Esra

Where madness meets reality

Experience Archive

Tuesday

20

August 2013

0

COMMENTS

Why being a woman in Saudi is so amazing!

Written by , Posted in Experience

Life has its own way of living itself whether we enjoy it or not. It is part of what we signed up for and this includes being a woman in Saudi Arabia. Nothing can really prepare you for living here; not reading about it, not even living here all your life can make you an expert in how to deal with life in Saudi as a woman, especially a local woman.

You are not allowed to drive. You can’t travel or even apply to a job or college without your male guardian’s approval, but this is not all. You are always judged and whatever you do is strictly monitored by society. The quality of your own living is decided and dependent on your own family’s boundaries –you’ll be among the lucky elite if you happen to be born into an open-minded family. We are still supervised by the tribal culture and values regardless of how big or advanced we are becoming as a country and a nation.

But things are changing rapidly and we have witnessed it especially in the last decade; we are living in the information era. People are able to gain more information easily and adapt changes very easily. One of the most rapid changes we are witnessing is the ability for women here to gain more rights and have more access to things we haven’t dreamt of 20 or 30 years ago and we are overcoming all obstacles and challenges.

saudi-women-men-working

We are amazing because of what we can offer to ourselves, our society, and to the world. We are intelligent, strong, self-sufficient, and independent. We can do what we want when we want compared to what was a burden before. We are more secure and self-motivated and this made us happier.

The government is being a strong supporter in empowering us. Laws are being put in place to allow women to have more freedom at work. Numbers are saying that Saudi women constitute more than 17% of the native workforce. The number of working women increased 280% in the last decade. Mixed gender work places are becoming more acceptable.

In 3 decades female literacy in Saudi jumped from 2% to 82% – with more than 50% with higher education degrees and the number of Saudi women graduating from colleges with high education degrees is higher than many western countries.

We have a female minister, female parliament advisors, female lawyers, and female athletes competing in the Olympics, hundreds of thousands of Saudi women studying or working abroad. Things we never imagined about a decade ago.

I do believe that sometimes we still feel down, we still demand more but let’s admit and accept that there is a moderate progress happening by the government and we shall support it rather than criticizing it. The change is happening and we strong Saudi women are leading it.

For a nation that is relatively considered young struggling between the tribal and conservative parties, the political issues, and the youth along with the government’s urge to develop the human in order to develop the country and be a first world classified country, changes happening here are structured to benefit us while not harming or causing conflicts with any party even if others see it as very slow steps we can rest assured that they are sustainable steps.

Always believe that the best is yet to come and we will get there soon.

Sunday

4

August 2013

2

COMMENTS

Salary Isn’t Enough… or Is It?

Written by , Posted in Babbles, Experience

money-flying

There was a hash tag that turned into a national case which turned into a worldwide discussion that the majorities in Saudi Arabia are complaining about their income, and that their salaries aren’t enough for necessities due to inflation and all other affecting factors.

I’m neither an economist nor a specialist who can decide whether salaries are really enough or fairly covering the basic needs. What I’m going to discuss here is what each individual in this society can do to help boost his/her own income, which leads to better financial sustainability.

What I do believe in is that fixing or restructuring the salaries scale won’t be useful or benefit us if we don’t, as individuals and as a nation, understand how to properly manage our finances. Not all of us can afford a financial planner, but with a few simple tips each one of us can be his/her own financial planner.

– Did any one of us enroll in a financial literacy program educating us about our financial rights and how to save a few pennies weekly or monthly to build a better financial foundation for ourselves? There are a lot of CSR initiatives such as Riyali on social networks educating us for free about financial literacy.

– Have you ever planned your income budget and stuck to it?

– How about using your talent or whatever you are good at in earning some extra cash? Relying on a fixed salary is never the answer.

For example:

– Do some freelancing, list yourself as an Arabic/English translator, do some audio filing for an old lady looking to convert her cassettes into a digital library, teach Indians or Mexicans online Arabic or about your culture, or use your office skills in doing some virtual assistant work.

– How about starting a blog and exchanging ads or listing your blog in AdSense or AdChoices and earning extra cash whenever someone visits your blog?

– Advertise for products on your Twitter or Instagram account.

– Resell your old stuff on eBay, Mstaml, or Souq.

