This year, my friends and I chose a Peruvian restaurant for our Birthday Iftar celebration. My friend’s husband’s birthday is on the 16th of July. My birthday falls on the 15th of the same month. So we’ve been doing a one day celebration with our groups of friends for the past two years.
Tesoro is a fine dining Peruvian concept located at the new Taj Hotel Dubai. The place has a very eclectic and modern feel to it. It’s also very spacious with a huge terrace overlooking the Burj Khalifah.
Thankfully, everyone had a great time and loved the tasty creations by the Chefs at Tesoro.
So, another year has passed. I’m 35, single and still looking for a suitable job or paid internship in Dubai.
I’m grateful for the good friends that I have in this magical city, and those who shared my special day with me.
I’m also blessed for being able to constantly learn new things and new ways to develop and grow – both professionally and personally.
I’m thankful for the experiences that I had and that I continue to have. Like doing random activities, meeting people from different backgrounds and cultures, and discovering something new along the way.
What’s my plan for future days?
Honestly, I think it’s time for me to be more self-involved and self-centered. Nothing can be more disappointing to a diva than investing time and energy into projects or people and not getting similar vibes in return.
Some people like to put their self-interests first, set their own rules, and then expect others to entertain them. Well, I can publicly declare that I’m not Mother Teresa and that I never will be!
When I give someone my time, it’s because I genuinely want to. But I also have realistic expectations to be treated in the same way!
Basically, it’s now time for me to focus more on my career and personal life. I need to eventually land a full-time role that I enjoy doing. I also need to find a loving and supportive partner.
As for this blog – a project that has been so exciting to work on, and very close to my heart. It was an honest representation of my life, my struggles, my dreams and aspirations.
The time for this website to end is getting near. But I have plans to start another blog with a different niche. You can stay updated with my news and new blog news by following me on social media:
If you need some introduction about life in the Gulf region, and a general idea of the social structure there, you can check out my previous cultural post, titled: The “Bubble” Life.
Today’s topic is somewhat relevant. It can also be considered more of a personal topic since I’ll be talking about my specific story.
Most Arab parents tend to be over-protective with varied degrees of controlling behavior when dealing with their children. You’d think that these strict and firm ways of upbringing would gradually lessen as the kids grow older, but the truth of the matter is that they never do.
Most Arab parents like to plan their children’s future lives, and be in control of their education, career, love life, marriage and daily life decisions!
Unless a daughter is married to another man and moves out of her parents house, she continues to live by the rules of the parents. No matter how old she gets, or what her status is (employed, jobless, student, PHD graduate), she is forever subject to the rules of the parents. And they are eternally responsible for her every move, decision, and personal freedom in general.
Of course, there’s always a positive side to every bad situation. Parents in the Gulf Region and most Arab countries also continue to support their daughters financially for as long as they have to. But that financial support doesn’t come without a price tag. It is coupled with the obsessive controlling behavior from the parents side.
My post is not meant to portray a negative image about the Arab or GCC culture. It’s more of a realistic explanation of my personal story and background. Since moving to the UAE in 2010, I constantly get asked by people from various expat countries about the method or way by which I am able to support myself financially, and that is usually followed by a certain amount of surprise and words like: “You are lucky.”
That’s why I decided to write a series of cultural, social and personal posts to clarify some aspects of Arab and GCC culture. I don’t mean to generalize though. I can only speak about my own personal experience and that of the society that I grew up in.
I also get asked about how we spend our weekends in the Gulf. Well, most of us in Saudi would either hang out with girlfriends at the local mall, cafe, or restaurant. We tend to spend some time at home too. We can have gatherings, dinner parties or house parties too! But, these would be exclusive to girls only. Since in Saudi and in most Gulf countries, the society is mainly gender segregated. You might ask, but who are you to talk about this lifestyle? Well, I grew up in the Eastern Province of Saudi Arabia, and I didn’t attend an International school. I actually went to an all-girls elite private school, where an Arabic curriculum was being taught. So I can say that I lived a traditional Arab lifestyle for the most part of my life…
I can elaborate about my life in Saudi in another post, but let’s get straight into the topic of this post. It all goes back to a quote that my dad made at one of his short visits to Dubai…we were talking about some general stuff, when he utters the words: “The way it goes is that one should only be going to work, and then straight back home.”
To make things clear, my dad is not a sociable person whatsoever. He literally practices what he was preaching in the phrase that I just mentioned. But that’s his choice, his life, his decision. And I don’t judge him for it, or wish if he would change it. Honestly I don’t.
But what I thought was hilarious and if I dare to say a bit insane in those words that he directed to me was this: If I choose to listen to his advise and to follow it to the nines, then how on earth would I possibly meet a potential partner?! 😀
I have somewhat weird parents. They have unrealistic expectations of the world, their own children and the people surrounding them.
