Moving to an arabic country

Discussion in 'Education & Careers' started by lazim, Mar 2, 2007.

  1. lazim
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    lazim Junior Member

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    Asalam alaikum wa rahmutallhi wa barakatu!

    Can anyone give me advice on how to move to an arabic country, all countries considered. My husband and I want to learn arabic and feel the best way to do this is to move to an arabic country, we also have 3 children and would like them to learn arabic. The only problem is how to get a job when neither of us speak arabic and the procedure of moving to an arabic country, i.e visas, medicals etc...

    Any information would be greatly appreciated insh'allah

    Masalam
    Maryam:tti_sister:
  2. revert_north
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    revert_north NEW MUSLIMA

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    Salaam alekoum sister,

    Firstly, are you learning Arabic for better understanding of the Qur'an or just out of interest? If you want to learn Qur'anic Arabic specifically, then it might not be enough to simply up and move, since you'll find a WIDE variety of Arabic dialects across the many countries, none of which are necessarily faithful (orally or in writing) to the Arabic used in the Qur'an. So if it's for the better understanding of the Qur'an, you'd probably still have to take some classes or something (which can be taken anyway, without moving!).

    If you'd like to learn Arabic to communicate on a daily basis, and plan to implement the "modern" varieties of the language, then yes, moving might be a good idea (although again, Arabic classes aren't exactly hard to come by in any country).

    As for moving...The only Arab country I'm familiar with in regards to immigration policies is the UAE.

    A work visa for your husband is the easiest way to get into UAE, and he can then sponsor you and your children. BUT, he has to earn a minimum of US$1000 a month to be able to sponsor his family. Also, as a woman, the situation can't be reversed...Except for in some occupations (medical?), a woman can't sponsor her husband and children's visas. If you wanted/needed to work though, you can switch your immigration category before or after finding a job.

    But if he got a work visa, there's a few things worth bearing in mind...

    1) Living costs are generally low, but accommodation (especialy in Dubai and Abu Dhabi) can be extremely expensive indeed. A single person would expect to pay around 40,000dh ($11,000) per year for a small apartment in Dubai, so imagine how much a family home would cost to rent?! Some jobs will pay some - if not all - of your accommodation costs, but your husband would have to be a pretty valuable employee indeed, as this practice seems to be dying out a little.

    2) You can never become an Emirati citizen, no matter how long you stay in the UAE.

    3) Dubai is the only emirate in which non-Emiratis can buy property. I believe that's due to be changed to include other emirates though.

    4) Workers are paid in accordance to their nationality, with American, European, and other Gulf State nationalities attracting more money than their Asian, African, and other Arab counterparts.

    5) In shops, restaurants, hotels, taxis, etc., you might not even hear much Arabic. Most of the labour in these kinds of occupations is imported from India, Pakistan, Malaysia, The Phillipines, etc., so many people you encounter in day-to-day life won't be able to speak Arabic, so not much opportunity to practice your new language!

    6) There is no such thing as an "inbetween", average-paying job. You do the manual labour (not enough money to sponsor a family on), or you do the 'good' work, attracting a decent income, but needing university degrees (again, "Western" educations are preferred by employers).

    7) Anybody who's children were conceived or born BEFORE they were married should not even consider trying to get a UAE visa, as it is illegal.

    8) Schooling is expensive (again something that may, or may NOT, be included as part of your husband's work contract).

    9) Locals and foreigners rarely mix

    10) If you retired in the UAE, your husband would have to have a decent enough pension to see you guys through the winter of your lives, as there is no state assistance available to foreigners.

    Again on the Arabic dialects thing...Bear this in mind...I have a number of Arab friends, who have to resort to English to speak to one another, as they can't understand each other's dialect of Arabic. I once witnessed a Bahrani girl, a Lebanese girl, a Lebanese guy, a Syrian guy, and a Jordanian guy unable to communicate together in their mother tongue if Arabic.

    There is no medical required to enter the UAE, although specific employers might demand one from your husband, or you, if you planned to also work. However, people with HIV will be imprisoned and deported (most probably doesn't apply to you, insha'allah!!!).

    By the way, you don't need to be able to speak Arabic to get a job in UAE (though it may be preferred/liked in some professions), as most business is conducted in English.

