All Photos Copyright Umm Latifa /2010-2011
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Monday, April 25, 2011


Last Thursday, we went to Janadriya festival. It was a great, quite exeptional experience. First of all - not so long ago a complete mixing was allowed at the festival. Still there are few days only for men, but most of the time, festival is open to families. I've not noticed any mutawwas there, a lot of Saudis - mostly women! - were taking pictures with mobiles and professional cameras - a new trend; and there was a REAL concert - with drums, guitar and male singers. The new pavilon was opened - sharqiya, where my kids digged into seaside sand immediately. I have taken some images, which I will post later on, at the moment - few films I shot with my camera!

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Saudi Man about himself and Saudi Arabia

photo credit: L. Kofiah

Bismillahi ar-Rahmani ar-Rahim 

I came across a blog of Lou Kofiah not so long ago. What captured me first- was a wonderful design - no wonder - he IS a graphic designer, what impressed me more - was the way Lou writes and expresses his opinions. I decided to contact him through the contact form on his blog and boldly asked for an interview! He agreed and - believe me - he is professional and sticks to his word - I got the answers to my questions within a few days! He also sent me his photo - taken while he was skiing in Dubai! So, first time on the blog - interview with a SAUDI MAN!  

Umm Latifa: Lou Kofiah – a Saudi, a man, an artist, an architect, a graphic designer, a professional… Perfect English. A very good writer. This, let us call it - basic – information everyone can retrieve from your Haphazard blog… Can you tell us more about yourself, your upbringing, background, education? 
Lou Kofiah: I can honestly say that I came from a fairly average background. I lived in a half-Saudi home, like many others from Jeddah, and ‘am a byproduct of the Saudi public schooling system (from grade 4 all the way to college). I had my fair share of childhood drama, but none to the extent of labeling me a special case. I was very fortunate to have a very influential strong mother who was backing me up in every single experiment I went through (successful and failure alike), and it was a major contributor in the way I came to be. I can say that if it wasn’t for her, I wouldn’t be where I am right now.
Socially, I was seen with a different eye, being a half-Saudi, and was stereotyped for being different. I didn’t feel different, nor was it a factor that affected my view of the country or others with me. It didn’t even have an effect on the type of friends I had growing up. I had the chance to meet a fairly wide spectrum of people and cultures, and it gave me insight to how diverse this country is (despite the general monochromatic view many, including Saudis, have).

Umm Latifa: What for blogging? Why do you blog and who do you want to reach? Do you write for yourself, for a change? Why in English?

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Umm Wanayyan - American Bedouin, a mom of 14!

Umm Wanayyan is an American woman married to a Saudi. She calls herself an "American Bedouin" as she literally lives with her husband and 14 children in the desert! This is what she says about her life, marriage and motherhood in the Kingdom!

Umm Latifa: How long have you been living in Saudi Arabia? When, where and how did you meet your Saudi husband? 
Umm Wanayyan: Assalam alaikum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh. I have been living here in K.S.A for 26 years. I came in February of 1985 with my infant son, Wanayyan. He was 10 months old and had just learned to walk. It was quite an adventure (I hate flying)!
I met my husband when I was 13. We had a BBQ on the 4th of July and invited a family friend to join us. He asked if he could bring along a cousin of his who was visiting from California. My mom said, "Sure! The more the merrier"! I was a kid and didn't pay any attention to them but my man insists that's the day he knew he'd met his wife :-D. He came around whenever he was in town and when I was 15, he asked if maybe I'd marry him. I agreed so he asked my mom. She agreed so he asked my stepdad, who got drunk.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Lulu and Krakus!

all copy rights Umm Latifa (in Saudi Kingdom)
Photos  taken with my mobile....

A new mall - Riyadh Avenue opened in Riyadh few days ago, hosting a Lulu Hypermarket.
I hate new malls  - you have an impression all Riyadh is there, the crowds are crazy and driving me (actually us - my husbands shares my aversion even more) crazy. 
But I had to go!  
I remembered what K, who lives in al-Khobar, were Lulu was opened more then 1 year ago told me: 
they have KRAKUS pickles there and 'kiszona kapusta' (a kind of Polish tradittional, very sour cabbage, you can call it pickled in a way)
My husbands agreed to this adventure.
First of all, location of the mall, I found in the newspaper was wrong.
It directed us to the first Lulu Branch - selling clothes, cosmetics and electronics.
We had to ask there for address of a newest Lulu branch in Riyadh.
When we got there, it was well after 10 pm (my husband was working that day, he could not collect us from home earlier).
Kids were half asleep.
So what! My Polish pickles! 
It was a disaster.
Crowds, crowds, crowds. 
I also had impression I was in India or Pakistan ;) - seems like all Indian and Pakistani community gathered there - they must love LULU very much ;). 
On the edge of a brakedown
(despite people pushing me with their trolleys, I could not locate my pickles!!) 
 I FOUND them!

all copy rights Umm Latifa (in Saudi Kingdom)

Small jar. 
Almost 17 riyals. 
Made in Poland.

I was so happy!
But where was my cabbage?
I carefully inspected shelves in the pickled, canned vegetables section.
No kiszona kapusta ;(.

I gave up.
At least cucumbers!
I headed to my husband who had been already waiting in the queue to the cash register
to speed up the whole process.

We came home.
Kids fallen asleep.
I prepared myself a sandwitch.
I opened my jar.
And - I realized -
I DO NOT MISS KRAKUS pickles any more!
Widely available dill pickles of American Garden are far more better (and bigger and cheaper)!

I have adjusted completely!

all copy rights Umm Latifa (in Saudi Kingdom)

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