Thank you, Eman!
SAUDI WOMAN’S WEBLOG QUESTIONS
Who is/are the creator(s) of “Saudi Woman”? Just as you will find on the about page, it’s Eman Al Nafjan.
How and why did you create “Saudi Woman”? I created it because at the time I felt that there was a real gap when it comes to the presentation of facts and the representation of Saudi women online. Instead of going to each article and post and correcting people, I felt why not just be a source.
What are some examples of the main topics you write about? I write about issues that matter to me. I don’t have a particular agenda or aim however with time I’ve figured out that there are certain issues that push my buttons and need an outlet more than others. These include human rights, child marriages, Palestinian/ Israeli conflict and what it’s like being a Saudi woman.
What benefits do you expect readers to get out of your blog? Like I mentioned above, the thing that got me started is my wish to represent myself as a Saudi woman. Reading online you get the impression that all Saudi women are passive brainwashed victims (Western perspective) or queens being spoiled and doted on from cradle to grave (muttawa version). I guess I want people to know that there’s more to us; we’re both, we’re neither and we are a lot more.
What are your hopes for “Saudi Woman” in the future? I hope that I don’t lose my passion for it.
Your nationality and country of residence: Saudi for both.
Do you think non-Saudis should change anything about themselves in order to fit into Saudi society? I wish that they would make more of an effort to learn Arabic. It’s a little insulting when a person lives here for years without learning the language. I’m a linguist and I know that that only happens when a person truly believes that the language is of no use to them.
Do you think a non-Saudi man/woman can be happy in Saudi Arabia? Yes just as much as I believe that a Saudi can be unhappy in Saudi Arabia. The country fits well with certain personalities and repels others regardless of nationality.
Do you think a non-Saudi woman would have any problems living alone in Saudi Arabia? It depends on her financial situation. The richer, the better.
What do you think non-Saudis should know about Saudi men/women? We are not a homogenous group of people. The collective character of Saudi Arabians is not as straightforward as you might think. I believe that because we are such a closed society we have developed these vast differences that only we recognize, similar to what happens to siblings in a large family. They might look the same to outsiders but each has a different personality and even lifestyle partly because they want to set themselves apart within the family. I don’t know if that makes sense LOL.
As a Saudi, how do you feel about Saudis marrying non-Saudis? It’s a great thing. We need to integrate more with the rest of the world and what better way than to marry them and have kids with them?! Bottom line cultural differences and new viewpoints enrich us.
What is your advice when a non-Saudi man/woman meets their potential/future Saudi in-laws? Do not try too hard to win them over. Be yourself. Whatever got the Saudi to love you, will get the parents to love you too. If you try too hard they’ll see through it and take advantage of it.
What advice would you give a non-Saudi considering marriage to a Saudi? Do your research and always have a plan B. But I would advise that to anyone marrying anybody. I’m an advocate of independence especially within a marriage.
Photo Credit: Amal Saud