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Share ONLY the things you LIKE about teaching in KSA
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fledex



Joined: 05 Jun 2011
Posts: 303

PostPosted: Fri Dec 28, 2012 4:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well said readytotravel. I remember using nearly the exact same words to a colleague in a meeting with our Dean once. If he wasn't ready to live in a society where they behead people for blasphemy, then he should leave. That's why after the adventure of experiencing the dark ages wore off I left, as has bugogliboy. Of course, Scot's admonition to choose your masters with care rings forever true, right bugogliboy?
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johnslat



Joined: 21 Jan 2003
Posts: 12473
Location: Santa Fe, New Mexico, USA

PostPosted: Fri Dec 28, 2012 6:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Dear readytotravel,

"I don't think Saudis live in the dark ages."

I agree - I'd say it's more the Middle Ages nowadays, the Middle Ages with computers and smart phones.

But that - to me, anyway - is part of the charm. I really, really, really was NOT being sarcastic in my post about "time travel."

Regards,
John
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bulgogiboy



Joined: 23 Feb 2005
Posts: 787

PostPosted: Fri Dec 28, 2012 10:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

fledex wrote:
Well said readytotravel. I remember using nearly the exact same words to a colleague in a meeting with our Dean once. If he wasn't ready to live in a society where they behead people for blasphemy, then he should leave. That's why after the adventure of experiencing the dark ages wore off I left, as has bugogliboy. Of course, Scot's admonition to choose your masters with care rings forever true, right bugogliboy?


Come on, it's not that hard to spell. Laughing

Absolutely, you should always try to choose your "masters" as carefully as possible, regardless of which country you are in. The problem being it sometimes feels like there are very few decent "masters" to choose from in the whole TEFL industry! My search for the winning lottery numbers continues.... Laughing
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readytotravel



Joined: 16 Nov 2008
Posts: 77

PostPosted: Sat Dec 29, 2012 3:07 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well, I can cheerfully agree to disagree about the Saudis living in the Dark Ages. It's all relative I suppose. My last job was in Afghanistan. It's interesting to note that those who had or are having a negative experience in KSA exude a sense of smug superiority in this forum, as if to imply there's something amiss with those of us who rather enjoy it here. I get the same sense from some of my disgruntled colleagues, but perhaps I am reading them wrong.
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cmp45



Joined: 17 Aug 2004
Posts: 1376
Location: KSA

PostPosted: Sat Dec 29, 2012 5:41 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

KSA would certainly be more enjoyable, if there weren't so many restrictions. However, if KSA emulated the west with no restrictions, then the salaries would probably be less than they are now and competition for jobs more fierce. Laughing There will always be pros and cons to every situation, job, country. A person's ability to focus less on the negatives and more on the positives can help make one's stay in KSA more tolerable. Is your cup half full or half empty? Find some way to make your stay enjoyable. If you believe the country and / or job is so terrible then the simple solution is to just leave. Life is too short to waste your time in a place you are not happy in. I try to avoid the miserable complainers as they just bring me down! Yes, there is plenty to complain about, but at what cost to one's mental health? Complaining tends to become habitual over time. Isn't it better to try and focus on the positive things that bring some joy? If you can't find anything joyful about your stay in KSA then get the frack out!
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johnslat



Joined: 21 Jan 2003
Posts: 12473
Location: Santa Fe, New Mexico, USA

PostPosted: Sat Dec 29, 2012 1:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Dear readytotravel,

I spent 19 years in Saudi. Liked my job, liked the students, liked (with only a few exceptions) my employers, likes the opportunity to save money and also to travel so cheaply on holidays, and liked, generally speaking, the Saudi people.

I'm still in contact with some Saudis I became friends with during my time there.

I didn't like the "restrictions" on women, I didn't like the way most TCNs were usually treated, I didn't like living in a theocracy.

But even all the things I didn't like were beneficial - they gave me a much better appreciation of how, my country, for all its faults, is, relatively speaking, a very nice place to live.

So, for me, it was "all good." Very Happy

Regards,
John
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scot47



Joined: 10 Jan 2003
Posts: 12241
Location: Ultima Thule

PostPosted: Sat Dec 29, 2012 5:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

For me, it was 17 years with 4 different employers. Generally speaking it was good. Best job was the last !
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fledex



Joined: 05 Jun 2011
Posts: 303

PostPosted: Thu Feb 21, 2013 5:18 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

readytotravel wrote:
Well, I can cheerfully agree to disagree about the Saudis living in the Dark Ages. It's all relative I suppose. My last job was in Afghanistan. It's interesting to note that those who had or are having a negative experience in KSA exude a sense of smug superiority in this forum, as if to imply there's something amiss with those of us who rather enjoy it here. I get the same sense from some of my disgruntled colleagues, but perhaps I am reading them wrong.


