lot since my dad first came here almost a year before I was born but yet a lot of stuff also remained exactly the same. My folks may like the slow rhythm of life, every day here is almost exactly the same as any other one, nothing major ever happens, the perceived lack of troubles etc. But living in such a place for so long makes you awfully aware of the emptiness of such life and of the limitations to how much you could grow. I feel that at 25 I have missed a lot of experiences in life -but I only have myself to blame for this since it is I who chose to come here in the first place- and the choice I have is either continue living here and hide from the troubles or face it right on and go back to Egypt and try to finally reach the emotional and social maturity I'm sure I'm never going to reach living here. This issue became so important to me lately -and it should- that it overthrew everything else from my priority list even if it meant the suspension of my post-graduate studies and even the probability of not ever completing it.

Every time I go to Egypt in the summer I spend a couple of weeks in a sort of "cultural shock". Life there goes so much faster its hard to keep up with. Stuff that happens in one day there could be spread over a whole month here. The number of people you have to deal with on day-to-day bases triples or even quadruples, and its not only the number of people, but also all the different types of people that you have to deal with. I feel that I have to be on-guard 24/7. Everybody recognizes from the first moment that I'm from the gulf area "khaleeg" somehow -well, not somehow, I know its obvious :)-. Its a weird situations, how much should I give the taxi driver, who and how much should I tip in a cafe. The money stuff alone is enough, your perception of the value of money totally changes when you live in Egypt. The price of a cup of coffee in a coffee shop here could keep you full for a whole day in Egypt, but I admit that the only cheap thing in Egypt is food! Clothes are way more expensive in Egypt.

I'm going to miss studio-1 FM, I'm going to miss mishwar's shawerma and of course "Ganoup Modern Cafe". And of course I'm going to miss all my friends here who were the only reason I kept on going this far without suffering from a mental break down and making it that much more bearable. Thank you Naji and Jawad, you'll always be my best friends. Thanks to all the people from the diwaniya who during the past two months helped me -maybe without them knowing- get out from my summer depression phase. Thank you Ali, Faleh, Basil, Rashid and everybody else. I know I've been a little weird in the beginning but it was out of my control, ask Naji about it. Thank you Muthanna, Dodo, Sherbini and Noami. I'm really sorry I had to go without telling you but it has been awfully hard for me and I know that you will understand, someday. You were and always have been my closest friends. Thanks to Tawfiq, whom might be surprised to when he knows that I'm leaving KSA, you've been my safety valve and always been a joy to be with in my lowest moments. Thanks to all my friends from kfupm, to Khaled, Ali and Ehab and all the crazy things we've done together, you were the only people who I've been so close with from my college years. To Faisal, my fashion advisor, to Ahmad Bukhari, to Abdulhakeem, Abdulkareem, Said and Alaa. And to Bukhari and Alaa especially since I'm going to miss their weddings.

Thank you all. And wish me luck.

end note: after settling in Egypt I'm planning on writing about the experience of living in Saudi Arabia for so long, all its ups and downs and good and bad things, about the people and the country. It is after all a unique experience, with people from all over the world, I don't think that living in Egypt I would've met people from all over the World, to appreciate the difference between a Syrian and a Lebanese. I've me and been close friend to people from all over the arab world and have been exposed to their cultures and this is one of the greatest experiences of living in Saudi Arabia.

I've always wanted to write this down in a book. I've even chosen the name of the book: Esm Ommak Aih - اسم امك ايه. classy, huh?


  1. didnt u tell u'll go wordpress??

  2. wishing you luck and looking forward to future posts.