    Your husband should go about getting a work visa by approaching companies directly about vacancies, as they handle the visas on your behalf. You can contact their local offices in the country you currently live in (if there are any), OR, you can take a short trip to UAE to see for yourselves (30-day visa is issued free of charge at the airport for Americans and Europeans, which can be extended to 60-days).

    Hope this helps. As you can see, living in UAE can prove to be difficult, at least initially, getting past the red-tape, etc...however, it is a wonderful place masha'allah.

    PS: I have contacts in the UAE who might be able to answer any more questions you have, so feel free to ask.
    • Ma sha Allah! Ma sha Allah! x 1
  3. lazim
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    lazim Junior Member

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    Thank you for your guidance on the U.A.E it is much appreciated, but it seems moving there may not help my arabic after all!!! What misconceptions I have LOL!

    I wanted to learn arabic to understand the qu'ran as well as being able to speak the language, so I would probably need to learn two different kinds of arabic. The classical arabic which I believe is used in the qu'ran and a version which is spoken most widely I suppose. The reason why I want to do this is I am a revert to islam who reverted 9 years ago marshallah. The only problem is that there are not enough qu'ran classes in my area for myself and my children and thought it would be a good idea to move to a country where arabic is widely spoken and classes or more widely available. I know it may seem a lot of hassle to move to another country because of this, but I really want myself and my children to be able to understand the quran. This country seems to be short of quranic teachers, or maybe its just my area?

    I really appreciate you're input though it may be worth considering if my husband could get a good enough job there.

    Jazakallah Khairan:hijabi:
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  4. Umzakariya
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    Assalamu Alaikum brother revert_north,

    MashaAllah what a great infromation...me and my family are also planing to move to UAE inshaAllah in 3yrs so we can learn about our beautiful deen.

    May Allah reward you for effort!!!!
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  5. HAMSE_07
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    asalamu alaykum

    first of all asalamu calaykum ,my dear brother .if from west and u well educated or have some education it will be easy for u ,but even if u come from other place and u are educated it easy for u too, but it will good if u go to suadi arabia visit there there is many thing institution and most of islamic school are free ,u can go there ask them if they can help u , or try to contact suadi embassy in your country ,there is many people who attend every your islamic shcool or suadi arabia invite them to study suadi is best place u learn religion and arabic . but dont worry if u learn quraan and hadis that is all arabic ,even i never attend abaric school ,but when i learn quran and hadis that good ,

    insha allah i hope u that u get every thing in easy way and allah will be with u

    your brother from norway


    :wasalam:
  6. revert_north
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    revert_north NEW MUSLIMA

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    Salaam alekoum sister,

    Remember that there's many more Arab countries you could consider, where the Arab culture and language is more "authentic" and everybody is a little more down-to-earth than in the oil-rich states...

    Some might be easier to enter, but few have the booming economy of the UAE, the excellent schools, the amazing diversity of the people - only around 10% of the population are actually UAE citizens, with plans to double the population by the end of the decade. Business and career opportunities are on the up-and-up.

    And of course as a Muslim country, you'd find no shortage of helpful programmes pertaining to the Qur'an and its glorious language.

    The radio plays (beautiful) Qur'an recitations 24/7, too.

    A couple of things I forgot to mention...

    - Dubai is much more "adult" oriented than Abu Dhabi, which caters best for family life. That's not to say that there aren't some amazing things for the kids in Dubai (like ski-ing indoors!), but there are nightclubs and stuff in Dubai, albeit rather discreet. In Dubai you're also much more likely to see kissing couples, people wearing shorts and skimpy tops, etc. This is highly frowned upon, however, it goes unpunished 99% of the time. Both cities unfortunately also have clandestine brothels.

    - You pretty much need a car. The streets just aren't designed for pedestrians, and few things are within walking distance of each other anyway. Taxis are (very) cheap and plentiful, but there can sometimes be communication issues going on!

    - Some companies will ask to hold their employees passports. This is less common in more esteemed jobs, and tends to be confined to manual low-paid jobs, but neither you nor your husband should ever hand your passport over, or your childrens.

    - The weekend has recently changed from Thursday and Friday, to Friday and Saturday. So Thursday night is the night to be out on the town...there's no shortage of family-oriented good clean fun things to do.

