Sunday, October 31, 2010

Interesting Fact About October 2010

This October has 5 Fridays, 5 Saturdays and 5 Sundays, all in 1 month. It happens once in 823 years.

October 2010 Calendar

Friday, October 29, 2010

Arabic Pick #024

I wanted to share some of the Arabic words and phrases I've learned over the years. If you are an Arabic language enthusiast just like me, try to incorporate the words or phrases posted here into your daily vocabulary. Have fun!
Hala everyone and welcome back to "Arabic Pick". In this week, the Arabic word/phrase is...
English:  Strange!; Weird!
Mimi:  Have you seen his latest photo? He was smiling!
Jino:  Really, a picture of him smiling? Well, that's ghareeba

P.S. I have learned the above word/phrase informally. Arabic speakers, please feel free to correct me. Thanks!

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Nikita and the Old Woman

him:  No bullshitting today or I will kill you and I don't like Nikita
her:  LOL
him:  I'm watching it for you and because she looks Asian, I like Asian girls
her:  Okay then we're not going to watch it anymore
him:  Too late. Episode 6 !
her:  I don't like it that much. I told you before but you said, let's wait. Usually new TV shows kick in after first season
him:  Nah you said you like it and I have to watch it with you
her:  Liar ! ! !
him:  I said no BS-ing

Cute pair but after watching and blabbing for more than 2 hours they fought because the girl got annoyed with a 45-year-old woman who, apparently, has been trying her luck for more than a year to "glamor" him... Ugh! That old woman still has high hopes and won't give up on him just like that.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Why your Saudi* won't marry you

Just because your Saudi bf is too possessive, jealous and controlling doesn't mean he wants to marry you. Sometimes, this kind of behavior comes naturally to them. Evil... LOL! 

Here's what I've learned from someone else's experience. 

Sometimes, no matter how rebellious your Saudi is...
And no matter how anxious he is to break away from the norms of his culture, he is still scared to decide and go against the odds. He will still think and consider to follow his father, uncles and grandfathers' way of doing things or whatever steps they have taken, because in his mind something must have gone right because his ancestors' marriages are "successful" and they are still living with their "Stepford wives". And since every men in his family done it, he has to do it too. So that no one can blame him that he failed because he disobeyed his ancestors and followed a different direction.

Sometimes, no matter how much your Saudi is in love with you.....
And so so so into you, if you are a divorcee, he won't marry you. No matter how open-minded he claims he is, he will still give it a deep thought and ask himself why would he end up with someone who has been previously married when he, himself, hasn't ever been married and that even divorced guys want girls who haven't been married. You see, if your Saudi bf wants to become "well-known" later on, he needs someone who isn't "flawed". He will take someone who is not a "disgrace" and will not ruin his name because he wants people to see him as "someone respectable" and doesn't want them to gossip about him. 

Sometimes, no matter how liberated your Saudi is...
And no matter how much he desires you, if you are too comfy with him and seems available, instead of  "appreciating" your moves, he loses his respect for you. He will start backing off from you and run away, fast and far as soon as you shows no reservation. In a way that you are no longer a challenge to him because you are too easy to get.

Sometimes, no matter how domineering your Saudi is... 
And no matter how you really liked and encouraged this behavior of his, if  he keeps on giving you odd hints about your relationship like his family keeps on arranging him for a good Saudi bride and blah-blah-blah or if he keeps on saying that "You're too good, I don't deserve you and if you find some guy who wants to marry you, go for him." They aren't scheming neither playing with your nerves nor testing your love, he is hoping you will end the relation yourself. (I told you they are evil! :p)

Girls, don't make fools of yourselves. Don't try to work things out if you are pretty sure from the beginning that your relationship is a total disaster. Because if you do, it will only break your heart in the end. As for those of you who said your Saudi is a sort of like that but won't do that and he's totally different... I'll leave him to you.

P.S. I just want to make clear that the above behavior doesn't represent the entire male population in the Arab world and that this entry does not intend to offend or diss Saudi/Arab men.

* Also applicable to other Gulf/Arab guys in the whole universe :)

Friday, October 22, 2010

Are you coming to UAE with your toy dog?

It shouldn't be a problem to bring your toy dog (teacup size dog) along if you are coming to the UAE. But carrying it around with you isn't a great idea. Emiratis love all of God’s creatures but they don’t consider it clean or polite to shake hands after petting any kind of animal.
Generally, people in the Gulf region don’t view dogs as dirty because their ancestors proved the value of a saluki. Although a Muslim is permitted to have a dog for hunting and guarding, it was considered unclean to keep it as a pet because it smells in a confined space. The same reason why they don’t often keep dogs inside their homes even if their ancestors often shared tents with animals to protec them from the elements.

