Monday, 31 October 2011

100 Facts About Saudi Arabia

100 Facts About Saudi Arabia

Personal observation of 4.5 years on the East Coast in Khobar. The absolute accuracy of the facts do not apply.

1. Saudi Arabia occupies about 70% of the Arabian Peninsula.
2. In 1932, when SA was formed merging two Principalities, she was one of the poorest countries in the world.
3. Earlier in Saudi Arabia has been a lot of small principalities. The present-day names, many Saudis are directly related to the principality. Many such families are the richest in the kingdom, after Saudi Arabia, of course.
4. Name of one of these families know almost everyone.
5. In 1938 he found the first oil, and is now CA - the first oil producer in the world and one of the richest countries.
6. Power is inherited, only the family members of Al-Saud.
7. The country is living under strict Sharia law (Islamic law) are prohibited in any public entertainment (theaters, cinemas, etc.).
8. However, there is relief (I think, in connection with events in the Middle East) - This year the king allowed women to vote in local municipal elections.
9. A couple of years ago, wanted to hold a film festival in Jeddah, but it was canceled on the eve of the opening under some pretext.
10. The woman - a man without a license. He has no right to work (although in recent years women have started to appear at the reception in the hospital) has no right to drive, can not appear in public one (the only representative of the male family, even if the man just 6 years old).
11. Women are trying to defend the right to drive cars and periodically organize a protest, go through the streets behind the wheel. They are caught, make suggestion and released on bail of her husband. One was recently sentenced to flogging.
12. Penalty is, but less than in the past.
13. For drugs - the death penalty. For alcohol - a flogging, imprisonment and deportation.
14. This does not prevent the Indians and Filipinos brew moonshine called "Sadik". The scary thing, degree 60.
15. You can buy and more noble wines, whiskey, for example, but the bottle will cost about 300 bucks. Contraband.
16. A considerable part of the SA - the desert. In the south of the desert called Rub al-Khali, Empty Quarter. There's sand changes color throughout the day depending on the temperature of the red in the morning to light yellow in the afternoon.
17. Day in June-July temperatures in the desert easily reaches 60 degrees and above.
18. On the east coast humidity periodically rises to 100%. At a temperature of 40-45 degrees.
19. On the west coast high humidity is present almost always. But they do not have dust storms in the east.
20. Along the west coast there is a mountain the Hijaz and Asir. The highest point - 3353 m.
21. Capital - Riyadh, a huge area of ​​the city, very few high-rises. The average height of the building - floors five.
22. Cars mostly American. Until the late 80's Japanese cars almost was not until a dealer (do not remember his name) did not bring dozens of exclusive Japanese models and gave them all the princes and nobles. Now the Japanese car about half. Europe, too, have but little.
23. Despite the fact that income can buy a decent car, and many go on avtohlame 70-80 years. One of the most popular vehicles - Chevrolet Caprice Classic late 80's.
24. Travel as the spirit lay - the average rate in the city of 80-100 km / h, outside the city officially 120, but who in fact as it may, but not less than 120.
25. Often the picture, when bin Laden is driving, and in his hand a little child.
26. And they love to push the seat back as, back recline, fold the left leg under him and left to rest in the instrument panel and steer so sit sideways and holding the steering wheel with one hand. Machine-nearly all with automatic transmission.
27. Gasoline is cheaper than water. A bottle of water is 0.6 liters a riyal, 1 liter of gasoline - 0.6 rial. Something like that.
28. Restaurants are divided into the family section and a section for singles. Singles to family is not allowed.
29. Generally, depending on the obstinacy security guard, a lone Arab (or group arabchat) may not be allowed in the shopping center. There are shopping for the family.
30. No stray animals. Well, almost there. Dogs have seen a couple of times for nearly 5 years, mostly cats, but very little.
31. Pet shops are, you can buy a cat. But the Arabs do not keep animals at home, you can not.
32. Images of people and animals are prohibited by the Koran. People come out of the situation as they can, in Jeddah, is a monument not understand anything, but if you look closely, it looks like a camel.
33. Back in Jeddah just dofiga misunderstanding of monumental compositions - the monuments of the teapot, mites, construction trowels, yet something I do not remember.