    - Talking negatively about the ruling clans, criticising the government and talking about politics should be avoided as there are serious penalties. Additionally, it's not a good idea to talk badly about any local Emirati. Approaching locals (i.e. to ask for directions or whatever) is considered to be very rude. Taking photos of Emirati women is illegal.

    - Every religion is permitted to practice in UAE, but talking about any other religion than Islam (whether you're a Muslim or a non-Muslim) is strongly discouraged.

    - A westerner visiting or moving to UAE would never feel out of place. The facilities, technology, appliances, etc. are to the same standard as the most developed countries out there. The latest movies and TV shows can be watched, and the latest pop music can be heard (if that's your type of thing). There are not many brands that aren't available in the supermarkets, you can buy anything you miss from back home, as well as sample all different foods/cultural items from other countries...one of the UAE's best supermarkets, Spinney's, is owned by Britain's biggest supermarket chain. I don't know where in the world you're from, sister, but if you're from Britain, some "Britishisms" you'd encounter in UAE would make you smile indeed :-D

    All in all though, with the right job providing a means of living, UAE can be an amazing experience for pretty much anyone, especially for Western and revert Muslims.

    HOWEVER, should the opportunity to actually move to another country never arise, how about taking "educational" trips to Arab countries? Masha'allah, there's so many places to visit and so much culture to see.
    • Ma sha Allah! Ma sha Allah! x 1
  7. azbrie
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    azbrie New Member

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    :salam2:
    I'm also seriously considering moving to an Arabic country (most likely Jordan) - from what I've heard, quite a lot of the schools in many of these countries (perhaps I'd even go so far as to say "most") *require* English as a second language, from primary all through tertiary. (The U.S. is one of the only countries in the world that doesn't really care about second languages for their children.)

    If you're interested in learning "book proper" Arabic (This is called Modern Standard Arabic; it's not spoken ANYWHERE but it is the form of language used in written communications, newspapers, magazines...and occasionally spoken on news programs) then I highly recommend this book (along with these CDs) to start, especially if you're studying on your own. They are quite expensive (oi, are they ever...student budgets aren't built to support multiple books like that!) but they are absolutely fantastic in terms of clarity. The CDs that go with the book first give you a brief rundown of the lesson, then go through exercises, and there's usually a reading at the end of each chapter, so you get used to listening as well as reading and writing. One thing - there are a few instances...maybe 3 or 4 in the whole (enormous) book...where the answer in the back is not correct. I think the publisher's website probably has those fixes.

    So why study MSA if nobody speaks it? Well, to read, obviously, but the real reason is that it's very easy to shift in either direction - Classical or Spoken (any dialect) - from MSA than it is to switch from Classical to Spoken or Spoken to MSA or any other combination. (Again with the exceptions...in MSA the word "what" is "ma"...in Levantine spoken it's "aysh" - nobody seems to be able to tell me where that came from :SMILY149: ) This is the book my professor uses to teach Arabic 101-202 - it's very sound.

    مع السلامة
    • Ma sha Allah! Ma sha Allah! x 1
  8. ansari
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    ansari STRANGER...

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    i live in dubai..its ok if you ask anything from local...now most of the locals are educated...especially if you are from europe country they will respect you more... honestly saying if u are rich u have nice car local will respect you...like i just behave normally with them as i do with other people...

    jazakallah khair
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  9. ansari
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    ansari STRANGER...

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    :wasalam: im sorry to say...i dont think its good to live in saudi arabia...people there are very rude...none of them know english...
  10. hussain.mahammed
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    hussain.mahammed a lonely traveller

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    As salamu alaykum wa rahmatullahi wabrakatuhu
    Comparing to Saudi, I think dubai is worst especially when people are getting western oriented. The administration do not care about Islam but care about their own interests and wealth. And no, its not correct to say that Saudis are rude, or none of them know english. You will find all kinds of people across the world irrespective of religion. Even there are Muslims, who are not practising ones but just by name. But a non-muslim might be more better in behaviour and character.
    Anyway, back to the topic, Saudi leadership is hypocritical but we cannot blame all the people down there. I dont know much about Jordan but Syria and Yemen seems to be good too. Never move to Egypt,Tunisia or Algeria. Horrible Muslim culture there. Again I am not generalising but I think most of them are like that. I have heard that King of Jordan is a US ally. That would send Jordan out from any possible destination if I had. I know a brother living in Libya, you cannot grow beards there too.
    wa/salam
  11. alkathiri
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    alkathiri As-Shafaa'i(Brother)

