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    You are in: Home / Community Forums / Middle East & North Africa / Let's Go to Saudi Arabia!
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    Let's Go to Saudi Arabia!

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    Annacia
    Thu Jun 06, 2013 7:17 pm
    Forum Host
    Mia in Germany wrote:
    Hi ladies wave.gif
    Hope late spring / early summer is good to you, too! I'm enjoying wonderful sunshine after that incredibly long winter.

    I've made and thoroughly enjoyed Eggplant and Pomegranate Stew (With Beef or Lamb) #360910 by Aisha al Saieed
    icon_biggrin.gif


    I've noted your completion hon. Anything interesting happening this weekend?
    Annacia
    Thu Jun 06, 2013 7:21 pm
    Forum Host
    Bonnie G #2 wrote:
    Here to report Bonnie G #2 completed my final tag - Arabic Honey Cake 425108 and it was sooooo good, sweet but a small piece goes a long way. I made it to have something for the yard workers I had today and they loved it too.



    Bonnie, that looks delish and your all complete on PG one.

    We still have a lot of June left though icon_wink.gif
    Annacia
    Thu Jun 06, 2013 7:27 pm
    Forum Host
    Tagging

    Main: Middle Eastern Chicken Skewers #361583 by Buster's friend
    Side: Middle Eastern Potato Salad #178969 by SkinnyMinnie
    Dessert: Arabian Orange Ice #94878 by winkki
    Middle Eastern Lemonade #16567 by Mirj
    Bonnie G #2
    Fri Jun 07, 2013 8:12 am
    Food.com Groupie
    This has really been fun and brings back some great memories. I just may try some more but in this house, until DH returns I don't do a lot of cooking with just me here - have to look for timing when I've got some company coming around. icon_wink.gif
    Annacia
    Fri Jun 07, 2013 9:23 am
    Forum Host
    Good Morning All wave.gif

    Bonnie, your always very welcome in this forum my friend and you don't need to tag every time you visit. Your company is great and I love hearing about the NA/ME countries from someone who lived there. icon_biggrin.gif
    Elmotoo
    Sun Jun 09, 2013 5:08 pm
    Forum Host
    Bonnie G #2 wrote:
    This has really been fun and brings back some great memories. I just may try some more but in this house, until DH returns I don't do a lot of cooking with just me here - have to look for timing when I've got some company coming around. icon_wink.gif

    Please share more stories! I have a friend who is actually a colleague of my mom's since forever. He went to Riyadh, Saudi Arabia YEARS ago to set up their EMS (ambulance) service. He brought a goat cooker back for my parents. We use it for cooking lobsters for large crowds. it looks sort of like this: but not as deep & maybe a bigger circumference. It's BIG!
    Elmotoo
    Sun Jun 09, 2013 5:10 pm
    Forum Host
    Thank you, A, it seems p.1 is current!
    Bonnie G #2
    Sun Jun 09, 2013 5:43 pm
    Food.com Groupie
    Oh yes, I never actually saw them cooking the goats, but have been invited to dinner where it was served on a large platter that everyone shared. It was so wonderful and the spices so different (but sooo good) from anything we'd had before.

    The first time was kind of funny as we didn't really understand the customs had only been there a short time when we took a drive to Hofuf - one of the most fascinating cities we've ever seen. But DH got to talking with a man who was a teacher there and really spoke excellent English. As it was afternoon prayer and everything was closing he invited us to his home for "TEA" what an experience that turned out.

    First when we arrived myself and DD where introduced to his wife and family and taken to one side of the house, while DH followed him to another. This was my first experience with this, but had expected it as we'd been told it was separated like this. However; the females of the family did NOT speak English as he did as we soon learned (this is when I made up my mind I WOULD learn Arabic) but they were very hospitable and showed us to our seats (on cushions on the floor) and preceded to have a HUGE platter of goat and other sides brought in. Everyone would scoop out servings with pieces of pita bread. Then DD, who had NOT gone through the orientation asks "may I have a fork" once they knew what she was asking for it brought out a lot of giggles but they did bring her a spoon. Later we joined the men for tea and talk. This happened so long ago but is still one of my finest memories of the wonderful hospitality of the family we met.
    Annacia
    Sun Jun 09, 2013 6:38 pm
    Forum Host
    What a wonderful introduction to a new land and people Bonnie. How old was your DD then?
    Elmotoo
    Sun Jun 09, 2013 7:00 pm
    Forum Host
    I love hearing your stories! So fascinating especially since the only culture I've ever known is so different. Thank you for sharing!
    Beth
    Cookgirl
    Sun Jun 09, 2013 7:20 pm
    Forum Host
    Bonnie, tell us more! I am thoroughly enjoying reading your posts!
    Bonnie G #2
    Mon Jun 10, 2013 7:53 am
    Food.com Groupie
    Thanks to you all, I always worry about talking to much and boring folks. DD at the time was 17, she was born in Germany were we lived until she was 4 but this was her first time in a culture so different and half the fun was watching her reaction. Since then she's been in Saudi, Kuwait, and lived in Egypt for 7 years with her own family so she's become quite the world traveler (as her 2 boys are) but the fun is still remembering those first introductions.

