One of the nice things about living in Saudi Arabia is the way locals act towards me when they realise that I am not a born Muslim. Funnily enough this is the thing that annoys my mother-in-law as she thinks people are being nosey when they suddenly drill me with 101 questions but I find quite sweet and funny really.
I'll be in the masjid or musalla of a shopping mall with my brood of kids, wearing my abaya, hijab and niqab just like everyone else and no-one will take any notice of me... I finish my prayer and turn to one of the children to speak, in English. Suddenly all eyes are on me, puzzled. Then someone will bravely ask, "Muslim?" (Funny, because not only am I clad from top to toe in Islamic attire, but I also just did salah!) Next I will be asked if I am from Bosnia, Syria, Turkey... then the surprise when I say I am "Min Baritaaniya" (from Great Britain) and the conversation will continue depending on how good the lady's English is or how I am able to manage in Arabic.
Just today, I was in a supermarket with my two youngest children and my son fell over, I turned and said to him, "Are you alright? Come here and hold my hand." An old Saudi lady who had been looking at the bread came to me saying, "Masha'Allah, masha'Allah," and grabbed my hand to shake and then kissed the baby!
I know there are many, many convert sisters in Islam across Saudi Arabia but when we go out covered up we are hard to spot so it seems like such a novelty for the born Muslimahs in this country. It is so nice seeing how happy for me these people are, when they discover that I accepted Islam of my own volition (I converted before I met my husband). Alhamdu Lillah.
... إِنَّمَا ٱلۡمُؤۡمِنُونَ إِخۡوَةٌ۬
"The Believers are but a single Brotherhood..." (Qur'an 49:10)