★ღTips, tricks and random advice to a Foreign Wife living in the Arabian Gulfღ★

★ღY'all Are Sweetღ★

Thursday, March 22, 2012

ADVICE: "don't be a outsider to the locals while you're walking around in the Gulf"

did y'all ever see that movie called "Don't be a Menace to Society While You're Drinking Your Juice in the Hood"?  i have and it's one of my fave movies so of course i am gonna take the title and try and warp it to make this Post look cool cuz that's how i am


if you're an AJNABIYYA (foreign lady) married to a KHALEEJI (Gulfy guy), be prepared to be stared down and given bad looks -- especially if you look like you're from Syria or Morroco.  in fact, i would strongly suggest investing in a niqaab or learn how to tie a shayla to cover the entire face because many MUSLIMS like giving other Muslims the Evil Eye.  errrrr whatever happened to saying "mashaaAllah tabarakAllah" and being happy for what Allah has Decreed??  sub7anAllah...
"ya rayal shoof alajnabiyya hnak"
i'm all for inter-racial marriages and why the heck not -- it isn't like it's 7ARAAM or a bad thing, right?  but actually many ppl (including strangers) take it offence to it and u can just ask any girl who's married to a Arab/Khaleeji guy what it's like going out with their husband or even to a wedding.
there's a million reasons why a man from the Gulf would wanna be with a woman from the West and i can personally speak 3x about this LoL many of my friends are also married to Emaratis/Omanis/Saudis and we have our secret on-line groups to vent & discuss the many issues that we face (good and bad).  it helps to talk about our experiences with women from the same background and it amazes me how many of our stories are the same.  no wonder the Saudi government makes their citizens sign a paper saying "Thou Shall Not Marry a Heathen Foreigner" before coming here :-/

in Oman and Bahrain, walking with my husband was an adventure in itself just because of the expressions & sometimes remarks we got -- so much so me and my BFF would laugh about it (not in public but later when we were in a private area...  shhhhh!!).  but there is one thing that really made me angry:  when a man is watching another woman while his wife is sitting right beside him!!!!!!!!!  grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr hdfsuhdfusdhfdusfjhd fusdhdsld ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  okay, ur not supposed to be doing that in the first place but hellloooo consider how your wife will feel after??  if that was my husband i would hit him in the head with my purse and tell him to FRIGG OFF because i will not be dissed like that -- nooo waaaay.  
*taken from Tara Umm Omar's Blog http://taraummomar.blogspot.ca/
i've been called many things while in the Khaleej and here is a list of the following (starting with the bad):
"siflah" -- in Oman buy a loser who was just angry i wouldn't look at him
"alfeen riyals" -- self-explanatory
"b*tch" -- i was dressed from head to toe in black so that shows u can have every inch covered but still be considered a prostitute...  lame
"mashaaAllah" -- i dunno man...  it really bothers me when someone mentions Allah's name when they are trying to do something AGAINST the Shari'a ie. "inshaaAllah i find a girl for tonight"
"????????????" -- ????????????
"ya moza" -- i've been called this both in Canada and the Gulf and i always ask the same thing:  WHY ARE MEN CALLING ME A BANANA??!?!

i always adhere to the "When in Rome" motto but i will always be an OUTSIDER.  that's okay, i'm used to it by now but for First-Timers it might be a bit overwhelming.  i'll never forget in Mutrah Souk, a tourist was standing in the middle of the street frantically asking if anyone spoke English.  i said to my husband in Arabic "uh-oh, i know that look" and asked her if she was okay.  she just grabbed me and said "i'm lost and there is a weird man following me while he's..." and i totally knew what she was gonna say.  ew.  creepy perv men are all over the world ast'3firAllah :-/

so the moral of the story is be aware of your surroundings, when u feel threatened or nervous seek the nearest foreigner to u and don't take halwa from a stranger.

happy travelling!!

