Since I was a 2 month old baby, I have been in Saudi Arabia. I have been to school here. I have seen Riyadh from all angles and in all conditions.
I am raising a son here now. So are my friends and thousands of expatriates raising their children here. Normal, healthy children that go to school here and grow up here. Schools we pay huge amounts of money for as did our parents.
I spent many precious moments of my childhood in Riyadh. So did my siblings. We were doing great until we did high school. We were in shock and lost suddenly. When we were told we could not attend college here. When we were told that there was something called iqama. And that it had to be renewed and that our father was nothing but an employed person who was just an iqama number. Nothing belonged to us and nothing could. We felt lost.
So, where is home? What should I call home? The country I am from? What is there? I have never lived there. How do we start again there? Then we would stare at our parents and wonder what they were thinking!
I am 40 and I still don’t know what to call home. Is that natural or right?
God divided us into nations and countries for a reason. To build life globally. For fair distribution of resources and for comfortable living. The whole environment was set and reset many times over. But the fools that we are, we always acted against it.
If you are from a country where there is famine and war and you seek refuge in Saudi Arabia, it would be understandable. Even the most hardcore xenophobic, prejudiced and paranoid Saudi would be understanding to that. But, tell me honestly, are you from that country which is suffering from this? Then why have you left it all and come here? Is there no home to build there?
I ask myself this everyday.
I know that one day, if I choose to stay on, my son will ask me the same-feel the same.
Let’s not dwell on what Saudi government should do or not do, what policies it has and will have- that debate is a lost cause.
Let’s think of these hard facts. We have slowly given up on our homes and chosen to live the lives of modern gypsies yet we want to be like the ‘settled’ which, in reality, we are not AND time is passing by..
Just a thought I wanted to share with you..