'Indians give a lot of respect to teachers'

Expat zone

Jeddah is one of the bustling cities in Saudi Arabia and lies on the coast of Red Sea. It is also a gateway to the holy Islamic cities of Mecca and Madina.

The City has all the vibrancy of a liberal, fast-developing modern commercial capital combined with traditional charm. Alnakhli Mohammed, an expatriate from Jeddah, has been studying in the City for the last five years and talks about some of his good and bad memories here.

As soon as he arrived in the City, Alnakhli Mohammed joined for a dental course at Dayananda Sagar Institutions. But due to certain reasons, he could not complete his course and hence switched to Computer Applications. He is currently pursuing his BCA.  

“Jeddah boasts of residents from all over the world, including a large expatriate business population. It is also a converging point for pilgrims. I had prior knowledge of India and its people before coming here. And like Bangalore, Jeddah is also known for its cosmopolitan attitude. But, I have had some bitter experience in the City which still haunts me a lot,” says Mohammed.

A few months back, he was mugged by some people who snatched his valuables and beat him up badly. “I was returning home after having my dinner. Some people attacked me, they took my money and other valuables. They hit me on my head and I was lying in a pool of blood unconsciously for hours together. Later, I was admitted to a hospital. It was the most horrifying experience I ever had,” he says.

Alnakhli Mohammed is a football freak and spends most of his free time on the ground. ‘Real Madrid’ is his favourite club. “I don’t watch movies. I also work part time in a company as a translator and I hardly get time for recreational activities. We have a fantastic football ground, I like to play there with my friends. Occasionally, I go out with my friends to explore the City.”

Alnakhli Mohammed finds many of the Indian traditions quite different from his and says he took time to get adjusted to some of these traditions. “In Jeddah, we never stand up when a teacher comes to the class or while answering a question. But Indians give a lot of respect to teachers and have given them the place of god. So, when I forget to stand up, people think I am rude. I am not used to this tradition,” he says.

Mohammed had come to India with the help of a government scholarship. Before that, he had applied in the universities in Jeddah. But because of high cut-off marks, he could not get admission.

“Thankfully, I got this scholarship. The Saudi government sends many of its students to India every year. Parents too consider India a very safe place to send their children. But though Bangalore is nicer than Jeddah in many ways, I miss the fine beaches of Jeddah and my native cuisine, which is not as spicy as the Indian cuisine,” Mohammed says.

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