Saudi Arabia - Good Idea or Not - page 16
To an American nurse, it seems like an upside-down system of Policies and Procedures that fails to fall within any framework of prior hospital experiences. This is a place where the patients tell you... Read More
Oct 12, '11 by shahFYI Mrs. Laden first married one Bin Laden brother. When he died, she married the second Bin Laden brother, then divorced him. Must have been pretty bad for her to have risked marrying in the same country and family twice.
Quote from kdrose01I'd also recommend Carmen Bin Laden's book "Inside the Kingdom" for more details about what it's like to be a woman in Saudi Arabia, particularly if you're a western woman.
Oct 12, '11 by kdrose01FYI Mrs. Laden first married one Bin Laden brother. When he died, she married the second Bin Laden brother, then divorced him. Must have been pretty bad for her to have risked marrying in the same country and family twice.
It was not Carmen. It was Caroline who married two of the brothers:
Oct 13, '11 by kdrose01Sorry, It was not Carmen. It was Caroline who married two of the brothers:
Darn it. It is one of the safest places in the world. I went visiting Mecca and Madina in 2008. You would not believe it, I would get out of the hotel, on foot at 4:00 a.m. and walk to the mosques in downtown Mecca, with no fear of molestation or theft. Try doing that in downtown LA or any city in America.
Mecca, Medina and Jeddah are some of the most diverse cities in the world (I have been only to these 3). You actually don't see a single Saudi in the streets. It is all Indians, Pakistanis, Bangladeshis, Malaysians, Afghans, Africans buying/selling, working, walking. You don't even need to know Arabic to be there. Knowing English/Urdu/Hindi is enough.
Unless you are married to one of the locals, you don't have to interact with them. They have a right to live their culture like they want. You don't have to marry them or interact with them if you don't. The difference between Carmen and Caroline above was, one could not adjust/ tolerate the culture and the other could. It is a question of personal preference. Let is not use it to condemn people.
Just in case if you want another viewpoint, Huma Abedin, the wife of disgraced ex-rep Anthony Weiner was born in America and brought up in Saudi Arabia. She has been the PA of Hillary Clinton for years. According to her narrative, Saudi Women deck out as peacocks when they have parties. The difference is all this is done behind doors. If you were a woman who did not want to display her beauty to strange men, you would also like to dress up only when outsiders are not watching. They prefer women only parties, because they don't have to be on guard about men seeing their beauty. It is an entire different way of thinking. If you want your freedom, respect their freedom to want to be covered. Please do not be judgmental if you do not want to be judged.
It is not a perfect society, and some people would want to change the status quo, but is that not true for every society? Why do you think people are camping out on Wall Street today?
Oct 13, '11 by kdrose01Shah,
Thank you for an insightful comment. I don't want to pass judgment on another culture or condemn them as being awful people - I don't think that. However, I'm not sure that Saudi women have much freedom. I find it hard to ignore the fact that Saudi women have tried to fight for their right to drive themselves around recently, only to be told that they absolutely can not drive themselves. In Carmen's book, she says that women are really not even allowed to read much and have little to discuss with one another. TV is even limited. In a world where women have fought and continue to fight to have the same rights as men (education, the freedom to walk alone, to drive, etc.), it's hard to believe that a nation is as advanced and wealthy as Saudi Arabia denies women the right to think or care for themselves.
I don't doubt that Saudi Arabia is safe from petty crime, considering its punishments for crime. I just doubt the safety a woman has there, particularly if she's a foreigner and not a Muslim. Women aren't allowed to speak out against men, which concerns me. Or, as Carmen said, a young woman was murdered for not agreeing to marry the man her family wanted her to marry. And Carmen's husband could have prevented her from leaving the country. It's definitely a different culture, so it's important that American women know these differences if they're deciding about working there.
Certainly no society is perfect, but I'm very thankful that I can live on my own, drive myself where I need to, and leave the country on my own free will. I wish Saudi women were able to do the same.
I agree with you on all of that. I don't think I would like to live like that either. But remember those restrictions are on their women only. Foreigners can do pretty much every thing except for drive. That restriction, too, was imposed after Saudi women saw American women driving after the first Gulf war and demanded to be allowed to do so, too.
I also would not take Carmen as an authority on Saudi society. That woman has a agenda, that of making hay out of her broken marriage. Her take on Western society is skewed too. After all, all women living in the west do not want to pose naked with a boa, just like her daughter did, desperate to launch her career.
