Mohammed Francis is British, a college teacher, father of 3 boys, and owner of the Inside Saudi website.
In 1998, I gave up a lucrative IT career in the UK to become a teacher. I started working in the Middle East and for 20 years and more, I have taught college students in Egypt, Qatar, Kuwait, and Saudi Arabia.
My (His) Story
I absolutely love working in higher education. It is interesting and it offers a good work-life balance. I found too, that I am able to provide for my wife and kids as well as have time to develop my own personal interests.
I enjoy writing and am good at it. This helps me immensely as I teach courses in creative, technical, and writing for work.
In recent years, I have also helped many graduate students become powerful and effective communicators by offering them courses in public speaking.
In my spare time, I write research articles on science and general interest topics for publication. I also love learning about science, psychology, religion, and the esoteric.
As well as ‘Inside Saudi‘ I also create digital educational videos for a YouTube channel called ‘Speak Easy’ and others.
After a few years of sickness, I now follow a regime of healthy eating and exercise. I go to the swimming pool and treadmill each day. My diet now is mostly vegetables and salads. Staying well and active both physically and mentally is important to me. especially as I age.
I love to seek out ways to improve my health and my intellectual attitude.
Each day, I set personal goals that I can easily achieve. For me, success simply means getting out of bed in the morning, hugging my kids, seeing my students achieve, feeling well, putting food on the table, watching my kids grow and learn, and giving value to others in small, but meaningful ways.
I base my life on the idea of ‘Kaizen’ which is the practice of making small, ongoing positive changes that over a period of time accumulate to result in huge life improvements.
A few examples are that ‘Kaizen’ caused me to become a Shotokan Karate teacher, to be fluent in two foreign languages, to return to good health, and to become a loving father.
My goal in life is to live and to learn, to exploit technology and earn a great income, to raise smart, happy kids, to please my creator, and to leave this world with the knowledge that at the very least, I have touched a few hearts along the way.
Recognitions and Awards
- University Graduate – London University College
- Teacher of Public Speaking – University Toastmasters
- Senior Lecturer – Middle East Colleges
- Scientific Publications – USA and European Journals
- IT Buff – UK Employment
- World’s Best Dad – My Tea Cup
- Speak (Nearly) Four Foreign Languages -Spanish, Arabic, Portuguese and French
- Karate Black Belt _ Shotokan School
MY PERSONAL STORY
They say that your reputation precedes you. Mine follows me around the streets, alleyways, and mosques of Jubail, the small town in the eastern province of Saudi Arabia where I live with my wife and three boys Hamza, Baraa, and Sohaib.
In Jubail, I will often meet students, old and new wishing to share their memories of their former years. “Teacher Mohammed…you were the best…we had a great time….we miss you really.” They share lovely sentiments confirming that my efforts in the classroom made a difference in their lives.
Although it is wonderful to be in education, the best thing about my job is the long holidays. When summer happens, the wife, kids and I jump on a plane and head off for some exotic location.
We don’t seek hot, sunny beach holidays since all year round we live opposite a beautiful, sunny beach on the coast of Jubail here in Saudi Arabia.
Our preference is the town and seeing family and spending a week or two in the mountains or swimming in a pool resort.
Over the years, we have traveled a lot around Morocco, Egypt, Europe, the UK, and throughout the Middle East.
We get excited about leaving, but really appreciate returning to the Saudi kingdom when the holidays are over.
At home, we speak English and Arabic. I call it Arabish, a strange mixture of the two. The boys go to an Arabic school and study in Arabic, but thanks to Netflix, YouTube, and Hollywood films they are also fluent in English.
When they were very little, I used to teach them how to speak Arabic. Today, they are better than me and have become so fluent that now my kids teach me.
My life in Saudi Arabia is college, my writing, the family, the mosque, the supermarket, the swimming pool, and the weekends in bed. It is a full one and honestly, it’s enjoyable.
My second son, Baraa also wants to learn to make digital videos. I am teaching this to him now. It won’t be long before he learns it all including everything else I know.
I pray that day will not arrive too soon.