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My heart June 18, 2008

Posted by Aella in Al Khobar, Bahrain, Beirut, Karlskrona, Lebanon, Life, Links, Manama, Pictures, Saudi Arabia, Sweden.
13 comments


Sweden 1995
Yes lil dude, I will take u to a country
full of those when you’re older.

My beloved lil son just left for the airport to go to Sweden…it broke my heart to see him go. He has grown so much the last year still to me he is this little boy who used to sit on the edge of the sofa in England in his Spiderman pyjamas asking me who I thought was the strongest -Spiderman or Batman…never happy with my answer and forever explaining why I was wrong..

He is the little guy that at the age of three would take the train with me down to London and spend the day in West End, holding my hand as we were walking through China Town and along Oxford Street.

I feel it is only yesterday he was four and I would carry him on my back home from school in England with him giggling and laughing as I was skipping along Queens Road of Brentwood.

He is the little joker who would insist on getting “stingstings” (Cheestrings) more than once after having seen the commercial only to frown upon and refuse to eat them once he had them in his possession.

The young man that fell in love with Lebanon and all it’s charm and mystique.
The sweetheart who is never afraid to show his family love.
The brother who kisses his feisty sisters even when they hit him.
The boy who was sad to leave Saudi Arabia.
The mischievous sunshine that never fails to make me laugh.

He is

The little fella whom I moved one too many times. Who had too many homes. Too many countries he did not belong in. Who still fitted in. Who still made friends and who is still loved by everyone.

He is

The young man traveling alone in the night towards the country where he was born.

Yes,
he is all that
and
so much more.

My son.


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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.
6 comments

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.”

http://www.holocaustresearchproject.org/toc.html

Too poor to be crazy April 13, 2008

Posted by Aella in Bahrain, Culture, Lebanon, Manama, Pictures, Saudi Arabia, Sweden.
3 comments

Quite frankly, I been happy lately but right I now I am feeling like the old ways of 2007. I could really do with seeing someone about this but I am just too damn broke to do it. I would be in the most psycho, psycho ward if I could afford it.

Sick in the head R us March 28, 2008

Posted by Aella in Culture, Links, Saudi Arabia, Saudi culture, Whack.
9 comments

Are these people sick or sick or sick? I know it’s an old article and nothing unusual but it still both upsets me and surprises me that the Saudis let these animals roam around arresting people. I wonder where in our religion it says that they can tell a woman to undress (sick fucks you are – u just wanted a glimpse to save for your evening session).

Really, really upsetting. And to think that they are telling her she will go to hell.

Dudes! You have the grand stand in hell!

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“A 37-year-old American businesswoman and married mother of three is seeking justice after she was thrown in jail by Saudi Arabia’s religious police for sitting with a male colleague at a Starbucks coffee shop in Riyadh.

Yara, who does not want her last name published for fear of retribution, was bruised and crying when she was freed from a day in prison after she was strip-searched, threatened and forced to sign false confessions by the Kingdom’s “Mutaween” police.

Her story offers a rare first-hand glimpse of the discrimination faced by women living in Saudi Arabia. In her first interview with the foreign press, Yara told The Times that she would remain in Saudi Arabia to challenge its harsh enforcement of conservative Islam rather than return to America.

“If I want to make a difference I have to stick around. If I leave they win. I can’t just surrender to the terrorist acts of these people,” said Yara, who moved to Jeddah eight years ago with her husband, a prominent businessman.

Her ordeal began with a routine visit to the new Riyadh offices of her finance company, where she is a managing partner.

The electricity temporarily cut out, so Yara and her colleagues — who are all men — went to a nearby Starbucks to use its wireless internet. She sat in a curtained booth with her business partner in the café’s “family” area, the only seats where men and women are allowed to mix.

(more…)

IKEA in Bahrain March 13, 2008

Posted by Aella in Bahrain, Saudi Arabia.
14 comments
Lately I been hearing rumors here that IKEA is about to open in the soon to be opened City Mall. I could not believe it but so many people told me that this was the case. I googled it but there was no information to be found anywhere. I then sent an email to IKEA in Sweden and sadly this was the reply I received today:
“Dear S,
I work with IKEA franchise partners in the Middle East and therefore your request has been passed on to me.
We do not currently have any plans to open an IKEA store in Bahrain at this moment in time. We will however be opening a new IKEA store in Dhahran in August this year.
Thank you for the interest you have shown in our company.
Kind regards,
Mark Magee
Business Relations Saudi Arabia”
A sad day indeed ( . And to hear that IKEA won’t open in Dhahran until August, well that sucks.. I should go to Kuwait or somewhere hmm sigh…

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.
7 comments

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.

End of 2007 December 30, 2007

Posted by Aella in Al Khobar, Bahrain, Culture, Karlskrona, Life, Manama, Saudi Arabia, Sweden.
8 comments

Everything must be seen from different angles and perspectives or we cannot get a fair picture of it.

I must say that the last year has been a not so good year on the chart of my years. It has confused the hell out of me and right now I am standing at the door of a new year with nothing but pieces left of myself and my previous life. Holding them up. Trying to fit them together but they like me have no will to fit right now.