Friday, January 6, 2012

bahrain unsafe for me?

salaam everyone so today i got a little time to update my Blogs and i wanna address a question i know many of u have had on your minds:  what in the hamburgers am i doing in Bahrain???  isn't it like this dangerous war-zone or something???

i know the Western media (even other news broadcasts in the Gulf which is why my Khaleeji husband's family are trippin' also) has been showing images like this:

but honestly Bahrain over all pretty much looks like this:

errrrr ok i couldn't find a picture of normal people doing normal things in Google but take my word that it's safe where we are and i along with many others can continue on with our lives!!

i don't see anything being shown about the ANTI-GOVERNMENT PROTESTORS (a.k.a. Bahrainis who are AGAINST the government protesters) and i've seen what they look like and all it is are a bunch of people waving Bahraini flags and holding signs saying in Arabic "We Are Muslims Not Terrorists" etc.  these kinds of demonstrations are usually more in the city like Juffair or Hoora which is closer to Manamah and nobody's getting shot at or killed.  lot's of police ya but that's 3adi.

*however* i have seen people before holding big @ss signs of Iranian religious leaders like "Ayatollah" Whatever and i am confused like, "what does Iran have to do with Bahrain or any other GCC country??"  i could wonder aloud even more but i don't wanna get into anything political/religious so i will leave this little Post saying that i feel safe in Bahrain and i hope the people will remain calm & safe too :-)

Friday, December 30, 2011

★Oman Round Two★

In November, my luvly friend S and my baby boy A flew to Oman, courtesy of some extra Etihad Airways tickets we had floating around.  We wanted to be there for our girl/fellow Blogger Pixie of the ILoveHishmaBlog and HowToLiveLikeAnOmaniPrincess Blogs and the arrival of Baby Pixie while checking out Muscat. 

This was my 2nd trip to the Sultanate and the 1st for my companions (including Husband's, who joined us later) and we did just about everything except get mashakeek from Othaiba.  How we managed to miss doing that, I am still kinda trippin' over but inshaaAllah next time...  A few of the things we will never forget are the hospitality of our Hosts (we met a true Omani noble gentlemen mashaaAllah 3alaih -- thnx for everything, Zawj-Pixie) including Pixie's Moroccan tea, chasing a lizard from our bedroom with a palm leaf thing and getting caught between an angry Balooshi and furious Khaleeji...

One of the things I like about Oman is that if you come across a really good Omani, he or she will treat you as an honoured guest whoever you may be or came from.  They aren't impressed with how many riyals you have or what kind of car you drive -- what counts to them are traits of humbleness, loyalty and a sense of dignity.  Another great factor to look forward to is the food:   intergrated cuisines such as Turkish and Indian plates have accustomed themselves among Arab tables.  As for sushi...  Well, I tried what they had to offer at Japengo's and wasn't really feeling it :-/  Maybe because they somehow managed to infuse wasabi into the seaweed or the imitation crab really tasted like imitation crab???? 

In some places across the Khaleej, one can get away with minor offenses.  However, this Blogger found out that listening to loud 50Cent music is reason to be stopped by a young (and obviously bored) Omani policeman who demanded to see my friend's drivers' license.  Even if it would've been a plain old highschool i.d. card, we would have gotten away without being in trouble thanks to the popo's inability to read English.  But we don't like to scam innocent civilians & local law inforcers unless we really need to LoL JK :-P

As far as malls go, Qurum City Center and Seeb City Center is where you will find many of whatever you may need, and they have all of the same makeup/clothing stores found in UAE and Bahrain.  Al-Bahja Mall is where a cinema popular with Omanis is located and home to locally owned vendors and shops.  If you came to Oman not for more malls but to explore the rich history, check out Nakhl Fort or take pictures outside the Gate between Mutrah and Muscat.  Mutrah Souk is one of my favourite places in Oman to see and we went many times.  Just watch out for the Balooshi's LoL some of them don't respect the female gender and will let you know :-/

I haven't had the chance to see Salalah but I am hoping to because I've heard so much about how beautiful it is in the summer.  InshaaAllah one day we will get to go!!  BTW if you are looking for decent and luxurious hotel accomadations (according to Omani standards), check out the Gulf Crown Hotel Apartments which start at 25 O.R./day and the Omani staff are very flexible and helpful.  You will get a nice big bed, remote-controlled AC and satelite t.v.  If you're from the West, this place is definitly somewhere you'd wanna sleep at night.  At least there you won't be woken up at 2am by late-night sheesha smokers watching an Arabic film on a homemade projection screen LoL

