Christmas Cards from Arabia, Indonesia and Egypt

Living in Arabia, constant contradictions, surprises and sometimes disasters caused culture shock. However, one delightful but highly unknown, is Christmas cards – designed as either ‘Season’s Greetings’ and ‘Happy New Year’ cards, available in December. In 1985, I was able to mail such cards to friends and family in the States. However, I heard other women complain that the clerks at Riyadh’s main post office refused to accept them. Following are many Arabic cards, designed by Oriental Art Gallery and others in Dubai. Also included are two from mostly Muslim Indonesia and one from Egypt. Continue reading Christmas Cards from Arabia, Indonesia and Egypt

How Living in Arabia Changed Me

Gulf countries are not just desert and oil. Two years in Saudi Arabia, two in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), one in Egypt and 11 in Oman, total 16 years. How did I change? Attitudes towards clothing, money, health, food, socializing, and religion. First, clothing. Nowadays I prefer the comfort of loose clothing, mandatory in Arabia. It allows air to flow between skin, cloth and the outside heat while being modest. Jeans were too hot. Westerners insulting Arabs as ‘ragheads’ should look in the mirror: Baseball caps and hoodies. Payday in Saudi Arabia (1984-1986) – cash. Then I wired it … Continue reading How Living in Arabia Changed Me