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  • Living in Saudi Arabia

    Assalamualaikum all. So my husband is going to interview soon for a job that would move us to Saudi Arabia if he would get the job. I'm all for it if it is the absolute best thing for my family. I wanted to know what is it like being an expat in Saudi, if 'expat' is the correct word?

    I'm a bit apprehensive because of being born/ bred in the US, (#firstworldproblems lol) would I have a hard time adjusting? Obviously I want what is best for my three girls and if it is to move to an Islamic country, then by any means necessary, let it be so. I was wondering if anyone knew of anyone who lives there or have any info about it or even just thoughts.
    Allah gave us two ears and one mouth, so we can listen more and talk less.

  • #2
    Re: Living in Saudi Arabia

    :wswrwb:

    I have a family friend who relocated to Riyadh when her husband became employed there.
    Alhamdulillah, she and her family have had a positive experience. But I'm told that the quality of the experience relies heavily on 2 things: 1)the area you are moving to -and- 2)your husband's employer.

    Some areas are heavily populated with(and accomodating of) expats and have international schools so your children won't be lost in an Arabic speaking environment. These areas are also usually more populated and urban areas.

    With regards to the employer, I would advise checking them out online and checking out expat forums to see how they are with their employees. Some employers will take passports/visas and not return them. Some will not give time off or allow you to leave or do the necessary paperwork(which is time consuming) for you to be able to leave in the event that there is an emergency. Those things need to be checked out upfront.

    My friend had a family member fall ill and another die while she was abroad but Alhamdulillah, her husband's employer was very good with getting them what they needed to travel quickly. Not all empoyers are so kind.

    Best things I would suggest: Istikhara, and check out the employer and area you would be moving to.

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: Living in Saudi Arabia

      I appreciate the reply sis, a lot!

      The reviews I've seen online are mostly from non Muslims who were employed by this particular company- Aramco. I was having some trouble finding a Muslim point of view. From what I've heard, they are pretty good about schooling/ housing and all that stuff. And if my information is correct, they aren't the kind of employer to hold passports for ransom lol.

      Istikhara is definitely the way to go, especially if my husband aces the interview haha!
      Allah gave us two ears and one mouth, so we can listen more and talk less.

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Living in Saudi Arabia

        :wswrwb:

        I would deffo go for it aunty, okay… firstworldproblems, your husbands salary will go up as a result of not paying any tax so healthcare etc you could just go private. I know many people who have moved, most of them newly wed but still, and they are enjoying it.
        The only issue I can see is that of your children depending on how old they are, friends, moving to a new school, new language etc.
        we had a doctor who moved here from Ireland last year and he had to move back because his kids missed their old friends and school, come on now Ireland?? *smh*
        :insha: all will go well and imagine being able to do hajj every year :D
        Last edited by طاهِر; 15-12-13, 06:41 PM.
        If knowledge was a justification for taqwa then shaytan would be the most muttaqi - maulana Zahir Mahmood
        'More beloved to me than 23 years of lecturing' Sheikh Ahmed Ali
        Islamic etiquette for social media
        http://youtu.be/VVa7av9eKkY

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        • #5
          Re: Living in Saudi Arabia

          Schooling, housing, healthcare etc is a non issue. You'll get the best on these kinds of packages, you'll be able to save there and Standard of living will be very good.

          However, bear in mind that living in these western compounds will be no different to living in the states, where women can dress how they want and can drink etc

          If anything, it'll be more in your face as it'll be in a concentrated area.

          My husband recently turned a job down in Saudi.
          https://sufisticated101.wordpress.com

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Living in Saudi Arabia

            Look you're making Hijra for the sake of Allah, you're doing it to better your deen so put all your trust in Allah and know that His help and blessings would be with you all the way In Sha Allah.

            You won't have any kind of hard time adjusting......it's a Muslim land with fitnah thousand times less than what you had in US. Plus there are ppl from all over the world.