Arabic Pick #023

I wanted to share some of the Arabic words and phrases I've learned over the years. If you are an Arabic language enthusiast just like me, try to incorporate the words or phrases posted here into your daily vocabulary. Have fun!
Hala everyone and welcome back to "Arabic Pick". In this week, the Arabic word/phrase is...
English:  agree
Mimi:  The gay-looking-guy is better than the guy with lizard eyes, mowafga?
Jino:  Mowafga! You're absolutely right.

P.S. I have learned the above word/phrase informally. Arabic speakers, please feel free to correct me. Thanks!

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Idiotic Question, Idiotic Answer

stupid questions.gifQuestions coming from Non-Arab women (dating or wants to date Arab men) asking insane questions about Arab men like they (Arabs) are some kind of an alien who just landed on earth (Hello earthlings!). And how am I supposed to answer it? What do you think?

Frankly, my dear ladies, I am no expert (as it's my first time to be linked with an Arab guy - a Saudi at that) but it doesn't take a rocket scientist to answer your questions. Sorry but they really, really, really crack me up and I can't help it.

You asked me silly questions, I will give you sillier answers:

Q:  How does an Arab man love?
A:  Through mental telepathy.. :p

Q:  Are Arab men good charactered?
A:  Are your men good charactered? How about the other men -- American, African, Asian, European, Australian, Latino etc, are they good charactered? And are you okay?

Q:  When a Saudi guy say "I miss you.", what does it mean?
A:  It means he wants to marry you, it's a proposal! LOL

Q:  How do Arabic men kiss?
A:  Hmmm.. they raise their legs, climb trees and do some acrobatic stunts then use their head antennas!?! Hahahahaha

Q:  How to date Arab men and boys?
A:  Hit them and drag them into the cave!* LOL

Q:  What are the dating languages they use?
A:  Star Trek's Klingon language and the languages used in Star Wars and Lord of the Rings, WTF!

Btw, are you on drugs or something?
Does he (Arab guy you are dating) know about it?

* I borrowed this "funny phrase" from my Saudi. 

Monday, October 18, 2010

"The more you that you read...

 ... the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you'll go." 
- Dr. Seuss

I've read the whole 28 chapters of Desperate in Dubai. The blogger/writer stopped posting anymore chapters because, according to its Facebook page, it will be hitting the shelves in Summer 2011, so yay and congratulations!

Honestly, it was a good read too, just like the Girls in Riyadh  book (the story is different, of course). The first few chapters were very satisfying and addictive to me. I liked the evilness of the the two characters -- Lady Luxe and Leila. I somehow got bored reading other chapters without them. Describing Leila's physical appearance made me laugh (a thank-you-doc lady)... 
"She is not overtly beautiful; her lips are a little bit too big (too much collagen), her nose is a little bit too sharp (an over-enthusiastic cosmetic surgeon) and her eyebrows are a tad too thin (no one to blame but herself). However, her big, blonde hair (courtesy of a fabulous hair stylist), smooth skin (La Mer), double Ds (a souvenir from Beverly Hills) and firm behind (her maternal genes) more than compensate for her aesthetically-off facial features."
Anyway, I have the feeling that the writer is an Indian or half-Indian and I also believe that somehow Sugar personifies her. Don't ask me why because I don't have any reason just a hunch.. LOL


Currently reading:  The Return of A.J Night: Vienna's Story (Chapter 2.2). Obviously, there are so many talented bloggers/writers out there.. I am encouraging B. Nightingale to keep on writing :)


What to read next:
1.  the sweetest SomalianArab girl ever Naz's The Veiled Secrets (blog)
2.  Ishiguro Kazuo's Never Let Me Go (novel and now a movie)
3.  Hawking & Mlodinow's The Grand Design (Did I see someone raised an eyebrow? :p)
4.  Medical Terminology for Dummies (self-explanatory, LOL)
...and a lot more!

P.S. 18 months and counting of being idle/unemployed (read: freeloader/parasite)... Wish me luck to get my career back on track!

Saturday, October 16, 2010

What Kind of Facebooker are You?

