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Saudi Arabia - Good Idea or Not

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by 43RN20 43RN20 (New Member) New Member

43RN20 works as a Executive Director of Medical Staffing Co..

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As seen by a Registered Nurse from the United States, who is now on assignment, it can be hard to adjust to hospital nursing in Saudi Arabia. That is particularly true in the hospital complex that serves the Saudi Royal Family. The very size of this facility is daunting. It is a 1 km straight walk from the front door to the back entrance. You are reading page 17 of Saudi Arabia - Good Idea or Not. If you want to start from the beginning Go to First Page.

Lorrain works as a RN in an Acute Medical Ward at a Private Hospital.

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Thankyou for this info plus you have generated a popular topic with plenty of information. My husband and I want to go. I am a 2nd year post grad Registered Nurse and my husband is an engineer and had his own business making hospital beds so I'm hoping there will be a job for him also maybe maintaining hospital beds (I presume they are all electric adjustable beds) What do you think of our chances of getting work and of course having accommodation together?

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Lorrain works as a RN in an Acute Medical Ward at a Private Hospital.

1,384 Visitors; 5 Posts

For those of you who are interested - I have made enquires and I'M TOO OLD. Oh well I think we shall just go outback Australia. Yes, 55 is the limit, I am 54 and even though I have been a Registered Nurse for two years you have to do at least two years in a hospital setting and I worked in a nursing home for 18mths (my biggest regret). Good luck for all the young nurses out there who want an adventure LOL

Edited by Lorrain

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I'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.

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FYI 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.

I'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.

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FYI 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.

Really? That's not what her memoir said. Where did you hear this? As I recall from the book, it said she met and fell in love with the Bin Laden brother in Europe and they married. Her story sounded like somewhat of a nightmare. I don't know that I could ever live in such oppression.

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Sorry, It was not Carmen. It was Caroline who married two of the brothers:

No problem. It's easy to confuse all those husbands and wives. Thanks for the clarification! Interesting story on that link. :)

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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?

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Shah,

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.

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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.

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hi 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 :redbeathe good luck and have fun x

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