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Is teaching in SA as horrific as I'm reading it to be?
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LPKSA



Joined: 02 Mar 2014
Posts: 101

PostPosted: Thu Mar 13, 2014 6:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm in Saudi Arabia right now, in Riyadh.

Don't take my advice in all seriousness as I have only been here for a short time, I feel I don't have the right to formulate a solid opinion yet, but I can offer some guidance in looking for a job.

First, you will find luxuries here taken for granted (e.g., cheap house cleaners, free access to gym and pool on compound, etc.). This is hard for me to comprehend because I have always been self-sufficient. It gets annoying because being that I am from the USA, the greatest and richest country in the world Shocked I am viewed by others who work here as someone who has a disposable income (if that were only the case). I get knocks on my door from people asking me if I want my house cleaned, if I want this done, that done, it gets really old. Everyone calls me sir. I'm going to wear a shirt which screams "DO NOT CALL ME SIR."

Things are really really slow here. They told me that I would be paid on Sunday, but it's now Thursday. They will pay me, they're just slow.

Other than that, life is cake. I would recommend coming here, but then again, I'm just a "newbie." (MOD edit)

Having an MA or a PhD isn't necessary in order to find a good job here, but it doesn't hurt.
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mashkif



Joined: 17 Aug 2010
Posts: 129

PostPosted: Fri Mar 14, 2014 12:01 am    Post subject: Re: Is teaching in SA as horrific as I'm reading it to be? Reply with quote

teacheverywhere wrote:
...'Why do Americans think that we hate our women? That we cover them up as a way to shun them from society or privilege? In India, we guard our women, and we protect them because they are sacred. People outside our culture think that we want to oppress our women by covering them with fabric. We are only protecting them from the misbehaviors of men.' Then, among other related things, we discussed the aberrations that have lead to violent sexual assaults and atrocities in India.

In that moment, I felt almost disappointed in myself for not having known all of what she had said. At the same time, I felt an immense gush of gratitude towards her for making my field of vision wider.

All of that is to say this: I understand what you mean.






I DO hope your post was meant to be sarcastic because it is some of the most stomach-churning example of cultural relativism I witnessed in a long time in this type of forum. Pretty much ANY abhorrent practice can be pseudorationalized away like that. "Honor" killings? They promote family and, by extension, societal cohesion. Female genital mutilation? They stop the women from "whoring around," and help build stable families. Acid attacks for wearing "immodest" apparel? They help keep the society "clean-minded." Treating laborers from Indian subcontinent as slaves in all but name? Hey, they have it a lot better in Saudi than they would at home!

It reminds of the nauseating Islamic apologists' bleating about how women are "queens" and special and sitting at the throne of heaven (or somesuch B.S.), WHICH - but of course! - is the reason they have to be "protected," in the form of dressing them up in garbage bags, disallowing them from getting an education and employment, keeping them locked indoors preferably barefoot and pregnant, etc.

Women are mentally as capable as men. Period. Scientifically proven. Men's greater physical strength is the SOLE reason that women have been oppressed for millennia and particularly since the advent of monotheistic religions. Luckily - and this is one reason I firmly maintain that the Western culture IS superior to many others - we have at least begun to learn that there is no such thing as a woman's "job," and even if there was, it is certainly NOT to wait for her husband at home in a negligee with a three-course dinner on the table for him to eat while she rubs his feet. We have started and made considerable progress toward fully empowering the female half of the population, and we are reaping fantastic economic, scientific, and cultural rewards because of it.

Women do not need to be "protected" from men by suppressing, oppressing, disenfranchising, and disadvantaging them. It is the men who need to be taught to respect women and treat them as 100% equal human beings, whether as coworkers, spouses, passers-by on the street, passengers, or total strangers. As someone somewhere opined, the cause of rape are not "immodest" clothes, women behaving lasciviously, the availability of porn, etc.; the cause of rape are rapists.

Anyway... "Sorry," but I REALLY had to get that off my chest.

