Sense of Belonging…


” Common sense and a sense of belonging to this place could never coexist in a sane person’s mind.” Says Arwa Santli.. on twitter.

This caught my eye today.. and I at once remarked that this could be the beginning of a best-selling book.

Yes, how do we feel we belong here? How do we feel this is really home? How can we? Common sense will tell us continuously that we cannot belong here.. no matter how much we want to. I am talking about Riyadh…

Every Saudi, Expatriate and Bird feels that they are in transit… unconsciously or consciously. We are MADE to feel this because of so many negative things that are presented to us everyday. Is it not funny that someone from as close as Jalajil, will miss Jalajil. Someone from as far as Jakarta will miss Jakarta, even after being here for 30 years? These same people could easily feel very much at home and experience a sense of belonging if they spent half of that time anywhere else.. why? Why can’t this city make us feel at home or give us a sense of belonging? I will tell you..

Because it has NO character! It did not build over time and it did not build people’s lives. It does not have memorable spots and it does not have a hundred year old mansion that is an Inn now. It does not have trees that are as old as time. It does not have NORMAL people in it. It is a huge corporation that trades in everything.. including people. It has thousands of emotionally and mentally starved LABOR that have been brought here, deprived of family and denied family.. it has inhabitants who have targets and missions and no lives as such. And, it has monitors that makes people fear each other.

How does a woman feel when every time she steps out of her house alone, she feels anxiety? If not from people then from the PVPV? She feels monitored for no reason…

How does a man feel when he is caged in limitations? When he can only do so much though he can do a lot?

How does it feel to feel insecurity ALL the time about something?

This kills the sense of belonging. And, common sense by itself breeds just one thing: No loyalty to the place. If given a better option, ANYONE would leave Riyadh. Most seek better options all the time. No relationship here is definite BECAUSE of this. I do not expect to find Mr. So and SO in the same place all the time. I have not seen a single shop owner grow old selling the same thing… No character, no history and no simplicity. The collective mind is all about make as much as you can, stay out of trouble and LEAVE.

No matter how long you live here..No matter how much Riyadh nurtures you.. it keeps whispering in your ear.. ” you do not belong here”.. So when we meet someone who says that they belong here, we think they are INSANE.. they must be to say this.

This sort of atmosphere makes society sick.

Do you know why we hate traffic jams? Because , if you are out with your family and you get stuck in a traffic jam, you worry more about the cars around you and the people staring into your car! How sick is that? The deprived look in the eyes of a guy sitting in a 1978 Toyota bus going from Olaya to Batha.. I will take a picture one day to emphasize this. No life in his eyes. Just lust and deprivation in this city of great infra structure. He is not home and he will not be home even if he lives here forever. WHY?

No, this feeling does not exist so much in Jeddah.. people do belong there. So, I am not talking about the whole of KSA.. I am talking about this city.

Progress and prosperity is good. It is important. What is more important is to create cities that become HOME for people living in them. We will always need labor here.. why must they be in the state they are in? Why can’t they have  a LIFE and feel some happiness? Why can’t they have their wives and kids come over anytime? Why can’t Riyadh be HOME to all the people here? Why don’t people that have lived here for a long time become citizens? Why should Saudis ALWAYS feel OUT OF HOME because of SO many expatriates? I mean TOO many and it is ONLY because of greedy sponsors selling visas.. there is an imbalance and this imbalance is causing Riyadh to become one city full of frustrated people.. Saudi and Non Saudi.. alike.

Why do we have so many compounds? Where people must HIDE… What are locals? Animals? No. Common sense and the sense of belonging to this place do not coexist in a sane mind because PEOPLE DO NOT COEXIST! These divisions by nationality, race, color and culture of discrimination is bringing in and generating BAD , UNHEALTHY vibrations that are causing everyone to feel depression. We do not meet people comfortably, we have to put up a face.. pretty sick!

And, because of this fear.. MIGHT becomes right and might is MONEY.. so , EVERYONE is chasing money now. And thus the HASTE.. no sense of belonging, no stability, no simplicity, no loyalty. Where do you get loyalty if everyone is in a hurry to get God knows where and no one is comfortable “belonging” here? No one will slow down and CHILL!

Take my example.. the positive person I try to be.

I created a business from ZERO. From my computer in my father’s house.. from zero. I brought in Western Union into KSA. I was a consultant for MANY companies. I got one Jordanian investor his share of $25 million from the USA by dealing with lawyers there. I did a lot of work. A lot. I still do. I am still not an entity on my own! And because of this, I cannot expand. I cannot get loans and grow. I cannot build companies and I cannot build homes. I cannot leave a legacy IF I continue to live here. The only places where what I have ever done will be recorded will be on my blogs, or in God’s book.. Otherwise, Who am I? Even if my whole neighborhood knows me and even if many people know me, in ten years all these people could be gone, or I could be gone.. out of Riyadh. So, rebuild where ever you go  from here. Don’t tell me ‘hey, we all go one day’ know damn well what I am saying!(Some guys have become quiet philosophers that hide from reality!) Sadly, some people have had to do this in their old age, after spending their lives here. They have no history once they leave.

Where will the sense of belonging come from? It will not.

Thus.. I must agree with these words of  Arwa Santli..

” Common sense and a sense of belonging to this place could never coexist in a sane person’s mind.”


Enjoy friday people:)

2 thoughts on “Sense of Belonging…

  1. This is a very sad post. I wonder why you stay in Ryiadh under these conditions. As you say, money is not everything. Why not rebuilding from scratch elsewhere if only to give a better sense of belonging to your children?

    • Well, many parents with young kids are now thinking that..many are leaving and many have left..but you see one cannot defy the natural process of establishment of cities. Some people just cannot leave..

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