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    :salam2:
    Maybe....if u r non-arab. If u r an arab , it might be a different case..
    I heard of stories some arabs being rude to indians..., and maybe pakistani...
  12. NaXuS
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    NaXuS Junior Member

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    Islam is in hearts n not in a place or country n its language is again Islam n not Arabic.Any way its ur life do wut u wanna do to improve ur deen.U know ur self better than any other human being .
  13. Greek_Rose_2005
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    Salam Alikom sister,

    I would like to say first off based on learning the arabic language one most consider the dialects and take that into consideration when moving based on the fact of wating to study the language. By fully immersing yourself in the country, language you will pick it up more quickly then perhaps if you are living in the United States.
    There is also the issue to consider of emplyment, daily life, cost of living, and education for your children. If you are going from the states to middle east and you have not beent here before I would highly suggest first going on a holiday, try a few areas see how the work situation is, how you think you can manage with the daily life. It will be a culture shock no matter what but Allah will bless you. I would suggest looking into Jordan for example, even Lebanon. I know many americans living in both that are enrolle din arabic classes, the kids are in american private schools-though at quite a cost, but are better than the private schools. I would recommend speaking as one whos been there done that...if you are serious about going there, take at least a symester or two before going there it will immensly help you in basic conversation, then take more intense programs there. I know some people in Amman that are taking classes rather intensly to study the language if this is something you might like to aquire more information sister please contact me and I will be happy in assisting you in any way I can.
    I wish you much happiness and Allahs blessings for you moving to an Islamic/arabic country. good for you!
  14. justoneofmillion
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    justoneofmillion Junior Member

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    assalam,this is bold and arogant why would they speak english
    do you think people in france or spain speak english you go to their land and expect them to speak your language !!!!!!!!!it is funny how eventough Arabic is the language of the Quraan and still people concider themselves "educated" eventough they do not speak it there are educated and less educated people everywhere it depends of which criteria you base your judgement on!...:mad:
  15. q8penpals
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    Assalam alieklum

    Most of what was posted previously about the UAE is pretty much the same in all the Middle East countries - I can add that specifically Kuwait is very similar with a couple differences...

    In Kuwait, non-Kuwaitis cannot purchase real estate (land or apartments).

    You are required to have TB, AIDS, and general blood tests before you can get a residency in Kuwait (you can have it done in Kuwait when you apply, but will be kicked out with any positive results).

    Ditto about the pay being different depending where you are from - and there is also the difficulty if you are, say, Canadian, but of Pakistani descent - you will be treated as a Pakistani by most (ie, you will be treated like crap) because you LOOK Pakistani, regardless of what your passport says (even if you have never even been to pakistan, for example).

    And yes, I have lived in Kuwait for 5 years, and other than basic prayers and survival Arabic, I have absolutely no need to speak arabic. I too wanted to learn, but I will have to take classes, like anywhere else as it is not at all necessary to speak arabic to live and work here.

    ONe the plus side, many, many Americans and Westerners (married) love to give birth in Kuwait, because Kuwait has it pretty refined to an art here! The medical services are great (both private and government maternity hospitals are good), the medical costs are subsidised by the government if you go to the government clinics/hosps, and the private hospitals are just a tiny fraction (generally) of what it would cost in the US.

    Lana
  16. Globalpeace
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    Skin Colour and Profession!

    Asslamo Allaikum,

    If you are an Asian and/or dark skinned; I would in general advise you to seriously think BEFORE moving to the Middle-East...

    If you are a PROFESSIONAL; I would in general advise you to seriously think BEFORE moving to the Middle-East; as you will lose your skills and professionalism (even in Dubai!)

    It doesn’t matter what your passport says.

    I would agree with the Kuwaiti Sister that Middle-East is far more racist then US and the West.