CNN has posted a very interesting article about the most annoying types of Facebook users.
~*~* ~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~
Facebook is a great tool -- and a reminder of why some people get on your nerves.
Too many status updates read like navel-gazing diary entries, or worse, spam.
A dozen of the most annoying types of Facebook users listed.
Among them: bores, shameless self-promoters and people who send you quizzes.

Here are the 12 of the most annoying Facebook updaters:
The Let-Me-Tell-You-Every-Detail-of-My-Day Bore.
"I'm waking up." "I had Wheaties for breakfast." "I'm bored at work." "I'm stuck in traffic." You're kidding! How fascinating! No moment is too mundane for some people to broadcast unsolicited to the world. Just because you have 432 Facebook friends doesn't mean we all want to know when you're waiting for the bus.
The Self-Promoter.
OK, so we've probably all posted at least once about some achievement. And sure, maybe your friends really do want to read the fascinating article you wrote about beet farming. But when almost EVERY update is a link to your blog, your poetry reading, your 10k results or your art show, you sound like a bragger or a self-centered careerist.
The Friend-Padder.
The average Facebook user has 120 friends on the site. Schmoozers and social butterflies -- you know, the ones who make lifelong pals on the subway -- might reasonably have 300 or 400. But 1,000 "friends?" Unless you're George Clooney or just won the lottery, no one has that many. That's just showing off.
The Town Crier.
"Michael Jackson is dead!!!" You heard it from me first! Me, and the 213,000 other people who all saw it on TMZ. These Matt Drudge wannabes are the reason many of us learn of breaking news not from TV or news sites but from online social networks. In their rush to trumpet the news, these people also spread rumors, half-truths and innuendo. No, Jeff Goldblum did not plunge to his death from a New Zealand cliff.
The TMIer.
"Brad is heading to Walgreens to buy something for these pesky hemorrhoids." Boundaries of privacy and decorum don't seem to exist for these too-much-information updaters, who unabashedly offer up details about their sex lives, marital troubles and bodily functions. Thanks for sharing.
The Bad Grammarian.
"So sad about Fara Fauset but Im so gladd its friday yippe". Yes, I know the punctuation rules are different in the digital world. And, no, no one likes a spelling-Nazi schoolmarm. But you sound like a moron.
The Sympathy-Baiter.
"Barbara is feeling sad today." "Man, am I glad that's over." "Jim could really use some good news about now." Like anglers hunting for fish, these sad sacks cast out their hooks -- baited with vague tales of woe -- in the hopes of landing concerned responses. Genuine bad news is one thing, but these manipulative posts are just pleas for attention.  
The Lurker.
The Peeping Toms of Facebook, these voyeurs are too cautious, or maybe too lazy, to update their status or write on your wall. But once in a while, you'll be talking to them and they'll mention something you posted, so you know they're on your page, hiding in the shadows. It's just a little creepy.
The Crank.
These curmudgeons, like the trolls who spew hate in blog comments, never met something they couldn't complain about. "Carl isn't really that impressed with idiots who don't realize how idiotic they are." [Actual status update.] Keep spreading the love.
The Paparazzo.
Ever visit your Facebook page and discover that someone's posted a photo of you from last weekend's party -- a photo you didn't authorize and haven't even seen? You'd really rather not have to explain to your mom why you were leering like a drunken hyena and French-kissing a bottle of Jagermeister.
The Obscurist.
"If not now then when?" "You'll see..." "Grist for the mill." "John is, small world." "Dave thought he was immune, but no. No, he is not." [Actual status updates, all.] Sorry, but you're not being mysterious -- just nonsensical.
The Chronic Inviter.
"Support my cause. Sign my petition. Play Mafia Wars with me. Which 'Star Trek' character are you? Here are the 'Top 5 cars I have personally owned.' Here are '25 Things About Me.' Here's a drink. What drink are you? We're related! I took the 'What President Are You?' quiz and found out I'm Millard Fillmore! What president are you?"
~*~* ~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~

