Greg Clark in Saudi Arabia
A daily log of the comings and goings of someone from the US living in Saudi Arabia

Apr
24

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While nothing is more important than the safety of human life, I was saddened to hear that today a 1,000 year old minaret was destroyed in the Syrian city of Aleppo.  It was part of a mosque that was built during the 11th century.  Just another reason to continue to hope for peace in Syria.

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Mar
28

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I am sorry to not have posted in nearly two weeks.

I have returned to my home in the US and have been busy catching up and getting settled.

At the moment, I am home in the US for the foreseeable future.  This, of course, means that the theme of this blog, “Greg Clark in Saudi Arabia”, is not valid.

My two years in Saudi Arabia were wonderful and full of great memories and life lessons that I will cherish.

My academic and personal interests in the greater-Middle East continues – so I don’t plan on “closing the book” on the area for my future.  I don’t know what the future holds and am exploring what is possible.

Thank you to all of you who followed my blog over the past two years as well as contacting me with your comments and questions.

I promise to keep in touch from time to time and please stay in touch!

Salam!

Mar
13

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I am getting ready to head to the Riyadh airport for what will be a 24 hour 10 minute trip to the US.

Mar
13

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Today was my last and final day to work for Arab Education and Training Group (AETG).

After being in Saudi Arabia for 1 year and 11+ months as an employee of AETG, I am closing this chapter and looking forward to starting a new one.

The nearly past two years have been educational, life enriching and full of memories I am happy to have experienced.

Mar
11

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I was in a store today and read a posting on the wall that was explaining various costs to customers.  It was printed in Arabic and English.  The English text included the word “coast”.  After reading the entire text, I realized that the word “coast” should be replaced with the word “cost”.  I see this often in Saudi Arabia – a few weeks ago I was in a restaurant that had seefood (not seafood) on its menu.

Mar
10

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For me, there is nothing like a good mystery story.  Be it a novel, TV show, play or movie – I enjoy following the story, following the clues and eventually hoping to figure our “who done it”.

If you are the same as me on mysteries, I suggest you watch an episode or two of the British television show “Wallander”.  The show stars Kenneth Branagh as Kurt Wallander who is a Swedish police detective.  The episodes are about 90 minutes long and very entertaining.

Mar
09

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What to pack and what not to pack…that is the question.

I leave in about 5 days for the US and am starting to pack my suitcases.

Almost everything fits…but not all.

Mar
08

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For the first time since starting my blog, I am going to post about something that many Saudis do that I don’t appreciate.

It is quite the norm for a Saudi to go to the front of a line of people waiting for something.  This can be for just about anything….from waiting to get your fruit/vegetables weighed at the grocery to ordering something at a store.

Before I say more, let me stress that there are a minority of people who do this but enough that it occurs about every other day for me.  I am not shy to tell people who attempt to jump ahead of a line that I am in that they are to get in the back of the line.  While I often get stared at by the person who I tell to get to the back of the line, I have yet to have someone not move to the back of the line….also, I usually get friendly smiles from the others who were already in the line with me.

Again, not everyone does this but it occurs often enough that it seems to be a cultural norm in Saudi Arabia – and one that I don’t appreciate.

Mar
05

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Though I am down to a little over a week for my job, my employers are keeping me busy.

I am currently researching and designing some courses geared towards English for specific occupations – such as English for Accountants.  This week I have drafted a syllabus for 11 different courses.  It is very interesting work as I am enjoying reviewing different text books for the classes.

Mar
04

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I leave for the US in 10 days.  I decided last fall that I would not renew my contract for a 3rd year with my employer in Saudi Arabia and submitted my notice in January.

My contract is up soon and I am scheduled to go home on March 14 (my flight leaves at 1:30 AM!).