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  • It's tough to get attention from people, on the internet, at a job interview. You have to have an "edge" for people to give you enough time to say your piece, to get noticed.

    That's where the Saudi Arabia card comes in. I've played this card so many times before, to buy me enough attention from important people before I can present what I'd originally wanted to present. It's much easier to play this card than to flash my boobs, because really, at this day and age, boobs are not that shocking anymore.

    I played this card once while writing a university application essay. It got me accepted. I've used it to get into VIP lounges at clubs, to get published, to get employed, to get featured in a magazine photoshoot, to get a date, to get a free drink, everything, anything.

    All I had to say was that I'm a girl from Saudi Arabia, and I can bring something to the table that no one else can.

    I understand now that while this might have worked for me before, it probably won't anymore. Not everything I contribute to a conversation or a project has anything to do with the country I'm from, and people are starting to call me out on this.

    I've lost my edge to the internet.

    That's not necessarily a bad thing, is it? All it means now is that I will have to work harder to get what I want. That alien concept (to most of us here in Jeddah) of actually coming up with ideas that are good enough to stand on their own, without the need to resort to minority-card-playing.

    It means I will have to ACTUALLY bring something to the table that no one else can, without hiding behind my veil. (I just did it again. No, I don't wear a veil. I just had to play the stereotype.)

    I guess I'll have to go and box that card now. I can't promise I won't play it again, but this year, I think I will keep it in that box.
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