‘An Enriching Experience’ is the travel slogan of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. It is indeed right that the country is rich with history, culture, traditions, practices and laws.
I am currently based in the Kingdom and so far, I can tell that this country is not bad at all. It just took me some time to get to know it well and here is what I found out about the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia after months of acquaintance.
Saudi Arabia or the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is in Asia specifically in the Middle East. It is a huge country but covered with deserts yet rich with gasoline. Surrounded by neighboring countries; down south are Yemen and Oman, on the east are Bahrain, Qatar, and United Arab Emirates, on the west is the African countries, Sudan and Egypt separated by the Red Sea and up north are Kuwait, Iraq and Jordan.
courtesy of Google Maps
Riyadh is the capital of this country and Saudi Arabia has been divided to different regions/ provinces. I got to explore only the Eastern Region since traveling within the country is not advisable if you don’t have an iqama or temporary residence card. Their currency is SAR/ Saudi Arabian Riyals, people speak only Arabic but new Saudi generations have gone to international schools, thus, making them able to converse in English language. Since the Kingdom is the center of the Islam religion, 100% of the Saudi population is Muslim either Shi’ites or Sunnis.
Saudi culture may have been influenced to being laid-back and in contrary, their laws and practices may have been too stringent in implementation. I was astounded on how women need to comply with Saudi laws and practices. They need to wear this long black cloak and hair should be covered and others were also covering their faces with black cloth. Meanwhile, Saudi males need to wear thawb as what they called it which is a long white cloth that’ll cover til the lower limbs and with the head covered with ghutrah which is a white square cloth with an agal which is a black cord shaped in circle to secure the ghutrah. They sometimes used ghutrah to cover their faces during sandstorm as protection. I am not so sure why they’re wearing these but must be the national costume or the religion that they value so much.
Saudi family spending their weekend at the park
mosque near my flat
I totally respect the Islam religion. They always pray like 5 times in a day. They once told me to change my religion since I am a Catholic and they said that Jesus Christ is not a God and only a messenger of Allah but my faith can’t be influenced by anyone. So far in this newfound land, I may know little Arabic yet still I am adjusting on the culture they have, their laws, their practices, the people and their attitudes.
Since I am allowed to travel within the Eastern Region, I am going to post my travel experiences, insights, etc along with the photos I captured on my next articles.