Ok, so we are 9 members. Imagine if we were all in one room. Would that be a quiet room? Don't thiiink soo,,,
I personally don't log on here much, but taking a quick look at the site i decided why not? This site has lots of interesting discussions and people. Mostly, like minded people. So i think i'll give it a few more hundred visits, thank you very much.
Why not start with your story? In Saudi Arabia, How were you introduced to the concept of Atheism? if you're anything like me , that word was always tainted as a dirty word. Thank you Highschool!
My very good couple friend in Europe introduced me to the concept of evolution and the journey kind of started from there. I started questioning " If this is a possibility, then why am i so worried about all my sins" Would i be so sinful if there were no reward and or judgment? Letting go of religion and the idea of a god has made me much more chilled because i realize we are all just people with different backgrounds. Nobody can hurt you, unless they kill or rape you :P but in all seriousness. No individual can hurt you as much as you hurt yourself by worrying what they might think of you because
you drank alcohol or did - enter something frowned upon by Islam- - not that Islam can agree on lots of things within the general scope of religion.
Lemme hear from you!
Well HQ I am a little disappointed too, I was hoping to talk to a few Saudis here but there are so few of them. I am not a Saudi myself, but having lived in KSA in Riyadh for 2 years I know a lot more about the place than I did when I was just another Westerner who really knows nothing about the rest of the world except what they see on TV. It was a lot easier for me to become an atheist I'm sure, I didn't have a whole culture literally breathing down my neck and telling me with every word and deed to be a Muslim. It must be really oppressive, so that is why I thought I would meet some really strong characters here. Frankly even after living there for 2 years the place still scares me - a lot! I have had many unpleasant interactions with Saudis, very nearly getting into physical confrontations, and more than once had people following me in their cars and chasing me down the streets of Riyadh just to be mean or worse. So, our lives must have been very different. I grew up loving science and feeling free to do just about anything I wanted to do, very few restrictions at all. I imagine Saudi life is quite the opposite, that you would be scared to go out and try anything, or that science is not taught or at least the dangerous stuff like evolution is hidden from you. But you tell me! You didn't even know about evolution until you left the country? What else did you discover that changed your worldview? How do you look back on your life knowing what you know now?
Im sorry for the late response. Guess I haven't been logging on here. Ill respond despite not knowing if you're still active or not.
You raise some interesting questions to reflect on. I left to Norway at 20 years of age and luckily made some very good friends whom were Norwegian and French. they never forced anything down my throat, rather they would discuss things like evolution and the mysteries of the universe which is not something I was exposed to before. It gave me a chance to sit back and listen and wonder. I have to admit I felt very stupid not knowing this stuff and was amazed they still wanted to be my friends. We are still in touch and I see them often now that ive moved back to Norway. the lingering feeling that I owe them is still there because their lifestyle had made me ponder many things. I guess I felt like I owed them because they were open enough to make me a part of it.
I do remember another ahuh moment, one of my first jobs working in a club clearing out tables of empty glasses and cleaning ashtrays. I came across a woman in the club who was sitiing on a mans lap telling her friends " Its cool, my husband is on vacation" and I thought WOW! they are open about cheating. if I saw that scenario today id think the woman was just having a little fun not necessarily ending the night with sex. but that night, a view point had changed. I saw Europeans as more sexually liberated people. they can talk about it in public without the shame. back in Saudi, I wouldn't have heard talk of sex unless id gotten married and then id be bombarded with all sorts of advice on how to preform or even statistics about what distinguishes a married woman from a non married woman. its all very naïve.
I moved back to Saudi after being in Norway for 6-7 years and it was a really tough transition. I was met with that old mindset and felt trapped. it took me another 6 years to work through it and finally decide on leaving Saudi again because I was "done". One pleasant thing I got out of the move back was that I experienced diversity within Saudi which is not something I thought Saudi had plenty of. I also figured out Saudi can be very private about their own diversity unless they consider you one of the clan. it Is possible I think that because I actually needed people to express their differences when they didn't. because come to think of it, Europeans can be private as well except I don't notice it because I feel free to think and say what I wish.
Looking back I think I had a sheltered upbringing. I struggled with the thought as a teenager and wanted to experience much more than I had. in my 30s now, I think it makes me who I am. I have the capability to understand how anyone oppressed feels like and know what it takes to feel like you are rewarding yourself with new experiences. I know that it takes exposure to change your mind about things and that's what I can offer when the time is right.I don't know if I would have thought this had I not had the chance to live abroad. I met a woman at my farewell party two months ago who was about my age and very frustrated about Saudi. I could see the rebellious nature in her by the way she spoke and felt sorry for her. I wasn't able to provide any practical advice because it would all sound so irrelevant. I know what she wanted, she wanted a taste of her own life, how it feels to be independent and how it feels to know you make your own choices that are not dictated by family which you can also be open about. That night she had lied and said she went to a wedding when in fact she was at a mixed party with alcohol. the fact that you have to cover this information can strip you of its good memories.
I am curious though, why did people chase you down the street?
I have a close friend that is a saudi atheist.
my dad worked in saudi for some 2 year or so.The joke is ...he was in medina and he prayed only 2 times in that longtime.
anybody close to the Clarksville Tennessee area?