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PhD in Humanities
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Bloumi K Shiansheng



Joined: 15 Jan 2009
Posts: 3

PostPosted: Fri Jan 16, 2009 6:52 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

johnslat wrote:
Dear NCTBA,

So, you were in prison (as a C.O., of course) prior to EFL, and I'm in prison (as a GED teacher) after EFL.

I'll bet prison was a good dress rehearsal for Saudi Arabia.

Regards,
John


Is it really THAT bad?
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Never Ceased To Be Amazed



Joined: 22 Oct 2004
Posts: 3500
Location: Shhh...don't talk to me...I'm playin' dead...

PostPosted: Fri Jan 16, 2009 7:54 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Bloumi K Shiansheng wrote:
johnslat wrote:
Dear NCTBA,

So, you were in prison (as a C.O., of course) prior to EFL, and I'm in prison (as a GED teacher) after EFL.

I'll bet prison was a good dress rehearsal for Saudi Arabia.

Regards,
John


Is it really THAT bad?


Well, it depends on your tolerence for BS. I tolerated it for 10 years, but most of that time was done with gritted teeth. Here are just some examples:

1. Most (all of mine did) employers will confiscate your passport and it gets replaced with an "Iqama"...a kind of identity booklet which you are required to have at all times.

2. When I first arrived, there was a law that didn't allow you to travel more than 50 Km. from your place of residence. without a letter from your employer giving you permission to go beyond that distance. The letter is no longer required, but the checkpoints continue and they perform Igama checks.

3. With the bombings that have taken place there, there are now multiple inner city checkpoints.

4. Nurses (mainly Filipina) are kept on guarded compounds or in guarded buildings and are shuttled back in forth to work. In keeping with the myth of the "Kingdom of Humanity", they are also graciously given a trip once a week...and always under guard..for grocery shopping.

5. They have these gangs of lunatics called Mutawwa ("religious police") who go around and drag all Muslims into the mosques for prayer...sometimes violently. Being a "backsliding Southern Baptist" gave me the tolerance to put up with that lot!

6. The mutawwa also prowl popular spots yelling at and making women cover their hair whether or not Muslim.

7. They prowl around in larger packs (most notably in Suburbans) harrassing women on the street whom they find especially offensive to them (hair uncovered).

8. Any and all business must (and do) shut down during prayer times (five a day) and almost all will eject people from the store premises regardless the time of year or the heat of the day (can you imagine how HOT it can get under a black abaya that ALL women MUST wear in the 45+ F heat of a Riyadh summer day for sometimes up to a half-hour?).

9. People can and do get denied permission to board, say a vacation flight when the computer shows that they have an unpaid traffic ticket...thereby missing their flight and possible ruining the entire vacation. Oh, and here's the kicker, if you HAVE paid off the fine, those crooks are so bad at doing their jobs that there's a 50/50 chance that it hasn't been entered into the computer, therefore, most of the "inmates" carry the receipt they got for paying off the fine to the airport unless the beginning of this thought happens.

10. People have (and do get) been thrown out of the country with 24 hours notice, usually for a faux pas done out of ignorance to the "culture".

11. A Saudi will ABSOLUTELY go nuts if you...in a moment of lapsed memory, have forgotten it is (the month long) Ramadan and absent-mindedly take a swig of water or pop something into your mouth. Most other Arab cultures, though wanting you to show respect for their religion are MUCH more forgivable, especially if proven to be a "newbie".

12. At traffic signals, when the light turns green, everybody looks to the right before proceeding as Saudis commonly turn left from the far right lane.

I shan't continue, altho I could go on and on, as this post is dragging up bad, old memories.

And, all of this for a fair to middl'in salary. To answer your question in short, YES!

NCTBA
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kittyfye



Joined: 11 Jul 2005
Posts: 46
Location: was Korea, now Albuquerque

PostPosted: Sat Jan 17, 2009 9:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

NCTBA,
About the last note on which you end, would you say that the Saudis are not the highest payers in ME? Sounds like some significant cultural restrictions, but without the compensation one might hope for.
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Never Ceased To Be Amazed



Joined: 22 Oct 2004
Posts: 3500
Location: Shhh...don't talk to me...I'm playin' dead...

PostPosted: Sat Jan 17, 2009 10:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hey, kittyfye:

There was a time, but only for guys and mainly military gigs...and those have, by and large, gone away. There is better money to be made in a couple of other gulf nations,,,and without the BS, Saudi, I found, to be mainly populated by those whose highest attainment was their first degree with maybe a TEFL cert thrown in,,,maybe. There are some few which have higher standards, but just a handful to my knowledge, but nowhere near the money that I currently make. Good luck. To me...and I only speak for myself...there's not enough to be made there to put up with ther 24/7 BS.

