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S as in Saudi – over and out. April 25, 2009

Posted by Aella in Al Khobar, Bahrain, Bahrain Daily, Beirut, Blogroll, Culture, Don't - just don't, Dubai, Food, India, Indonesia, Iran, Israel, Karlskrona, Lebanon, Life, Manama, Music, Pakistan, Palestine, Pictures, Qatar, Quotes, Saudi Arabia, Saudi culture, Sweden, Tool, UAE, War, Whack, Work.

Seef beach

So.  I have for quite some time been thinking about ending my blogging here at S as in Saudi. I have a lot to say but still nothing interesting to be honest. It has all been said. Been bitchin’, going on my rants, praising, celebrating, crying, whining and shit…
I have recently turned over a new leaf and I can see things quite a bit clearer and more focused when it comes to my life.  I must say that, the years that I have been blogging here has been some of the hardest yet most interesting years of my life. I finally feel I can focus even if I don’t know exactly where I am heading. At least I know where I am not looking to head.

It has been an interesting journey where I started blogging to record the changes in my life and attitude and ended up a truly different person in a situation in which I never thought I would be in.

So I guess this is the last post here. I will keep the blog online for now and I will come back and hopefully read old posts and comments with a smile. It has been great getting all these comments from people all over the place. Some of you which I got to know a little more and some who only came once for whatever reason. I want to thank you all for your presence.

I will eventually be blogging elsewhere but it will be about a topic that  I am passionate about. Who knows,  we might meet again.

love to all of you out there



Blinded by hate? May 21, 2008

Posted by Aella in Al Khobar, Bahrain, Culture, Iran, Israel, Karlskrona, Lebanon, Life, Manama, Pictures, Quotes, Saudi Arabia, Sweden.

A few days ago my son came to me and told me that his American social science teacher had taught them about the holocaust that day. He had done this even though the school had asked him not to teach the kids about this…
What can I say?
How sad is the world?
Are people down here so blinded by their hate for Israel that they refuse to acknowledge what happened? I can tell you that I surely don’t like Israel and what they are up to but that won’t stop me from telling my kids about the holocaust. Why? Because it happened and it was awful. Shame we are letting the same thing happen again and again in other countries and with other people. I am really disappointed in the school since this is part of basic education in my opinion. Didn’t expect this from a school that calls itself “International”. Do any schools down here teach the kids what happened?

Want to deny this? Ignore it perhaps?

From the Holocaust Research Project site:

“It was once said that not remembering the Holocaust means to side with the executioners against its victims; not to remember means to kill the victims a second time; not to remember means to become an accomplice of the enemy. On the other hand, to remember means to feel compassion for the victims of all persecutions.

By solemnly commemorating the tragedy of the Holocaust, we will keep history in mind, never forget the past, cherish all lives, and create a better future.”


Free Fouad al Farhan January 7, 2008

Posted by Aella in Al Khobar, Bahrain, Beirut, Culture, Dubai, Iran, Israel, Lebanon, Links, Manama, Pakistan, Qatar, Quotes, Saudi Arabia, Saudi culture, Sweden.

I am disgusted. Yes, really disgusted by what the Saudi system have done and can do to whomever they please. Everywhere I go online I read about Saudi blogger Fouad al Farhan and his arrest. He has been in “custody” since the 10 of December 2007 without any charges. What did he really do wrong? He wrote. He expressed certain views that didn’t suit the Saudi system and that has landed him a cell in Saudi. Appalling. Shocking. But Saudi yes, so perhaps not surprising for him and many other people.

I must say from what I have read of his quotes, he has not been disrespectful in any way. Fouad is an educated, well spoken, intelligent person (a classic case of a person that any regime wants to silence) and not a bad mouth yob. At one stage he was “asked” by authorities to shut his blog down but he decided to stay online blogging since being silent was not an option for him. Why did he come back? Fouad wrote:

Why Do We Blog?

