April 2002, Saudi Arabia: index

Between February and June 2002 I worked as a Professor at Dar al Hekma Univeristy in Jeddah, in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. Dar al Hekma is the first private female univeristy in the kingdom, and I helped them develop courses for their new Business Information System programme.

From all the places in the world I have been to, KSA is the one that seems furthest away from my European ways and background. Our cultures, and even our religions, have so many common roots, but our ways of practising them seem to have evolved in two different universes. I have now learned, however, not to jump to conclusions about which one is better. Such comparisons are practically impossible.

At times, living and working there felt positively like what must have felt to be Alice in Wonderland. However, I was fascinated by this beautiful country and I have met some overwhelmingly kind people. My students were great, and the general hospitality of the people I have visited will be one of my fondest memories ever. And, to my own surprise, I felt quite at home towards the end of my stay, just like Alice.


The pages below contain photographs from these seven weeks.

Note: taking photographs is somewhat restricted in KSA, and I didn't have enough understanding of the local laws and etiquette to know exactly what is acceptable, so the selection is not very representative of my time there; still, it can give you an idea why I loved it there.

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Silvija Seres, 5 April 2002