34. Previously, and in the photographs in advertisements in public places faces were erased. Now seems agreed that the picture - light painting, light gave Allaah, then picture - it pleasing to God.
35. Photograph people without their consent is not recommended, especially for women and police officers.
36. Here nothing is impossible to photograph - all around no matter where you spit, or government building, or a security guard checkpoint, or compound for foreigners.
37. I tried to photograph a fire truck in Jeddah - immediately out of the ground there was a police car, I almost took away the camera. Otmazatsya friend.
38. Three key Arab word - Inshallah, bukra and maalesh. Inshallah - such as "God forbid" in all the will of Allah, bukra - tomorrow, maalesh - well, to hell with him.
39. Accordingly, Inshallah added wherever there is mention of some plans. Inshallah Bukra can mean "maybe tomorrow" and "never." Generally bukra - the time between now and ever.
40. Most Arabs do not know how to swim.
41. Despite the proximity of the Persian Gulf, boats virtually none. There is little personal watercraft. Windsurfers have seen once.
42. Hobby - to drop the car on a sand dune up the hill. The height of the dunes - 30-40 feet, angle of ascent is quite steep. Some people try to do it on cars.
43. There are practically no trees, the desert. Arabs love to go to the desert for picnics, with tents, barbecues, etc.
44. There are unwritten laws of the desert - if you see a car on the roadside in a lonely place - stop, may need your help.
45. Saudi Arabia is a country crap. Tons of trash along the roads to the beaches. Flying bags, plastic bottles.
46. With normal shoes the problem, because Arabs are mostly sandals and slippers.
47. Generally they are to European clothes are not very accustomed to. Pants always short. Some absolutely ugly shoes.
48. A blend of traditional Arabian dress (like Toba is called) and shoes with socks to almost shin - it is generally hell.
49. Internet seriously moderated sites with the slightest hint of pornography are closed, like many of the proxy server.
50. Railway communication is virtually absent, despite the relatively large area. There is a branch of Dammam-Riyadh. We construct a branch of Mecca-Medina. In 2008, the contract for construction of g / d of North-South won the JSC "RZD", but then canceled the tender.
51. Entry to Mecca and Medina, non-Muslims is forbidden. But we accidentally came to Mecca last year.
52. In Saudi Arabia, the cult of the family. Children often live with their parents, the eldest son has elderly parents. Respect for elders inculcated from childhood.
53. Going welcomes standing, Jr. - Senior.
54. At the meeting the Saudis thrice kiss on the cheek (or both at a time), but not all, only close relatives and old friends.
55. Here a very specific business etiquette. Late is the norm, before starting a business talk, drink tea, coffee, talking about life.
56. Saudi Arabic language does not exist. There are dialects Hijazi (western coast), Najd (center) and Sharqi (East Coast), which differ from each other. Plus newcomers Arabs prevnosyat coloring - the Egyptians, Palestinians, Syrians, Jordanians.
57. They say Eve, the one living in Jeddah, and the place of her burial was worshiped before. But then the Wahhabis have destroyed the place of burial and cemetery. Remained on the cemetery only arch at the entrance.
58. Any other public worship other than Islam is prohibited. Accordingly, before any non-Islamic religious holidays such as Christmas, sharia police activity, "Mutawa" is activated.
59. If there is a cross, it's best to wear under your clothes.
60. Christmas trees for sale, not any, even artificial.
61. But the Christmas decorations are sold in small souvenir shops. A paradox. Sam bought a few Christmas tree is clearly on the form of balls of papier-mache with camels on them.
62. Russian nesting dolls also sold, but they are subject to a national modding. Female doll black abaya drawn (such cloaks) and niqab (headscarf), respectively, for male and Toba Guthrie.
63. Hoop on the head scarf is called a man over agalite. Now it is made from horseradish understand why, but before that was made of horsehair, and was hobbled for cattle (mostly camels).
64. Camel fresh milk is very tasty, but if you have stomach problems - it is better not to drink. Can act for half an hour.
65. The Saudis are very welcome, but welcome to the house very often. Most communication takes place in a small alcove, Attached. Be sure to treat Arabic coffee and dates.
