Advice to KASP boys & girls, letter to King Abdullah, more families only

  • Fouad al-Farhan wrote a very good blogpost, analyzing the different types of Saudi students abroad, and offering some invaluable advice to the boys and girls of KASP. What I find incredibly disheartening and slightly funny is how some commenters there totally ignored the whole gist of the post and focused instead on Fouad’s choice of words, despite the fact that the words they found objectionable were not meant for a specific person(s). It just shows you how some people here can be extremely oversensitive, unbelievably easily offended, and absolutely thin-skinned.
  • Last week coincided with the fifth anniversary of King Abdullah’s ascend to the throne. Many congratulatory ads have been published in newspapers. Many overly praising items have been written and broadcasted. But leave it to fellow blogger Ahmed Ba-Aboud to put things in perspective. “King Abdullah, don’t listen to them,” he says.
  • Two guys at the grocery store checkout counter. Their groceries include a large soda bottle aka “family size” bottle. They are told they can’t buy it because, like many other things in the country, it’s for families only. Hilarious, but I won’t be too surprised if it happens in real life. It is exactly this kind fanaticism we are particularly good at.


    The video was created by the awesome Malik Nejer. More of his work can be found here.

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9 thoughts on “Advice to KASP boys & girls, letter to King Abdullah, more families only

  1. Out of 27 commenter, only two disliked the choice of words, one of them said it within his comment.

    So I can say it’s only few (minority) can be extremely oversensitive, unbelievably easily offended, and absolutely thin-skinned. well, as you can tell I’m one of them :)

  2. While Fauod Farhan makes several good points I disagree with him on what he thinks the main purpose of these scholarships. He seems to think it’s experiencing a new culture while I think it what is is: We need educated professionals. The End. Nothing more and nothing less.

    • A very good point, except that professional training is imbued with cultural premises, those of the ambient social culture, and those of the profession and the local biases within it. For better and for worse, professionals bring these with them when they return to their home countries. This is complicated by using US textbooks in MENA countries, making the disconnect between classroom and the real world greater than usual.

  3. Ahmed, I found his words profound in that they hit the mark; here in the USA our own natives suffer from the same when overseas, bringing back nothing but photos and trinkets to show off…
    But I will say most take advantage of their environment and studies when here in the USA- we have a program at the Hospital where I work geared for foreign born, or American born Muslim Medical students so they can learn not only their profession, but also be mentored by the Medical Director- they are all volunteering their time- now guess who put them on the list? Their parents, or those men and women who are Muslim and work at the hospital- why? We want them to integrate what they learn with the human factor- learning about their patients beyond their diseases; the social factors that their patients grapple with. Its an enriching experience, wish I could get a few students from Saudi who are here on scholarship who would want to volunteer their time- in Medicine, Finance, Public Health Administration, Translation… I would have spots for them.

    Let me know if you hear of any who are in the NYC area.

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