Living on a prayer

Do you know that each day when I wake up, I pray that it will be the last day that I live in Saudi Arabia?

Do you know that each night when I sleep I pray that hearts will be softened and stars will align and that the Universe will eventually agree with me that this is not the place I should be living and that I will be able to peacefully and agreeably be able to go home, daughter in tow?

I survive on prayers and hopes and wishes. Forget day to day, I live from prayer to prayer. Seriously.

My latest prayer of course has been to be able to make a trip home this summer. At the suggestion of friends and family, I created a fund raising account in order to raise the money for the plane tickets that I wouldn’t have otherwise been able to come up with. I shared that fund raising page here, hoping that maybe those of my readers who were able to would donate.

Things have been moving along slowly despite a few emails complaining about the round-trip nature of my visit, and I’ve been humbled by the generosity of strangers. Every time I get notice of a donation, I end up in a heap of grateful tears, happy that I’m $10 or $20 closer to hugging my parents.

This evening, just as I was about to go to bed, I received an email from my GoFundMe page, letting me know that complaints have been made about the authenticity of the information I presented, and that if I could not confirm that the information was in fact true, my account would be shut down in 48 hours. I don’t have any information on the person(s) who filed the complaints, but to cover all my bases, I’m letting you all know.

I appreciate that so many of you, most of you perfect strangers, support me even though many of you don’t understand why I chose to come here and why I choose to stay. I understand that many of you downright disagree with my reasons and choices. I even get that some of you dislike me and the things I have to say here, and that’s ok with me.

Anyway, I am here tonight, when I should be sleeping, to ask you all a favor. I know it’s entertaining, perplexing, and maybe even a little bit exciting to have a look into a perfect stranger’s life. I know that to some of you the things you read here are out of this world and that my life at times reads like a novel. But please remember when you are reading these words that they are those of an actual human being. You finish a blog post, close the web page, and I’m still here. These pages that you scroll through catalog my life; in some cases the most difficult and emotional parts of it. I am real. These are real experiences. I’ve never told a lie about my life on this blog. Not one. And finally, despite opening parts of my life and myself to the public for the past 3 years, I have real feelings and your words and your actions have the power to uplift or to destroy them, so please choose carefully.

If you dislike me or disagree with what I have to say, please move along.

If you’re tired of getting posts to your email, please unsubscribe.

If you don’t have anything positive or constructive to offer when it comes to my personal life, please keep quiet.

If you don’t want me to go home for the summer, don’t donate and don’t share the link…just please, please, please don’t sabotage my chances.

Thanks and goodnight.

– Update –

The page is still live and active and I haven’t received any further requests for confirmation of my situation, and I am hoping that it stays that way. If you’re still interested in donating, you can do so until approximately the beginning of July.

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27 thoughts on “Living on a prayer

  1. Wow, I am shocked by what is happening … I just can’t understand why people would take the time to destroy other people’s hopes like this ! Don’t they have better things to do ?
    I am really sorry for this situation, and you were right to post about it, I myself had no idea … But be sure that I support you 100% ! (And if I could help you more I would …)

  2. Please keep doing what you’re doing and blogging too. I love reading your posts. My husband worked for Aramco and I was there with him in the Eastern Province from 2000 to 2010. I understand why you made the choices you did and I’m so sorry it worked out the way it did for you. I understand that you can’t leave if you want to raise your daughter. I loved my experiences in Saudi and met wonderful people, I miss it still. Keep your chin up and please don’t let mean spirited people knock you down. They probably don’t understand the reality of living in Saudi Arabia as a woman.

  3. Mandi, I wish you all the happiness in the world. Every mother understands what you’re going through. The main rayson why you stay in SA is: your beautiful girl. And if you ‘re going back to the US for good , there is a- little- change of losing your daughter. And thats the most horrible thing for a mother.
    And, of course, and I admire you for that, the girl has a father, living in SA. I want you to know that many readers of your blog- including myself- support you! Love 2 u. Eva

  4. Ahh, Mandi, some people. I’ve followed you for those three years and you’ve come a long way since the beginning. While I’ve never been to Saudi, I did live in Cairo for about 7 months and can truly relate. I have always wanted to visit the Kingdom, not sure I’d want to live there though. You are, indeed, real and your situation is real. It troubles me that your Mr. cannot or will not gift you with the trip home for you and your daughter to visit family in the States. I pray that your fund will grow and you will be successful this summer. Take care, keep doing the good things that you are doing, continue being the loving mother that you are. Have failth, I do. It will work out as God plans. Trust Him.

