Tuesday, September 23, 2008
Blogs, Blogging, and Bloggers
My fellow blogger, L_Oman of the blog "Culture Shocked" - an American wife and mother who moved her family four years ago to her husband's native country of Oman - has posed a question: Am I the only blogger out there that sometimes thinks of other bloggers?
Not surprisingly, she is not alone.
Blogging here in Saudi Arabia has opened up a whole new world to me, one that I hadn't paid much attention to before I started blogging myself. Originally I began writing my blog for the benefit of my family and friends back home so they wouldn't worry about me and so they could learn and share in my experiences along with me. But as time has passed, more and more total strangers have found my blog and I have become a fan of their blogs as well. What's been really eye opening and remarkable to me is how the worldwide blogging community is so tightly connected and interact with one another. I feel as though I have made so many new cyber-friends that I really do care about, even though we have never met face to face. We may not even know each others' real names or what we look like. We gravitate toward other like-minded bloggers, or those with similar interests, or those who may be in a situation much like our own. Many of us write about our personal lives and experiences, revealing our feelings, intimate thoughts, grievances, and our personalities through our writing. By sharing our lives in this manner with total strangers, a certain bond develops. We may not always agree with one another, but most often we maintain a degree of respect, civility, and diplomacy.
So here's what I find myself thinking about some of my other fellow bloggers...
Aafke, Aafke, Aaafke! What a hoot she is! Her blog "Clouddragon" is imaginative and hilarious and I can't wait to see what tongue-in-cheek words of wisdom she will come up with next. I wish I were as witty as lovable Aafke, and I find myself laughing out loud at her posts. No topic is off limits for this remarkable educated woman. Lately she has even made up her own hysterically rip roaring online Quizzes. A Netherlands native who is an illustrator and artist with a profound interest in Islam, the Arab World and American politics, Aafke has her own horse (sadly another horse of hers passed away earlier this year) and loves to ride, yet is a real girlie-girl at the same time. On top of everything else, she also has her own saddle business! And my son Adam is even hooked on reading her blog - he loves her!
How is Carol of "American Bedu?" She suffered through a major health crisis a few months ago, and I find myself concerned, thinking and praying about her often. American Bedu is a former US diplomat who has traveled and lived all over the world, married a Saudi and now lives in Riyadh. Her blog is chock full of professional and informative interviews and articles on the Kingdom. I admire her immensely and see her as somewhat of a mentor. Anyone who takes a look at her blog will benefit and learn so much about Saudi Arabia.
I'm always eager to read what Chitra at "Always in the Kitchen" is cooking up. She is an amazing, intelligent woman. She's a mom to half a dozen home schooled kids, and among other things, she grows her own vegetables, raises farm animals, bakes her own bread (and other goodies) and shares her yummy recipes, makes crafts and sells them at the farmers market along with her homemade canned goods from her garden... there is NOTHING this woman cannot do! PLUS, she writes her blog. Chitra must be the most organized person in the world. I don't know how she does it all!
I always wonder what topic Brandy of "American Muslimah Writer" will choose to tackle next. This fellow blogger was raised in Arizona, like me, but she's young enough to be my daughter! She found Islam at 17 and has become a very dedicated and well versed Muslimah. Brandy married a Lebanese guy and moved to the UAE with her little family after living in Lebanon for a while. She constantly writes on a variety of very thought provoking, sometimes humorous, and sometimes serious posts.
Maryam of "My Marrakesh" has a beautiful, artsy blog. Her photos and her text are always delightful and a real treat for the senses. She's a terrific writer and shows us the robust images of the colors, patterns, tastes, and textures that is Morocco. She seems to live an idyllic life in Marrakesh, and sometimes I secretly wish I could trade places with her! Maryam is leaving very soon on a temporary assignment to a place where many bad things have happened, and I hope she stays safe ... I am anxiously awaiting her report when she returns.
I hope that Queen O'DaNile over at "Amreekia min Bab al Sharayah" will be happy in her new marriage to her Egyptian husband and that she will be able to visit her kids who are in America soon. An American Muslimah, she's on her third round of living in Egypt. Queen O'DaNile is a colorful character and she seems like she would be lots of fun to hang with. I wonder how serious she was about the invitation she extended to me to visit her sometime!
A blog written by a friend of mine whom I have actually known since childhood in the small town of Douglas, Arizona, Cheela of "Through Irish Eyes" began her blog when she traveled to the country of her heritage, Ireland. She decided to continue with her blog after her return as it spurred a reawakening in her of the joy of writing. Cheela has experienced many personal losses in the last year, and I am in awe of how she has managed to remain upbeat through it all. She remembers her lost loved ones fondly with touching posts, sharing her many wonderful memories with us. I enjoy reading about her adventures long ago in our hometown and because it takes me back to Douglas and seems to bring me closer to my old home once again.
My friend Marahm is also a very thought provoking author. She and I share a common love for photography, graphic art, and writing. And what a beautiful writer Marahm is. I know that the death of her dad this past year was very difficult for her and I wonder how she is handling this big loss in her life. She lived in Saudi Arabia for many years and I can tell from her posts that she really misses many things about life here. Marahm is such a lady all the time and the way she shares her stories and remembers her past experiences makes me feel as though I was right there along with her.
Please have a look at all these blogs that I have mentioned! You will not be disappointed. And there are so many other blogs that I love as well and faithfully read regularly (so many blogs, too little time!) but was unable to list them here, like "Nzingha's Soapbox," or "Abu Sinan-Sayf's blog," or "Stranger in this Dunya," or "SaudiWoman's Weblog." I do have two lists with links to many other blogs that I love down on the left column of my blog - under "Saudi Related Blogs" and "Other Worldly Blogs" - when you have the time, do check them out! These blogs are all unique and wonderful in their own right, and contain a tremendous wealth of information and pure entertainment.
So to those bloggers that I have "tagged" here, please post at least five blogs that you read and tell us what you wonder about with them! And that goes for everyone else not listed too!