I also taught in Afghanistan right before going to Saudi. Certainly enjoyed Afghanistan more. Also, could have a greater sense of achievement in Afghanistan; where the students were motivated, many working and studying internationally now. I imagine Afghanistan was like Saudi when it was under Taliban rule.
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redcard23



Joined: 15 Feb 2013
Posts: 9

PostPosted: Thu Feb 21, 2013 6:42 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I really like the objective positive theme of this thread, thanks OP.
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abayababy



Joined: 26 Dec 2012
Posts: 109

PostPosted: Thu Feb 21, 2013 5:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

fledex wrote:


I also taught in Afghanistan right before going to Saudi. Certainly enjoyed Afghanistan more. Also, could have a greater sense of achievement in Afghanistan; where the students were motivated, many working and studying internationally now. I imagine Afghanistan was like Saudi when it was under Taliban rule.


You imagine wrong. I've never seen a woman whipped by the muttawa for not wearing a niqab and no one stops Jareer from selling books. Hundreds of thousands of girls go to school here and no one throws acid in their faces. Night and day, my friend. Night and day.
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johnslat



Joined: 21 Jan 2003
Posts: 12473
Location: Santa Fe, New Mexico, USA

PostPosted: Thu Feb 21, 2013 7:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Dear abayababym

The times admittedly are a-changing, albeit rather slowly, But I saw ladies beaten by the muttawas and men beaten for not being in a mosque at prayer time in the 80s and 90s in Riyadh. And this happened back in 2002.

"Saudi Arabia's religious police stopped schoolgirls from leaving a blazing building because they were not wearing correct Islamic dress, according to Saudi newspapers.
In a rare criticism of the kingdom's powerful "mutaween" police, the Saudi media has accused them of hindering attempts to save 15 girls who died in the fire on Monday.

About 800 pupils were inside the school in the holy city of Mecca when the tragedy occurred."

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/1874471.stm

Regards,
John
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scot47



Joined: 10 Jan 2003
Posts: 12241
Location: Ultima Thule

PostPosted: Thu Feb 21, 2013 8:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thinking of education in KSA we should remember King Faisal who introduced girls education against the wishes of the Pious Ones. For tha, and agreeing to the introduction of televison he was assassinated.
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fledex



Joined: 05 Jun 2011
Posts: 303

PostPosted: Fri Feb 22, 2013 3:04 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I remember an American teacher being detained for prostitution at the Riyadh airport a couple years ago for having to wait at the airport for her employer to pick her up. The prostitution allegation was based on her not wearing proper attire for Saudi and sitting down in a restaurant (without a women's section) at the airport while she tried to call for her ride. Luckily, she wasn't whipped, I guess. While Jareer can sell approved books, it wasn't that long ago that this very forum was blocked in Saudi. It's true that women are given a chance for public education in KSA, which they didn't have under Taliban rule in Afghanistan; but, Saudi also has a GNP that allows for separate male and female public education.

Last edited by fledex on Fri Feb 22, 2013 2:40 pm; edited 2 times in total
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abayababy



Joined: 26 Dec 2012
Posts: 109

PostPosted: Fri Feb 22, 2013 3:33 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I am not a Saudi apologist, but standing by my statement that equating Saudi today with the Taliban era is not accurate. Not even close.
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fledex



Joined: 05 Jun 2011
Posts: 303

PostPosted: Fri Feb 22, 2013 2:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

abayababy wrote:
I am not a Saudi apologist, but standing by my statement that equating Saudi today with the Taliban era is not accurate. Not even close.


OK, to be more accurate. I imagine that under the Taliban the rule of law, the politics, and the fundamentalism was comparable to Saudi. After all, it was the disgruntled Saudis (and other Arabs) that were hanging out there and supporting the Taliban government. However, you are right on many other fronts. The work ethic, the extreme poverty, the terrain, and lots of other things were not and never will be similar to Saudi. Basically, the extremist Saudis tried to do in Afghanistan what many a world power has tried to do, such as Russia, Britain, Germany, and the USA. All of them just help the Afghans get rid of the other puppet government and try to establish their own for a short time, one after another, one by one.
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