It  reminds me of Dr. Cougar's daily updates* LOL
  • "Tired."
  • "Arrgghhh!"
  • "errrrrggghhh..."
  • "need Strong Coffee!!!"
  • "Need Strong Coffee............."
  • "need sleep........................"
  • "Eeerrrgghhh!!!!" 
  • "need sleep...."
  • "hunting for strong Coffee..."
  • "watching insert-tv-show-here :)"
  • "oh no...i am eating everything!!! ahhhhhh!!!!!!"
  • "watching insert-tv-show-here, insert-name-of-the-actor-here is so so so HOT!!!"
  • "watching insert-tv-show-here...can not sleep...and now hungry...not good."
  • "Nice STRONG coffee!!! Yum!"
  • "can not sleep...need sleep....errrrrrrggghhh!!!"
  • "Errrrggghhhh!!!!"
  • "Can not sleep... Eggggggghhh"
  • "Tired...but can not sleep... :("
  • "i so so so so so need a strong coffeeeeee....."
  • "Brrrrrrrr"  
  • "Ahhhhhhhhh"
  • oh and she never missed to put this as her monthly update: "Pmsing** and insert-more-vexingly-words-here"
I don't know which of the above 'most annoying type' she is. All I know is that she annoys me the most!  Too much attention-whoring, I should stop stalking her and mind my own effing business... LOL. 

* Not exaggerating but she's writing the same stuff over and over.. day and night :|
** She's in her mid-40s.. so it's like telling "Hey, I'm still HAVING my MONTHLY period!" O.o

Friday, October 15, 2010

Arabic Pick #022

I wanted to share some of the Arabic words and phrases I've learned over the years. If you are an Arabic language enthusiast just like me, try to incorporate the words or phrases posted here into your daily vocabulary. Have fun!
Hala everyone and welcome back to "Arabic Pick". In this week, the Arabic word/phrase is...
English:  ready
Mimi:  Okay, Jino, are you mosta3ida for our TV show date tonight?
Jino:  Oh yes, I am mosta3ida and waiting.

~ "3" = 'ain in Arabic (no English equivalent). A very rough "a" and sounds like "aaa", e.g. 3ioni (aaa-yoo-nee) meaning my eyes.

P.S.  I have learned the above word/phrase informally. Arabic speakers, please feel free to correct me. Thanks!

Thursday, October 14, 2010

The Next Time I Fall In Love...

Guys, let's complete the statement:   

"The next time I fall in love  _________________________." 

Just put your answer as your comment and let's see.

To give you an idea, here's the top examples to complete the statement:
"... it will be with someone who’s had his heart broken, so he’ll be careful not to break mine."
"…I wont give him my ATM, my credit card PIN and my bank authorization."  
"…it won’t be with my friend’s boyfriend." 
"…it won’t be with a fictitious character."  
"…it will be someone who will love me as his wife, and not just as the mother of his children."
"…it won’t be with a guy who has a girl for a best friend, because girl best friends don’t know when to step back."  
"…it won’t be with someone who reminds me each day that I’ll burn in hell for eternity because I’m -insert your religion here-."  
"…it won’t be with a student because I almost lost my job the last time." 
"…I’ll make sure he loves me more than I love him."
"…it won’t be with a woman." 
"…it won’t be with a bratty, trying hard, social climbing, narcissistic, paranoid, psychotic assumptionist."  
"…it won’t be with a perv who thinks sex is the requirement with which to prove my love for him." 
"…it won’t be with a 23-yr-old who acts like a 9-yr-old boy who exhibits symptoms of being gay." 
"…my wife will beat me again!" 
"…it will be with someone who CANNOT be happy without me." 
"…it will be with someone in my neighborhood so we'll see each other often and I don't have to travel." 
"…I will make sure her mother isn’t a psychopath."
"…I will exert more, but not expect more."
"…I will no longer make promises, PROMISE!"
"…not with a man with make up kit."
"…I’m going to make sure it’s my last."
"…I will be brave enough to admit it."
"…it won't be an Arab who is not allowed to marry non-Arab, or else his family will disown him"
"…it won’t be with a guy who has 'short' comings."
"…we won’t buy a puppy and call it our 'baby'."
"…it won’t be with a girl who has a social disease."
"…it won’t be with someone who has too much baggage." 
"…it would not be with someone who’s heart already belongs to someone else."
"…it will be with a guy who’s really single, and not just feeling single."
"…it won’t be with a writer who sensationalizes his feelings for me, the way he does with some of his written works."
"…it would have to be in another lifetime."
"…I’ll make sure the girl’s dad is not from the police or the military."
"…I’ll try to be a little less bossy, and a little more submissive."
"it won't be with someone I've never met."
"…I’ll close my legs more, and open my eyes more."


Brilliant, I Say

---------- Forwarded message ----------

Neat idea!  I hope you can make use of it. 

The guy who first thought of the idea must be given an award for originality !!! 

Wow, what a fantastic idea!

Do not have to grapple with rubber bands that are tied too tightly.

How to seal a bag and make it air-tight!

Cut up a disposable water bottle and keep the neck and top, as in photo.

