• Fri. May 24th, 2024

Kingdom of Saudi Arabia – Life in Saudi Arabia

ByShaheen Kazi

Mar 15, 2021

The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is the most important country in the Arab Peninsula. It is approximately the size of the U.S.A. East of the Mississippi River. 

Saudi Arabia is bordered by the Arabian Gulf, Bahrain, United Arab Emirates, Qatar, Kuwait, Iraq, Jordan, Yemen and Oman.

Saudi Arabia believed to be a regional and intermediate power. Many people still don’t know Saudi Arabia’s name, and some think Saudi Arabia is part of Dubai – NO Dubai and Saudi Arabia are two different countries. Here, I would like to introduce Saudi Arabia to everyone.

Quick Facts:

Form of Government: Monarchy

Head of State & Government: King Salman

Capital: Riyadh

Official Language: Arabic

Official Religion: Islam

Monetary Unit: Saudi Riyal (SR)

The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia celebrates its National Day each year on September 23.

The flag of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is rectangular in width, representing two-thirds of its length. It has a green background inscribed in the middle with the Islamic Shahada.  Below, there is an Arabic word whose handle turned towards the flagpole. The flag of Saudi Arabia shall not be suspended at half-mast or touch the ground or water concerning the Shahada written on it. 

The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia’s national emblem is composed of a palm tree atop two crossed Arabic swords. Swords symbolize strength, endurance and sacrifice, while palm represents vitality, growth and prosperity. 

Saudi Arabia is the birthplace of Islam. Mecca and Madina are the two cities where the pilgrimage takes place all year. Muslims from all over the world comes to perform Umrah or Hajj.

Currently, Saudi Arabia has changed significantly, and possibly even more. It’s been two decades since I’ve been in Saudi Arabia. I have seen plenty of rules and regulations in this country.

Earlier, there was no freedom for women; she was not allowed for driving, going out without any male family member, covering herself from top to bottom by wearing the black colour Abhaya (burkha). There was no such place as entertainment, no theatres, and no events. The restaurants had two separate entries FAMILY and SINGLE.

In the Family section, only families were allowed to dine; even in the restaurant have cabins inside for each family. And In the Single area, only single men were allowed to treat. Men enter through separate doors and pay in separate lines; women sometimes eat behind partitions to ensure male strangers’ privacy.  There was a different weekend, Thursday and Friday. It may be said that expats who come here to earn money were living their lives, but there was no happiness and no air of freedom.

But now, for the past three years, I have been able to see a new face in Saudi Arabia. The most significant change is that each woman is entitled to drive. She can drive the car without any male family member. Some women also travel by themselves at Uber (taxi). She can relax with her friends in cafes, shopping malls and even go to the movies. Significant changes have occurred over the last three years, theatres are open, and many more are still underway. Men and women can sit together in the restaurant without any partition; the partition gets only if someone needs it. It is not a compulsion. Weekends have changed, now weekends are popular on Friday and Saturdays. Women’s employment had appeared; I can see them working with men in supermarkets, shopping centres, banks, police and many more areas.

Therefore, the evenings outside always tend to revolve around food and (nonalcoholic) drink, the more instagrammable, the better.   

Fancy Food Truckers are seen; people love diverse varieties around food truckers. Saudi young people are finally Instagrammers. They like to post about food, drinks or any new place they go to relax near the Corniche. The night activities near the Corniche have become, so sporting, women, men, children all come out to enjoy the fresh air. Some people enjoy walking, running, biking or meeting people over snacks or coffee.

Many women wore their hair uncovered, and their abayas opened onto jeans and sneakers, styling them more like long, flowing jackets than the traditional dress.

 Since it is an Islamic country, some rules must be followed:

Pork and alcoholic beverages are banned in Saudi Arabia.

Females are allowed to dress in modest

During the month of Ramadan, fasting is strictly adhered to, and no one is allowed to eat in public areas. 

“I have seen and lived in this conservative Saudi Arabia, and I am now living in the new age of Saudi Arabia. But I will say that this recent change is welcomed and accepted because it brings a great deal of freedom and happiness. The time that has passed is over, but now it is of great importance because today is the bright future of Saudi Arabia”.

Author Shaheen Kazi
Author Shaheen Kazi

Shaheen Kazi is an Indian author originally from Mumbai and has lived in the Gulf…

By Shaheen Kazi

Shaheen Kazi is an Indian author originally from Mumbai and has lived in the Gulf (Saudi Arabia) for more than a decade and a half. After getting acquainted with IATA, she concentrates on her passion for writing. Her accomplishments include two books, 'AGE WAS JUST A NUMBER' (Romance Novel) and 'CUPIDS ARROW' (Poems) and two anthologies and many other upcoming projects. She also writes short pieces in Literature Times. Being an enthusiastic poet, author, writer, and creative thinker makes her a little unique in what she does. Books have always been her best friend; libraries and bookstores have always fascinated her from a young age. Mobiles are essential, but for her, the book is a beautiful world to live within. She is a non-kindle reader, and she can never read any book on kindle. She doesn't go anywhere without a book. She sees herself as the luckiest to continue her dream of becoming a novelist/poet and working on what she loves most. She firmly believes in being somebody when nobody thought you could be. Besides writing, she loves reading, travelling, knitting and singing. She is excellent in her culinary skills too.

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