Oct 28, '11 by nurse robinsonhi i am a nurse working in saudi arabia and i enjoyed reading your article...... however my experience of the country seems to be interpreted as slighty different and open minded. i work on a specialised unit at a local hospital in saudi, and i have been here a year now. Up to this point i can say that i have enjoyed it and found it a challenge. i came to saudi arabia with no expectations and was aware of the strict laws of the land. i wanted to learn about the difference between the culture and the religion of islam, i found that the two are completely different and if you are an intelligent person you will work this one out for yourself. since being in saudi arabia i know have many muslim freinds both male and female who teach me about the islamic religion, i oberserve the culture in saudi arabia as completely seperate. whilist being in someone elses country i have learned to respect the laws of the land an try to understand islam whilst reading books and articles. i accept that the country is largely diffrent from my home in the west and did not expect it to be a free, open country. i can not argue with the laws or the culture they where put here many years before i came to nurse here..... and yes the patients i nurse can be demanding but they are too some degree a more humble than those in the west. i like saudi arabia it has taught things about myself and i have learnt lots of integrel things about islam. my advice to nursing coming to work here is DO NOT come if you expect it to be free and open like home, because it isnt, and further more please do not compare every muslim involved in 9/11 to the next because the people that where involved in that act of terror where extremists not evry muslim is like this. please come with an open mind and be willing to learn about yourself and others good luck and have fun x
Nov 6, '11 by tinseyerHi! i just passed the board exam last july 2011 and now im having difficulty in getting a job due to surplus of nurses here. I saw a job post and thy are looking for nurses with/without experience to be deployed in Riyadh, so, i went there and tried to apply. They told me that i need to take and pass the prometric exam first and it will cost me $90. If i passed then they will process my application, however, when i asked them how much will be my salary they told me that it will be only $550 plus free accomodation and the contract is for 2 years. The salary is too little amount, but im thinking that i can't even get a job here, the only options i have to practice my profession here and gain experience is to go on volunteer. Now, i really don't know what to do..do you have any advice??
Nov 16, '11 by nursewith04cobraI am seriously considering a position as a Saudi nurse for a year. Does anyone know how often there are attacks on the compounds?
Nov 17, '11 by shahThis sounds like someone out to get you. They are after your $90. Genuine Saudi jobs reqire 3 yrs of experience and pay around $40000/yr. Try and look for jobs in other states.
Quote from tinseyerHi! i just passed the board exam last july 2011 and now im having difficulty in getting a job due to surplus of nurses here. I saw a job post and thy are looking for nurses with/without experience to be deployed in Riyadh, so, i went there and tried to apply. They told me that i need to take and pass the prometric exam first and it will cost me $90. If i passed then they will process my application, however, when i asked them how much will be my salary they told me that it will be only $550 plus free accomodation and the contract is for 2 years. The salary is too little amount, but im thinking that i can't even get a job here, the only options i have to practice my profession here and gain experience is to go on volunteer. Now, i really don't know what to do..do you have any advice??Last edit by shah on Nov 17, '11 : Reason: more info
Nov 20, '11 by marinohHello Californianurse 1974,
How are you? And how are you enjoying working in Saudi Arabia. What advice would you give to a newly graduated nurse who intends to go to Saudi. I would be finishing my program May 2012, and am planning to take my NCLEX in Sept 2012. Although I have a very solid health care background from my home country, but currently living in the US doing the ABSN program. Do you think they are interested in new grads, and if yes, can you provide me with the website to get the necessary in formations. Looking forward to reading from you. Thanks.
Quote from californianurse1974Hello
I'm an American nurse (Cali gal) currently working in Jeddah,Saudi Arabia on a 1 year contract. To the original poster, only male doctors are allowed to bring family members with them. All others are provided single female or male studio apartment housing, and we all live on one huge complex. My apartment is very quiet. So here's the run down...
the hospital is nice
Women can't drive here, you WILL not miss it trust me lol
english speaking employees from different countries (America, India, Egypt, Austrailia, New Zealand, UK, large number from the Phillipines)
General salary is $68,000 (tax free)set by hospital, not agency
53 days of vacation per year
Single studio apartments on beautiful grounds with pool, jacuzzi, gym, nail salon, small convenience store, tennis court, swimming lessons
All utilities paid
Free shuttle buses for transport to work, shopping (16 different malls and souks)
inexpensive car service/cab available
no safety issues (this city is very laid back and cool)
its not like on CNN, its very modern, esp the malls, same stores as U.S.
nurses scuba dive ALOT here
social club offered at the hospital to book activities
we have cell phones and cable satellite
We don't have to wear our hair covered but do have to wear an abaya(robe) when not on apt complex or hospital grounds
The ratios are the same here as back home, but most of the units do primary nursing. We have to rotate shifts from day to night every 3 weeks, or you can have a shift buddy if you prefer so you can swap during rotation. I prefer day shift so when its time to rotate, I keep her day shift and she can stay on night shift permanently. We wear all white uniforms, provided by the hospital, except O.R. wears green scrubs. Most of the patients speak arabic but have a family member that speaks english, or we have a coordinator to grab to translate.
I know people think its not worth it, but trust me pocketing $70 k and not paying rent,insurance, or utilities for a year is SOOOOO WORTH IT!! My salary in California is $89k/year, but I never see it between taxes, rent, bills, etc.
Also I get to travel to nearby places like Egypt and Dubai without using my vacation time. I've made some great friends from other countries and learned alot. Most of the girls I've met here came on a one year contract but ended up staying for alot longer , anywhere from 4-10 years. If you don't like it here you always have the option to break your contract and leave, but you have to pay for your airfare home.
When you first get here, you don't go straight to work. You have classroom orientation for almost 2 weeks, then 2 weeks of floor orientation. I must say I'm not in love with primary nursing, but I guess American nurses are a bit spoiled lol. My coworkers are all friendly so I enjoy my unit. However, there is no such thing as home health, palliative, or hospice care. Well, only some of the richer families can afford home health, so you may find patients refusing to be discharged after the doctor has cleared them to go home. The government picks up the tab so the hospital lets them stay. Sometimes for years...Anyway, overall I love my experience here so far. I hope I've answered your questions with my small novel :-)