66. Arabic coffee - a different story. First, it is the drink of yellow-brown color. Secondly, it is full of additives - cardamom, cloves, cinnamon, anise, sometimes. Thirdly, served in microscopic pialkah. Fourth, it is a very refreshing drink, not drink much. Well, sure to bring a glass of cold water.
67. The Arabs are very fond of scratching language. Hang on the phone constantly.
68. There is a list of occupations approved by the Ministry of Labour, which accepted only the Saudis. For example, the personnel department or liaison with government authorities.
69. In general, the state strictly regulates the question of employment. The international company must gain a certain percentage of the Saudis, at least 10% of the total population (could be wrong). This is called saudizatsiya.
70. Sometimes it is easier and more effective to negotiate with the employee that he received the minimum salary for his position and did not come to work at all. Sheep and Wolves are safe enough to eat.
71. Chronology differs from the Gregorian calendar. Now in 1432 Hijri.
72. New Year in our understanding of the Saudis do not celebrate. The last month of the year - Hijja, the month of pilgrimage to Mecca. At the 10th day the holiday of Eid al-Adha, Eid go great, and lasts until sunset 13 days of the month Hijjah.
73. Birthday is also not marked. In general, many Bedouins put your date of birth of noodle, a number of approximate month of birth. Or the last. As lucky.
74. During the day, pray 6 times. At the time of prayer are closed. In the neighboring states of the Gulf does not. In the Emirates, Bahrain, and it works even in prayer.
75. Islam prohibits usury laws, so the bank can borrow only at 2% (operating expenses of banks). True, the interest on your deposit too meager.
76. Sales tax and VAT no.
77. Foreign banks here have 50% of capital along with the Saudi founders, respectively, the names of the banks do not generally recognized world (such as Citi Bank), and local (Samba Bank - Saudi-American Bank, for example).
78. Among the Saudi youth is full of hipsters - little jeans tight, incredible hairstyles, glasses, half a person. They look ridiculous. The girls all in abaya, people are often too closed. Only her eyes are burning from under the niqab.
79. In addition to the mass of the Islamic radio stations, there are two or three stations broadcasting rock, pop and classical. One in Bahrain, two belong to Saudi Aramco. Sometimes caught Russian Radio from Dubai and Qatar in French.
80. With a full order of TV, satellite dish in every home.
81. Traditional Saudi food is necessary to search for purely Arab quarter. It replaced the Lebanese, Jordanian, Syrian, filipina, Malaysian and Chinese cuisine.
82. Japanese cuisine is not popular. Sushechnyh in Khobar until 2 or 3, 4, I did not open for a year.
83. Restaurant chains dzhankfuda more than dofiga. McDonald's next door to Burger King, Dunkin 'Donuts at 10 meters from the Krispy Creme.
84. In this regard, a lot of fat. The Saudis are also very lukewarm to the sport.
85. Favorite game - soccer.
86. Saudi team is called in the people of Al-Sakura (Falcons), or Al-Akhdar (green). At the World Championships are the Saudis, so-so, but at the Asian Championship three times, were the champions.
87. There are quite a lot of football clubs. Best - Ittihad Jeddah from.
88. I am even afraid to imagine what would happen if the draw for the World Cup Saudis will drop to play against Israel.
89. Jews do not like. For Palestine in particular.
90. Bratushkam, Palestinians constantly help with money. The last aid was in September of this year. $ 200 million, for a minute.
91. By Russian are good. All the time asking about Putin.
92. There are a few purely Saudi Arabian gestures that do not describe, because there are more and facial expressions play a role.
93. The right hand is clean, the left - dirty. Used for cleaning the apology. So eat right. Greet each other right. If something is given, we must take the right.
94. Thieves had cut his hand. The right. Here zapadlo something to eat zapomoennoy hand. While it may now cut.
95. Executions take place in mosques, but not all, just a few cities.
96. In Saudi Arabia, the wrong can not enter the mosque. In Bahrain - please.
97. Public transport is practically no. There are some suspicious coaches. And so all moved or your own car or taxi. Indians and Pakistanis are poor ride bicycles, or at least walk. But this summer kapets complete.
98. At the weekend the Saudis go for a walk with their families on the embankment, the stele on lawns and carpets picnics.
99. Incidentally, a day off - Friday. And Monday begins on Saturday, like the Strugatsky. Thursday, as a rule, work till noon.
100. In Saudi Arabia you can not come just to get a visa, must be invited by the local office. International tourism is not there.

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