The Aramco Compound isn’t just a place where Aramco employees live, for some (who have lived there half their lives), it’s home. It’s an oasis of its own, slightly hidden from the conservatism of the Kingdom.
The gated compound has its ups and downs, much like other places but you can’t deny its television-like suburb vibes. If you’ve lived there, you’ll highly relate to these six things that was pretty much a norm in these compounds):
1. Having to beg your parents to let you sleepover at a friend’s house
And they say no, and you have to beg and state the level of proximity from yours to Sarah’s house.
2. In a way, living there taught you to be more multicultural and accepting of others
It wasn’t so hard to turn down other cuisines, since your neighbors or schoolmates have probably offered you these dishes before. Basically, living in the compounds taught us to have an open mind towards different cultures.
3. The mall was 10 mins away and this means pockets were always a little spacious
The Dhahran’s mall
4. You’ve probably gotten asked about your childhood a lot
When you move to another country and tell people you grew up in Saudi, chances are they’ll ask you journalist-like queries, trying to unfold what they perceive is so daunting. But in reality, you had pretty great memories living there and will always want to come back to that home-y feeling.
5. You never had to worry about amenities since pretty much everything was in the compound
Restaurants, gyms, pools, salons, playgrounds and more.
Boring? I think not
6. You’ve pretty much gotten used to salt water
Shower, kitchen etc. As long as you got lucky with cold water during summertime, it was GREAT!
Either way, differences from the compounds to the outside world may be slightly noticeable
However, a country’s traditions shouldn’t be enforced to Western ideals of change. Saudi is a country rich in history, culture, tradition and values. And we love it either way!