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Al-Khobar/ Saudi Arabia ???

Discussion in 'Teaching overseas' started by Mariadelasol, Feb 22, 2012.

  1. Mariadelasol

    Mariadelasol New commenter

    Anybody been there ?
    I am interested in a school over there and would like to know what
    its like to live there from a woman's point of view ?
     
  2. happygreenfrog

    happygreenfrog Occasional commenter

    There have been a couple of Saudi threads in the last week, including one on AlKhobar ad another with comment from a woman living/working in Jeddah. Check them out.
     
  3. Mariadelasol

    Mariadelasol New commenter

    Hello,
    I checked out those threads and they are not helpful to me as they do not speak about life in Al-Khobar nor the American school I am interested in.
    Anyone out there with info. on Al Khobar ???
     
  4. happygreenfrog

    happygreenfrog Occasional commenter

    I've been to AlKhobar three times and stayed for two weeks each time. My hotel had a wall half a metre from and across in front of the windows . . . a common theme in the country.
    I think it is bloody awful there: very dated and dull.
    Saudi is mainly about how you adjust to compound life and what is on offer there, since outside there is little attraction.
    The locals appear to get their fun streaming across the causeway into Bahrain at the weekend, though the rich Saudis also go to a giant holiday camp complex, whose name escapes me, which offers many attractions and the freedom to mix across the sexes. I thought it was a place where Saudi teens, especially the Royal family, 'meet up' for the first time.
    Beware the teaching of rich Saudi youth. The majority are ill dsiciplined and the parents will do little to alter that; in fact they would wish you to be sacked should you complain. A successful school would be one who had overcome that problem. A female school would also be a better option.
     
  5. Mariadelasol

    Mariadelasol New commenter

    Did you teach in Saudi or only visit Al-Khobar ?

    I won't be teaching in a Saudi school. I will be teaching in a truly international school for expats.
    What do you mean by dated and dull ? How long were you there for ?
    Anyone else with information ?
     
  6. didaxis

    didaxis New commenter

    I lived and worked in Al Khobar for two years. I left there four years ago. I would not return there under any circumstances. They will tell you that Saudi is safe and there is practically no crime, but this is not true of Al Khobar. In my two years there I was robbed once, a colleague was mugged in the street and, in separate incidents, three of my colleagues were victims of sneak thieves. Another colleague of mine was beaten around the head and shoulders with a stick by a Mutawa (a sort of religious policeman) because his wife and teenage daughter did not have their hair fully covered whilst in the shopping mall. When my colleague made to take the stick off the Mutawa the uniformed police officer who was with the Mutawa drew his pistol and threatened to shoot him. The police followed them home to their compound and only left after several hours. Another colleague, a woman, was taking a swim in the women-only swimming pool on her compound when she was attacked and almost drowned by three Arabic women because she was only wearing a swimsuit in the pool and not attempting to swim in an abbaya, despite having been told by the compound management that swimsuits were fine.I could give more examples.
    If you are single I would advise you very strongly not to go there. As a woman you cannot sponsor your husband to go there so if you are maried your husband would need a job there as well (although this may have changed in the last few years). To leave the country you need the permission of your visa sponsor, your employer will retain your passport and you will be issued with an Iqama (internal passport/identity card) which you have to surrender to get your passport back.
    If you do choose to go, make sure you are on a "Western only" compound and that there are all the amenities you need on the compound. As a woman in Al Khobar you will have to wear the abbaya in public, you will not be allowed to drive and you will almost certainly not be allowed out of your compound or workplace on your own if unchaperoned.
    My wife was very unhappy there and so we left as soon as my contract allowed.
     
  7. omg this has really saddened me.
     
  8. Mariadelasol

    Mariadelasol New commenter


    Why would it sadden you ?
    When I read the responses on these forums I always remember that they are from each person's point of view/experience and that there will be others with other experiences.
    Fro example, some people love Dubai and others hate it.
    Personally I could care less about living in Dubai.
     
