Saudi Jeans turns seven

This blog has turned seven a couple of days ago. I said before that when I started this thing I never thought it would last long. But here we are, and I still can’t believe it’s been this long. Now I know that the past ten months were not exactly the best for the blog. I’ve been extremely busy with grad school, which meant Saudi Jeans was neglected and the updates were few and far between. I’m still passionate about blogging, and I still have much to say about things in Saudi Arabia and beyond. Next week I will graduate from Columbia Journalism School, so you can expect to see a higher frequency of posting here. I will probably write a blogpost reflecting on my experience at Columbia and New York, but for now feel free to take a look at my master’s project which examines the rise of Arab American standup comedy.

Thank you all for reading, commenting and just being great over these years. I feel lucky to have a portion of your attention and share my thoughts with you, and hope to continue doing that for years to come.

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Happy Eid

Eid Mubarak

Wishing you all a peaceful and prosperous Eid, enjoyed with your family and friends. May Allah accept your deeds and forgive your lapses.

The picture in the background is a view from the top of Gara Mountain in al-Ahsa, Saudi Arabia.

Columbia

Probably most of you already know this by now, but I was actually planning to post about it earlier and did not have a chance. It is long overdue, but I guess better late than never.

Earlier this year I was accepted to the Graduate School of Journalism at Columbia University. However, until the last week of July I was not sure that I will be studying here. My uncertainty had nothing to do with my desire to come to Columbia. It’s just that coming up with the needed finances to be here proved to be much, much more troublesome than anybody anticipated. But in the end everything somehow worked out, and shortly after that I put myself on a plane flying across the Atlantic.

I arrived to New York just a few days before school started on August 9. I was hoping to arrive a couple of weeks earlier to settle down and get used to the city before we start but that hope unfortunately evaporated due to the mentioned above problem and visa delays. I have basically hit the ground running, and have been running like crazy since then. The J-School is a lot of work, but for the most part I’m enjoying it. It is hard to believe that two months have already passed, but here we are, overwhelmed by deadlines, assignments and projects.

This is the reason why I have been neglecting the blog lately, but it is certainly not an excuse. As I promised two days ago, I will try my best to keep the blog up while I’m NYC.

That’s all I have to say for now. Before I go, I need to thank some many people. This will sound like a very, very long acceptance speech, so please bear with me…

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I’m Still Here

I’m not dead (and this post is not about Casey Affleck’s movie/hoax). Just been extremely busy. Good busy, for the most part. I usually hate this kind of “why I’m not blogging” blog posts, but I decided to write one to embarrass myself into getting back to the habit of blogging. I promise that I will somehow fit this into my schedule and update the blog regularly. If I don’t, feel free to abuse me in the comments :-)

KSA joins the first world, marketing to Muslims in Riyadh

  • Prince Khaled al-Faisal, the Governor of Mecca, has repeatedly said that our country is on its way to join the first world. Fouad al-Farhan says he would like to join the Prince in his optimism, and has some ideas on what it would take to move Saudi Arabia from the third world to the first world.
  • My good friend Abdulmohsen al-Madani will be joined by Roy Haddad, Chairman & CEO of JWT MENA, for a presentation called “Marketing to Muslims – Unseen Opportunities.” The presentation will be given today, July 6th, at 7PM. The venue is Riyadh Chamber of Commerce on Dhabab St. It should be interesting. Unfortunately I won’t be able to make it because I’m in the EP, but if you are in Riyadh and you care about marketing, advertisement and content creation then you probably want to be there.

Twenty-Six

I’m 26 and I’m still here. I’m still not sure where I’m going next, and I’m still not sure where I will be for my next birthday. I’m not sure about anything anymore. Here’s to the waiting, uncertainty, and lifelong dreams…

Fouad is back, Why are we never ready?

  • My good friend and fellow blogger Fouad al-Farhan has finally decided to restart his blog after more than two years of hiatus. During these two years, he experimented with Twitter, Facebook, and Tumblr, but he eventually admitted that there is nothing like blogging as a platform for personal publishing. Fouad is one of the most prominent people in the Saudi blogosphere, and I’m sure the whole blogging community is delighted to have him writing at length again. Welcome back, Fouad! You have been missed.
  • Abdulrahman al-Hazzaa, deputy minister of information and culture, keeps pushing for MOCI’s proposed law for regulating news websites in this column for Okaz daily. His latest argument: we are not ready for the freedom offered by such websites. We’ve heard this argument before. Government officials like al-Hazzaa keep telling us that we are not ready for civil society, not ready for elections, not ready of democracy, etc. We are pretty much not ready for anything, until they say we are, which, depending on their whims, can be next decade, next century, or sometimes never.
  • A little housekeeping note: the short linky posts are open to comments again. When I redesigned the blog earlier this year, I decided to close comments on these posts as an experiment. As part of the experiment, all posts are open to comments now. Let’s see how that goes.