Jeddah Expat Feed
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A reader commented on the Expat Report Living in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia
Living-in-Jeddah
What activities, clubs and organizations would you recommend to newcomers to help them meet others?
Outdoor athletic events, museums open to the public. (Continue)
A reader replied most recently with:
Because Jeddah is the port of Makkah, it is more cosmopolitan than other Saudi cities; visitors of every nationality are commonplace. There is little in the way of entertainment; there are no theaters, and women are not allowed to attend football (soccer) games. Two major football teams are based in Jeddah, but the major recreation involves hanging around malls and boating. (Wonderful coral reefs for diving, and women as well as men belong to diving clubs.) Another popular activity is camping in the desert. Jeddah has a relatively low crime rate, as it attracts religious Muslims both as visitors and as residents. Jeddah is very hot in the summer, but mild, even cool, in mid-winter. Almost every room in the city is air-conditined; few are equipped with heaters. Many western residents live in housing compounds, some of which are very well equipped; life in these areas is not widely different from living in the West. Jeddah has a number of excellent English and American k-12 schools, for both Muslims and non-Muslims. There are several colleges. The university is generally open only to Saudi students; most foreigners send their children abroad for post-secondeay education. Jeddah is a beautiful, modern city, built almost entirely in the last forty years. It's important for non-Muslim visitors to note that dress is very conservative, and that alcohol is absolutely forbidden throughout the country.
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Expat Report Review of Thamer International School in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia was published
Review-of-Thamer International School
How would you describe the facilities at this school? What extra-curricular activities are available?
They have only two activities in the whole year a trip and a sport day (Continue)
A reader commented on the Expat Report Living in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia
Living-in-Jeddah
What activities, clubs and organizations would you recommend to newcomers to help them meet others?
Hijaz choir

Drama group puts on plays at Sierra ( O R P)

Al Bilad beach, Sheraton beach, Silver sands beach

Buffet meal weekend at Al Bilad hotel

Buffet lunch at Hilton also walk around gardens

Any concerts /events on at Sierra

Parties at Sierra eg Rhino ball

ABJ or BBJ the two groups American business of Jeddah (great social and mixing as well as sports, balls, parties, etc also if full member invites to weekend nights at embassy). Must be US citizen or work for US company- all nationalities though. British businessmen ( I think you have to be British)

Hash- running and walking group well organised great social in mountains and hills near Jeddah

Rugby club- excellent social - beginners welcome ( at American school)

Diving/ boat trips/ snorkelling- ring desert sea divers A MUST DO do not leave Jeddah without seeing the fish on the reefs- snorkel if necessary. Diving lessons also available. Meet people amazing experince.

Walk along the Cornishe- absorb Jeddah life- visit Aroma restaurant.

Malls- all worth a visit for architecture alone (I do not shop) - Red Sea Mall, Mall of Arabia, Oasis Mall, Megamall, Roshan Mall (also got nice Fudruckers)

Thalia street and GOODIES- the best restaurant at the back of Talia.

Islamic museum.

Old Jeddah (near Ballad - read up history - first amazing old buildings now international heritage site)

Souks- Ballad

Petromin (great for bargains and second hand - we would call it a flea market)

Old airport- great for antiques and coins etc

Al Bawardy the new part Mall as well- best gold place.

Natural history society- great for info about Saudi- held in national geology society. (Continue)

A reader replied most recently with:
I disagree about the Bible- you are allowed your own Bible and religeous books. I took my worship CD's and Christmas song books- no problem. Most Saudi's have never seen a cross and have no idea of it's significance. They were more concerned by my fitness video and bare arms and legs on the cover. You can do virtually anything in private.
A reader replied recently with:
This was very helpful. I am an American coming to Jeddah in a few months with my husbands work and am really wanting to keep busy as well as keeping my three sons 14, 13, and 9 occupied so I don't hear the infamous "I'm bored!"
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alkhairi commented on the Expat Report Review of American International School of Jeddah in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia
Review-of-American International School of Jeddah
How would you describe the facilities at this school? What extra-curricular activities are available?
The school has a reasonable range of facilities, but they are very old. There is no pool, and no track. There is a grass field for soccer, and an indoor area for basketball or volleyball, but this area is also the meeting area for school-wide events (the gym). Buildings themselves are very old and in a poor state of disrepair. Carpets were replaced but the air conditioning system has not been maintained and dead cats have been found in the ceiling of the elementary building. The lease was recently renewed for a further 3 years, but it remains very uncertain.

