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Last Updated: Monday, 11 April 2005, 10:19 GMT 11:19 UK
My life in Saudi: Hasna
Eight young Saudi women discuss their lives and how they hope to progress in the next 10 years.

22, student

21, student

22, student

21, student

17, student

27, translator

21, housewife


I would like to describe four paths in my life.

The first one has to do with my career. When I first applied to work at the college here, I never chose to be a translator but they needed one so I accepted it.

I always love a challenge and I am so grateful for that opportunity.

On this basis, I have applied to a Scottish university, a distance learning course. It's in translation and inter-culture communication in Edinburgh. I am still waiting for the acceptance, but hopefully I will be able to get it and pursue my studies.

I see myself in the future having my own translation or publishing house which serves a religious purpose and helps explain and clarify lots of misunderstandings around the world about religion.

I would like the chance to study more languages so I can work all over the world, translate books, programmes, anything that would serve my religion, Islam, and that would help other people to understand and to read it perfectly.

The second path that I have is my baby boy. His name is Amar. He's a very intelligent kid. He's very hyperactive like his mother.

I get to see him during breaks and holidays, because he lives with his father in Riyadh. I think we're very attached, although we live apart.

Hasna at work in college with a dictionary
Hasna feels her skills could help those in need in Saudi

We're both growing older. As he gets stronger, I get weaker. He is the centre and the core of my life, and I hope somewhere in his heart, I could be as well.

The third path, I've chosen to picture in my project is my personal life and social life.

In my home I've chosen all the furniture painted all the walls, drilled all the shelves and did all the work.

The fourth and the last path that I have chosen to create is helping or volunteering or learning to help either disabled people, orphans or people in need. I can help them with the skills or qualifications that I have.

The following comments reflect the balance of views received:

This debate is now closed. Thank you for your comments.

I think you have a brilliant vision for your future. Although there are many hurdles in life, I think any ambitious person will face these hurdles with patience. I think you are one of those ambitious persons. You are a good example of a human being. May the future will be better and better.
Shawki , Doha, Qatar

It's good to learn that despite the many hurdles that you face, you remain determined to pursue your endeavours. Your intent to establish a translation base to serve the religious purpose is very wise and accurate. As an English teacher myself, I realise the importance of such projects, particularly when a lot of Islam's noble teachings have been either misunderstood or distorted lately. Carry on with your desired goal and no matter what you do, do not compromise your religious principles.
Muhammad Hasan, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia

There is long a history of feminism in the Arab world. Women have been fighting there like other countries, other sisters against the patriarchal power structure. I salute Hasna and other Saudi women for their great struggle.
Rabi Rafique, Rajshahi, Bangladesh

To Idris, Everyone who goes through school education gets the chance to learn the English language in Saudi Arabia, which I find to be very important if we are to learn from other countries' experiences. Reading is not popular among Saudis, but this is changing rapidly. More and more people are reading now and I can feel this change around me. Recently, a lot of books have been translated into Arabic not far away from their publishing dates. Overall, reading is increasing in general in the Arab world, but we are still not close to some of the other countries.
Amin Jaber, Dhahran, Saudi Arabia

Muslim women are not any different form the rest of the world except when it comes to how the media portrays them. May Allah help all these Saudi women in their goals.
KM Sheikh, Atlanta, Ga, USA

It is nice to hear that someone like her is using her skills to enrich peoples lives. Keep going, you will make it into the school. I am also a multilingual translator.
James H, Portland Oregon

I am quite impressed by Hasna's wisdom. It is true that religion needs to be taught to the layman so that all the fallacies which bound his life can be put to rest. They were, after all, born out of the teachings of religion, and not of any religion per se. Our lives are guided by the principles that are enshrined in the religion that we believe in. If that belief itself is distorted, followers of that religion will never progress in their lives. Their decision will never be informed decisions because they were taken in the darkness of ignorance and not in the light of knowledge and wisdom. Hasna, in pursuing this activity of translating Islam, has truly taken a wise step. I wish her all the very best and pray that the Good Lord guide her through her endeavours.
Santosh Nair, Bombay, India

I am curious about how you came to learn English. Do you many Saudis, men and women, have the opportunity and desire to learn English? It is reported that there is very little reading in the Arab world including newspapers, books, magazines, etc. Do you find that to be the case? Do people read much in Arabic and or in other languages? Are you able to read many books that have been translated into Arabic or is it easier to find English books?
Idris, Chicago, IL

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