2007 has been an emotional roller coaster with many dips far below and some really nice highs as well. There are few things I wouldn’t want to be without from this year yet I would not like to go through this year again.

Many times I have wanted to write about how I feel and what has been going on in my life but you just don’t do that.. Why is a questions that can be discussed forever. I am at this stage somewhat weak yet feel clear and sure about where I am heading. My head is constantly full of words, sentences, and phrases all wanting to find their place in the world, their place in a bigger context. In my head places always flash before me. Places that I associate with people or certain events. Life has been to painful this year and now I gladly but also sadly bid 2007 farewell and wish it nothing but well.

I do not wish to meet again.

Happy New Year to all of you and may2008 be a great year in every way. May God bless you (and me as well pleease).

Hamdulillah :) December 17, 2007

Posted by Aella in Culture, Saudi Arabia, Saudi culture.
6 comments

Just read in the Swedish paper “Dagens Nyheter” that the king of Saudi Arabia has pardoned the girl from Qatif (I am guessing most people have heard of the controversial and sick rape case by now).

In Swedish http://www.dn.se/DNet/jsp/polopoly.jsp?d=148&a=725567

In English http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/7147632.stm

I don’t really care that that King Abdullah think the sentence was right….hamdulillah that she has been pardoned.

Early morning late November November 22, 2007

Posted by Aella in Al Khobar, Bahrain, Culture, Life, Manama, Saudi Arabia, Saudi culture, Sweden, Whack.
5 comments

It is 05.42 am and I have been awake for a few hours already. Just had a bacon sarnie on sesame bread. Ain’t nothing like it. Reminds me of my years in England. Woke up about 3 or so and I just couldn’t sleep. Too many things were running and still is through my mind. So much going on in my life at the moment. Inshalla it will all be fine and to my likening in the end. Bahrain is still treating me good cept for the occasional nutcases popping up (like the whackos in uniforms at the airport yesterday shouting – you lot need retirement, you can sit at home shouting at the TV or grandchildren or something cus you’re not doing anything useful at the airport for sure -old farts).

Our housekeeper left Bahrain yesterday. I will really miss her and I am already(since 2 weeks). Little A 2 years sometimes stops playing and looks around the room and goes – Where is A? (she says it in Lebanese Arabic) . It was really sad to see her go.. Funny how much work it took to get her to Saudi and we were so pleased with her on all accounts and then bam she falls ill. God bless her.

As it is getting lighter outside I feel my head is clearing up a bit. Wish I could go for a drive but I am guessing that would freak the family out if they woke up and I’m not there. So wish there were somewhere I could go for a swim in the sea. Still haven’t swam in the sea here…only walked around in the water with my trousers folded up a while back up, to the amusement of the fishermen nearby.

The weather is great these days by the way. Can’t help but smiling when I see some people wearing knitted sweaters or warmer clothes due to the change in temperature (saw a Saudi dude with his trousers hiked up to his armpits wearing one yesterday- aaah so amusing you made my day).

I feel my mind has been quite occupied thinking of gender issues lately (and it was also fueled by the papers I looked at for you dad ;)). I always knew it of course but it keeps coming back to me on a daily basis now how so many things are acceptable for men to do and not for women. Not just in this part of the world but in most places. Men are free to act pretty much how they want and women always seem to think how they will be perceived in the eyes of others and society as a whole.
I must say though that one thing I like down here is when I see a man that actually looks away when a woman is coming – instead of staring like so many guys do. I am not saying women and men should avoid looking at each other totally but it is quite disturbing for us women when men constantly and with no shame oogle us. That’s one thing I really don’t experience when I am in Sweden (ya ya we have many other disturbing things I know..that’s another post)

I was followed by two Saudis as I left the parking by Toys R Us the other day. First I thought I got rid of them but as I stopped by the traffic lights by HSBC they drove up next to me smiling like two dicks. I really don’t get what it is that makes these people so dumb (the ones following women around – not Saudis so please don’t go there mmkay). It must be the ultimate stupidity to commit this act. It just makes them look so dumb. Shame I’m so small or I would have picked a fight with them (aah that reminds I should go to the gym) . Really would have liked to kick their fat thob clad butts. I could really do with that now.

Now it’s 06.11 am and I don’t know whether I should head back to bed before Los Huliganos wake up or not. I’m not even tired but I know I will be later. Decisions, decision, decision…aaah.

Oh yeah, seems I missed the Swedish celebration of Fathers Day this year (since I don’t follow the Swedish calendar I seem to miss out on a few things). I am so sorry. Hope you had a great day dad. Happy Fathers Day!

Ramadan Kareem September 13, 2007

Posted by Aella in Al Khobar, Bahrain, Beirut, Culture, Dubai, Iran, Israel, Karlskrona, Lebanon, Manama, Pictures, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Saudi culture, Sweden.
5 comments

Ramadan Kareem to everyone out there. May Allah’s blessing be upon you all.

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May Allah accept your prayers, fasting and your good deeds.