Fatimah AL Ibrahim
28 September 2015
Life Is Easily Changed
My life is not what it was in Saudi Arabia. In fact, it is so interesting how changeable one’s life can be; it could be changed in one day. Before I came to the U.S., my family used to remind me every day that I should be patient and receptive to the new country and culture I am moving to. At that time, I didn’t understand why they kept saying that because in my mind, nothing was going to change. However, just few days after moving to the U.S., I realized that nothing is as same as what it was, especially my social life. In fact, my communication with friends that I have met in the U.S. is not like in Saudi Arabia. Besides the relationships with my friends, I really miss my relationship with family and classmates, too.
In Saudi Arabia, people prefer that women meet each other in their houses in order to be comfortable, so they can wear what want and be away from some annoying men who ask women for a date. However, in the U.S. it is totally fine to meet anywhere since it is another country and culture. In fact, my friends in Saudi Arabia and I really like the way women tend to meet in Saudi Arabia since we do not need to wear Abia which is long black dress that women must wear when they go outside. Nevertheless, all the Saudi women I have met and known, in the U.S. do not like to stay in apartments; they want to go out all the time even if it is freezing and snowing. Moreover, I am really missing having friends from the same city. In my town, all my friends were from the same place. We knew each other very well, but in Chicago even if I have Middle Eastern friends, none of them are from my city. Although we all from the same country, we are from different cities which means that we will have different accents, traditions and maybe beliefs, too. Moving to a new community and meeting new people has been amazing, but nothing can replace my people from my heart.
The second part of Saudi life that I miss the most is my family and the special events with them. My family comes sometimes to visit me in the U.S., but I still miss our customs and traditions in Saudi Arabia. Even though my sibling and I do not like eating fish, it was one of the customs to eat fish every Friday. My parents forced us to eat it at least once in a week for its benefits. It is true that I do not like fish, but at least I love the time I spent with my family, and I love that there was someone who cares about my health. In contrast, in the U.S, I do not have anyone that cared about if eat fish or other healthy food, and I eat most of my meals alone. Another point I miss is celebrating Eid, which is a special event for Muslims. During Eid, my family and relatives meet to eat a special meal that consists of rice and meat. Also, old people would give children and teenagers money as a part of the holiday’s traditions. These things are now gone. Muslims in Chicago only say “Eid Mubarak” or “Happy Eid” to each other.
My relationship with classmates is another point that I miss. In Saudi Arabia, my classmates are all speak the same language, and because of that, we had a good relationship together. However, in the U.S., some classmates love to hang out with with others who are from the same country, and they speak their languages. Even if some students sit with people from different countries, they speak their own languages without caring about the people who do not speak their language. This behavior does not allow knowing each other. This might make the other students prefer to be away from them. For these reasons I miss my relationship with old classmates from Saudi Arabia. .
Life in the United State is amazing. It is the country of freedom. However, even if I am happy of being in this country, there is something that miss from my home country. The social life I used to have to my old people including friends, family and school’s classmates is that I wish I could bring to Chicago. Even though parts of my old life are gone, I do believe that missing people from my country can help be stronger by remembering that they are proud of me, and they can wait to see me graduating from college.