  9. didaxis

    didaxis New commenter

    They only recruit "non-ethnics" as you put it because "ethnics" have such a hard time in Saudi. For example, during my first week there I went to the bank to open an account and could do so in an hour. My friend and colleague who came with me, employed on the same contract by the same employer was told he would have to come back in two months for an interview and then they could start the process of opening a bank account. The difference? I am British of Anglo Saxon descent, he was British of Asian descent. Another colleague (also of Asian descent), who was waiting in his car during prayer time for the shops to re-open, was dragged out of the car and beaten up by the Mutawain (religious police) for not going to the mosque. When they eventually got his id and found he was a Christian and therefore not allowed in the mosque, he was told it was his own fault "for looking like a Muslim". He had no legal redress whatso-ever.
     
  10. well im asian-and female, probably means I havent got the job.
     
  11. Mariadelasol

    Mariadelasol New commenter

    Don't loose heart ychowdhury- I am in an American-Asian and so far I have
    been offered 2 positions at 2 different schools....

     
  12. lostintheworld

    lostintheworld New commenter

    didaxis....

    that is a laughable comment to have made there, one of the main reasons we all know is because the management wants to keep it "within their own kind" which usually translates to white and also the parents would prefer a white face rather than brown/black one....

    a lot of so-called British schools in the middleeast use the white-only policy....this is illegal in the uk and other countries and you would be looking at a prison sentence for practices....
     
  13. lostintheworld

    lostintheworld New commenter

    big difference between an American-Asian and a British-Asian....i think the yanks are more oped-minded than the white Brits.....who the are simply put it racist....
     
  14. happygreenfrog

    happygreenfrog Occasional commenter

    Having lived in Saudi among the locals for 4 years I'd suggest that they are the most racist nation on Earth. They practice Islam when it suits them, detest the Jews, any other sect of Islam and consider blacks to be inferior. They look to the West begrudgingly with envy and want anything the West enjoys or values. As you would imagine, men are also considered superior to women.
    I would expect a school seeking a western educated white was doing so simply because they know their parents demand that. The Saudi board member or offical responsible for the school will also know that, no matter what he or the headteacher would prefer.
    Makes me laugh that people come on here expecting values, procedures and lifestyles to replicate back home. Yes, many things still shock and annoy me at times, but I'd suggest not working overseas if you are seriously offended.
     
  15. I attempted to employ a Black Brit years ago. No way, said the school admin. "We'll never get a visa." In the UAE back in the last century, they actually published the visa criteria in the paper; the heirarchy was based entirely on race.
    There are some interesting threads over on ISR about Al Khobar. Read 'em.
     
  16. didaxis

    didaxis New commenter

    lostintheworld: There is a lot of truth in what you say, Society there is very racist and that is reflected in many school's management, but not all. There is, however, also truth in what I say too. Perhaps I should have started "One of the reasons they only recruit...". It is not just racism.
     
  17. lostintheworld

    lostintheworld New commenter

    i get your point didaxis....but we all know that Brits are racists towards foreigners from certain parts of the world, especially the Pakistanis and Bangladeshis, they have never accepted their presence in the UK despite both these two groups have now lived in the UK for nearly 60 years.....so sadly I believe this racism is practiced in schools outside the UK as there are no laws to nail these racist bas***ds...
     
  18. the hippo

    the hippo Lead commenter Community helper

    <u>All</u> Brits? Please, lostintheworld, try to be a little more restrained and self-controlled. There are indeed laws against racism in the UK and, although no one would pretend that there is no racism at all in British society, I think that most people would agree that things have improved enormously. Did you not see that excellent BBC series Mixed Britannia? Thirty or forty years ago it would have been impossible for the BBC to even make such a programme.
    As an international teacher, I have had the pleasure and privilege to live and work in quite a few different countries: Kenya, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Romania, the UAE and now Qatar. Yes, I would agree that a lot of the Gulf Arabs are not known for their tolerance and respect for human rights. On the other hand, people who live in glass houses should not throw stones. I have also met some people from this neck of the woods who have plenty of criticisms of the West and its loose morals. Some Arabs I have met have been amazingly generous and hospitable to total strangers - something you do not see very often in the UK. As I sit at the keyboard and write this, I can see a rather nice watch on my wrist. It was a present from a Qatari lady, whose daughter was in my class a few years ago. I do not recall any the parents of my pupils in the UK ever buying me such a lovely gift.
     
  19. Otherwise known as 'a bribe'.
     
  20. Not got an Ace up your sleeve?
    Play the Race card!
     

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