Insert the plastic bag through the neck and screw the top – to seal.

The bottle is made to be air-tight, such that water will not leak, the secret lies with the top and screw!

This is a great idea to share. Good for us and the environment too.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Stuff You Should Know...

Note:  This will be my last entry concerning the Girls of Riyadh (Banat al-Riyadh). I recommend this controversial book to everyone as it reveals another side of life in Saudi and highlights the hidden risky world of Saudi women. If you want a copy of the e-book, you can just email me or leave a comment here and I'll send you a copy :)

Interesting stuff I've learned while reading "Girls of Riyadh"..

Captain Majed — a very popular cartoon for the 1990s generation of Saudi Arabian children. Translated from Japanese, it's a story of a boy trying to achieve his dream of becoming a soccer star.

Better the shadow of a man than the shadow of a wall. — Arabic proverb (Most Saudi women "lives huddled in the shadow of a man, or a man, or a man who is a wall".)

Yalla — can mean "c'mon!" or "hurry up!"

Ma shaa Allah — an Islamic phrase that one says in order not to jinx someone's luck

E wallah — means swearing in God's name that something is true.

Yaalla yaalla get going but just barely (a strategy to a quick moral proposal, single ladies should be energetic but constrained)

Najdi — someone or the dialect of the interior part of Saudi Arabia

Hijazi — someone from or the dialect of the west coast of Saudi Arabia

Saudis rephrase someone's name to make an affectionate nickname e.g. Gammoorah (Gamrah), Lammoosah (Lameesh), Saddoomah/Demi (Sadeem), Misho (Meshaal) etc. [hmm.. that explains a lot - my Arab calls me Rayoo instead of Ray)

Abaya a long, loose black robe worn on top of clothes whenever a woman is outdoors

Medical school in Saudi Arabia starts right after high school and lasts for seven years.

Shillah a clique; a group

Taggaga a female local singer

Hammam a place where you could come to bathe and scrub; a sauna

Halawa a sticky sugar paste used to pluck hair from all over the body

Thobe a long white loose dress worn by Saudi men

Shimagh a red and white triangular-shaped cloth worn by Saudi Men on the head topped by an eqal to hold it in place 

Eqal a thick round, ropelike sash (Nowadays the shimaghs and thobes are designed by such famous names as Gucci, Christian Dior, Givenchy and Valentino.)

Lithaams a black silk worn by girls that covers everything from the bridge of their noses to the bottom of their throats 

"Priceless Catch" — an expensive car with completely tinted windows often belongs to a man who does not want his wife and daughters exposed to the eyes of young men looking for fun (Nowadays, tinting is prohibited by Saudi law for security reasons.) 

Shisha —  also known as hookah or hubbly-bubbly, a flavored water-pipe tobacco mixed with molasses and fragrant essences (Smoking shisha is considered inappropriate among Najdi females.) 

Um insert the eldest son/daughter's name here  — mother of ...

Shoufa — the day set for the groom’s lawful "viewing" of the bride-to-be

Milkah Period the traditional time between the official signing of the documents and the actual wedding ceremony. It is when the couple are considered officially married and have the right to meet and go out even before the wedding ceremony takes place.

Shu badik? — What do you want?

The weekend in Saudi Arabia is Thursday and Friday. (and in most of the Arab countries)

Hijab any kind of head covering that conceals the hair and neck of a woman.

Jireesh — a traditional Saudi dish

Hadith — the collections of the sayings of Prophet Mohammed

Qasida — poem

Zalabya — Kuwaiti's donut-like sweets (best served with tea)

Darabel — Kuwaiti's traditional sweet food made with flour, egg yolk, oil, sugar, saffron, and cardamom (best served with tea) 

Abdul Haleem — a famous Egyptian singer from the 1960s

King Abd Al-Aziz City — the Internet provider company in Saudi Arabia

If all else fails, pregnancy was the only way to ensure that a marriage continues. — the wisdom of Saudi's old generation (continues NOT succeeds)

Sheikh Jassem Al-Mutawa — a famous Kuwaiti Muslim televangelist who hosts a very well-known Arabic TV program called Happy Nests and is the chief editor of several magazines and the author of many Islamic books that discuss relationships between men and women, marriage and family matters

Abdul Rahman — Servant of the Merciful

Tribal Prejudice Among the different subclassifications of Saudi society, there are the tribals and the nontribals. Between those two classes/sectors there can be no marriages. A tribal family is one that can be traced to one of the well-known Arabic tribes

Yumma Mama or Oh God! (used as an expression to indicate surprise or fear).

