Category Archives: Travel

Protecting Domestic Workers in Saudi Arabia

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About two years ago, I wrote a post about the Saudi government’s plan to abolish its infamous sponsorship system (kafala), which has been constantly criticised by human rights groups. The plan to cancel the system was immediately welcomed by many people. However, two years have passed and nothing came out from it. In the beginning of this year, it was announced that the possibility of cancelling the sponsorship system had been ruled out. The government argued that it’s not easyRead more

Eid in Saudi Arabia

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So delighted I was to have the chance to spend this year’s Eid in Jeddah! It all seemed perfect when my whole family reunited again. It felt ages ago when we spent our Eid together as a family. As for me, this was my first time to be with them during Eid after 6 years (straight!) of absence. I just couldn’t imagine spending another Eid without my family. So when the opportunity came (i.e. I had to come back toRead more

The CouchSurfing Project

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The CouchSurfing Project (CS) is currently the world’s largest hospitality exchange network, founded by Casey Fenton in 1999. The network connects like-minded travellers for cultural exchange, friendship, and learning experience. Travellers can be hosted by the locals for free and sleep in whatever empty space available (floor, couch, or bed). The idea of CS came up when Fenton got a cheap flight ticket to Iceland. Rather than staying in a hotel, he spammed over 1,500 Icelandic students in Reykjavik toRead more

An Escape to Tidung Island (Part 2)

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(Read the Part 1 first) After successfully got a good deal for the room, we dropped dead to sleep. We were just tooooo tired! I blamed the World Cup Final for this! 😀 We hadn’t had a good sleep until that afternoon. We were even woken up by a knock on a door and were asked whether we wanted to join for the snorkelling but we refused. We needed a good sleep. Come back tomorrow 😛 . We woke upRead more

An Escape to Tidung Island (Part 1)

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(Embrace yourself, this is going to be a loooong post!) Yes, I went to Indonesia last June. It was honestly a sudden decision. Mom had been bragging me about coming back and I kept on resisting; hoping that I could plan an escape to somewhere in Europe. After days of "yes" and "no", eventually, I decided to go back. This vacation was a bit different than my previous ones. My lovely traveling buddy, Jessie, was spending her vacation too inRead more

The Rich Prince

Who have never heard of a Saudi royal by the name of Prince Alwaleed bin Talal? If you're not familiar with his name, let me give you a brief introduction about him. Prince Alwaleed is the nephew of the current King of Saudi Arabia and the grandson of the founding King of Saudi Arabia. He was born to Prince Talal bin Abdul-Aziz and his Lebanese wife. Although the father has been trying to push for reform in his country (andRead more

Easter Road Trip 2010

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I promised myself that I wouldn’t travel anywhere this year as I had to save money, but I just couldn’t resist it!!! It really was so hard not to travel when there were so many opened doors (cheap transports, free time, beautiful places, etc etc). So, a few weeks ago — during Easter holiday — my 4 friends and I went for yet-another-road-trip. I went for a road trip last year to Luxembourg, Strasbourg (north of France), and Heidelberg (Germany)Read more

Traveling around the Netherlands

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I have lived here for more than 1.5 years and have traveled within the country for many times. These are just some of the places I'd recommend you to go to and some tips of what you should do when you are here 🙂 . Hope it's useful. Keukenhof, Lisse, and its surrounding In my honest opinion, the best time to visit the Netherlands is in the month of April or May. This is the time when flowers blossomed andRead more

The Beauty of Madain Saleh

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I escaped the snowy Eindhoven and spent my winter/Christmas break this time in the sunny Saudi Arabia. It had been 2 years since my family and I hadn’t had a vacation with the complete members; it’s either I wasn’t there, or my sister wasn’t there. That’s why this vacation was quite exciting as all of us reunited again. And I wanted it to be a bit different than usual, so we decided to go to somewhere nice that we hadn’tRead more

The Idea of Going Back for Good

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I am not going to lie to anyone and I’m not being a hypocrite. I do enjoy living abroad, despite cultural and language differences, despite being a minority, and many other things. I don’t care about those people who have accused me of being unpatriotic towards my own country! Talk about whatever you want; you won’t understand it until you experience it yourself! I am already used to living in a country where everything is convenient, safe, and clean. IRead more

The Snow that Brought Chaos

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* This post is quite outdated, actually. It happened in the mid of December 09. I should have written it a long time ago, but I didn’t have much time as I was having vacation with my family back in Saudi Arabia 🙂 . It was on Friday, 18 December 2009. I felt so relief that it was my last day of university before the winter break. I was so busy that day, preparing for the end-of-year gathering with myRead more

The Long Conflicts

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I have always been very ignorant about the Palestinian and Israeli conflicts. I've kept my ears and eyes shut when it came to these issues. The problems that the two nations face are too complex involving years of pain, revenge, and anger, and a number of political parties, foreign countries, and the civilians. Every time I saw the Palestinians killed by the Israelis, my heart ached. Every time I saw the reports of expansion of settlements by the Israelis, myRead more

My Useless Opinion about Minaret Banning

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So, the decision is final. The Swiss people don't want the minarets anymore. It was shocking, concerning that there are only a total of 4 minarets in the country. I wonder why do they even care about such thing? Why and how did this issue come out and be voted in the first place? I mean, it's only a minaret, for God sake! I saw the interview on Al Jazeera about this and the reasons that the government provided onRead more

Introducing Saudi Women

Few years ago, I wrote about a number of accomplished Khaleeji women who became the leader of their men-majority society. Inspired by this post, I decided to wrote one about Saudi women. I previously asked in that post: When will Saudi society appoint their first woman leader? The truth is that, they already did. Well, they're not quite there yet, but it's unarguably a milestone for women in Saudi Arabia. So let’s now meet some of the distinguished Saudi women…

Being a Muslim (and Practicing) in a Western Country

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When I went to an Indonesian mosque in Den Haag to break my fast, I was left with astonishment. I was told to sit in a room designated for children and youngsters — there were perhaps 30 pupils or even more crammed into a small room! Few minutes before we broke our fast, suddenly a guy (whom I knew) led us to recite salawat and a number of short surahs from the Qur’an. I saw from little children to youngRead more