Now, I would discourage anyone from going into a Saudi classroom all gung-ho pumped-up and shoot off the above. It is not an educator's job to promote, let alone impose, views and values on his/her students. However, neither do I condone pandering to cultural mores, because if we had been doing that, slavery would never have gotten abolished, to use one of the most obvious examples. An educator is supposed to stimulate critical thinking, promote a thirst of intellectual inquiry, teach students how to find and retrieve sources, train them how to evaluate those sources, and then guide them as they - hopefully - use their mental faculties to process and analyze the welter of information found.

Of course, that might not be applicable to the lower and intermediate levels of English-teaching, where you literally DO just *teach*, but any higher academic endeavor jolly well IS predicated on the above.
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cmp45



Joined: 17 Aug 2004
Posts: 1369
Location: KSA

PostPosted: Fri Mar 14, 2014 5:08 am    Post subject: Re: Is teaching in SA as horrific as I'm reading it to be? Reply with quote

mashkif wrote:
teacheverywhere wrote:
...'Why do Americans think that we hate our women? That we cover them up as a way to shun them from society or privilege? In India, we guard our women, and we protect them because they are sacred. People outside our culture think that we want to oppress our women by covering them with fabric. We are only protecting them from the misbehaviors of men.' Then, among other related things, we discussed the aberrations that have lead to violent sexual assaults and atrocities in India.

In that moment, I felt almost disappointed in myself for not having known all of what she had said. At the same time, I felt an immense gush of gratitude towards her for making my field of vision wider.

All of that is to say this: I understand what you mean.


I DO hope your post was meant to be sarcastic because it is some of the most stomach-churning example of cultural relativism I witnessed in a long time in this type of forum. Pretty much ANY abhorrent practice can be pseudorationalized away like that. "Honor" killings? They promote family and, by extension, societal cohesion. Female genital mutilation? They stop the women from "whoring around," and help build stable families. Acid attacks for wearing "immodest" apparel? They help keep the society "clean-minded." Treating laborers from Indian subcontinent as slaves in all but name? Hey, they have it a lot better in Saudi than they would at home!

It reminds of the nauseating Islamic apologists' bleating about how women are "queens" and special and sitting at the throne of heaven (or somesuch B.S.), WHICH - but of course! - is the reason they have to be "protected," in the form of dressing them up in garbage bags, disallowing them from getting an education and employment, keeping them locked indoors preferably barefoot and pregnant, etc.

Women are mentally as capable as men. Period. Scientifically proven. Men's greater physical strength is the SOLE reason that women have been oppressed for millennia and particularly since the advent of monotheistic religions. Luckily - and this is one reason I firmly maintain that the Western culture IS superior to many others - we have at least begun to learn that there is no such thing as a woman's "job," and even if there was, it is certainly NOT to wait for her husband at home in a negligee with a three-course dinner on the table for him to eat while she rubs his feet. We have started and made considerable progress toward fully empowering the female half of the population, and we are reaping fantastic economic, scientific, and cultural rewards because of it.

Women do not need to be "protected" from men by suppressing, oppressing, disenfranchising, and disadvantaging them. It is the men who need to be taught to respect women and treat them as 100% equal human beings, whether as coworkers, spouses, passers-by on the street, passengers, or total strangers. As someone somewhere opined, the cause of rape are not "immodest" clothes, women behaving lasciviously, the availability of porn, etc.; the cause of rape are rapists.

Anyway... "Sorry," but I REALLY had to get that off my chest.

Now, I would discourage anyone from going into a Saudi classroom all gung-ho pumped-up and shoot off the above. It is not an educator's job to promote, let alone impose, views and values on his/her students. However, neither do I condone pandering to cultural mores, because if we had been doing that, slavery would never have gotten abolished, to use one of the most obvious examples. An educator is supposed to stimulate critical thinking, promote a thirst of intellectual inquiry, teach students how to find and retrieve sources, train them how to evaluate those sources, and then guide them as they - hopefully - use their mental faculties to process and analyze the welter of information found.

