I've been living in Saudi Arabia for almost eight months. A few months back, I picked up a new nickname, Haroun. I did this for a couple of reasons, the main one being that is made interactions with people around here much easier. When you provide someone with a name in their own language, they immediately feel on step closer affinity to you. As I'm dealing with Saudis, the most xenophobic of Arabians, this is a big help. When I tell them I'm a Muslim as well, they immediately latch on to me and want to hear my story.

While I've no intentions of changing my name "officially", I'm pretty happy to use the name at this point. It feels comfortable. I've gone by a nickname for years and years already, so it seems natural to acquire a new one at this point in my life.


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