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Book details
  • Genre:HISTORY
  • SubGenre:Modern / 20th Century
  • Language:English
  • Pages:292
  • eBook ISBN:9781667895772
  • Paperback ISBN:9798218153847




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In a memoir of her two years in Saudi Arabia, Lyn Stafford leaves her family behind and begins her job as medical editor at the King Faisal Specialist Hospital in Riyadh in 1983. She is only one of the thousands of expatriates over which the Kingdom tightens its control. Corruption reigns and lives are threatened at the Hospital, and her family back home still needs her. To even begin to understand what is happening and minimize the damage, she and expats around her turn to each other for help, and they must rely on the ham radios and smuggled-in newspapers of the expatriate underground to figure out what is really happening.
In the 1980s, Lyn Johns arrives in Saudi Arabia on a mission that may cost her her family, but it is her family's future that has brought her to the Middle East. Her decision may be fraught with unintended consequences, and she knows it, but she leaves a low-paying job in Alabama to take a two-year contract in Saudi Arabia where she will help launch a new medical journal for the King Faisal Specialist Hospital in Riyadh. It seems her fears of not being able to be mother to her three children and daughter to her parents from so many thousands of miles away may all be coming true, but she has more immediate problems. She has arrived at a moment in history, the third Saudi Arabian Five-Year Plan, when expatriates and their jobs are at risk. She also finds how vulnerable she and all her friends who work in that hospital to corruption, surveillance, and even violence by the Hospital's own Security Forces. With the help of letters from home and especially from the expatriate underground, which consisted mostly of ham radio operators and returning expats smuggling in news, she begins to see how what she cannot see is affecting everything she can. This curious narrative is about the remarkable, sometimes foolhardy, men and women who navigate an exotic but treacherous landscape. Lyn's carefully researched memoir explores the lives of expatriates in a crazy, politically mixed-up, often dangerous, but beautiful world that seems to have lost its compass.
About the author
Lyn C. Stafford is author of the memoir, Expat: Chronicles of an Expatriate in Saudi Arabia, and The Road to Margaret, winner of an Excellence Award in 2015 for creative nonfiction. She began her career as medical editor with the Alabama Journal of Medical Sciences and from there went to Saudi Arabia to edit what is now The Annals of Saudi Medicine. After her return to the States, she edited The Southern Medical Journal and helped a number of books into print. Now, after 25 years in Florida, she has retired in Birmingham and continues to swim, play bridge, enjoy lectures at New Horizons, and hold writing workshops. Her other work includes poems in collections by The Poetry Guild and the Alabama Poetry Society.