Whether it’s poverty, gender equality, or corruption, if you’re living there or raising a family there, they’re your issues too.
We as expats have the power and the responsibility to make a positive difference in our host countries. Mandi is an American woman who grew up in the Midwest, never dreaming that her life would take her halfway around the world.
If a woman is lucky enough to come from an open family, she will enjoy a free education, be encouraged to work if she chooses, have a say in who she marries, travel the world, and come and go as she pleases.
In her free time, which she has plenty of in the Kingdom, she enjoys photography, reading, writing, and cooking.As I sit here on this gorgeous day in February, the warm breeze blowing through my curtains, my marriage is over.I am not permitted to move back home with my daughter, not able to move on with my life, not able to work to support myself, my gender being the only thing that is limiting me.When I first decided to come to Saudi to live, I was aware of certain hurdles facing the women here.I knew about the rule that said only men can drive.Her guardian may be her father, her husband, her uncle, her brother, or even her own son.A woman cannot travel, attend university, work, or marry without her guardian’s permission.She may enjoy a life that very much resembles the one she had back home, with parties, concerts or plays, and social events with friends or the expat community.Since I came to Saudi Arabia as the wife of a Saudi citizen, my life resembles something between that of a local and that of an expat.Our children play, we meet for dinners, we know each other’s husbands, we gossip, and we talk about how much we miss our home countries.For the longest time, women’s issues in Saudi Arabia were something I was aware of, but never concerned with, until they began to affect me.