Spoke with a very nice Saudi man today while… – D’Anna Smith Watson

Spoke with a very nice Saudi man today while sitting in the waiting room of the doctors office. (Yes that is probably illegal under Sharia law. But Matthew my 11 year old son was there to act as my guardian). We had the standard conversation that I have with most other foreigners I meet. 1. People are mostly the same everywhere. They hold doors open for others, say hello when they pass in hallways, smile at children and are usually open to discussing how to better the world. 2. Governments make things complicated, especially when they draw “lines in the sand”. 3. The MEDIA IS BAD. They make people all over the world afraid of each other because it makes for good television and advertiser will pay for it. Sure bad things are happening but commentary, analysis and instigation are NOT NEWS.
After that we got a little deeper into our conversation. We started to discuss the Saudi people (not their government or the radicals) just the people. He was saying “I know we do things differently…” I gave him my standard reply “Saudi is a new country, barely 100 years old”. He says “that’s true. but we are also Tribal people”. HERE IS THE FUNNY PART – for me anyway. He then says “You are American, have you ever visited the Southwest USA? They have a lot of Native American tribes there that practice different traditions.”
HAHA, YES SIR! The Great American Southwest is my home and I completely understand. I was so excited to hear someone explain to me what I often try to explain to others. Different people have different customs and norms. But once you say hello almost all of them would love to discuss how we all relate to each other and generally want the same things. There is hope my friends. Don’t let the PROPAGANDA or the ANTI PROPAGANDA tell you otherwise.
By the way, if anyone wants to learn of some actual news that we aren’t likely to hear in the west just Google – Monkey Menace in India. There are currently 30,000 monkeys running around in the streets of New Delhi. They steal food, contaminate water, kill children and get DRUNK on stolen whiskey. For many of the world’s population…THIS IS NEWS.

via Spoke with a very nice Saudi man today while… – D’Anna Smith Watson

D’Anna Smith Watson

Living in KSA I have been fortunate enough to meet many Venezuelan people. They are here doing the same oil and gas work as many other expats from various countries. However many of them cannot visit home, as circumstances are quite dangerous. This is also true for many Libyans, Palestinians, Syrians and the like. But that is a conversation for another day. This post is about the character of the Venezuelan people that I have met. I find them to be the most honest, stra…
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Occupy Tower: Living in the world’s tallest slum – the “Tower of David”
More films about homelessness: https://rtd.rt.com/tags/homelessness/ An abandoned skyscraper in Caracas has become a shelter for many people with nowhere els…

via D’Anna Smith Watson

Prayer Time

Muslims pray 5 times a day. 5 times a day I hear faint music at what I think is the beginning and end of prayer time. I have yet to see people pray openly in public but I have seen prayer areas in public places like the airport and mall. Most stores close for approximately 30 minutes for each prayer times. Although I have found that restaurants and food stores stay open (or at least don’t kick me out).

It is important to plan my day around prayer times so I won’t be waiting around in a hallway for a store or business to reopen. I personally think of it as “state sponsored meditation”. Although the music seems very dark to me I am completely unaware of it’s meaning so I refuse to judge another’s culture. Especially since 1.6 billion people (23.2%) on the planet call themselves Muslim. That is 2nd to Christianity which is 2.6 billion people (31.5%).

Prayer time is on my mind this morning for a very simple, ironic and comical reason. I thought I was smart by downloading the Athan Prayer app on my phone. I was looking to be notified of upcoming prayer times. As prayer time changes daily as they are dependent on the movement of the sun. Well not only does it work but it plays the music when it wakes me up at 4am. It’s funny how we learn things in life. 🙂

Projects Around the World

Projects Around the World

The WordPress.com Blog

We’re inspired to see bloggers doing things they love and using this platform to make their voices heard. Here’s a look at some interesting projects around the globe.

Russell Chapman: Telling the stories of Syrian refugees

Image by Russell ChapmanImage by Russell Chapman

Last year, photographer and writer Russell Chapman documented the conflict in Syria and spent time in Syrian refugee camps in Lebanon and Jordan. His book, Syria: Refugees and Rebels, compiles images of his time there. Russell is currently working on a project to tell the stories of Syrian refugees rebuilding their lives in Jordan.

Shannon Galpin: Empowering cyclists in Afghanistan

Image of the Afghan Women’s National Team by Deni BechardImage by Deni Bechard

Cyclist, women’s rights activist, and TEDx speaker Shannon Galpin — named a National Geographic Adventurer of the Year in 2013 — is the founder of Mountain2Mountain. Using the mountain bike as a vehicle for social justice in Afghanistan, she works on projects like supporting…

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