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Living in Saudi Arabia

              Originally posted by LondonGal View Post
              If anything, it'll be more in your face as it'll be in a concentrated area.
              Why is it more in your face than the West? If anything, I'd assume it's very hidden and people generally would be save from this immorality in Muslim countries, let alone KSA.
              Secure few moments, everyday, to reflect upon the innumerable blessings of Allah and thank Him for bestowing them upon you.

              "A person who is blessed with the ability to be grateful, shall never be deprived of barakah and increase in blessings."
              - Rasulullah (صلی اللہ علیہ وسلم)‎

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              • #8
                Re: Living in Saudi Arabia

                Originally posted by .mirror. View Post
                Why is it more in your face than the West? If anything, I'd assume it's very hidden and people generally would be save from this immorality in Muslim countries, let alone KSA.

                Forgive me for butting in, but I've heard that in areas where expats can be housed there can be goings on like this. Most who travel to Saudi to work aren't Muslim and going for the sake of hijrah. They're usually just going for the money and will behave extra "wild" in their housing area because they have to be more conservative and cautious outside of it.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: Living in Saudi Arabia

                  Originally posted by LondonGal View Post
                  Schooling, housing, healthcare etc is a non issue. You'll get the best on these kinds of packages, you'll be able to save there and Standard of living will be very good.

                  However, bear in mind that living in these western compounds will be no different to living in the states, where women can dress how they want and can drink etc

                  If anything, it'll be more in your face as it'll be in a concentrated area.

                  My husband recently turned a job down in Saudi.
                  This is more along the lines of what I was thinking. If all does go accordingly and we end up moving there, the compound will be just like, if not better, than living in the States. And I was worried about the rules, like do they honor the ksa's segregation or do they generally have their own rules? I heard thru word of mouth that there are a good number of Muslims who also live in these western type compounds but who knows what the real deal is? That is why I was looking for some Muslim point of views because when I was checking out the company's website and there were little clips of diff people who live there and there were women exercising in shorts, etc. I was like great! I get enough of this here lol

                  The kids shouldn't be too bad. They are under the age of 6 and a newborn, so I don't foresee any adjustment problems for them In sha Allah.
                  Allah gave us two ears and one mouth, so we can listen more and talk less.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: Living in Saudi Arabia

                    Originally posted by Plumeria View Post
                    This is more along the lines of what I was thinking. If all does go accordingly and we end up moving there, the compound will be just like, if not better, than living in the States. And I was worried about the rules, like do they honor the ksa's segregation or do they generally have their own rules? I heard thru word of mouth that there are a good number of Muslims who also live in these western type compounds but who knows what the real deal is? That is why I was looking for some Muslim point of views because when I was checking out the company's website and there were little clips of diff people who live there and there were women exercising in shorts, etc. I was like great! I get enough of this here lol

                    The kids shouldn't be too bad. They are under the age of 6 and a newborn, so I don't foresee any adjustment problems for them In sha Allah.
                    We went through the whole proceSs when we were considering living there.

                    We were advised by the muslim colleagues, who were involved in our recruitment to avoid living in these compounds and to live out cos of the reasons stated above.

                    It doesn't feel like living in Saudi, when your in these compounds. It's very much catered to the non muslims,
                    https://sufisticated101.wordpress.com

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: Living in Saudi Arabia

                      Well I can tell you that ARAMCO is a really good employer so you shouldn't face any of the problems that people who have bad ones do in sha Allah. The compound system in Saudi Arabia is to basically keep the locals from mixing with the expats as they don't want that.

                      The ARAMCO compound that you will most likely be living in will probably be a lot like living in the west. Living in a compound is like living in a city within a city. That's the best way I can explain it. So expect to see the non-muslims dressed skimpily etc. How 'muslim' your experience will be is likely to depend on whether you find muslim families to socialize with. And also, and this is the huge factor in my opinion, the school that you put your children in. There are international schools that basically do not provide religious education and then there are international schools that teach religious studies alongside the regular curriculum. That's your best bet I would say.