  5. I am really trying to figure out what they thought was fake. I would like to give this person 99 excuses….but you didn’t really put a lot of info out there on the actual “Gofundme” thingie….so I think it was just a hater….I hope you get to go home! :)

  6. You can’t imagine how I can feel what you feel now. I was living in KSA Dammam 9 years. Same situation. Love you

  7. Hello.. My name is Gunay, 39 years old woman, from Azerbaijan Baku. Was living in KSA Dammam 9 years, now I am out but missing my 2 daughters. This is my number 00994705140813, if you want to add me on your watsApp and we can chat… keep in touch. Tnank you.
    Best Regards.

    Date: Sat, 7 Jun 2014 22:21:33 +0000
    To: gunay_akram@hotmail.com

    • Oh this is awful! I hope you get to change the minds of whomever these person are that think you are fake. Do u know if you will at least get the money that has already been donated to you? Maybe u can show your Mr.how much money u have now and show him u are trying and at leay your trying to cover your fair so he wont feel responsible for your fair and just your daughters fair? I hope u get to go home . I am a bit new to your blog and not sure why you stay in Saudi with your daughter its nobody business but yours . Maybe u have given to much personal info out about yourself and now people who didn’t like your life n choices are haters now instead of regular blog readers. Sometimes less is more…i just hope u get home, get to keep all money donated or find out who your haters are ! WISHING YOU THE VERY BEST OUT COME!!

  8. Mandi, would it help if us your blog friends sent emails to the gofundme site? Or a general email to them? Anything us blog readers can do to help you? Mandi , maybe u shared to much info about yourself and now this is result! That why my my Mr.Saudi doesn’t allow me to participate in the Q&A stuff he tells me first off its nobody business at end of day readers r not paying your bills n living your life, so true plus you may blog something that makes other readers jealous? U just never know and then BAM crap like this happens! I really hope you get to go home and return to KSA for whatever ur reasons may be!!!

  9. In sha Allah it will all work out. For every difficulty there is ease. I hope you get to hold your parents in your arms and they get to hold their granddaughter. I will keep you in my prayers.

  10. Mandi,
    I Love your blog entries. You are such an Amazing writer.. Don’t Ever stop doing what your doing!!!.. I’ve read what you wrote and this is what I have to say … “Please Do Not Worry” .. The best way to deal with all this mayhem is to just try and stay as Positive as you can!. Always remember that every cloud has a silver lining… In other words my dear something Great is gonna come out of all this rest assured!!!. :).

  11. You are constantly in my Dua’a, Mandi.
    I do truly feel the burden you’re lifting. Anyone who’s trying to block you from getting where you want to be is definitely so mean..they simply couldn’t bear your honesty.

    Allah make it easy on you.

  12. Although I don’t agree with some of the decisions you make, I respect the fact that it is ultimately your life and you and your daughter are the ones who must live with the consequences of those choices. I think it’s awesome you took the initiative to think outside the box and get creative in solving the problem of how to get some home/family time this summer and I can’t imagine why anyone would attempt to sabotage that. I’m sorry to hear that happened.

    I enjoy reading here. You’ve done a lot to help me understand similar situations that a number of my friends are in, ultimately helping me be a better friend to them. Please don’t let someone’s meanness discourage you from what you’re doing. I think it’s safe to say I’m not the only one whose life has been made better by reading here. I bet there are many, many women (and men!) who have found this to be a place where their same thoughts and feelings are articulately expressed by a kindred spirit, or where their understanding of certain situations has grown because they get to see things through the eyes of one living those circumstances.

    I hope you get to go home this summer. I pray you will someday soon make it a one-way trip – with your daughter. Until then, I wish you continued strength and enough moments of joy and peace to make your days in KSA bearable.

  13. Bless you. Those whose mission is only to tear down have big voices and sharp teeth and loud clothes, but there are always, ALWAYS more who quietly go about building and helping. You’re one of them. Your honesty blesses others. There’s an a big, quiet army around you, far bigger than a few numb-nuts with cherry bombs. I hope you feel them. Have faith. Hold on. Keep up the brave work.

  14. People are shits sometimes, that’s all. If they don’t agree with the way you live, they assume the best solution is to dump on you. I’m penniless at the moment, but if prayers and good wishes can help, you and your daughter have them from me.

  15. Hey Mandi, we haven’t had chance to talk yet, but it’s months that i’m reading you. So this is the right time for me to tell you: be strong, keep your smile wide and surely you’ll get over all this in the best way. Bad people are everywhere and do not deserve even a word. I’m sorry i can’t help at all, but surely all my prayers are with you two. My support might be a little help, but if you need, feel free to contact me anytime ok?

  16. Feeling pained about the news. Sincerely praying and hoping for things to move forward for you. Don’t worry. You will surely achieve your dream. Just have faith.

    • The good news is that the page is still live, so they believe that I’m telling the truth about my fund raising efforts. Fingers crossed I raise enough money in time for at least one ticket home.

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