NCTBA
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kittyfye



Joined: 11 Jul 2005
Posts: 46
Location: was Korea, now Albuquerque

PostPosted: Tue Jan 20, 2009 1:43 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Oh, I take heed of that last admonition for sure. After the living-abroad-romance wears off, it is fair to ask, "Ok, why am I here putting up with this again??" And that is from my experience in NE Asia--nothing like the Saudi you describe.

But I must admit, there is no community to be a part of quite like an expat community. That really is such an attractive part of living abroad.

Ok, here we go.....WHICH are the "couple of other Gulf nations"? Very Happy
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Never Ceased To Be Amazed



Joined: 22 Oct 2004
Posts: 3500
Location: Shhh...don't talk to me...I'm playin' dead...

PostPosted: Tue Jan 20, 2009 5:14 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

O.K., Kittyfye...get out your atlas...they're NOT Kuwait, Bahrain, Iraq, Iran, or Oman. That only leaves two other than Saudi that are "gulf nations". I'd focus there.

NCTBA
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veiledsentiments



Joined: 20 Feb 2003
Posts: 16118
Location: USA

PostPosted: Tue Jan 20, 2009 5:20 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I can think of one place in Kuwait that may eventually have an opening for a PhD in Humanities... although right now I know that the ones that there have many years of experience (the catch for new grads)... but there is The American University of Kuwait.

VS
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kittyfye



Joined: 11 Jul 2005
Posts: 46
Location: was Korea, now Albuquerque

PostPosted: Sun Jan 25, 2009 5:31 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Forgive my one-week hiatus; I got busy with the job I already have ;^)

Thanks for the AUK tip and the geographic tease Very Happy. I'll hit an online atlas first thing in the morning.

But since we're all over the place on this thread, let me ask NCTBA a question about Japan. You mentioned that one uni in Tokyo as being "the" university in Japan where one can have fine teaching job. I have also heard about the all-English Doshisha university. But their web-site doesn't really offer much--no foreign-professor contact info that I can find, for one thing.

Do you know anything about the place? It's just a waxing curiosity on my part, really.

Happy Chinese New Year~
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kittyfye



Joined: 11 Jul 2005
Posts: 46
Location: was Korea, now Albuquerque

PostPosted: Sun Jan 25, 2009 5:34 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Qatar and the UAE!

I couldn't wait until morning...
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Never Ceased To Be Amazed



Joined: 22 Oct 2004
Posts: 3500
Location: Shhh...don't talk to me...I'm playin' dead...

PostPosted: Sun Jan 25, 2009 7:05 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

kittyfye wrote:
Forgive my one-week hiatus; I got busy with the job I already have ;^)

Thanks for the AUK tip and the geographic tease Very Happy. I'll hit an online atlas first thing in the morning.

But since we're all over the place on this thread, let me ask NCTBA a question about Japan. You mentioned that one uni in Tokyo as being "the" university in Japan where one can have fine teaching job. I have also heard about the all-English Doshisha university. But their web-site doesn't really offer much--no foreign-professor contact info that I can find, for one thing.

Do you know anything about the place? It's just a waxing curiosity on my part, really.

Happy Chinese New Year~


Huh? T'wasn't me! I can only speak as to where I got MY M.Ed in TESOL...that would be Temple University Japan. Go Owls!!! (Hooting vigorously!!!) Very Happy

NCTBA


Last edited by Never Ceased To Be Amazed on Sun Jan 25, 2009 2:20 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Never Ceased To Be Amazed



Joined: 22 Oct 2004
Posts: 3500
Location: Shhh...don't talk to me...I'm playin' dead...

PostPosted: Sun Jan 25, 2009 7:06 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

kittyfye wrote:
Qatar and the UAE!

I couldn't wait until morning...


Yea!!! You go, girl!

NCTBA
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veiledsentiments



Joined: 20 Feb 2003
Posts: 16118
Location: USA

PostPosted: Sun Jan 25, 2009 4:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

psst... NCTBA... kittyfye is male...

VS
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johnslat



Joined: 21 Jan 2003
Posts: 12853
Location: Santa Fe, New Mexico, USA

PostPosted: Sun Jan 25, 2009 4:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Dear kittyfye,
Congratulations - all the best in your new job.
Regards,
John
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veiledsentiments



Joined: 20 Feb 2003
Posts: 16118
Location: USA

PostPosted: Sun Jan 25, 2009 4:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think you may have misunderstood JohnS... kittyfye is still working on his PhD... we're still at the "where should I apply when I finish it stage" Laughing

VS
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Never Ceased To Be Amazed



Joined: 22 Oct 2004
Posts: 3500
Location: Shhh...don't talk to me...I'm playin' dead...

PostPosted: Sun Jan 25, 2009 4:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

veiledsentiments wrote:
psst... NCTBA... kittyfye is male...

VS


Um... Embarassed Embarassed Embarassed , you go...fella...

NCTBA
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