I’m a Saudi citizen living in Saudi Arabia and I know that life here, like anywhere else, can be hard sometimes. Especially to Saudi women. To wait on a driver, to wear black Abaya, (a loose gown that covers a woman’s full body) in the heat, “thanks God recently they have been colored”,
to deal with mockery and attack in Twitter just because your opinion is different from the crowd.
Trust me, It was only a few months ago when I realized that I have been carrying my concerns with me wherever I travel. Eventually I was defined by those problems; “the girl who can’t read maps because she doesn’t drive a car”, “the girl in long sleeves in August”, “the girl who is always busy”
Now, I believed those labels which others put on me. It was until I realized that I am not defined by boundaries of others. I am a bigger soul and can always change my reality to fit new visions which “I”choose for myself, not my family or friends or even country. Every single day.
But Is that easy to do? Nope!
And No, traveling away from Saudi does not change who you are at your core. Trust me, it doesn’t turn you into a happy individual if you are an ungrateful being. If you love to sit all day and do nothing except for checking your social media websites, you will remain that way outside Saudi. If you hate your spouse, traveling away from Saudi won’t fix your feelings. If you complain about how unfair life is and how people hate you for no reason, that’s what you will encounter outside. You see? You carry your inside self with you wherever you go. Your inside forms your outside view.
In the history of Saudi Arabia, April 25 of this year was a day to remember. Every Saudi citizen waited for it so impatiently. Saudi and all Arab nations have been busy talking ever since about the announcement of the new Vision of Saudi Arabia that will be implemented starting 2030. Everybody was on the wait to know how the country which has lavishly relied on oil, is going to continue living without its number one source of wealth a few years from now. Some expected that would be a nightmare for Saudis. Thanks to a wise foresight vision, it is not.
So what did Saudis expect out of the announcement?
Almost every Saudi had a hope that his/her own personal future would prosper along with the future of their country after that announcement.
Everybody is thinking about the changes that King Salman has issued and will put into action in the country. And this is not the first time for Saudis to be in a state of eager anticipation. Most Saudis though would be more concerned about the impact of those changes on their own lives first and foremost. Out of all those what most people would expect are salary increase, women driving, finding jobs for old graduates, giving out extra salaries, decreasing the number of hours at work…etc.
Most Saudis think that those changes would touch our life and turn it upside down. Changes that turn us into happy people; hopefully happier than people living in UAE as they ranked first in the region according to the World Happiness Report 2016.
Changes that will be able to give each one of us, a life vision.
Because let’s face it; most Saudis live with no vision for their lives. They worry about the future way too much, but are too lazy to properly plan it. Thus they end up losing the present as well.
Twitter, which is used by over 1 million active Saudi users, was flooded in that date with hashtags expecting the changes prior to the announcement. If you look closely at many of those hashtags, you will see that they are a list of wishes people want to have in their lives.
For a moment, you would think that Twitter is a tool for people to achieve their dreams and that’s where the problem starts. The furthest thing a Saudi Twitter enthusiast can go to, to actualize their dream is to tweet about it in some viral hashtag demanding a higher authority to do it for them while they sit restfully watching TV and drinking tea. They think that their dreams is just a click away. That’s all it takes.
No. Let me straighten things up for you. You are part of that Saudi Vision. Saudi Vision is not happening if you think you are an outsider. You need to understand that you belong to this country as much as it belongs to you. No matter how small you think you are.
Saudi vision controls your outside world. Only. Your own personal decisions to improve your life style and thus become happier rely on you. Solely. Don’t ever wait for a reading group to start reading. Don’t wait for a breakdown to change your horrible job or boring major.
“But the country has no jobs of my desired major or work preference?” Some would say
That delusion only exists in your mind. Many people have changed jobs and majors and became happier ever after. Do you want to be an exception or a rule? That’s up to you.
Your existence is no coincidence. The change you are seeking is internal. That’s how you alter your outside world. Please stop blaming your unhappiness on your country. On your culture. On your family or your past. Stop living on the hope that some new future announcements of any sort will help you transform your life because it will be the same till you decide to be responsible for it. Are you still waiting?
Thanks for reading my post of this week!
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My name is Noor and I write from Saudi Arabia. I like to dance, write and eat bagels.
If you’ve got any questions about Islam, Arabs or Saudi, try asking me. I might have an answer that will satisfy your curiosity!