Of course, that might not be applicable to the lower and intermediate levels of English-teaching, where you literally DO just *teach*, but any higher academic endeavor jolly well IS predicated on the above.


Since I was born and raised in the west, I tend to agree with you. However, we are all born into specific cultures and raised within that cultural mind set; it can be very hard for some to risk going against the grain of their society's norms even when in our hearts and minds we know it to be wrong; globally I think we are experiencing some major trends with regards to women and the subsequent actions of brave souls taking a stand for change. Although it may not seem like it in some regions of the world, I truly think within the next generation we will see some significant changes where we thought it never possible. Slow and steady wins the race; this is not a 100 m dash...with the internet women can now empower each other by sharing experiences and shedding light on the realities of their personal struggles...awareness is a the first step; of course misogynistic men though out the world can also help, by thinking with their brains for a change.
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LPKSA



Joined: 02 Mar 2014
Posts: 101

PostPosted: Fri Mar 14, 2014 8:10 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've always thought that keeping women from the altar in Western religious practices (similar to here) was because men realized the potential of women, and were scared of the potential which they had. I'm all for women being treated equally, in my home country. This is not my country, nor is it my culture. With that said, I acknowledge that women are equally (if not more) as capable as their male counterparts, but again, their country, not mine. Their culture, not mine. Would be nice to see women in positions of decision making, rather than just sitting around waiting for the men to get off their behinds and actually make some progress.
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sicklyman



Joined: 02 Feb 2013
Posts: 441

PostPosted: Sat Mar 15, 2014 12:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

LPKSA wrote:
Everyone calls me sir. I'm going to wear a shirt which screams "DO NOT CALL ME SIR."

funny. As a Brit, I've often felt that way when talking to teens and younger kids from the southern USA.

LPKSA wrote:
I get knocks on my door from people asking me if I want my house cleaned, if I want this done, that done, it gets really old.


As you're a self-confessed newbie, and as I've lived in many countries where whites are regarded as lactating *beep* of cash, perhaps you'll be open to this little piece of advice.

I've often found that it helps my prejudices to talk to these people and find out their situation regarding why they're in Saudi, what 'home' means for them etc. Somehow, I then find it much easier to let them 'help' me by doing a bit of cleaning or something here and there. They help me realise that most of the world doesn't share the concept of disposable income.
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mzuri



Joined: 30 May 2011
Posts: 75

PostPosted: Sat Mar 15, 2014 2:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
Slow and steady wins the race;


This is exactly the kind of comment told to African-Americans in the 1950s, 1960, and 1970s. Integrate schools? Give parity in military service? Voting rights? Equal access to decent jobs? "Slow and steady wins the race. Give the whites time to get used to these ideas, and your time will come."


Quote:
I acknowledge that women are equally (if not more) as capable as their male counterparts,


I feel validated now. Just like I did when the CEO of a large organization tugged my hair as one would a young child, after I asked him a professional question.


Quote:
their country, not mine. Their culture, not mine.


The idea that all cultures are different-but-equal is an idea that died long ago. I thought. There are some practices that are dysfunctional and repressive, no matter how prettily they are wrapped up in a cocoon of culture or religion.

I've noted a disturbing trend recently in which people are discouraged from speaking out against injustice if they from outside the oppressive group. When we remain quiet we become collaborators.
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LPKSA



Joined: 02 Mar 2014
Posts: 101

PostPosted: Sat Mar 15, 2014 2:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

mzuri wrote:


Quote:
their country, not mine. Their culture, not mine.


The idea that all cultures are different-but-equal is an idea that died long ago. I thought. There are some practices that are dysfunctional and repressive, no matter how prettily they are wrapped up in a cocoon of culture or religion.

I've noted a disturbing trend recently in which people are discouraged from speaking out against injustice if they from outside the oppressive group. When we remain quiet we become collaborators.


I came here to do a job, and finally I have a job which I am proud of. I am compensated fairly. What happens outside of my job in the society here has nothing to do with me, therefore it's not my place to criticize people in this country and their practices. I keep my head down and my mouth shut. I have to, if I want to survive here.
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