Once again, thank-you Oman for your hospitality!!  See you again soon :-D  

★ places in Abu Dhabi/Dubai to check out or avoid ★

when you first come to the UAE, it takes a few errors and "aha okay..." or "OMG never again" moments before you know when and where to go for an outing or some fun in the sun.

ummmm, i wish someone told me these things because it would've saved me some uncomfortable situations and a few calls to the Abu Dhabi Police haha but anyways...  i *highly suggest* you never go anywhere after Asr/Maghraib (especially Maghraib because that's when all the creepy boys & girls come out) without your husband or friend(s).  unfortunately, it doesn't matter if you take a baby with you or even a few kids -- the hunters are always on the prowl!!  i prefer driving than walking around and it has nothing to do with being lazy or afraid of the dark -- it looks a bit weird if you're trying to outrun a Pathani on the street or Local in his Land Cruiser -- so plz try and travel with a car (and better yet, a mahram/male guardian IF you have one).  if you're running errands, don't forget to bring along your maid because even if you can't stand her, she's still helpful in a necessary way.  *strength in numbers*

i forgot to add, there's a mentality here that if you're alone in the mall or just walking by yourself, that you are looking for "something".  i know that it's common to carry around previously acquired bags from stores with stuff in it to make it LOOK like you've been shopping and not wondering around the mall all day.  the best times to go out and have coffee is early ealy in the morning (such as after dropping off the kids at school), malls open at 10am but Starbucks opens at 8am and then if you need anything from the stores, take a couple hours and be home for Dhur or before Asr.

however, if you feel comfortable going out at night and don't mind being stalked, feel free to do so but there are a few areas in Abu Dhabi that i strongly advise against entering unless it's really important.  Khaldiya District, across from Khaldiya Mall and all the way behind Al-Muhairy Center, is one of those places i am talking about.  the traffic is jammed with perverts and wannabe-players trolling around for any girl in an abaya.  it was so bad the last time we went (while attaining my new abaya/shayla collection) and we saw & heard the most ridiculous 7arakaat, i took my granny-shayla i use for prayer and wrapped it around like a Sudanese aunt and that stopped them drive-by stalkers from yelling at us "ya shaykha sifr-khamsa-sifr....." 

any mall has its fair share of wondering singles, but none are as bad as Marina Mall a.k.a. The Pick-Up.  weekend nights are a nightmare and it's impossible to walk without an area of men watching your every move...  there are actually a few cafes that only cater to Local men (not intentionally of course) and the stares can become very un-nerving.  Biella, an Italian restaurant, is a favorite with Emarati girls and whenever i go, we ask for the table in the very back so we can eat without having a billion eyes staring at us.  i avoid going to Marina Mall unless meeting someone there or a friend from outta town wants to do some serious shopping.  anyways...  by Marina Mall, there is the Breakwater and the Cultural Village.  behind the Cultural Village to the left, there is an outdoor space where you can walk along a dock made from concrete and see the city of Abu Dhabi across the small distance of sea.  it's really beautiful and a favorite among Locals and tourists.  i'd recommend going here with your husband/family to just sit, relax and smell the fresh air.

Mina Zayed has these little shops and restaurants with one place called Abu Saeed's and for 200AED, you can get a huge platter of freshly caught seafood grilled in a spicy marinate sauce.  it's amaaaazing and soooo yummy but i advise going with your husband/family since many of the Shabaab & old men trying to be Shabaab like to go here.  if you're bored and wanna see somewhere interesting, go to the Fish Market and have 100 Indians yelling at you from all directions to buy their freshly caught selection of anything that lives in the ocean.  it may stink, but the price is right and you can usually bargain it down with the sellers.  orrrr if u are weird and wanna make your equally weird friend ROFL, check to see if the seafood is clear of any spirits by using The Dead Pet Psychic Act.  i have done this a number of times and the look of the waiter/whoever is next to u's face is priceless. 

ummmm anyways LoL

another Souk near downtown AD is the Madinat Zayed and it's calm in the morning with Quran being played and there's barely anyone there.  WARNING:  DON'T GO ON FRIDAY EVENINGS BECAUSE ALL THE WORKERS GO THERE FOR NO REASON EXCEPT TO STARE. 

well that's it for now and if u are in Abu Dhabi, i am sure u will love it inshaaAllah xoxo

