Friday, February 15, 2013

I BID YOU FAREWELL KSA :((((((((((((((((((((((

As my journey in the magical Kingdom nears the end, my eyes well up with tears and my heart suddenly has an inner sadness. Four and half years in this country has passed by like water. I guess time flies when you really having lots of fun. When I left South Africa towards the end of 2008, I was told by many out there including family members that I am making the biggest mistake of my life by leaving behind a fantastic job and of course my beautiful home and family environment. I always believe though that what God ALmighty has ordained for us will undoubtedly happen and in the long run it will be the best decision and outcome for us. I can still remember the day I landed in Riyadh city foR the very first time and was escorted to the hospital office at the airport where I was introduced to members of the hospital human resources department. Arriving at the hospital for the first time was quite an overwhelming experience in itself as I had never seen such a huge hospital before in my entire life. The first three months at work was difficult of course as I was dealing with staff members that hail from various differing cultural backgrounds. I remember being asked by my supervisor to dispense medication at the window and naturally I was terrified as I did not know a word of Arabic. My patients would become aggressive because I did not understand them and of course I could not really blame them for displaying such behaviour because I would be equally frustrated if I had been in their shoes. I then decided to take up a course in Arabic and after being able to converse with my patients and interact with them on a personal level, I started enjoying my profession even more. I was flabbergasted with the state of the art technology and equipment at the hospital. I never knew that such technology existed in the world. I had to accustom myself to a completely Amercanized pharmaceutical system as opposed to a British system we have in South Africa. The entire experience though has been well worth it. Whilst I do know of many individuals who came to the Kingdom and left as fast as they arrived, I on the other hand wish that I could have lived here forever. The place undoubtedly grows on you. Along my journey I met many kind and amazing individuals. I have also come across rude and impolite people but they are simply there to remind us of how we shouldn't be towards another human being. They become a part of our learning process. I met people from all walks of life and from various socio-political backgrounds. I have learnt about different cultures and customs and I have had a chance of tasting cuisine from other parts of the world. Traveling has changed my mind set and has allowed me to view the world in a different light. I would like to take this opportunity in thanking all my friends and colleagues for their unconditional love and support and for treating me like a sister. To Dr. Muhammed Al shennawy, you were not only a manager but also a friend and mentor. You are the most fair and unbiased manager I have ever worked with. To Rola, Saleh, Minette, Hanna and Sayed- I am really blessed to have worked with a fantastic team, a group of professional individuals that made my work environment a pleasant one. Medical professionals spend most of their day at work and hence colleagues become family. You were my family here in the Kingdom. To the unit dose night staff, I will truly miss our conversations. I will miss sharing the Umm Ali and other yummy items the kitchen staff would send for me with all of you. To brother Farooq for sending me a cup of chai Sulaimaniya every night when I'm on duty. To Qamr and Sheida bhen for being the sisters I don't have. Whenever I needed help with anything you were always there for me. Both of you have taken the liberty to assist Indian and Pakistani expats that have serious financial and passport related issues. I salute both of you for carrying out this noble task. May Allah reward you in abundance for all your efforts. To Nazeem and Zubeida I thank both of you for being my family in the Kingdom. I can never ever forget you Zubs for always preparing all my Ramadhaan savouries and filling my freezer. You were like an elder sister to me. To brother Saleh and baba, thank you so much for always arranging a vehicle so that I could get around Riyadh comfortably to do my errands. For this I will always be indebted to both of you. To brother Fawwaaz for being my 'door keeper.' I am sure you could hear me making my way down the corridor with my high heels 'tok tok tok tok tok' and you probably thought to yourself she is going to come up to the window again and say " open for me." No matter how many times I bothered you, you always assisted me with a huge smile. To brother Hasan, whenever I see a Bollywood dance on television I will think about you as you always use to tease me about Indian dancing saying that Indian dancers do the steps way too fast for your eyes to pick up the moves..Your actions were always hilarious and made me burst into laughter. A special thank you to brother Shuaib, who has assisted me tremendously in my new business venture that I will be undertaking in South Africa God willing. Thank you for all your advice and for encouraging me in taking this opportunity. As I write this letter, tears roll down my eyes at the thought of knowing that I may never see my best friend again. To Faraz, thank you for being my best friend forever. You were the first person I met when I arrived in the Kingdom and over the past few years we shared everything together. In fact even my mom will miss you tremendously as you would always take her out when she was in the Kingdom. I do not think that I will ever find a friend like you. You have stood with me through thick and thin. You have supported me in everything I did. I wish you all the best in your new career and I hope to visit your country very soon when I get the good news of your 'shaadi'. To those of you out there who are thinking of embarking on a career move outside of South Africa, my advice to you is this: Don't let other people influence you because everyone's experiences are different. Take up the challenge and the opportunity and experience it for yourself. Embrace change. Change is good. Change allows us to grow. I am sure many of you out there must be thinking " Gosh, if she really loved Saudi Arabia and her job, why is she returning to South Africa?" The answer is simple. Whenever God Almighty blesses us with an opportunity to improve ourselves we should grab that opportunity with both hands. I never ever envisaged myself being a business woman one day and here I am on the verge of owning my own pharmacy. I see this as a challenge and an opportunity to be a productive member of society. I pray that God Almighty makes my business venture a success so that I can be a vehicle in assisting the many poor and unfortunate souls out there. This is the aim and intention in having my own business. Whilst an inner sadness lurks within me, I know that the experiences of this land of shifting sands will always remain embedded deep inside my heart, mind and soul forever. I came.I saw. I conquered.

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