A Season in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia

A Season in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
The life of a land locked surfer working as a teacher in rural KSA. Following his adventures: travelling around the country, sandboarding huge dunes, and teaching English to university students.
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Website Reviews » There are 16 reviews on A Season in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia

Mirasol
12:19 PM May 21, 2013

An excllent blog about teaching in, and travelling around, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

Reza
12:01 PM May 23, 2013

An amazing insight into the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. Beautiful pictures from all around the country. Everything you need to know about a country where not many people can easily visit.

Mark
16:00 PM May 23, 2013

I ‘ve been reading the blog for quite some time. To me, it is a balanced view of a year in the life type blogs. Since I planned to go to Saudi, I wanted to get an idea of what it was like. Information is very hard to come by. Most of the blogs are of no use, since they are by people who are complainers who had a bad experience. This blog is a view by a guy in a remote area of Saudi. He is there for the money. Everyone is there for the money. I am going for the money. He, however, makes the best of a bad situation. He doesn’t complain about things, sure he has bad days, perhaps bad weeks, but he doesn’t bore us with how bad Saudi is. He has a goal: live there a year and make money. It is a very entertaining year from a far, you feel the isolation, but that is part of the charm of his writing. I have been in Saudi a month now. I am not in the sticks like this blogger, although I am in a small town. I am working in Khafji, with Aramco. I am ten kilometers from the Kuwait border (another world). I have a view of the gulf. All I have to do is go to Kuwait to see the “West”, or go Bahrain (five hours) to decompress (have a beer). My experience is very different than his. I got a very good view of what life would be in Saudi from the blog, my situation is very different, but it is very much the same too; it’s still Saudi. Only someone who has been to Saudi could understand what that means. What can I say it's a great blog, both for entertainment and for information. If you’re thinking of coming, read it.

Mabelle
03:14 AM May 24, 2013

Very informative blog about the Kingdom. It helps a lot to those people who want to move there or are already there. It shows different locations and activities in the Kingdom.

Arbe Gingoyon
03:28 AM May 24, 2013

who would have taught that internet has this great impact in our daily lives, but only those internet forefathers did. a personal account of an author of this dessert land and could have only been known to a selective hardbounds had it not with this internet. the author's daily grind in this land with almost devoid of life is more than convincing there is a lot more beneath the surface and worth sharing for us to know and his photos and write ups are more than helpful from our experience to relate to. nice blog.

John Wilson Smith
06:27 AM May 24, 2013

Introduced to this blog by a friend, and knowing almost nothing about life in Saudi Arabia, I have been fascinated by Martin's experiences (highs and lows), and by the excellent photographs and films, which convey a great deal of the atmosphere and reality of the various locations, and his interaction with the people. I am not a surfer, but his "invention" of dune-surfing is brilliant, and I hope the sport he and his colleagues started will grow and give pleasure wherever there is a handy dune to surf down. A very good effort!

James
10:19 AM May 24, 2013

amazing story,, amazing photos...

Jimbo
05:22 AM May 25, 2013

Witty, insightful, and well written. This blog keeps me entertained with each and every post. This surfer guy sure seems like he's had a wild ride in Saudi Arabia. I can't wait to read the next entry. His photos are also brilliant. He has a keen eye for photography. Well done, sir.

Dylan Taylor
11:47 AM May 25, 2013

I feel partially responsible for Martin's trip to Saudi as I repeatedly encouraged him to go there, over a few beers in a beach bar in The Philippines. As a person that has spent two years there myself, I can say that Martin's contribution on life in Saudi is valuable reading for anyone that is planning to be there. I would caution though that the amount of fun that Martin has had there is a space of a year is probably more than most more pampered Saudi expats enjoy in the duration of a stay that lasts many years. This is because Martin isn't content to sit at home and wait it out - he has actually gone out and pioneered a whole new scene of fun up North with his sand-boarding that has even attracted the local kids to join him. It takes a brave person to stick their neck out (no joke intended) and get out and be seen doing something new in this ultra conservative environment. Please don't think that if YOU go to Saudi that you will have as wild a time as Martin, that part was all down to his own personality and joie de vivre. Also, Martin's frank comments on the stifling culture, lack of professional standards in the workplace, mismanagement and constantly being left stranded without a passport or valid visa are much more valuable to the prospective expat than the standard issue texts on the subject that go no further than explaining what 'should' happen when you work there accompanied by some romantic claptrap about desert hospitality. His pictures are great too! What more do you want? Read it, it's way better than the guide books!

Mike
18:45 PM May 25, 2013

What an amazing blog ! I've been following this for some time, having spent a few months in Dubai myself. The world you have described has made me both pleased for you and concerned for you. Your pictures are amazing and I think this is one trip you'll be hard pressed to forget in a while !!!! Thank you ! Mike

Bill
06:55 AM May 28, 2013

This blog captures a lot of the nuances of Saudi Arabia. The classic images of heads rolling, oil wells, and womenless cars are replaced by the simplicity from which delights can be shared and the insanity of an exasperating system. Martin does a wonderful job of portraying these events creatively and succinctly. Too many blogs tend to ramble with opinions, but a Season in the Kingdom presents events and then invites the reader's imagination. If you live or have lived in the Middle East, it is a must read.

Loanne
14:29 PM May 28, 2013

As always, your blog is very informative. The photos are stunning. It requires a good eye and good taste to be able to capture the right scene. Well done!

Roxanne
06:24 AM May 29, 2013

Martin, I always thought you had a knack for looking at things in a good light, and not letting the shadows overwhelm what little good there is left. Your blogs saw and captured the beauty of an otherwise harsh and barren land. And that's a rare gift you got. I look forward to reading more of your future blogs, especially the pictures, they convey your thoughts as eloquently as your words.

Matt
00:10 AM June 01, 2013

Excellent pictures that capture both beauty & daily life in Saudi. Funny tales, strange customs & shared frustrations all have added to witty & interesting blog over the past few months.

Inam Haqqani
22:29 PM June 01, 2013

This is an amazing blog.The interesting thing about it is that it is managed by Martin, who is my colleague in Jouf University and sits in the teacher office next to me but I didn't know about his blog.My wife,back in the UK explored it and without telling me she used to whats-app pictures of my colleagues, feedback about the people,life and the restaurants in Sakaka...so well...that I thought she is living with me in absentia.....I used to ask her how does she know so accurately about life in Jouf? .....and it was all due to this beautiful, informative and well written blog...Beautiful pictures and a nice documentary....ahaaa and about Sand-boarding.....perfect.

Jessica Mann
10:44 AM October 04, 2017

A fascinating account of life in the Kingdom, which I have experienced over the past 7/ 8 years. Might I add, that being a western male in Saudi Arabia, is a whole different ball game for western women. I am about to embark on a teaching position in the northern areas with great trepidiation.

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