    My son now (who was in 6th grade) was a totally different experience. He fell in love with the Arabic culture from day one when we woke up to hear the sounds of prayer being called over the desert air. It was kind of strange as at first when we were planning on going and told him about it he gave us the biggest fight. But when he got up that morning to prayer call singing over the desert - he was in love. The schools in Dhahran were tremendous and very demanding on grades. But he went that first day and came home and said "Mom, those guys at the school (he meant the janitors) picked up my books and put them away" he was stunned that they would have so many people making sure everything was maintained and kept tidy. He soon learned that he'd either pick up after himself or someone else would do it for him. As a side I have to tell you, this boy went from being a C student in the States, to being an A-B student in Saudi and the schools were MUCH harder on them. Classes were small, no more than 10 students to a class and there was NO hiding in the crowd when it came to teachers. He even had to go to summer school (with one on one) in order to come up to the required level.

    It just goes to show you that when more is expected, these kids usually perform. icon_wink.gif
    Annacia
    Mon Jun 10, 2013 8:47 am
    Forum Host
    Bonnie, you could be a travel writer. I love your description of the morning prayer call in the dessert air. It placed a beautiful image in my mind.

    What you say is so very true about children. They do what is expected of them. Children are no longer expected to have manners in most cases so they don't. I heard on the Canadian news awhile back that teachers are pushing for a No Failure system in schools. Essentially, no matter what a child does or doesn't do they will always progress to the next grade. This sounds like a disastrous plan to me and an excellent way to make Canada into almost a 3rd world country in a generation or two.

    What does your DS do now?

    Thanks so much for these marvelous posts. icon_biggrin.gif
    Bonnie G #2
    Mon Jun 10, 2013 10:10 am
    Food.com Groupie
    I'm proud to say my DS came out of that program speaking 3 languages fluently (one was required in the program) and he choose Spanish, picked up Arabic from his friends and contacts, and of course English. They were required to attend boarding school (which the company paid for) in high school and he attended an American School in Switzerland where he had a Japanese roommate so he learned passable Japanese, improved his Spanish, and picked up German and Italian. This school was very high on Academics (and skiing of course) and he was required to take pre-college programs where he did very well. The interesting thing about this school is when giving stats - instead of saying "this percentage of students graduate" there stats said "this percentage of students graduate COLLEGE" He did complete college with a dual degree in both Psychology and Criminology and is currently employed as a Fraud Investigator.

    Another interesting factor that you brought up that was VERY important to me was the school was EXTREMELY focused on manners. I'll never forget the orientation on his first day - there was a Brunch for students and parents and while sitting at the table, the Head Mistress approached our table, introduced herself and preceded to knock the baseball cap of his head (I was so nervous hadn't even thought of it) and she said to him "We NEVER wear head cover at the table, he's never forgot that lesson to this day and finds it very offensive when he sees it. They actually had classes on table manners and etiquette.

    Now before I get all the comments on how could you send your child off to boarding school. I didn't think I could do that either and had planned on leaving the job and returning to the States when it came to that point. However; the school there - knowing this was the goal, started preparing the kids from day one, including classes on doing laundry, ironing, cooking and cleaning for themselves - even how to change a tire on a car. By the time he was ready to start looking HE was the one that insisted he did NOT want to give up that opportunity. I have to tell you it was probably the best decision we ever made and he not only received and excellent education but traveled (at the schools schedule) all over Europe including Italy, France, Greece and others - how's that for field trips! icon_wink.gif
    Cookgirl
    Mon Jun 10, 2013 10:22 am
    Forum Host
    WOW! As a SAH, homeschooling M I am inspired by your post!
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