Amr Khaled — an Egyptian Muslim activist and preacher. His popularity has now grown all over Arab countries. He is one of the most influential televangelists and authors in the Arab world.

Manfooha — a very old and urban area south of Riyadh

Olayya — a bustling area in Riyadh where real estate prices are high

Alf mabrook — Many congratulations

Shiite — Muslim's "rejectionist sect" (After the death of Prophet Mohammed, Muslims were split on who should lead them. Khalifah Abu Baker Al-Siddeeq, Prophet Mohammed’s loyal friend, was nominated, but there were those who rejected the choice and wanted Prophet Mohammed’s cousin and son-in-law, Ali Bin Abi- Taleb, to succeed. Shiite Muslims are of the opinion of the last group and thus are referred to by some Sunnis as rejectionists.)

Fotoor — breakfast meal in Ramadan

Vimto — a popular Ramadan drink; juice of grapes, raspberries and black currants.

Athan — the call for prayer

Sunni Imam — the religious sheikh who calls for prayers at a mosque

Qatif — a city in the east coast of Saudi Arabia with a big Shiite population

Sunni underpants — white underpants worn underneath the thobes to prevent the thin material of the thobes from shearing (The name "Sunni" underpants is just a funny coincidence.)   

Bukhour Arabic incense.Wooden sticks that come from particular trees in India or Cambodia, and when burned, generate strong and beautiful lasting fragrance.  

Al-Hai'ah — a short name for the Commission for the Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice, i.e., the Religious Police.

Umrah — a short pilgrimage to Mecca undertaken by Muslims. Unlike Hajj, Umrah can be done anytime of the year.

Ni'aal — Arabic sandals worn by Saudi guys

Saudi girls tend to have darkened knees due to their darker complexion.  — Guys always pick on girls because of that, although they have the same problem! 

Saudi guys tend to have very dry feet and dirty toenails due to the hot climate of Saudi, dryness and the frequent use of Arabic sandals. Girls pick on that, in return.

Mahmoud Al-Melegi — Egyptian actor who said this line "If you aren’t up to lovin’, don’t do it!" in a famous black-and-white classic Arabic movie.

Alhamdu lillah — Thank God

Tahini halvah — a type of Kuwaiti's dessert made of sesame paste.

Why compare flip- flops to wooden clogs! — an Egyptian saying used when you compare two things that are both worthless.

Hussein Fami — a handsome, well- known Egyptian actor who starred in many Arabic romantic films.

Taiba and Owais — a massive outdoor flea market where cheap goods are sold.

Ya salam! Oh, wow! 

Ghutra — male’s head covering in Saudi. Similar to a shimagh but has a plain white color instead of red and white checks.   

Abdullah Al-Ghadhami — famous Saudi critic.

It is generally frowned upon for young Saudi women to be actresses.

Bader Bin Abdulmuhsin —  Saudi prince and famous poet

Midwakh — a type of tobacco pipe popular in the UAE

Kandurah — male garment in UAE, similar to the Saudi thobe

Isamah — turban

Talal Maddah — old and famous Saudi singer

Habibti — my love (to be said to a girl)

Many native Hijazis prefer to shorten the engagement period and lengthen the time between the marriage contract-signing and the wedding, i.e., the milkah period. 

Najdis would not mind a long engagement period but do not like a long milkah period.

Allah Akbar — God is Great. (The starting line in every prayer.) 

Tarawih prayers — nonobligatory prayers held right after Isha prayers during the whole month of Ramadan.

Qiyawih prayers — nonobligatory prayers held in the last third of night during the last ten days of Ramadan. 

Bisht — traditional black cloak that men wear on top of their thobes for important occasions or events.

Muhram men — men whom a woman is allowed to go without hijab in front of; e.g., male members of her immediate family.

While Hijazi girls call their mothers- in- law Mama, Najdi girls find that disrespectful to their own mothers, so they call the husbands’ mothers Aunt.

Sheikh refers to the patriarch of an Arabian tribe or family. 

Muftis jurists

Fatwa a legal opinion or ruling

Norah Al-Hawshan a female Saudi poet

Julia Boutros a Lebanese singer

Dehn Oud expensive oil perfume that is extracted from trees in limited parts of Asia.

Seereh memoirs or story

Wenfadha7et means disclosed or exposed

7 refers to an Arabic letter similar to the letter H in English. (Arabs use numbers like 7, 3, 5, 6 to refer to certain Arabic letters that have no counterparts on an English keyboard.This is called the Internet language and is also used in cell phone text messages as well.)

