replied to the thread Gay English man considering Aramco
on the Saudi Arabia forum on May 15, 2013:
Hi all! I'm a single gay man considering interviewing for Saudi Aramco in an EFL teaching role. Outwardly I am not 'identifiable' as gay and I am willing to live 'in the closet' whilst in the KSA, restricting gay social life to holidays back home, How likely is this to be a problem in Aramco? I am aware of the legal situation in the country, but what I really would like is to hear your opinions on life in the compound and whether it is 'risky' if discovered to be gay in or by the company. I have a degree in Arabic and I am really keen on experiencing life in the Kingdom. Thanks in advance for your comments and advice.
If you are moving to jeddah , we might give you free consultation about the housing
waiting for you
Id be careful...the Saudis are not to fond of fruit flys...
posted New Expat Tip Tool
on the Saudi Arabia forum on May 14, 2013:
posted Info on Alsalam
on the Saudi Arabia forum on May 13, 2013:
posted Schools in jeddah
on the Saudi Arabia forum on May 13, 2013:
posted newly arrived !
on the Saudi Arabia forum:
replied to the thread education
on the Saudi Arabia forum:
Hi I am applying for the Pakistani international school in Taif. Can anybody tell me about the life in KSA and the school.
I'm American and have lived in Jeddah for 25 years. I've never been to Taif, but have heard that it's a quiet and beautiful town. My brother-in-law often takes his family there for the weekend. It's about 4 hours' drive to Jeddah, which is the most cosmopolitan city in Saudi, close to the holy city of Makkah.
Can't tell you about the school but you have chosen the best place as far as weather goes. Taif is the vacation area in the summer for the rest of KSA. I was in Dhahran and Riyadh and choose to come here because of the weather. The people are more conserveative the other places and shopping is severly lacking but Jedda is three hours drive away and lots of good shopping there.
Hey all, husband us moving to Khamis late May, with myself and toddler to follow hopefully by oct. I have basic questions about he city and daily compound. I've done. Lot of research but haven't found answers to these kinds of questions:
1. What is the going rate for a full-time housekeeper.
What is it if u want cooking and babysitting as well?
2. Is there a Starbucks? toy store?
3. How close is the city to a beach?
4. Outside of the compound, besides the abaya and scarf, can u wear jewelry, makeup,especially colorful jewelry?
So many more questions! Anyone willing to give email address to answer more questions as they arise?
I just came across your post. Apparently, you haven't got any responses, yet?! What a shame!
I would like to give you the answers I know of.
1. Housekeeping is around S.R 2000 ( two thousand Saudi Riyals) That's including cooking and babysitting UNLESS however it isn't legal.
2. I'm almost sure there is one Starbucks there and toy stores.
3. The closest beach going north-west is about 300 KM in Jeddah. There's also a city called Qunfutha which might be closer to Khamis.
4. Jewelry is OK as far as I know, you won't be caught by the police for that! Not even for anything close to that.
Generally, women here tend to not show off when they go out in public but they do put on the best of what they have when they throw parties or get-togethers.
I hope this helps a little. Need you any further information, I'd be glad to help.
A reader replied most recently with:
Hi Betsy-I just wanted to let you know of the "hush-hush" current situation in Saudi Arabia. I originally wrote this for a blog, but decided to post, to protect my privacy and safety. Feel free to cut and paste and use or not use any of the information here.
This past month (April, 2013) Labor forces in Saudi Arabia have cracked down on illegal workers. Eyewitnesses have reported to newspapers various accounts of situations faced.
Sadly, the foreigners (expats) are the ones suffering. Many of them entered Saudi Arabia and were then hired to work. Their Saudi employers may have helped them attain a legal visa to work, and others allowed them to work illegally. However, when wanting to return home, workers (expats) can only leave the country if they are on a 30-day visit visa, business visa or have a single-entry or multiple-exit/re-entry visa. These visa’s cannot be applied for by the expat, only the employer. Thus, if the employer chooses not to apply for the Visa, then the worker is left here illegally and continues to work or search for work elsewhere. If he finds work from another employer, he cannot legally be hired, unless the previous employer grants permission.
Saudi Arabia pays expat workers more money than they would receive in their home country. This is the main reason why expats come here. Yet, expats are being punished by being held here against their will.
Hundreds of Phillipino workers are camping next to their Counsolate in Jeddah, in tents and under tarps. The heat has caused children to become ill, as these Phillipino nationals wait to be released to return back to their country. In fact, before last months incident, they asked to be repatriated back to the Phillipines. Many of them do have their passports due to their employers keeping them. Others do not have a valid iqama to legally work in Saudi Arabia. They want to go home and they are simply waiting to be allowed-all at the mercy of forces in Saudi Arabia.
Again, it is disheartening to hear the newspaper dab foreign workers as being “in violation of their status.” They have no choice and now that they are being forced to fix their status, they are being denied. So, what is the solution? For some, the only solution is to return to their home country.
Additional Articles (to affirm that this is really happening) http://www.saudigazette.com.sa/index.cfm?method=home.regcon&contentid=20130421162259
Interviews with Residents in Jeddah:
1. Salman, a Pakistani national was deported 2 weeks ago. His children waited for their dad to pick them up from school. When they did not return home on time, Sarah his wife began calling friends for assistance. The next day, Salman called his wife from Pakistan explaining that he had been deported for not working for his original sponsor. He is still in the process of arranging to get his wife and two children back home to Pakistan.
2. Akhbar, who works in the car industry put in his resignation letter to his company-3 months ago! They have refused him to leave until he finds a replacement for his company.
3. Ana, a Phillipino national comes to the Phillipino Counsolate daily. She continues to ask them to send her home. Her Visa/Iqama to work as a house maid expired and her sponsor refused to renew it. She has her passport, but no way of leaving, due to not being able to afford the financial fines accrued as being an “over-stayer.”