A Road Less Traveled: Making a Home in Saudi Arabia

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AuthorHouse, 2010 - Fiction - 152 pages
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Susie, a German, travels with her husband to his homeland Saudi Arabia. There, she has to interact with Saudi women, who encounter polygamy, secret relationships, death and spinsterhood in their daily lives. Decisions have to be made that will determine Susie's future happiness as she struggles to assimilate into the conservative way of life. But will friendship, love and faith make Susie's journey worth it?

 

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Susie stood at the bedroom window in the apartment they shared with Ahmed's mother, Fatima, and his sister Samia. She looked down on the sand-coloured street. There were no trees. Nearby was a signal at a street corner. Cars were idling at the red light. Some drivers honked impatiently. Everybody was in a hurry. Where were they going? to work or to school? They all had a destination; they all knew what they would do during the day. Only she had nothing to do, it seemed. A day was like any other day. What was it like to work in Saudi Arabia? How did people start their day? What did they do when they arrived on the job? Would they first sit down for a chat with their colleagues, or would they start into their tasks immediately?nbsp;Probably Susie would never find out. That was another world, a world into which she could not enter. She didn't know Arabic ndash; who would want to employ her? No one could understand her, and she didn't understand anyone.nbsp;Susie had not slept well the night before. She had had one of her recurring dreams: She was on a staircase in a dark building. She tried to climb the stairs, but suddenly the stairs stopped. With difficulty she climbed onto another staircase but still couldn't get anywhere, she was still on the same level. And again the stairs stopped. She could never reach the top, where she could see the sunlight.nbsp;Susie sighed. Would she be able to assimilate into a culture so different from her own? Or had she reached for the stars in deciding to come to Saudi Arabia, expecting to find a new home? There was so much she didn't identify with. She was about to build a family with a man from a different background and a culture she didn't understand, living in a society that was strange to her, a way of life in which she felt like a spectator and not an integral member.

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