Noorah Albadran is from the City of Dammam, capital of the Eastern Province in Saudi Arabia. She and her 5-year-old son, Saud, have been in the United States since August of 2015 and she is currently studying to get her Master’s Degree in Education from The University of Findlay. Noorah’s husband, Abdulrahman, passed away in 2014 and she and Saud currently live with Noorah’s brother, Mohammad, also a student at the University of Findlay.
Biggest difference between Findlay and home: Family is most important in Saudi Arabia and we gather together with family on the weekends. Women don’t live on their own in Saudi Arabia like they do in the U.S. We live with our parents until we are married. Women don’t drive in Saudi Arabia, and schools separate boys from girls, including universities.
Favorite Findlay spots: “The Cinema,” or Carmike 12 in Findlay is one of my favorite places to go for some “me time.” My favorite place to go with Saud is Riverside Park and Pool where we both enjoy swimming. And without hesitation, Kohl’s is my favorite place to shop in Findlay.
A cultural tradition you enjoy here: Thanksgiving. The students and faculty got together to make and eat a meal here on campus. It was really nice. I also enjoyed Christmas break because we went home to Saudi Arabia to visit.
A cultural tradition you enjoy from home: I enjoy celebrating Eid al-Fitr, Eid al-Adha and International Day, three national holidays in Saudi Arabia. At home, we have a big party for international day full of traditional dancing, wearing green (our country’s color) and taking time away from school and work.
Your top parenting trick: When teaching my son, Saud, something new, such as writing a new word, I tell him to try it first for himself then I will help if he needs it.
Lasting impressions and challenges between cultures: I have a lot more responsibility here in the U.S. It’s a big challenge. I have to do everything on my own including going to school, cooking, cleaning, and taking care of my son. Back home I lived with my parents after my husband died and had a lot of help.
Favorite Recipe: Chicken Kabsa – This is a spicy chicken and rice dish that includes onions, tomatoes and many different spices. Noorah brought spices from Saudi Arabia so that she can make it regularly here in the United States with the flavors from home.
Did you know? In Saudi Arabia, women wear a black covering called an Abaya over their bodies and a scarf covering the head, hair and neck, called a Hijab. Wearing these garments in public conforms to standards of modesty for Muslim women.
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