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

★ whatchu cookin' girl?? ★

any man loves to eat a nice home-cooked meal by his woman -- and that goes double for an Arab.  if y'all can't cook, be ready for his Mamma to look for another wife to make the machboos :-S  

they say the quickest way to a man's heart is through his stomach and i can swear by that.  in the beginning of my married life, i was such a n00b like frigggg OMG i didn't even know how to make anything besides Mac & Cheese, perogies and tacos.  as for any meal made OUTSIDE of the West, i had noooo idea what to do.  i was really embarrassed by my M-I-L when she said Western girls can't cook (or clean) so i made it my mission to learn how to make Indian and Arabic dishes.   i bought this awesome book covering all kinds of dishes across the Middle East (including Turkey and Iran) and started experimenting.  it took me some time to make the perfect rice for kabsa, bake a shoulder of lamb while keeping it juicy and tender (Pixie can verify that) and getting the right amount of spices for samboosas.  now when i do cook for my Husband or others, i don't feel as freaked out or nervous that something went wrong or it's gonna taste weird ;-)
i've introduced to my Husband my own food recipes i grew up as a girl in the West and needless to say, he refuses to eat anything other than what i prepare for him...  his reaction to any home-cooked foods NOT by me were kinda embarrassing to whoever was hosting LoL :-P

my single girlfriends always ask me to show them how to make something but some people were not meant to be in the kitchen.  whoever said cooking was only the woman's job in the house has mental problems because there are men who love to cook for their wives & families, too *and* are good at it!!  

★ Meeting a Guy HERE vs. Meeting a Guy THERE ★

*HERE = the U.A.E.
*THERE = the West (ie. Canada or America)

i met my Husband back in Canada during a very one-sided courtship and we agreed to marry each other in the end according to the Islamic Shari`a.  there was no dating, being together alone or physical contact prior to that.  (i'm not gonna get into other people's personal affairs so if anyone who is reading this is currently *dating* or in a relationship with a Khaleeji, it's between you and what you believe is right or whatever.  the only reason i am pointing out the history between my Husband and i before we married is to use it as an example in this Post, since i can personally speak from experience.)  in Canada or the West in general, it's very easy to randomly start talking to a stranger from wherever, go into a long conversation, exchange numbers and then meet up again for coffee or a movie.  but try doing that over HERE with a Khaleeji and you will most likely end up getting a nasty label and totally be written off as "suitable" marriage material so if you're a Foreigner, beware:  if a good-looking man (or not so good-looking man) in a long white dress is following you (or stalking you -- as if often the case LOL), saying he loves you and wants to marry you, DON'T FALL FOR IT -- he's just looking for some action or trying to be cool :-/

the majority of Foreign Wives living in the Gulf met their Husbands in the West, either by studying together or, like how i met my Husband, in a random public place.  i think it's rare that couples come together in an arranged match but it *does* happen.  however, the arranged way is done more so over HERE than THERE as the local belief held is if a girl has any kind of communication/relationship between herself and a man, she is a ho and most likely does this with any person.  this kind of mentality makes me angry and is backwards but this will never change among the majority of people.  BUT i do know a few Emarati's who have lived and studied abroad for a long time that believe in a casual relationship before marriage, who do not look at a girl's history believing in the "Past is Past" idea and would marry a woman he's been seeing for a while.  or, there are those who are unexpectedly expecting a little bundle of joy and still want to marry their girlfriend but it happens VERY, VERRRY rarely.  
meeting your potential Husband over THERE, imho, is much easier than meeting him HERE.  believe me, i know ;-)

★ introduction ★


Welcome to my new Blog about being a Foreign Wife/Girl in the Khaleej!!  Why did I start this little virtual adventure?  Ummm well firstly, I am not exactly a new-comer to the Bloggie World as y'all know me from another Blog and another name and so well it's me again AALIA haha :-)   

The idea for this Blog has been on my mind for a long time now but life got busy so Blogging altogether was put on hold.  But i kept getting comments asking me about tips & advice for living in the GUlf, being married to a Khaleeji and how to handle certain situations.  I've been here since 2008 with two trips back to Canada since then but i can say i prefer to live HERE rather than over THERE!

InshaaAllah y'all can find some benefit from this Blog...

Take care xoxo