Hey! My name is Ahmed Al Omran. I’m 29. I was born in al-Ahsa (aka Hofuf), east of Saudi Arabia. I have recently graduated with a Master’s degree from the Graduate School of Journalism at Columbia University, New York. I worked as a production assistant on the social media desk at NPR. I was an early contributer to Global Voices. Currently, I work as a freelance journalist based in Saudi Arabia. If you want to know more about me, you can email me: ahmed at saudijeans dot org, or use the Contact page. However, before contacting me, please read the FAQ below; probably you will find the answer(s) to your question(s) there.
Original header image taken by Sharaf al-Malki. Used with permission.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is Saudi Jeans?
Saudi Jeans is blog written by Ahmed Al Omran. The blog aims to provide news, commentary, and personal views on political and social issues in Saudi Arabia, with a special focus on freedom of expression, human rights and women’s rights. In addition to the aforementioned topics, the blog may also cover other things of interest to the writer such as technology, sports, literature, etc.
When and why did you start this blog?
I started this blog in May 2004 as an experiment to improve my English writing. Few months later, the blog shifted focus from personal writing to political and social issues. I keep this blog running because I want to be a part of the change that is going on in Saudi Arabia. I write because I want to see this country become a better place.
So why are you writing in English then?
English is the global lingua franca. It is the dominant international language, and writing in it allows me to communicate not just with my own countrymen and women but with the whole wide world. Moreover, I hope that writing in English could contribute to change many stereotypes and misconceptions surrounding Saudi Arabia.
You are Shiite, right?
Yes I am, but this should not be highly considered in relation to this blog because what I’d like to offer here comes from a national perspective first and foremost. I have never said that I talk in the name of Saudi Shiites, and it is very unlikely for that to change any time in the future.
What’s in a name? What does “Saudi Jeans” mean?
Simply put, because I’m Saudi and I like to wear jeans. But if you would like to read a longer explanation, please refer to the very first post on this blog.