Life in ‘The Kingdom’

Introducing myself is never my favorite part of joining new groups – whether it was in college, sport clubs, travels, or meeting the in-laws – so I prefer to just start rattling and then, at a certain point, casually drop my name and other basic information about me into the conversation. The start of this blog perfectly illustrates my point. However, I feel that I can’t omit telling a little bit about myself and the purpose of this blog, so let’s just get done with that before telling you about the soft house warming party we had last Friday.

Yup, that’s me

My name is Selma and I am 27 years. Originally coming from the Netherlands, I moved to Saudi Arabia about three years ago, after I got married to my Arabian Prince Ahmed. Just kidding, he is not an oil sheikh or billion dollar prince, but just a regular guy (though not so regular in my eyes) I met while studying Spanish in Seville, Spain. (More about how we met and continued later on in this blog.)

Running is one of my greatest passions (Pic courtesy of my sister)

Running is one of my greatest passions (Pic courtesy of my sister)

My passions are writing, running, cooking, photography, books, as well as culture and history. This blog will – how surprising! – cover all these things and give you an idea of how life in The Kingdom (as Saudis usually call their ‘beloved’ country) is for a Western woman. I hope to give you a clear, balanced idea of things I love and hate here, and avoid reinforcing any stereotypes people around the globe may have about this part of the world. To give you a little hint, no, I do not live in a tent in the middle of the desert and yes, we have electricity here (as well as skyscrapers, huge shopping malls, American fast-food chains, and H&M).

Jeddah Corniche

Hotel building along the Jeddah Corniche, overlooking the Red Sea

As I work as a freelance journalist for the Saudi Gazette – admittedly the best English-language daily in the Kingdom – I will share with you the articles I write as well as some fun behind-the-scenes stuff. Also, you will find here my workouts (I became an ACSM Certified Personal Trainer in May this year), some of the recipes I make, my travels both inside and outside the country, and more. So, hope to see you again soon!

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