I am an Atypical Saudi girl living in a very typical world! Reflections Of An Atypical Saudista is a reflection of who I am; a sarcastic, curious, adventurous with a twist of crazy, cynical optimist in search of my happy place, in search of my Tiffany’s. I share my reflections on my life through the voices of, Read More
I have a dream…
Just like Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., I have a dream.
A dream that we transform into a socially responsible society that values community services and makes it a priority in our day to day lives.
I am sure most of us grew up learning that sharing is caring, and that helping others is a Nobel thing….However, can we honestly say that we act on these beliefs all year long?
Do we put these life lessons that were instilled in us from an early age into action?!
Sadly, I will be the first to admit that this is not the case. Not because we do not care, but because we just rarely make it a priority in our lives!
I am proposing an initiative I’ve been dreaming of purusing for a number of years now, and I would love any support I can get to make it happen. (Yes this a call for help)!
The initiative “Give Your Time- زكي وقتك” aims to encourage people from all social classes and age groups to donate their time to helping others. The objective of this initiative is to shift our mentality from associating donations with just money, to associating it with time as well. It’s our most valuable asset after all!
Zakah is the 3rd of the five pillars of Islam. You can think of it as the Islamic version of Taxes that is paid annually to help the poor. It is calculated as a percentage of wealth and property (roughly 2.5%).
“The word Zakah itself means both ‘purification’ and ‘growth’. Our possessions are purified from selfishness and greed by setting aside a proportion for those in need, and, like the pruning of plants, this cutting back balances and encourages new growth”. ¹
Assuming that the average person/child works or goes to school 8 hours a day, 5 days a week, and has 1 month off a year for vacations, that’s an average of 1760 hours a year spent working and earning an income/education. If we apply the Zakah percentage (2.5%) as a benchmark, this totals to 44 hours a year, less than 4 hours a month, or 1 hour a week. A negligible amount of time that can easily be accommodated if we make it a priority.
Giving back doesn’t need to be a grand gesture or volunteering with formal organization, small gestures like picking up a can of soda from the street can count… you just need to add up the seconds.
Every one of us has something to contribute to their society and this is the beginning of my contribution.
Through the voice of يةAudreyال , based on the legend Audrey Hepburn who was well known for her charitable initiatives, I will try to shed some light on the amazing non profits and CSR initiatives around the region. Maybe you get inspired by one and choose to get involved 🙂
I started by saying I have a dream…..won’t you help me turn this humble dream into reality ?
P.S If you are a non-profit that wants to be listed or you know of one that you volunteer in , please share it with me and I will do my best to spread the word.
P.S.S I associated this initiative with Zakah as appose to general donations because I wanted to replicate a systematic and measurable approach that’s easy to follow. I also hoped that this would embed a sense of ownership and obligation towards ones’ community. However, just to be clear, by no means am I insinuating that it is a religious obligation.
I’m addicted to useless facts, random information, “that’s what she said” jokes, Star Wars, Nutella and Monopoly. (Not necessarily in that order)!
Heck, one of my all time favorite books is “BLA BLA 600 Incredibly Useless Facts: Something to Talk About When You Have Nothing Else To Say“.. Don’t Judge !!!
We could be having the most serious conversation, talking about our worst fears and out of nowhere, I start busting out Useless Facts…..”did you know that FEAR is actually an acronym for False Evidence Appearing Real ? ……. “I know, I sometimes annoy me, too !!!
In the past few years, I have learned to embrace that love for useless information and have been shoving it down the throats of my friends and Twitter followers through #UselessFactOfTheDay posts on my Instagram and Twitter accounts.
I have decided to extend the love to you all with daily posts through the voice of يةPhoebeال, based on the most random characters of all, Pheobe from the hit show “Friends”. BE WARNED!!
Adventurous +Clumsy + A false sense of security = ME
I’m an extremely clumsy adrenaline junkie with a false sense of security, a bad combination you might say, HELLZ YAH but I wouldn’t have it any other way!
Just like the darling Dora the Explorer, I have always had a passion for traveling and adventure from a very young age. Thankfully, I was blessed with amazing parents who supported and encouraged this sense of adventure. When I was 14 years old, my dad signed off on waiver to allow me to do reverse bungee jumping along with my sisters. My mom wasn’t too amused about that!
More than a few years ago, I picked up a one of those cool coffee shop books from Urban Outfitters named “101 Things To Do Before You Die” by Richard Horne. At that time, I had just recently moved back to Saudi Arabia after I finished my undergrad and I wasn’t in a very good place in my life. Reality had kicked in and I was terrified that my future consisted of an uneventful and mundane existence!
The book got me thinking of all the things I’ve always dreamt of doing but never got around to because I was too scared, shy, or just plain lazy. I picked up a paper and pen then and there, and listed the 101 things I wanted to do before I said bye bye to this life of mine. From then on, this passion turned into my lifelong mission!
The list that started of with 101 items around 10 years ago, currently, has more than 300 very diverse and sometimes questionable items that range from becoming a tandem skydiving instructor, to learning how to paint my nails within the nail boarders … I KID YOU NOT!
I have become so obsessed with this bucket list of mine, I actually dedicated a wall in my office to highlight a few of the items I was able to cross of from my list. This wall reminds me every day (more like 5 days a week) to keep on living and experiencing new things before it is too late. Plus, it really looks cool 🙂
I know you are all now dying to read this amazzzzzzing bucket list … NO?! well tough luck!
I have listed and categorized the items in 14 different categories to make it easier for you to get inspired. The categories are: adventure, it’s a big big world, acquire life skills, life achievements, festivals and events, animaling around, pay it forward, keeping the faith, love is in the air, wishful thinking, fashion, yummy in my tummy, clichés you gotta love and my favorite; why not?
Though the voice of يةDoraال, I will be sharing with you the stories and the highlights of the WICKED AWESOME things I was able to cross off from my list \_/*
I hope you enjoy reading about my journey as much as I enjoyed living it. Who knows, maybe one of stories inspire you to get up from your ###es and start Living. DAMIT …..LIVE !!!
What are you waiting for?!!! Start listing all of the things you’ve always wanted to do before you EXPIRE … How Dramatic!
* \_/ this is suppose to be the rock on sign … can I coin it ?!!