Friends in Jeddah

Old Apr 10th 2009, 7:04 pm
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Default Friends in Jeddah

I really noticed that all expats do not usually sociliaze with saudis. what is the reason for that ? I really like to converse with people who are from different culture and ethnicity.



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Old Apr 11th 2009, 6:23 am
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Default Re: Friends in Jeddah

Originally Posted by forallu View Post
I really noticed that all expats do not usually sociliaze with saudis. what is the reason for that ? I really like to converse with people who are from different culture and ethnicity.



i really noticed that all expats do not usually sociliaze with saudis. what is the reason for that ? I really like to converse with people who are from different culture and ethnicity.

i'd have to agree with you that it has been difficult bordering on impossible to actually make friends with the locals. where i work there are very few saudi's and even then we don't socialize. i could wax lyrical about why, but there's a couple of things another expat said that seem to ring true. one, saudi life is very (very!) family orientated with social events between saudis are mainly family orientated. so meeting and accepting someone from outside your extended family is something that's not a practiced art. two, the language/confidence barrier can be a significant factor as well. three, was best described as 'guilt by association', if they hanga round a westerner, and that westerner does something 'not culturally appropriate', it shows badly on the saudi.

having said all of the above, never met a saudi i haven't liked. they've always been very welcoming, helpful, and just good natured. (notable exceptions, civil servants and bureaucrats and when they're driving anywhere...)
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Old Apr 11th 2009, 6:28 am
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Default Re: Friends in Jeddah

Originally Posted by still.unsure View Post
i really noticed that all expats do not usually sociliaze with saudis. what is the reason for that ? I really like to converse with people who are from different culture and ethnicity.

i'd have to agree with you that it has been difficult bordering on impossible to actually make friends with the locals. where i work there are very few saudi's and even then we don't socialize. i could wax lyrical about why, but there's a couple of things another expat said that seem to ring true. one, saudi life is very (very!) family orientated with social events between saudis are mainly family orientated. so meeting and accepting someone from outside your extended family is something that's not a practiced art. two, the language/confidence barrier can be a significant factor as well. three, was best described as 'guilt by association', if they hanga round a westerner, and that westerner does something 'not culturally appropriate', it shows badly on the saudi.

having said all of the above, never met a saudi i haven't liked. they've always been very welcoming, helpful, and just good natured. (notable exceptions, civil servants and bureaucrats and when they're driving anywhere...)
Agree - the Saudis are way ahead of the rest of the GCC's indigenous natives when it comes to hospitality and friendliness.

On a number of occasions I was invited to join the families of Saudi colleagues for Friday lunch (quite an honour, I felt, as that is the most important 'family time' of the whole week), but I think that's unusual. The fact that I always tried to absorb from my colleagues as much undedrstanding of local culture as I could didn't do any harm at all.

The Saudis also tend (although of course there are exceptions) to be better-educated, they've been to better universities (often in the US or UK) and have studied more challenging subjects.
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Old Apr 11th 2009, 8:41 am
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Default Re: Friends in Jeddah

Still unsure ,

I agree with what you said.



The Dean ,

i think "still-unsure" said many reasons which suond logical.
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Old Apr 11th 2009, 9:49 am
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Default Re: Friends in Jeddah

Originally Posted by forallu View Post
Still unsure ,

I agree with what you said.



The Dean ,

i think "still-unsure" said many reasons which suond logical.
unlike The Dean, i've yet to crack the "invited over for a meal" thing yet which really seems to be an honour - i defer to his experience on magic kingdom things.

another thing that may be causing problems is saudi male culture (and this might extend to other parts of the ME, i don't know) is incredibly jealous and possessive. part of the abaya/veil/purdah bit is to makes ure their wifes (or wives') beauty is kept for them and them alone. i was surprised when first seeing the typcial saudi houses' floorplan that has a front reception room with a toilet nearby and the ability to close if off from the rest of the house. that way, guests can come over and visit with the men in the front rooms without having to disturb the missus in the back part of the house. so, no accidentally seeing the missus without her veil!

personally, i don't get it; if i'm married to a stunner, i want to show them off to the world (and undoubtedly illict comments like, "what's she doing with that ugly twat?")
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Old Apr 11th 2009, 7:19 pm
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Originally Posted by still.unsure View Post
unlike The Dean, i've yet to crack the "invited over for a meal" thing yet which really seems to be an honour - i defer to his experience on magic kingdom things.

another thing that may be causing problems is saudi male culture (and this might extend to other parts of the ME, i don't know) is incredibly jealous and possessive. part of the abaya/veil/purdah bit is to makes ure their wifes (or wives') beauty is kept for them and them alone. i was surprised when first seeing the typcial saudi houses' floorplan that has a front reception room with a toilet nearby and the ability to close if off from the rest of the house. that way, guests can come over and visit with the men in the front rooms without having to disturb the missus in the back part of the house. so, no accidentally seeing the missus without her veil!

personally, i don't get it; if i'm married to a stunner, i want to show them off to the world (and undoubtedly illict comments like, "what's she doing with that ugly twat?")
We should not put aside the traditions and conservative views which are backed by the government and play a key role in saudis life. Another reason as I suppose , is the isolated compounds that make the expats feel as if they were not in saudi arabia.
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Old Apr 11th 2009, 9:37 pm
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Default Re: Friends in Jeddah

Originally Posted by forallu View Post
We should not put aside the traditions and conservative views which are backed by the government and play a key role in saudis life. Another reason as I suppose , is the isolated compounds that make the expats feel as if they were not in saudi arabia.
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Old Apr 12th 2009, 5:45 am
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Default Re: Friends in Jeddah

Originally Posted by forallu View Post
We should not put aside the traditions and conservative views which are backed by the government and play a key role in saudis life. Another reason as I suppose , is the isolated compounds that make the expats feel as if they were not in saudi arabia.
the isolation of the compounds is the larger part of the point. you'd struggle to get anyone from 'the west' to come here (riyadh) if you didn't give them the ability to relax at home and blow offa little steam. i would even go so far as to say this 'isolation' thing is exactly what the saudi's use themselves with their villas and their 20' tall fences. (behind which the missus can take off the abaya and nakhar and relax, the kids can run around, etc.)

all it boils down to is saying a pleasant good morning when you see your saudi colleague at the beginngin fo the day, asking them how their weekend was, and wishing him that his family is well. (notice family, by the way, don't mention individuals unless he does first). oh, and most important, treat them like any other normal human being; they seem to have an uncanny nose for bullshit...
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