Monthly Archives: February 2008

That Small, Brown Bottle

   Maryam spent the first eight years of her life shuttling between Egypt and Saudi Arabia. When she was nine, I married her father– her birth mom was not active in our lives– thus becoming her step-mom, and so she … Continue reading

Posted in Memoir | Tagged | 12 Comments

Revert or Convert?

  In the early 1990s, I belonged a group of Muslim women, both ex-pats and Arabs, who gathered regularly to learn more about Islam and to socialize.  Several such groups existed, a few of which had been established formally in lovely villas for the express purpose of giving … Continue reading

Posted in Islam, Saudi Arabia | Tagged , , , , | 11 Comments

A Muttawa Story

  Sometimes the most repressive of circumstances call for the most creative ways of thinking. As an American woman, who had never heard of religious police, much less ever met one,  I hoped I’d never have the opportunity to tell the kind of story … Continue reading

Posted in Saudi Arabia | 21 Comments

Introduction to Arabic

  Before going to Saudi Arabia for the first time in 1986, I bought an Arabic phrase book with a cassette. The words to be learned were written in  both transliteration and Arabic script. Even then, I ignored the transliteration. What … Continue reading

Posted in Arabic Language | Tagged , | 6 Comments

Jet Lag

  The trip from my home in Riyadh to my home in the United States lasted nearly twenty-four hours, provided that none of the flights were delayed. Over the years, the number of connections decreased from four to two, but the hours … Continue reading

Posted in Memoir | 4 Comments


    Thanks, Aafke, for encouraging me to have a little fun in spite of what is happening to my family.  Here is the meme: 1. Post these rules before presenting your list. 2. List 6 actions or achievements you think every … Continue reading

Posted in Tagged! | 2 Comments

Passing the Torch

My father is dying. The dying process began May 17, 2006– his first trip to the ER– and has accelerated during the last three months. My memories of Riyadh have grown insistent as his body has grown weak. Many an … Continue reading

Posted in Depth Psychology | Tagged , | 4 Comments