– Bake some goods, or pickle some carrots and sell them to your family or friends or over social networks.

– Get a second job; instead of spending time watching sitcoms you can get a second job with a decent paycheck that can help boost your income.

– Stop buying things you don’t need.

– Invest in yourself; have you ever saved some of your current income to enroll in a community program or an online course that will help expand your knowledge and experience to help you advance in your career?

– Buy books that feed your brain instead of fancy coffee and chocolates that feed your tummy.

The idea is not whether the salary is enough or not, it is how we deal with our salaries. We tend to brag and spend more than we earn to gain some sort of fake social respect. This needs to stop! We have to live up to our incomes and set our lifestyle accordingly. We tailor our lifestyle to our incomes not the opposite.

Wednesday

24

July 2013

1

COMMENTS

Why should it always be a husband?

Written by , Posted in Babbles, Experience

We live in the most conservative Asian culture –or maybe just a double-faced blind-sided society.

If you look around you in your own social circle, you’ll understand what I’ll be discussing here.

We women were raised with one ultimate goal, which is to get married and procreate like rabbits. It is very rare to find a family that raises their daughter to be a useful member of the society rather than grooming her to be a trophy wife.

equal

How many career-related success parties have you heard about compared to how many weddings and engagement parties you’ve been invited to during a year?

Did your elder relatives ever gather to celebrate a promotion or an achievement in your career the way they do if you get married or have a baby?

The idea of achievements and success are usually gender discriminated. Any achievement you as a woman achieve is nothing unless you have a kid jumping around your legs or a man by your side as if you are incomplete without him. We’ve never seen society caring about a man’s social status when celebrating his success.

I’m not against the idea of building a family or having a partner that supports you through life. I’m just against the concept of making a woman’s life revolve around it.

The perception of being incomplete. The idea that men are complete by their financial independency, but you as a woman will never be unless you have a ring around your finger.

We don’t need the sympathy or the sad looks every time an outstanding strong successful husband-less woman is around, and some might take it to a next level and start discussing how to make her life better by having a husband or being so generous in suggesting an x person as a candidate.

All we seek is to be defined as me, a strong independent woman with no labels and no attachments the same way you always identify independent men.

Friday

5

July 2013

0

COMMENTS

Believing is just the beginning! All you need is trust and a little bit of pixie dust!

Written by , Posted in Babbles, Experience

“All you need is trust and a little bit of pixie dust!” – J.M. Barrie, “Peter Pan”

It’s all about believing your dream and chasing it. Mandela did it, Abraham Lincoln did it, Marie Curie did it, Cinderella did it—and you will do it.
Never underestimate a dream, and never trick yourself into thinking you can’t be whom you want to be. Life is about dreaming, taking risks, and fulfilling goals.Dreaming and Believing But believing is only the beginning. You can’t sit still and wait for a dream to materialize; all achievers were once dreamers who had not only faith, but also ambition.

To start achieving your dream, you must:

1. Have faith in the amazing power of a dream.
2. Create a vision for the future. Live this vision—fantasize about it, build on it, see it grow, and allow yourself to be

taken over by it-.
3. Develop an emotional yet intelligent attitude toward your dream.
4. Set up an action plan for your dream, and be patient and realistic (Rome wasn’t build in a day).
5. Live with the subconscious belief that this dream is a reality, and is happening even though you don’t see it just yet. Let it be the fuel running your engine, the reason you get out of bed every morning, and the motivation to clear your head and meditate in your room every night.
6. Don’t surrender, and never take no for answer. Be persistent.
7. Don’t let negative thoughts control you or hold you back.
8. Be flexible and open-minded for any detours on the road to achieving your dream (as long as they don’t keep you from your final goal).
9. Review your progress frequently: Are you getting closer? Are you on track? If not, change your approach—before it’s too late.
10. Consult experienced people around you, and listen to everyone. You never know who will add value to your thoughts and give you a free insight you were never aware of.

Whenever the road ahead of you becomes blocked, remember that there is an “outer space”, as Thomas Edison once described it. Simply pray to your god to expand your creative imagination and inner peace.
And at the end, never ever give up. Dreams will simply remain dreams and never become realities if you stop moving toward them.

Don’t stop dreaming—and believing.