Seereh Wenfatahet a story told (name of a Lebanese talk show)

Al means the

In Saudi Arabia you can tell a lot from where the man or the woman comes, e.g. through their last names.

Al-Horaimli of or relating to Horaimla, a city within Najd, the center of Saudi Arabia.

Al- Qusmanji of or relating to Qasim, a city within Najd, the center of Saudi Arabia

Jeddawi of or relating to Jeddah, a city within Hijaz, the west coast. 

Al-Abdulrahman a random name that can belong to any family with unknown roots (i.e., from an untraceable tribe). 

Al-Shargawi of or relating to Sharqiyah, the east coast of Saudi Arabia. 

Al-Tanbal the bonehead.

Al-Batran the wellborn.

Al-Shari the buyer, the purchaser.

Al-Hasudi she who hates to see other people more happy or successful than her.

Al-Internetti of or relating to the Internet. 

P.S.  Most of the stufff above can be found as footnotes of the novel.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Are you chatting to a Saudi guy?

"Chat is only for some silly laughs and light entertainment, a great way to meet guys and joke around with them but it wasn’t anything to take seriously." - Girls in Riyadh

Here are some pointers you should keep in mind if you are chatting to a Saudi guy. I summarized (made it like a phase/stage) the guys-from-Saudi, particularly Riyadh, chatting style mentioned in the Girls in Riyadh book. (Although I believe this style is the style of all the men -young or old- in the chatting/internet world. LOL)

Stage 1:  Getting your name

"May I please know your name?"

Stage 2: Wants your number

"I am really so into you and I have never seen anyone like you, so, can we talk on the phone?"

He's going to pick on you and pester you to get your number. If you didn't tell him, he is going to give you his number anyway.

Stage 3: Wants to exchange pictures with you

He’s going to demand that you two exchange pictures, but in the end he’ll get impatient and he’ll send his even though you never send yours. He'll send you either his (1) "classic picture" where he is sitting behind his desk in a nice office with a Montblanc pen in his hand and a Saudi flag on a pole right behind him or (2) a picture of him sitting old-Arab-style on the floor with his traditional Arab dress and he’ll have one knee lifted off the ground with his elbow resting on it.

Stage 4: Confession of a Broken Hearted Guy

He’s bound to tell you that he was really in love with this fabulous girl two years ago and then she got married. She was totally, totally in love with him, but a good man proposed to her family and she couldn’t say no to it. And he - apple of his mommy’s eye! - was still so young and fresh and couldn’t set up a household and so he didn’t have a choice and he stepped back for her own happiness. Anything just to show you what a great, trustworthy and noble man he is!

Stage 5:  Offline Messages

After all his confessions, he’ll start leaving offline messages for you whenever you’re not there - a nice song or poem or a URL of a romantic story or an article that talks about love and how wonderful it is and whatever

Stage 6:  Professing His Love

After just a week or so, it will all come out:  He will confess that he is in love with you! 

"I’ve been looking for a girl like you for so long and I want to get engaged, but we have to get to know each other better and talk on the phone."

What’s really on his mind is arranging things so he can go out with you, but of course he doesn’t say that to you, all he’s trying to do at this point is to get your phone number. That’s enough to start with, and he doesn’t want to scare you.


Stage 7:  The Manly Attitude

Then it creeps up, slowly. The tiresome stuff starts. You get stuff on your screen like: 

"Why are you avoiding me?"
"Why do you take so long to answer my message?" 
"You’re not talking to some other guy, are you?"
"I don’t want you talking to anyone but me."
"I warn you, I’m a very jealous man."
"If you don’t find me online, you don’t have to stay."
"Log off!"

and other stuff like this that will make you so sick of him that you put him on block or ignore or even delete him from your buddy list altogether!

"The most important thing is that you don’t trust anyone and you don’t believe anyone. Just keep in mind that it is nothing more than a game and that all these Saudi guys are cheats and all they want to do is fool dumb girls." - Girls in Riyadh

P.S.  Again, the guys above do not represent all guys in Saudi. I think the intention of the above is to make sure you girls out there are "wise to the wiles and glaringly obvious pranks of savvy young men which might trap a newcomer to the Net."

Just Like Men Anywhere Else

According to a friend: 

The Arab men she knows party hard, drink, smoke (some do drugs) and sleep around with a bunch of different women.