Activities are sometimes arranged by teachers, but there is no consistent range of extra-curricular activities from year to year, or even semester to semester. (Continue)

alkhairi replied most recently with:
Sorry folks, I disagree with all the above, My kids have been in the school for 6 years, and every year there is a great development. Everything is quite excellent, the best way is to come over and see it with your own eyes. Each parent would have their point of view based on their experience, I am one parent who has a positive impression about the school in general. It's a great school
A reader replied recently with:
I wholeheartedly agree with everything written by this parent; if anything they are restraining criticism of the dubious aspects of the school. As a teacher, I must add that lack of accountability pervades throughout the student and family culture, creating a serious impediment to the development (intellectual, social, emotional) of new students.
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monikkaja commented on the Expat Report Having a Baby in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia
Having-a-Baby-in-Jeddah
Describe your experience giving birth there. What type of facility did you go to? What (if any) type of pain management did you use? How long did you stay in the hospital? Was it a positive experience? Etc...
I went to a private hospital which had lots of western patients and all English/US trained and speaking doctors. I was given an epidural (which failed) and eventually a general anasthetic for an emergency caesarian. I was in hospital for 4 days and was very well cared for. The doctors and nurses were very nice, although not that encouraging or knowledgable about breast-feeding. (Continue)
monikkaja replied most recently with:
Hi Everyone I am a CZ-Germany citizen. My husband has been offered a job with Siemens based in Riyahd and Jeddah and we are considering whether to accept. We are married with 1,5 children (2,5 years daughter and baby which we expect in June to be born) and our dog lablador retriever - 6 years. Can anyone help me with a few questions I have? I would be most grateful. 1.How acceptable is it in reality for our dog to come with us. Are there some restrictions? And how is it with the quality of VET care. I read someone that there are not many pets and if so, than there are cats mostly. And is it safe for our dog to come there at all? What about Dirofilaria immitis - the heart worms? 2. How is the paediatry there? 3. Do we need some vaccinations for us and our childrens? 4. Has someone traveled with only few month old baby for such a long time (8 hours flight) - the same we will be having at the time we are planning to come - in october or september 2011? I expect, that hauses will have there an air-condition which should be a bit problematic for little babies (could, rhinitis and so - my fear while breastfeeding stage). Many thanks in advance for any advice offered. Monika
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A reader commented on the Expat Report Review of British International School of Jeddah in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia
Review-of-British International School of Jeddah
How would you describe the facilities at this school? What extra-curricular activities are available?
The facilities are great. Extra-curricular activities are somewhat limited, but what is available is very well run. There is a shaded swimming pool, heated in the cooler months, indoor sports facilities, climbing wall, squash courts, etc. (Continue)
A reader replied most recently with:
I used to work at the school for two years (2005 - 2007). The teachers were good, but administration were quite the opposite. I left the school due to issues resulting in, what I felt, were racism against the Muslim staff... Although, due to a recent change of Headmaster, things may be better for the staff who remain there. For the students, the conditions were good, as the teachers had genuine concern for the pupils, and with the correct direction they tended to perform well. Thanks... Ex JPGS Teacher.
A reader replied recently with:
what comound is next door? Al Basateen Village
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Expat Report Christmas In Jeddah, Saudi Arabia by CdninSaudi was published
Christmas-In-Jeddah
If locals celebrate Christmas or Hanukkah where you are living now, how is it celebrated differently?
Being a muslim country, Christmas is not openly celebrated here. (Continue)
Expat Report Having a Baby in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia was published
Having-a-Baby-in-Jeddah
Describe your experience giving birth there. What type of facility did you go to? What (if any) type of pain management did you use? How long did you stay in the hospital? Was it a positive experience? Etc...
This was my fourth pregnancy. I decided to stay in Saudi for the delivery because the baby was due in late October and I didn't want my older child to miss school, which he would have done if we had gone home to the States. I chose a small private maternity hospital that was very highly recommended by an American friend, who had delivered three children there. A month before my due date, my physician, who was also the owner of the hospital, urged me to allow her to induce labor, saying that the fetus was so large that she doubted that I would be able to deliver it normally. I questioned this, since it was my fourth pregnancy, and I'm pretty broad of beam, but she insisted, so finally I agreed. The induction and labor took two days. The labor was hideously painful, as the cervix had not even begun to efface, and I received no analgesia during either the labor or the delivery. The baby weighed just less than 5 pounds, and had to be transferred to a proper hospital for several days in a premie intensive care unit, where she did receive excellent care. She had several health problems in early childhood, but I don't know that they were a direct result of the forced premature birth. Now in college, she's tall and healthy, thank God, in spite of her criminally poor birth care. (Continue)

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