    If you have an extremely high level of Taqwa and you are not easily influenced by situations and circumstances; and your wife and kids are Auliya of Allah (Friends of Allah)...

    OR

    If you don't really care about your career...

    OR

    You are in serious debt and want to make money...

    Middle-East beckons you.

    I have probably offended a million people; but that is the truth.

    I try to give people factual and accurate information and how you use it; is upto you, Insha'Allah.

    P.S: Western Professionals:

    I was talking to a Civil engineer in Saudia and he was talking about serious shortage of Asian (Indian/Pakistanees) professionals which was the bulk of the professional work-force in Middle-East! Growing economies and advent of Multi-Nationals in their back-yard means that these guys are no longer applying to go to Middle-East in droves as was the case in 60s, 70s & 80s and ready to be abused!

    Money in the Middle-East is not that good anymore; still better then the West because of tax advantages & so on.

    Lack of cheap Indian/Pakistani professionals and expensive Western (Non-Muslims) & mostly useless managers [because of Al-Qaida] mean that there are a lot of opportunities in Middle-East if you are a Muslim Professional!

    Its amazing as to how many useless & incompetent westerns you find in the Middle-East; who wouldn’t last a week in a similar job here!


    The Indian/Pakistanee labourers are now taken over by Bangalees because on the scale of economies the Takka is more economically viable.
  17. Fahad_Agus
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    i think you should check out kuwait. Kuwait has many american and english schools and many job openings for foreigners, kuwait has many entertaining places to go like cinemas and malls and the good and main thing is that it doesnt have nightclubs and alcohol like other arab countries and the laws are strict about these things but the people are modern and the culture is not old fashioned and they have many places to learn arabic and islam. and theres no taxes and the health care is cheap compared to other countries.
  18. q8penpals
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    Assalam Aliekum

    I agree about Kuwait. While Kuwait is far from perfect (no place is perfect), it really is a good mix of western modernizations and traditional values. IF you can tolerate 125+ degree weather in the summer!

    One thing about moving to Saudi that I haven't seen anyone mention...

    We all know that women can't drive, women can't be unescorted by a male relative, but many MEN don't realize what that means for THEM! I have known several people who have livede in Saudi - the problem with women not being able to drive or be unescorted is more than teh woman feeling oppressed and isolated (because as a foreigner, you won't have family there) - after the husband works a full-day, he has to come home and TAKE the wife to the grocery store, TAKE the kids to school & pick them up, TAKE the kids and wife to doctor appointments or for haircuts, or whatever - the MAN will be the one who is the most stressed out and overworked (in a foreigner situation). The people I know say it is worse for the men because they have to shoulder the ENTIRE burden of of doing outside errands for the household.

    Just something to keep in mind ... your wife may not mind that she is not allowed to drive, but that makes YOUR life twice as hard.

    Just 2 cents

    Lana
  19. newusman
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    Salam. mashAllah sis u gave alot of info regarding Dubai & UAE, but just one quesiton. are there any islamic schools there, well established madrassas from where you can get islamic knowledge.
    I would suggest Egypt. There is a really good healthy muslim community there, alot of reverted muslims from all over the world.
    Wa-Salam
  20. Abu Juwairiya
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    Jazakallah Khayrun for your analysis on Saudi Arabia. I have also lived there for up to a decade so I am familiar with your concerns.

    I would say if you feel you may be able to tolerate the many problems Saudi Arabia has (to a reasonable point), which includes the country's typical characteristics (further below) and concentrate on the purpose of being there, namely for the haram, your Iman and the ability to live in a Muslim country where Arabic is spoken as a first language, you may be able to like it there. Anyway, the distinct obstacles are (among Saudis)-

    -terrible manners of Saudis in general (both male and female)
    -racism
    -extreme nationalism
    -Arab brotherhood above Islamic brotherhood
    -love of western culture among the youth
    -hero worship of the Saudi royal family
    -distorted scholarship of Saudi history
    -Government scholars and Saudi Islam as opposed to True Interpretation of Islam

    While the above constitute hugely imposing barriers to your conscience, it is quite another to do something about it as an individual. You are the best person to decide if you think regular Umrah and its enormous rewards are worth it for toleration in addition to the ease of Hajj among other similarly voluminous advantages.

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