Personal Narrative: How Moving Changed My Life

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When I was 11 years old I moved. Moving is always a somewhat traumatic experience for a kid, Especially for a kid who had lived in one place for their whole lives. Going to a new school, making new friends, living in a new house, everything is scary and unfamiliar and to a kid it feels like end of the whole world. But for me it wasn’t just moving to a new city or state, I was moving to another country, I was moving to Saudi Arabia. My father had recently taken a job as a CTIO at the King Khaled Eye Hospital in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia and my mother and I would be joining him. I was terrified, angry, and filled with anxiety. So we packed up our, I packed up my life, sectioning everything into piles of important and not important. Put away my Chicago…show more content…
I’m drowsy from the lack of sleep and hungry after only picking at the bland airplane food. Going through customs is a breeze, all they do is glance at the blue American passport and immediately stamp it without asking questions. The first thought I have when I exit the airport is how unreasonable hot it is and how dry the air. The second thought I have is that I must have stepped into an old 50’s movie because everyone is only wearing black and white. A man standing in a white thobe standing by a white car ushers us over and orders a nearby man in coveralls in harsh Arabic to move our bags into the trunk. As he zooms his way out of the airport into a great expanse of mostly desert with a few sporadic buildings, I notice that everything is the same shade of beige I briefly wonder if Saudi’s have something against color but then a bright lime green Maserati zoomed…show more content…
My family and I lived in Riyadh for about a year and a half during that time I experienced a lot. Growing up in the northern suburbs of Chicago I was pretty sheltered. The only particularly interesting news you received were about the ever-present gang violence in southern Chicago and the occasional politician messing up. Everything about Saudi Arabia is scandalous and most certainly interesting. Whether you’re talking about member of government stealing money or someone publicly being beheading in the fondly named ‘Chop Chop Square’. I first experienced blatant racism in Saudi Arabia but it wasn’t so much the color of your skin that mattered but the color of your passport. That’s not to say skin color isn’t an issue they sell skin-whitening products on the shelf in grocery stores and boldly advertise them on billboards. But probably the most jarring of all is there lack of women rights. As I got older I immediately started to feel the pressure to start wearing an abaya, as is law for woman in Saudi. There are separate sections for women and men in waiting room and restaurants. There are laws that render women helpless and completely at their male guardians mercy. Although to Saudi Arabia’s credit however archaic they may be it is one of the most spiritual places I have ever lived. People used blessing to greet one

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