Saudi Arabia – How it ALL began…

Dr Badrul KhanWell, I can’t go back quite that far, but I can start in 1998 when I met a young man from Bangladesh at an AECT conference in Albuquerque, NM. I was very impressed with his knowledge about web-based teaching and learning.  As conference chair, I was on the look-out for keynote speakers for the NAU/web98 conference to be held at Northern Arizona University.  So I invited Dr. Badrul Huda Khan to be a keynote speaker, not realizing this would be the first of many such opportunities for him.

Fast forward to 2008 and I was working as an Instructional Designer for Distance Education at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas.  Badrul had started McWeadon Education USA and asked me if I would join him as an instructor teaching Instructional Design and then Second Life courses.  In Febrary 2010, after I had left UNLV, he asked me if I would work with him on a proposal to the National Center for eLearning , Saudi Arabia to offer a two week workshop to be held in Washington, DC.  The workshop was held September 17-30 at the Mason Inn, on the grounds of the George Mason University in Fairfax, VA, with 22 Saudi professors and adminstrators in attendance. Click here for pictures from the workshop.

It was during the workshop that I met Dr. Mohammad ibn Rashid Al-Fuhaid, Dean of Educational Services at Qassim University in Buraydah, Saudi Arabia and three of his colleagues. After the workshop, I was invited to join his staff in a newly created position as the Director of the eLearning Center: Ladies Section.

I knew, as soon as he asked, that this was exactly the right opportunity for me and what I should be doing next with my life.  It took me about 2 nanoseconds to make up my mind – it was as if a door had opened before me – I could see the pathway clearly and all I had to do was set my feet on it and walk forward.  It was indeed an answer to my prayers.  It was only then that I could see how many recent events, that had been painful and deeply troubling to me, had all served to put me in that workshop and to free me from responsibilities that may have held me here in the USA.

I came home and renewed my British passport, then sent it to the Saudi Consulate in Los Angeles for its visa stamp and then today, November 28, 2010 I received my itinerary for my flight to Saudi Arabia.  While that was happening I started the process of sorting out all my S T U F F and packing what could not be replaced.  My house will go back to Bank of America as my gift to them!

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