WTM chats to Laura Jefferson, the woman behind new social media page Female Expats in Bahrain which has taken our local Facebook community by storm, gaining almost 400 members in its first month with women talking about everything from hats to marital issues and more.
Laura has not even arrived on the island yet but already a lot of people know her name and are eager to meet her. A single 27-year-old, she’ll be heading to the island in the coming weeks and set up the page as a way to get advice and information about her new home.
She says: “I haven’t done anything like this before. It’s ironic because I’m not personally big on Facebook. Before I arrived I wanted to connect with some locals to get an inside view of life in Bahrain. I have seen similar Facebook groups in other countries and tried searching for one in Bahrain. I thought surely there would already be one created due to the large expat community, but, to my surprise, I didn’t find any online space where ladies in Bahrain can come together.”
And her idea certainly seems to have struck a chord with the women of the expat community who signed up in their droves with friends recommending friends, each giving a short introduction of themselves, and a group meet-up organised within days.
Laura adds: “I was completely blown away by the response! I kept double-checking the members because I couldn’t believe there were more than 300 ladies within a week. Besides the quick growth, I love the diversity the group has attracted. There are ladies from all over the world, from Estonia to South Africa, from young to mature, married and single, children and no children. There is already a strong sense of trust and accountability in the group. We discuss everything from finding schools and apartments, to where to find Spanx!”
Having studied public relations and fashion, Laura is looking forward to a new challenge working in child care in Bahrain and she’s eager to see what the island has to offer saying: “I enjoy trying new restaurants and cooking, exploring the art scene of a new city and volunteering.”
She adds: “I haven’t had the chance to ask, but I’m hoping to be pointed in the right direction to find the art scene in Bahrain. I love to support local artists and hope to attend some well-curated art galleries. I’m also still trying to find a place to learn film and digital photography.”
And, as to what brings this globetrotter to Bahrain, she explains: “I come from a travelling family. When I was 12 I moved to Japan while cousins lived in Brazil. So from a young age, I never really had a ‘home’ but just stopping points in life.
“I’m an avid traveller and had the opportunity to work in Bahrain or return to Japan. I did some research and learned of Bahrain’s vast expat and diverse community and decided to give Bahrain a chance. I certainly expect to be challenged as I adjust to life in the Middle East and hope I transition well. Is it allowed to say that I look forward to all the scrumptious food in Bahrain? Because, I do. If you ask my mom, she would say I might need to focus on finding a husband rather than researching places to go on holiday!
“Being single with no children I don’t like to look at any city as permanent. But who knows, this might be the place I will finally call home.”