They live in a bubble of their own creation, and they expect people, events, and everything around them to follow the rules of that imaginary and non-existent bubble. They live with the illusion that everyone and everything must match their own distorted image of the world surrounding them. They are extremely opinionated and will stick to their unrealistic and distorted views no matter what happens or what anyone tells them. They are also not open to hearing other views that conflict with their own. They will just cut you off, will stop listening and will not engage in any form of discussion. (That’s mostly my mom, although my father doesn’t like to listen to varying opinions either!).
They impose highly unrealistic rules, standards, and expectations on every life aspect you can imagine. These rules only exist in their “1960’s generation” heads.
This was only a brief and short explanation of my parents and the way they are. I can talk more about this topic in another post.
Now the problem is that these days, my University course requirements and blogging don’t leave me with much free time to go out and meet new people. So, instead of spending my evenings going out to night spots or events, I find myself sitting at Starbucks or on my bed writing blog posts! But that’s OK, because once I’m done with this course in two semesters from now, I should have more time to go out and mingle 🙂
Basically, I will make it my life mission to meet as many new people as possible. Truth to be told, it will take a lifetime for me to reverse my previously closed and restricted GCC lifestyle! I’m so glad to have the privilege to do that…and if you think I’m a super-lucky girl, just be reminded that each one of us has an equal amount of suffering. And that financial freedom and stability are not the only elements that guarantee a happy and peaceful life.
I hope that I could make part of my story more clear to some of you who might be intrigued to know. And for anyone interested in learning more about the Gulf region, its culture, and lifestyle, stay tuned to this blog…
As you may have noticed, I haven’t written any new posts for a while. It’s not that I haven’t done anything interesting in the past week or so, or am suffering from writer’s mind blockage or apathy or anything like that. Mainly, I haven’t been feeling too well for the past few weeks. That was due to the weather change and to me doing too many things and not getting enough rest. That’s why I decided to take a short break from blogging and the whole rat race (as people call it). Mind you, I still managed to check out a newly opened cafe in my area (to maybe write a review about it), and I had to keep checking and responding to my e-mails, and of course my Facebook page. I also continued to post stuff on that page in an effort to keep things going. Even when I wasn’t feeling too good myself.
But I believe that something good comes out from everything that happens to us in our lives…Taking a short break helped me reflect on my priorities in life and maybe add some balance into other areas of my life. For the past couple of years, due to personal circumstances, I have been focusing mostly on my career. And since that hasn’t been going too well for me, I think it’s time to re-arrange my priorities in life. I’m not saying that I will write less blog posts or put in less effort into my career path (because I’m not even sure I can do that after all this time and effort that I’ve invested in that area), I just plan to put in more effort into other places that I might have neglected all those years in my search for financial and personal freedom and independence.
What are those other areas you might ask? well, I will leave that for you to figure out. I think it’s easy to know what they are once you read my about page and find out some simple facts about me and my personal life.
One main positive thing that came out from this short break and the connection with other blogger friends was to realize that we should not loose ourselves in our chase for material or success-related goals. We should always be reminded that life is a game and we should have fun while playing it. We should stay grounded and stay true to our selves. We should keep our sense of self-integrity and keep our standards high no matter how bad the going gets tough.
Most importantly, we should try to always help others along the way when we can.
Finally, I would like to mention that a few things need to be revised in my blog. Mostly concerning the topics that I write about. I have driven myself into extreme stress and exhaustion by trying to cover as many interesting topics as I could. And the time has come for that to end.
That’s why I need your thoughts and ideas on what you would like to read more about in this blog?
Here are some options to get you thinking, but any other ideas or views are welcome too.
About me and my perspective on life and things from a Saudi woman’s point of view (note: I live in Dubai, UAE)
A review of various events taking place in Dubai (you can specify the types of events you like to know about most)
A review of restaurants or cafes that I go to
Topics/events related to my job search and trying to make it in Dubai (mainly publishing/blogging/journalism)
Would you like to learn more about Saudi/Middle Eastern culture (as that’s where I’m from and where I grew up and lived most of my life)
Daily life stories and rants
Simple stories or deep thoughts and ideas
Or would you like me to keep the blog as it is and keep doing what I was doing earlier, which was basically a combination of all the above points?
Do let me know by commenting on this post what you would find most entertaining to read about in this blog. I will keep this discussion open, so please feel free to comment any time you read this. There is no deadline for your thoughts and ideas.
Thanks a lot for passing by and following my blog, and I hope that I will continue to offer interesting and helpful posts to my readers and followers. If you think otherwise, do let me know as well!