1. Because we believe we have opinions that deserve to be heard, and minds that should be respected.
2. Because societies do not progress until they learn to respect opinions of their members. And we would like to see our society progressing.
3. Because blogging is our only option. We do not have a free media, and freedom to assemble is not allowed.
4. Because we want to discuss our opinions.
5. Because we think.
6. Because we care.
7. Because blogging has had a positive effect on other societies and we want to see the same result in our society.
8. Because blogging is a reflection of the life of society members. And we are alive.
9. Because blogging is gaining increasing attention from media and governments. We want them to listen to us.
10. Because we are not scared.
11. Because we reject the cattle mentality.
12. Because we welcome diversity of opinions.
13. Because the country is for all, and we are part of it.
14. Because we want to reach out to everyone.
15. Because we refuse to be an “echo”.
16. Because we are not any less than bloggers in other societies.
17. Because we seek the truth.
18. Because our religion encourages us to speak out.
19. Because we are sick and tired of the Saudi media hypocrisy.
20. Because we are positive.
21. Because blogging is a powerful tool that can benefit society.
22. Because we are affected and we can affect.
23. Because we love our country.
24. Because we enjoy dialogue and don’t run away from it.
25. Because we are sincere.”

(this quote was taken from http://www.saudijeans.org)

Ahmad al Omran of well known blog Saudi Jeans has with some other people launched the Free Fouad campaign. Please visit the site and show your support for Fouad and his family.

To the ones responsible for Fouads captivity I say – Free Fouad today damn it! I hope Fouad knows that people all over the world are supporting him and praying for his release.

Review my blog December 17, 2007

Posted by Aella in Links, Quotes.
1 comment so far

I submitted my blog for review at http://www.ourblogreview.com the other day and got this back.

S as in Saudi is a blog written by a Swedish woman living in Bahrain. A lot of the recent posts just contain a striking photograph. I loved this idea – it makes a change from reading through lots of text. Having said that the articles were well written and interesting and varied in content from what the culture is like in the country to observation on life in general. I enjoyed reading the articles and liked the layout. The lack of advertising was refreshing and I really felt like an old friend was talking to em through her journal.”

The review can be found here:

Just thought it could be fun to see what they said but found the review to be pretty lukewarm. I wouldn’t have minded some more constructive criticism. Still nice to see I didn’t get bashed (not sure if they bash anyone 😀 )

December 5, 2007

Posted by Aella in Bahrain, Life, Manama, Quotes.
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“Today is a good day to die”

Tasunka Witko – Crazy Horse

The girls of Riyadh July 19, 2007

Posted by Aella in Al Khobar, Beirut, Culture, Pictures, Quotes, Saudi Arabia, Saudi culture.



Rajaa Alsanea

Found this article in the Times Online. I still haven’t read the book but I sure would like to get my hands on it (where can I get it?). I know some Saudis might not agree but I believe she is a pride to her country. Saudi Arabia need more girls and women like her to stand up and be counted. Not sure all the facts are right in the article though.

By Lesley Thomas

“Saudi Arabia has a new minister for women. She’s 25, likes designer labels, lipstick and cars. Rajaa Alsanea is, of course, not in government, for in her country it’s not really the done thing for females to air their opinions. They are not allowed to drive, let alone have employment or voting rights.

Alsanea, however, has captured a vast constituency. She is a bestselling author, the only chick-lit one from the Arab world, and as such she has become a sort of spokeswoman for 21st-century Saudi women. Her book, Girls of Riyadh, about to be published in Britain by Fig Tree, tells the stories of four middle-class young women searching for love and just a little bit of fun in a suffocating culture.

It’s hardly Jilly Cooper – the references to sex are coy with lots of talk of yearning and disappointment – but with tales of the girls drinking (very small sips of Dom Pérignon) and – gasp – sitting in the driver’s seat of a car, it caused a scandal. This is a country, remember, where a woman might be stoned for kissing a man in public.

Alsanea has received death threats by e-mail and many tried to suppress her book. At one point, black market versions of this Arabic version of Sex and the City changed hands for £300.

“I didn’t think about breaking any taboos or being a rebel. I wanted to describe how people find ways to get around some of the traditions. Young women I know want to be modern, hip, stylish and fall in love, the same as women everywhere. I was never trying to cause a scandal,” she tells me over tea at the Dorchester hotel in London.

Alsanea is modestly and fashionably turned out in expensive, loosely cut jeans, a white fitted jacket and a coordinating white, silken hijab. There are a couple of lightly Wagish touches – a diamond watch with a pink strap, a Gucci bag and a French manicure – but she is a class act.

In an American accent she speaks softly, in perfect English with impeccable sentences: “I started writing when I was 18 and I knew I wanted to be a published author. I have been blessed with a very supportive family and we were encouraged to express ourselves.” Her father, who worked for the information ministry in Kuwait, died when she was eight and Alsanea and her five older siblings were raised by her mother in Riyadh: “As I got older, I wanted to write something I would enjoy reading. I just wrote about what I saw around me – what the girls I knew were like.”