Confessions of a Saudi Diva: FAQ’s about Arab culture

arab cultureWhile most people might be out enjoying the weekend with friends or loved ones, I choose to stay in after my evening Zumba class to write this post. I firmly believe that I have a voice, a message and a story to share with the rest of the world. I also feel like my purpose in life is to make my voice heard and to maybe inspire a few souls in the process.

Arab Culture

Arab culture can be confining. Especially towards women. Society can be cruel as men can be possessive when they’re given the opportunity. Moreover, women are constantly judged for simply being independent and leading a different lifestyle.

My mission is to freely live the life that I choose for myself. I don’t allow anyone to dictate the details or rules of that simple life. I’m not asking for much. I just want some space to be able to discover my true self. I want to develop into the person that God intended me to be.

Having controlling and over-protective parents strongly influences one’s character and impacts their personality. You may become indecisive, have blurred vision when it comes to evaluating others and distinguishing between friends and foes, grow up to be a late-bloomer or even find it challenging to know yourself, your likes and dislikes.

Finding My Passion

At 36 (I just turned 36 on July 15), I’m slowly discovering myself and my passions. Simple things like the fact that I’m a real foodie, that I prefer to chill on the beach and visit the spa in my free time rather than do some adventurous thing or water sport, that music is the background to my life (to be honest this is something that I always knew), that I like Zumba, that I like to improve my cooking skills.

I also found that I’m not someone who can be social ALL the time, that I like to explore new places and that I’m not a homebody, that I’m a coffee lover, that I prefer to walk to take public transportation than take cabs…the list goes one. While writing this, many other things were crossing my mind and then the thought would disappear. Which tells you that I’m still in the process of discovering myself on a daily basis.

Since moving to Dubai in 2010, I even choose to check emails, write and in the past (search for jobs and apply) from cafes. Although my Wi-Fi works perfectly at home. But everyone knows how depressing it can get when you’re a writer working alone. Being around people greatly helps.

Strangely enough, I’m not in a ranting mood tonight. This post was supposed to be a continuation to the last post about arab culture where I spoke about my strict and controlling parents. For some reason, I don’t feel like ranting. But there’s a small story which I had in my notes that’s worth mentioning as I might completely forget about it. It’s about this school teacher that my mother would give car lifts with us to school so that we would be under protective eyes or something. She was an older woman, not sure if she’s still alive. Every single day, we would pass by her house and she would join us to school in the car.

Special Treatment Growing Up

In Saudi, women can’t drive. So most families have a personal driver (or two). We would pick her up with the family driver and take her with us to school (where she taught) and then again on our way back home. Of course in return for that free ride, her role was to take extra special care of us (in school). We didn’t need her help with grades or anything. All of us were A+ students (due to my parents’ strong emphasis on education and later on career). She would just take care of us in other ways I guess. Like we would be top priority in her books or something. I honestly hated that special attention as it would be super embarrassing to be treated differently out of all students. Especially that it was very obvious!

But what stayed with me the most was not that special attention annoyance, rather than the fact that we were all squeezed in the back seat of the car! Picture this: three adult ladies (me being the youngest) sitting in the back seat of an American-made car (as my dad preferred those), PLUS the teacher (let’s call her Miss Z) who was a big middle-aged woman. Bringing the total of adults sitting in the back seat of a Ford car to FOUR! yes, you read it right: FOUR adult women including two big ones 🙂 LOL

I can’t remember until what age this cramped sardine can situation went on for. But I guess it was until I changed schools to another private school where that teacher didn’t exist!

That’s today’s little rant with my “not in the mood to complain” mind frame.

The next post should be on a lighter note. Stay tuned for an exclusive Abu Dhabi staycation post.

Until then, enjoy the summer and safe travels for those who are jetting off to far away (or nearby) destinations.

Share Some Love


  • Jojo says:

    I saw you last week in marina mall i was shy to say hi to you, i love your writting . Good luck

    • Nada says:

      Thank you for following my blog and for taking the time to write this lovely comment! yeah, I’m always out and about 🙂 Next time, please say hi. I like to meet my readers and get their feedback about my posts 🙂 See you around!

  • As promised, I read it first thing this morning. Fangirling aside, I think a sit down and a coffee is in order!

    • Nada says:

      Thanks for the lovely words Jessica! it’s so refreshing to connect with like-minded individuals who understand your journey! we will catch up over coffee soon xxx

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