LIFE IN THE CAMEL LANE: Embrace the Adventure by Doreen M. Cumberford
Book Title: Life in the Camel Lane: Embrace the Adventure by Doreen M. Cumberford
Category: Adult Non-Fiction (18 +), 288 pages
Publisher: White Heather Press
Release date: April, 2020
Tour dates: Jan 25 to Feb 12, 2021
Content Rating: G. There are no offensive scenes or language
Life in the Camel Lane: Embrace the Adventure is what Doreen Cumberford, a Scottish author, calls her learnoire! It is a combination of her story and the stories of other expats learned while living in Saudi Arabia for 15 years as expat employees or spouses.
The book takes the reader through the four stages of culture shock: arrival, honeymoon, frustration and adjustment stages to final acceptance followed by the return journey back to their home country – mostly the USA. From Saudi weddings, to falconry, to the inability of women to drive at that time, the book seeks to familiarize us with the Saudi culture, lifestyle, and deep traditions of hospitality, generosity and tolerance from an insider’s perspective. There are also chapters on the experiences of 9/11 in the terrorists’ home country and the “Terror Years” of internal terror tactics from inside Saudi Arabia designed to drive the expats out of the country and destroy the Saudi government.
Full of examples, stories and compelling honesty the author describes their most challenging journey and many of the lessons learned in the process together. Designed to provide useful insights and inspiration to anyone considering living abroad, Life in the Camel Lane shines the light on the subject of building a new identity and home while abroad, and the difficulties of the journey home.
Please Don’t Die With your Story Locked Inside Your Brain!
I was shocked and saddened when a friend of mine who has written the Blog: Breast Cancer Eh! recently revealed that she has received a terminal diagnosis. After struggling and being fully transparent with her messy fight with cancer, she was in effect saying a farewell and preparing us all.
Quite frankly I was stunned by the news, then doubly stunned by something else that was happening internally. You know that feeling when it seems like a light bulb literally lights you up? I suddenly felt animated and yes, illuminated, and somehow lighter as if this idea had beams shining out of it onto some hidden alter inside my head. Pay attention! The equivalent of flashing lights, sirens, alarm bells plus horns all went off.
“Oh no, the stories that will go with her”!
Stories provide a conduit for past experiences and sensations to be re-experienced. They help us make sense of the world. Just this morning I heard the story from a fellow who came to Saudi Arabia on business and was housed on the King Fahd University of Petroleum & Minerals (KFUPM). The University was adjacent to the Saudi Aramco compound, where I lived in for fifteen years and is the geographical location where many of the stories in Life in the Camel Lane: Embrace the Adventure occurred.
This fellow had come on business to KFUPM to design and build a physics lab for the University and was there for one week. His perceptions upon arriving in Saudi and seeing fully covered abaya wearing ladies, who were not permitted to drive, was disrupted when he peered through the fence into the Aramco compound. There he witnessed possibly myself or my friends wearing shorts, driving cars and generally living life as if we were back in the West.
In the act of delivering that short story, it took me back to Life in the Camel Lane, but it also gave me a clear perspective of what it was like to be on the grounds of the neighboring University looking into our compound as if it were a fishbowl and how I swam around in those waters so naturally for so many years.
The power of story connects us and helps us make sense of life on so many levels. This story I heard today immediately transported me to another time and place and actually revealed another layer regarding that lifestyle, that up until today I had never examined. Stories help us look at an event and twirl it like a globe to examine different aspects and learn from them.
If your stories are not encouraged to step into the limelight and to be reenacted on paper and shown the light of day, they fail to illuminate or transmit values, opinions nor history. Please tell your stories. If you have life lessons to communicate then please by all means do so with all the passion and purpose you can muster. We need stories and they need us, please don’t leave with them locked inside your brain!
Doreen Cumberford is a Scottish expat author who has been global traveler for more than four decades. In her 20s Doreen left her home in Scotland and drove down to London to become a member of Her Majesty’s Diplomatic Service, the Foreign and Commonwealth Office. Her first posting was as the youngest and most junior British Embassy staffer in Cameroon, West Africa. Later she moved back to London and took a position with an American oil-field construction company based in Dubai, the United Arab Emirates.
After moving to America, living in Louisiana then California, two extremely different cultures in the USofA, Doreen and family moved overseas to Japan then spent the following 15 years in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. With 13 major moves under her belt, she understands the value of moving, building a new life and handling inter-cultural hurdles. One constant has been her ability to explore through the lens of adventure. Her stories are full of multi-cultural intelligence, messy multilingual communications and multi-global perspectives.
Doreen is currently based on Denver, Colorado although spends most of the year living adventurously in the Housesitting Lane, which takes her around the globe. Currently she is doing her best to install Spanish in her brain which previously had French and smatterings of Japanese and Arabic. She is passionate about cultural intelligence, global heartedness and life on the road. Featured in the Anthology: Empowering Women, and a co-author in 2018 of Arriving Well: Stories About Identity, Belonging and Rediscovering Home After Living Abroad.
2020 sees the publication of Life in the Camel Lane: Embrace the Adventure. Honest, compassionate, full of wisdom and inspiration, Life in the Camel Lane comprises stories mostly from women and men who lived in Saudi Arabia from 1950s onward. This memoir contains expert advice sage wisdom and stories that all globally mobile families can use to navigate their international journey. The principles in this book will also encourage anyone who is embracing a more adventurous life, or considering taking the leap to move overseas.
Connect with the Author: website ~ twitter ~ facebook ~ pinterest ~ instagram ~ goodreads
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