Wan from Thailand interviews Arwa from Saudi Arabia

by ucclangcent

Wan: What is your most treasured possession?

Arwa: My eye-sight is my most treasured possession.

Wan: What is the most important lesson life has taught you?

“Always optimize, and work for it.”

Wan: What do you most dislike about your appearance?

Arwa: Definitely my weight! I would really like to lose 20 kilos of my weight.

Wan: What don’t you like about your personality?

Arwa: Sometimes I shout unconsciously when I am bad-tempered, and then, I regret what I have done quickly. I say sorry at the same moment, but, it’s always too late! So, I wish that I can control being stressed and be more patient.

Wan: What did you do before come to Cork?

Arwa: Well, before coming to Cork, I studied English for my Bachelor’s degree and one year of a Master’s program in English – Linguistics. Yet, I applied to study abroad for the reason that I want to be educated in an English speaking society.

Wan: What has surprised you about Cork?

Arwa: Well, Cork has surprised me both positively and negatively. Starting with the negatives, there are not enough amusement places or shopping places. When I planned to come here, I thought that there would be more choices to spend my weekends. But, unfortunately, there aren’t. Yet, the Irish people in Cork are very friendly, especially to foreigners like me. In addition, I absolutely love the weather here, unlike the Irish people! “Forbidden fruit is always the sweetest.” I totally love the rain!

Wan:If you could choose one place to visit on holiday, where would you go and why?

Arwa: The place that I would absolutely love to visit would be Italy! If I had the chance to go there, I would visit all the cities, especially Milan and Venice. I reason why I would choose to visit Italy is mainly because of its fashion places. Italy is the number one country in fashion! It has loads of big brand coutures which I adore, such as Versace, Giorgio Armani, Dolce and Gabbana, Prada, Fendi, Gucci, Alvero Martini, Ferragamo, Givenchy, Roberto Cavalli, Etro, Hugo Boss, Mui Mui, Tod’s and many more. In addition, I am also a big fan of Italian food. I would also love to go to the “Gucci Café” in Milano! (I’m not sure if I can afford it though)

Wan: What recommendation would you have for someone planning to spend their vacation in Saudi Arabia?

Arwa: I would recommend them to visit Riyadh and Jeddah. Riyadh and Jeddah are very big cities which have many varieties of shopping places. That is, all kinds of clothes are available, the cheap and the expensive. Regardless of shopping, many restaurants and cafes of many nationalities are found there, such as Saudi, Chinese, Italian, Romanian, French, Turkish and many more. In addition, many amusement parks are found in both cities. Although Riyadh is much bigger than Jeddah, foreign people usually prefer Jeddah much more than Riyadh for the reason that it is located on the coast of the Red Sea.

Wan:Discuss living in Riyadh and Cork from the perspective of;-

Public transportation:

Arwa: Saudi people rarely use the public transportation bus, unlike here in Cork. They usually drive their cars or use taxis. That is, petrol is Saudi Arabia is “dirty cheap” as we have mentioned in class.

Opportunity to mix socially:

Arwa: I don’t see any major differences between the two cities in that scale. We have the opportunity to mix socially, but we are not allowed to mix for the purpose of intimacy. Yet, Saudi Arabia’s education system separates male from female in schools and universities, while in Cork, they are only separated in schools.

Being Female:

Arwa: Being female either in Saudi Arabia or Cork is the same. I think that depends on the woman herself.


Arwa: I absolutely love the weather here much more than in Saudi Arabia. The weather here is usually raining. I love rain! I don’t like the weather in Saudi Arabia. It’s usually too hot and dry.


Arwa: I love Saudi food! I cook it here. Honestly, I never tasted Irish food, but I’m planning to go to an Irish restaurant. But, unluckily, I still don’t know which restaurant is the best to try.

Dress code:

Arwa: The Saudi dress code is amazing!


Arwa: Usually, men wear what is called “thobe”, which is an ankle-length loose traditional garment (usually white), and a “shumag”  (or “ghutra”), which is a  square shaped cotton fabric folded diagonally to form a triangle shape. The “shumag” is worn on top of the head over the cap (which is worn to stabilize the “shumag”). The “igal” ,which is a double black rope-like cord, is worn on top of the“shumag” .


Arwa: Women wear “abaya”, which is a loose black full-length robe which covers all parts of the body except the feet, hands and face.

Wan:Where would you like to live?

Arwa: I wouldn’t like to live in any country but my country! I’m a very patriotic person.

But, I would love to travel to different countries, especially Italy!

Thank you Wan for the interview… I enjoyed my time writing the answers.