The Saudi culture is amazing. I continue to be positively surprised by their people. I can hear the call for prayer just now. I close my eyes and feel transported to the mystical middle east. How lucky I am for being able to witness all of this.
Where I come from, family values are the most important nucleus which brings us together. We keep placing our bet on family to develop a healthy society. Saudis are family oriented too. In that, there is something else that has me positively impressed, their sense of belonging among their peers.
One could see a sisterhood among ladies, rather than the so secondary-school mindset of some Westerns who have failed to develop an identity of their own and keep trying to emulate that of the ones they follow. A sisterhood that has no badness in it. A sisterhood which acknowledges the differences of the young ladies and embraces them. This is a support network where all members are pushed to accomplish the best version of themselves. Where each member develops their self-identity. They also, of course, have fallen victims of the digital revolution and are struggling to recreate themselves keeping their authenticity. I admire that.
The men. It is amazing how free they behave. They are comfortable singing, dancing, enjoying themselves among friends, among their family. Their sense of belonging is so strong that, they stand next to each other, and grow together.
Surely other aspects could be considered on this post. But I like observing people and people’s behaviour at an individual and family level. I like to observe behavioural patterns and what makes them happy.
Education influences behaviour brings people together and fosters change in society.
Each student can and will change the world. Changes can occur in their immediate family nucleus, their friends’ circle, their city, their country, society as a whole. Shifts happen when we activate change in a small scale. Everything starts with one person and can reach domino effect proportions. A student interested in Marketing, and Business Strategy spent the evening discussing with her father, a Saudi businessman, and her brother, a Saudi entrepreneur, her university readings and thinking how could this be applied to Saudi Arabia. Today, she came to the class and delivered a marvellous well-thought presentation. After an intense class discussion, she is now going back home to articulate how the analysed research findings can be applied to a Saudi SME and a startup.
Educators certainly have the power of changing students’ behaviour. In helping them to realise the usefulness of applied knowledge to their lives daily lives, to achieve their potential, we activate an emotional connection which leads to active learning.
I am a public speaker and have made a point of using this skill to engage and motivate my audiences to be it the classroom, a conference or a political event. I want to inspire students. I want to drive them, to awaken in them their eagerness to succeed, to become empowered, to be a step ahead to our time and realise their true potential. I want to open students’ eyes to believe in themselves and move forward, to be the best version of themselves, not only to improve their reality but the reality of their families and their society.
Having travelled the world, my friends ask me why is that I have decided to move to Saudi Arabia. Few can understand the mysticism in this land.
Saudi Arabia is a welcoming country. Saudis are people eager to learn and advance their society. Aren’t we all? After four years of living here, of learning their language, their culture and their traditions, I can see the similarities between Mexicans and Saudis. These similarities bring us closer and help me to empathise with them. I am a global citizen, after all. We should all be at this stage.