[18/10/16] 30 days in 

So I’ve been home for almost an entire month, an entire month settling in to my own room that doesn’t resemble my room anymore, back to living with my parents and to settling back into a place where the person I was grew up. Only to go back as a person who can’t even recognise who she was, I’ve changed and that makes being back even weirder.

Living with my parents has surprisingly been alot easier than I expected it to be. Not that my parents are difficult people, but they are traditional and protective and I’ve been living on my own for 4 years so there is that. So that surprised me, pleasantly. What I realised though was that it’s the place.

If any of you have lived in Saudi Arabia you know that life as a woman here can be quite different and I think that where my issue lies. Living in Toronto I was used to going out and not worrying. There was something about the environment that made me feel comfortable being who I am as a person and I felt comfortable being a woman. It isn’t like I feel completely unsafe here but rather the fact that I am insanely aware of the fact that I am a woman and that that makes me different here.

To say that life in Saudi for woman is bad is hard for me to say because my mother and I have collectively lived here for 20+ years and we receive respect and never have we felt threatened however, you are still aware that you are a female here and that is hard. I would like to take this moment to make a public disclaimer and say that not all the stereotypes you hear about women in Saudi are true. Life is different here but never in my life have I ever felt opressed here, yes there are a lot of womens right issues that need to be tackled here, and yes I know I live in the privileged %, but from experience I can say that not all the stereotypes are true. So there it is, I may have finally figured out why I find Saudi so ‘different’ after living abroad for 4 years.

-S

[this theory is a working theory and is subject to change]

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