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THE MAGIC KINGDOM: My Experience in Riyadh

THE MAGIC KINGDOM: My Experience in Riyadh [Kindle Edition]

Nicola M Stewart
3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)

Print List Price: £4.70
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Product Description

Product Description

In the West the view of Saudi Arabia found in the average travel guide is one filtered by the perceived threat of terrorism and the strict adherence to moral laws which seem so alien to those of us on the outside. But what is everyday life really like in The Magic Kingdom, the expat name for Saudi Arabia? What are the challenges faced by Western women and men when they emigrate for work and family and experience Saudi Arabia culture shock? This insightful and at times moving tale from Nicola Stewart recounts true life stories, memories and adventures from her time in this conservative Islamic nation, and scratches beneath the surface to the deep cultural heart of what was until relatively recently a nation of nomadic peoples.

Moving to the city of Riyadh with her two sons in 2005, ready for adventure, exploration and to finally be reunited with her husband after having spent the majority of two years apart, the Saudi Arabia culture shock that greets her is not something she was prepared for – everyday life here could not be more different than in her native Scotland. Women and men are segregated in public life, with women unable to drive or go out wherever they want unchaperoned by husbands or close male relatives. It is illegal to publicly practice any religion other than Islam, which means Christmas is behind compound doors, and all of this is without even mentioning the heat!

These true life stories tell of a western woman’s initial struggles to adapt to this unfamiliar environment, compound life, her time in the souqs and shopping malls and exploring the sights. Over the two years she spent in KSA the country, culture and people carved a profound place in her heart. Her tale holds the character of vibrant memories and adventure in a far flung place most Westerners will never see, but through her fascinating account, we may see through the underlying terrorism the lives of ordinary people living in an extraordinary place.

Immerse yourself in the real Saudi Arabia with a peek at the LOOK INSIDE feature that accompanies this book.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 2394 KB
  • Print Length: 213 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 1500241539
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00L3C6H42
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #23,288 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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More About the Author

Nicola Stewart lives in South Lanarkshire, Scotland with her family. Her background is in architecture and project management and is now a small business entrepreneur,artist,author and also a taxi driver to her boys.
Since returning from living in Riyadh, Saudi-Arabia she enjoys the freedom of being able to drive and to go out un-chaperoned, although she is often still seen wearing black.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Expat adventure 15 July 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This book is a must read for anyone who has lived in Saudi Arabia or is thinking of moving to the region.

The author provides a unique insight into life in the 'magic kingdom' and to the challenges of adapting to a completely different culture whilst bringing up a young family there. It provides a rarely told account of the expat wife able to rise to everyday challenges of life in a foreign land.

At times irreverent and humorous, the book does not shy away from real issues faced such as personal security and the threat of terrorism.

A not to be missed experience - what an adventure!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I thoroughly enjoyed reading about everyday life in Riyadh and was amazed how many rules there were to be obeyed by women. From driving to always covering up hair and body etc. A good read.
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4.0 out of 5 stars a must if you're considering a move there 20 Nov 2014
By synergy
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Gives an interesting personal account of living in Saudi as a woman. I think anyone considering a move there should read this first. I didn't give 5 stars because I felt the story lacked oompf in that she shares short experiences that lack a punchline, and then she moves on to another story that feels disconnected. If you're looking for sensationalism this is not the book, but it makes for a very interesting read nontheless.
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2.0 out of 5 stars Boring 24 Nov 2014
By Amanda
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Boring............................ i am only a 1/4 of the way through and YAWN. Most of the stuff being written so far is nothing that we don't already know ( Ramadan, Eid, Prayers etc ) and stats about the country. Don't bother unless you are planning to go and live there ( and I'm sure you would have all ready read it all before )
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By Rotaree
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
A very interesting and at times slightly disturbing read.

(It could have been better edited though - some bits are a little repetitive and some words e.g. 'Incredulous' are used incorrectly but frequently which gets a bit wearing.)
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Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Interesting descriptions of life in Saudi Arabia woven round family life. The beginning was better than the end as it tailed off as if the writer was anxious to finish the book. However a good read and well worth the price.
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