How did you consciousness successful Saudi Arabia? It's a mobility I person been asked much times than I tin count. It appears group are much intrigued astir successful my sentiment connected Riyadh than my study of nan conflict that took spot there. So, present are my thoughts.
Being a Western female reporting connected Tyson Fury's bout pinch Francis Ngannou successful Saudi Arabia was a analyzable and unsocial experience, but 1 that I thoroughly enjoyed.
Gender segregation, which is simply a portion of regular life successful Saudi Arabia, is somewhat relaxed wrong these sporting bubbles. The opening of Riyadh Season offered a impermanent displacement from accepted norms to let much state of activity and relationship betwixt men and women.
I felt comfortable greeting and interacting pinch my antheral colleagues and it was clear nan Saudi Arabian members of unit respected me. Some moreover called maine a 'superwomen' for holding my ain successful a chiefly male-dominated industry.
The unit astatine my edifice went retired of their measurement to make maine consciousness comfortable connected arrival. I deliberation they could show I was apprehensive and unfamiliar pinch section customs, including restrictions connected women's mobility and autonomy. They reassured maine I was safe and that I would beryllium treated good by nan locals.
How did you consciousness successful Saudi Arabia? It's a mobility I person been asked much times than I tin count truthful present is my acquisition arsenic a Sports Reporter covering Tyson Fury's conflict pinch Ngannou
The Gypsy King (R) and Francis Ngannou (L) went toe-to-toe successful Riyadh connected Saturday evening
That being said, I did acquisition much extended visa checks compared to my antheral counter-parts. After checking successful astatine my hotel, I made my measurement to my room earlier being asked to return to nan lobby. The head said he wanted to reassess my visa earlier allowing maine to settee in. None of nan antheral journalists successful nan edifice were asked to do nan same, but I'd hardly opportunity it was an inconvenience.
Plus, I had been treated exceptionally good astatine migration astatine nan airport. It was a process I was concerned astir earlier arriving successful nan state arsenic I had been told astir their strict procedures, extended questioning and blimpish customs. However, nan officers connected work were thing but bully to maine and offered adjuvant guidance and assistance.
That being said, it's important to recognise that specified leniency was somewhat circumstantial to visitors and took spot successful nan controlled situation of sporting events. Once extracurricular of this bubble, particularly successful much accepted areas, nan move changed. Had I not adhered to nan section customs and dress codification I would person felt somewhat uncomfortable - which successful my opinion, is reasonable.
Despite wearing agelong flowing trousers and baggy high-neck blouses, my agelong blonde hairsbreadth and Western clothing made maine thing of a novelty. I stood retired and felt nan eyeballs connected maine arsenic I made my measurement astir nan City.
But, though nan starring made maine consciousness self-conscious astatine times, I ne'er felt location was immoderate malice down it. Instead, it was arsenic though nan opposition successful my clothing compared to nan accepted Arabic attire had generated curiosity and surprise, starring immoderate to look unintentionally arsenic they grappled pinch nan unfamiliar.
Social interactions became different cardinal facet of my experience. The mostly of my Uber drivers were beyond pleasant, welcoming and conversational. However, immoderate drivers refrained from speaking to maine owed to taste norms and a consciousness of modesty. They whitethorn person been concerned astir avoiding immoderate imaginable misinterpretation aliases offense.
As personification who loves to chat to caller people, I recovered uncertainty complete societal relationship unnerving. I didn't want to speak retired of move aliases put nan Saudi Arabian locals successful an uncomfortable position. But, arsenic I settled into nan metropolis I grew successful assurance and learnt to navigate specified situations.
So I conjecture I person to inquire myself, would I sojourn Saudi Arabia again? Absolutely. Would I consciousness comfortable covering different conflict successful nan Kingdom? Absolutely. Would I show my female colleagues to put their names guardant for upcoming fights? Absolutely.
The Battle of nan Baddest was 1 of nan biggest sporting events to return spot successful history