P.S.  Just to be fair and clear, the above men DO NOT represent all the Arab men in the world.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

The Behavior of a Gulf/Arab Man (An Explanation)

The analysis or classification of men in the Gulf according to the novel "Girls of Riyadh"....

Category 1:  Strength of Personality

1st Main Group:  The Strong 
Shows a lot of motivation for economic self- improvement. These men watch the examples of success they see around them and seize their opportunity to benefit.
Group A - The logical type who respects the views of everyone he encounters even when he has a different point of view.
Group B - The man who has to have his own way and doesn’t care about the views of others.
2nd Main Group:  The Weak
Led-by-the-nose types lack initiative and only get off their butts when their family or their entire environment gets an upward kick.
Group A -  The person whose family can easily bend him one way or the other. This man is incapable of acting independently because “Without his family he isn’t worth a penny.”
Group B - The person who is easily swayed by his friends and can’t stop sway-ing. This case is even worse than the first one because this man is convinced that his family is against him and only trusts his friends, who, in general, are likely to be in even worse shape than he is.

Category 2:   Self Confidence

1st Main Group:  The Secure
Group A - The sensible type. Men belonging to this group are at peace with themselves, displaying a clear degree of confidence that makes everyone respect them and even hold them in awe. But at the same time, they maintain the love and affection of others due to their modesty and genuine accomplishment.
Group B - The Overconfident. This includes people who really don't have anything to be proud of. They have an excess of self-confidence, though they lack any reason for it; no great achievements or outstanding personality or even appealing looks. This type is abominable and, unfortunately, more common than the first one.
Group A and B together are less common than the 2nd main group.
2nd Main Group:  The Insecure
Group A - Those who claim to be secure. They affect a self-confident pose that isn't matched by any sincere belief on their part. They take every word said to them with extraordinary sensitivity and reply with great aggressiveness, shielding their failures with their loud personalities. They make mountains out of molehills, or, as we say, "a dome out of a seed."
Group B - Those who are really insecure. Men in this group don't act or claim to be something they're not. It's apparent from the first that they are pitiful and they make you feel sorry for them. Sometimes they have an obvious physical problem that lowers their self-esteem, like obesity, short height or even a big nose. Or it could be a social problem like poverty or even a mental one like stupidity. Or sometimes it could be a hidden problem that no one else is aware of, like a broken heart from a lost love that never healed.

Category 3:  Religious Types Before and After Marriage

1st Main Group:  The Extremely Religious Type
Group A - He was once wild but he turns religious.
Group B - He fears wildness so he becomes religious.
Both fear they will degenerate morally after marriage, so they often end up in polygamous marriages, preferring their wives to be at least as zealous as they are.
2nd Main Group: The Moderate Type
Group A - A strictly religious man who differs from the first group in the way he treats women: tenderly and without interference. This type can marry a relatively liberal woman as long as he is confident of her love and certain of her morals.
Group B - The seculars. This man believes that Islam is built on five and no more than five basic and compulsory beliefs. He only attends the assigned five prayers and fasts only during Ramadan. After he has gone on the Pilgrimage to Mecca, he feels he has done his part, as long as he has also adhered to the declaration of the faith and given alms to the poor. This kind of man does not marry a woman unless she is on the same level of liberation as he is.  He wouldn't  marry someone who wears hijab, for example, and would insist that his wife be pretty, open- minded and stylish so that he could proudly show her off in front of his friends, who share his point of view.
3rd Main Group:  The Wild or Escapee Type
Group A - Gradual escapee. Someone in this group may have grown up in a very strict religious atmosphere and "escaped" in a religious and moral sense. His escape is a gradual one, happening whenever he gets a chance to be away from the authority of his community. This type might pretend to belong to the first group to prevent any social embarrassment.
Group B - Liberal upbringing. This type has been brought up in an extremely liberal home to the point of atheism in his religious beliefs and the absence of any kind of bulwark against "bad behavior." And as we all say in these parts: "He who grows up doing something, grows old doing it." The problem you find in this type of man is pathological suspicion. Unfortunately, and due to his experiences with some cheap girls, he believes that every girl is guilty until proven innocent. This is why a man in the "wild" category always prefers to marry an inexperienced girl; she will always view things from his corrupted point of view. Sometimes a man of this type marries a girl who is a flirt but knows how to play the game. She knows perfectly well what her husband is really like and she knows how to manipulate and pretend so that her actions won’t end up being misinterpreted.

Does the above explain the personality type of your Arab man? Choose the behavior you like and tell me why...