                      That's not to say that the international schools like the American or British ones turn out only non-religious minded kids. I have plenty of friends who turned out just fine alhumdulillah. But you'll have to bear in mind that they might not be getting a religious education at school (might have to arrange for them to attend classes outside of school) and also that there will be goings-on in those schools that are very similar to going to a school in the west.

                      Hope you settle in well, sister! :)

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: Living in Saudi Arabia

                        Originally posted by Plumeria View Post
                        Assalamualaikum all. So my husband is going to interview soon for a job that would move us to Saudi Arabia if he would get the job. I'm all for it if it is the absolute best thing for my family. I wanted to know what is it like being an expat in Saudi, if 'expat' is the correct word?

                        I'm a bit apprehensive because of being born/ bred in the US, (#firstworldproblems lol) would I have a hard time adjusting? Obviously I want what is best for my three girls and if it is to move to an Islamic country, then by any means necessary, let it be so. I was wondering if anyone knew of anyone who lives there or have any info about it or even just thoughts.
                        It depends. Probably at least a little because it's incredibly different. A lot of women have difficulty because they find the lifestyle restrictive. No driving etc. But it really depends on your mindset. There are some really massive advantages. If you focus on those then in sha Allah you'll like it. :)

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: Living in Saudi Arabia

                          Originally posted by .mirror. View Post
                          Why is it more in your face than the West? If anything, I'd assume it's very hidden and people generally would be save from this immorality in Muslim countries, let alone KSA.
                          Cos it's in a smaller, more concentrated area.

                          And in these compounds you can do what u want. Women can drive, wear skimpy clothing - which they do a lot cos it's hot. And drink alcohol.

                          Typical Saudi rules don't apply in compounds. If they did, why would so many non Muslims live in a country like Saudi?
                          https://sufisticated101.wordpress.com

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: Living in Saudi Arabia

                            Originally posted by TCKMuslima View Post
                            Well I can tell you that ARAMCO is a really good employer so you shouldn't face any of the problems that people who have bad ones do in sha Allah. The compound system in Saudi Arabia is to basically keep the locals from mixing with the expats as they don't want that.

                            The ARAMCO compound that you will most likely be living in will probably be a lot like living in the west. Living in a compound is like living in a city within a city. That's the best way I can explain it. So expect to see the non-muslims dressed skimpily etc. How 'muslim' your experience will be is likely to depend on whether you find muslim families to socialize with. And also, and this is the huge factor in my opinion, the school that you put your children in. There are international schools that basically do not provide religious education and then there are international schools that teach religious studies alongside the regular curriculum. That's your best bet I would say.

                            That's not to say that the international schools like the American or British ones turn out only non-religious minded kids. I have plenty of friends who turned out just fine alhumdulillah. But you'll have to bear in mind that they might not be getting a religious education at school (might have to arrange for them to attend classes outside of school) and also that there will be goings-on in those schools that are very similar to going to a school in the west.

                            Hope you settle in well, sister! :)
                            wow mashAllah, thank you so much for your reply. i really was wondering about if the schools taught religious curriculum. them being international schools, i highly doubted it. but as you say, it is a matter of finding the right school. as so far as the employer, Aramco sounds pretty decent and the things they offer seem pretty sweet. i totally understand what you mean by 'a city within a city.'

                            the driving bit was bothering me a bit but my mom told me to get over it lol. im assuming driving is ok within the compound, Allahu alim. we shall see. there is still the interview he has to get through which is next month In sha Allah and if Allah wills it.
                            Allah gave us two ears and one mouth, so we can listen more and talk less.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: Living in Saudi Arabia

                              I am soo happy for you aapi you don't know how blessed you are. May Allah bless your trip and succeed you husband in his interview In Sha Allah.

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