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Words from the wise

 
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Selyer



Joined: 04 Feb 2003
Posts: 62
Location: Poland

PostPosted: Fri Apr 16, 2004 8:43 am    Post subject: Words from the wise Reply with quote

From those of you who've been or are, for those of us considering the option.... what do you reckon are the 3 best Middle Eastern countries to work in, and what would you consider the 3 best ME countries to avoid? An addidtional "Why?" explaining your thoughts on the matter would be greatly appreciated as well. Are there any countries where gender or nationality (ie American) makes a significant difference in the variety of jobs available, ease of daily living etc.? Seems like I see lots of jobs advertised in Saudi, for example, that specifically want to hire men.

Curious as to the thoughts of the ME vets,
Selyer
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scot47



Joined: 10 Jan 2003
Posts: 15329

PostPosted: Fri Apr 16, 2004 11:35 am    Post subject: kofsa Reply with quote

"Are there any countries where gender or nationality (ie American) makes a significant difference in the variety of jobs available."

In the KofSA men teach men, and women teach women. There are not many jobs for females. The number of US citizens teaching here is smaller than it was.

Personally I have no real problems working in Saudi Arabia but some sensitive souls cannot stand it.
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veiledsentiments



Joined: 20 Feb 2003
Posts: 17622
Location: USA

PostPosted: Fri Apr 16, 2004 1:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Selyer,

Easy question --- for the single female, it would have to be Oman, UAE and Egypt as the three best (not necessarily in that order) - or at the the three that were best for me. The worst is even easier - Saudi and Kuwait.

Nationality doesn't really matter in any of them, but despite my friend Cleo's experience, I would say that Saudi is not a great place to be a single female. I put Kuwait on the negative list because I find their bureaucracy the most obnoxious to deal with - and they drive as insanely as the Saudis, if not worse. Smile

Qatar and Bahrain would come in the middle. Both rather small and boring, but completely acceptable in the right job. Bahrain has little on offer and Qatar seems to have a few more jobs, but a number of their places have bad reputations for teachers (according to what shows up here).

VS
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kaw



Joined: 31 Mar 2003
Posts: 302
Location: somewhere hot and sunny

PostPosted: Sat Apr 17, 2004 10:00 am    Post subject: Where to go Reply with quote

Where in the M.E. depends on what you are looking for.
If it's a large pay packet at the end of the month(ish) then the UAE and Saudi seem the best. For a social life then again the UAE would probably win hands down.
For everything else - well I have to confess that I love Oman. Even though I am now working on the Oman/UAE border I'd much prefer to travel further and go to Muscat that I would Dubai.
One of the main disadvantages about Oman is the lack of public transport so you really do need to be able to drive.
As far as being a woman is concerned - of course you will be more likely to get unwanted attention wherever you go in the M.E. but as far as safety is concerend there really isn't anything to worry about in Oman.

Can't suggest anywhere else - sorry.
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Stephen Jones



Joined: 21 Feb 2003
Posts: 4124

PostPosted: Sat Apr 17, 2004 4:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Why do you say Kuwait is so bad for the single girl. Most single twentyi-fivish year old female teachers that I knew there had a ball of a time, and said the social life was much better than the UK.
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veiledsentiments



Joined: 20 Feb 2003
Posts: 17622
Location: USA

PostPosted: Sun Apr 18, 2004 4:44 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Stephen,

I presume you were questioning my response. I didn't say that it was 'so bad for single women.' I explained that most of my dislike was related to their unpleasant bureaucracy. Selyer asked about our personal recommendations as to the best and worst countries to work and live. Based on my experiences, I would put Kuwait rock bottom as the least pleasant place that I lived or worked in the Middle East. Yes, I too have friends that liked it well enough, but in my opinion, compared to Egypt, the Emirates, or Oman, it doesn't compete at all. In this case, one's sex is irrelevant. I would gladly return to the other three countries, I wouldn't go back to Kuwait if they quintupled the salary and send a private jet. But, that's just my opinion. Smile

VS
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Gnocchiman



Joined: 23 Mar 2004
Posts: 68
Location: Limbo

PostPosted: Sun Apr 18, 2004 5:00 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm sorry VS, I disagree with you. It's not an opinion that Kuwait is the worst place to live in the ME, but a cold hard fact!!! The worst 2.5 years of my life-what a miserable place. EVERYBODY is or looks depressed there-from the gas station attendants to the Kuwaitis themselves. Saudi wasn't far behind-luckily I was shielded from reality by my living conditions. Oman and the UAE are most certainly the way to go if one wants to live and work in the ME! Cool
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veiledsentiments



Joined: 20 Feb 2003
Posts: 17622
Location: USA

PostPosted: Sun Apr 18, 2004 2:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Gnocchiman,

OK, I admit it. I was trying to be diplomatic. Smile I fear that I am more in agreement with you than with Stephen's friends.

But, I do have to admit that I have a single female friend who has lived happily there for over ten years. But, I suspect that much depends on your job and the amount of wasta that comes with it. Rarely the situation in education though.

VS
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basiltherat



Joined: 04 Oct 2003
Posts: 952

PostPosted: Mon Apr 19, 2004 6:33 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Syria is excellent.
See my posting in Job Information Journal for reasons why.
basil
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Eijse



Joined: 17 Dec 2003
Posts: 119
Location: Yemen (Aden)

PostPosted: Mon Apr 19, 2004 2:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

...

Last edited by Eijse on Mon Sep 06, 2004 1:53 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Stephen Jones



Joined: 21 Feb 2003
Posts: 4124

PostPosted: Mon Apr 19, 2004 7:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I did a year in Kuwait but the problem was the job (mind you with Muslim holidays, Christmas, Easter and half-term I don't think we were there that often!).

If I hadn't come in second at the interview for a job at the French Lycée, I'd probably still be there.

Pretty boring though if you weren't good looking enough to get invited to all the parties. Still it does have a good Bridge Club.
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Boy Wonder



Joined: 29 Mar 2004
Posts: 453
Location: Clacton on sea

PostPosted: Thu Apr 22, 2004 7:46 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

1.UAE=The party lifestyle,a good mix of nationalities,it's fun!
2.Egypt=Culture,craziness,and the homeland of Roubi...
3.Syria=Amazing architecture,decent citizens,great music
4.Bahrain=the UAE in minature
5.Lebanon=disorganised but worth the trouble,very very chic
6.Jordan=good schools and fantasic desert trips
7.Oman=chilled out and green..liked the forts
8.Qatar=okay if you like contemplating life and taking it very very easily
9.Kuwait=dry but not if you know the right people
10.The mighty KSA=3 years of madness..don't bother!
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spot



Joined: 05 Apr 2004
Posts: 11
Location: UAE

PostPosted: Thu Apr 22, 2004 7:16 pm    Post subject: ksa vs uae Reply with quote

Of the Gulf countries, I attended the best dinners + parties, made the deepest friendships (expat + local), experienced the craziest adventures, + found the most interconnectedness between cultures in KSA. Perhaps the restrictions brought people closer together.

In stark contrast, the UAE was a surface, artificial, Dilbertian experience, at least for me and a number of friends who have worked in both countries.

Yes, more things to do + more freedom to do them in the UAE, but very few people you can count on at the end of the day + a less friendly environment overall.
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