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Gnome



Joined: 05 May 2004
Posts: 74

PostPosted: Wed May 12, 2004 5:36 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Andrew,

Thanks for sharing your thoughts. I am glad I am not the only person who has given up on working in the Magic Kingdom, due to the political situation and the Canadian/Saudi red tape. For a country that hasn't increased its teaching salaries for a decade or more, and seems to be on the verge of implosion, you would think that they would be doing everything possible to attract new instructors. Instead, they are making it ever more difficult.

I am also surprised to see that Scott47 is starting to question the idea of working in Saudi, in contrast to the sarcastic response he posted to my very first posting, further down this thread.

I am also glad to see there are more people writing to express their concern. I feel more justified in my decision to stay out of the Middle East. By the way, I have worked in Saudi, Yemen and Qatar, so I am not an EFL novice. My opinions are based on real experience.
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ProfessorBob77



Joined: 03 Apr 2004
Posts: 16

PostPosted: Wed May 12, 2004 9:41 am    Post subject: Down but not Out Reply with quote

I am feeling down about the news for Canadians attempting to teach in The Kingdom but momma didn't raise a quitter. I have replied to a few schools and mentioned the problems that are out there. I look at it this way, if they really want you they will get it done and will get it done right. Due to the delay though I have renewed my deal here in china until the new year. I will let you know how the process turns out. All of you have been a great help both with how to do the Visa and how to demand private schools to "step to the plate"and do things right. Thanks, The Nutty Prof.
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Gnome



Joined: 05 May 2004
Posts: 74

PostPosted: Thu May 13, 2004 6:48 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Back in February the Damman Community College needed to hire quite a lot of EFL instructors in a hurry for their new facilities. They bypassed the usual lengthy process by hiring instructors through Al Falak, a recruiting company. In this way they could hire instructors under a business visa, which was good for 3 months. They promised to convert the business visa into a permanent "direct hire" after the 3 months. This was supposed to give them enough time to decide if they wanted you ... and enough time for you to decide if you wanted them. Al Falak supplied the housing, etc. but charged for everything. However, the salary more than compensated for the added expense, and once directly hired by the college you would be eligible for free college housing, etc. but your salary would drop dramatically.

You could suggest a similar tactic if you have trouble getting a visa clearance in time from the Canadian government. I suspect that you will see more Saudi institutes using this approach in the future, especially this August, when they realize that they will be short of staff.

I wonder how the instructors that were hired by the DCC in February have made out. It would be great to hear from them.
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Stephen Jones



Joined: 21 Feb 2003
Posts: 4124

PostPosted: Thu May 13, 2004 11:41 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

We use Al-Falak to help us find direct hires. Using their business visas was one alternative we looked into for the problem with Canadian visas.

I've been trying to get high-ups to make representations to the Foreign Office, but if this doesn't look like happening any time soon. The only thing that goes quickly in Saudi is the traffic.
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scot47



Joined: 10 Jan 2003
Posts: 12305
Location: Ultima Thule

PostPosted: Thu May 13, 2004 11:53 am    Post subject: One "T" Not Two ! Reply with quote

"I am also surprised to see that Scott47 is starting to question the idea of working in Saudi, in contrast to the sarcastic response he posted to my very first posting, further down this thread."

One "t" not two if you don't mind. It is a marker of my ethnicity and not a first name.

If thoughts of leaving did not come to me in Saudi Arabia I would be a worried man. Most of us here - including colleagues who have been here 20 or more years wonder about when to leave. This is not a country where people come and settle down. Some of the loopier "reverts" might dream about putting down roots here but for most of us we look forward to a retirement elsewhere.

The question is "When do we leave ?" In your case it might be,"Should I try Saudi Arabia ?"
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cody jarrett



Joined: 28 Feb 2004
Posts: 21
Location: Middle East

PostPosted: Fri May 14, 2004 8:30 am    Post subject: Al Falak Reply with quote

Gnome,
many of the Al-Falak contract teachers have done runners - you would have to ask them why; the 'quality' of the students might have something to do with it.
But the KFUPM teachers are happy as the overtime reverts back to them.
Cody
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Gnome



Joined: 05 May 2004
Posts: 74

PostPosted: Sat May 15, 2004 6:04 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Cody,

Thanks for the info. I was afraid that might be the case. The whole recruitment process seemed to be rushed. As well, according to comments on this website, Al Falak hasn't had a good reputation in the past. Sounds like a "direct hire" is the way to go, even though the salary is lower. However, you also seem to indicate that the students were the problem, not Al Falak. Thanks again.
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