I came for a year and now, six years later, I'm leaving.
They aggressively accused me of shaming my honor and ordered me home. All against a backdrop of a multi-billion financial city comprising never-finished clusters of empty skyscrapers, a salutary mirror-glass reflection of an earlier vision, planning and greed. For example, most Saudi scholars argue that the Koran teaches jihad only as a defensive war, never offensive.
They worked hard and represented their countries well through their good treatment of others and their strict abidance to the teachings of their religion.
How many can gather in a home on a Sunday evening for a service? Unbelted, young children fly through window screens like small projectile missiles upon impact. Visual arts are dominated by geometric, floral, and abstract designs and by calligraphy, the latter a sophisticated and learned enterprise.
A few years ago, some women started wearing lighter abayas, first in the less conservative seaside city Jeddah and then in the capital Riyadh.
Education, especially education abroad, is liberating Saudi women, and the state is responding slowly. Even the small minority of Westernized and liberal Saudis expressed "a desire for the kingdom to remain a Muslim society ruled by an overtly Muslim state.