Is There Racism in Saudi Arabia?

I was asked by a reader of my blog on whether there was racism in the Kingdom. I’ll answer from what I have seen or observed but encourage others more familiar than I and who are in the Kingdom to please comment on this topic. It is easy to confuse racism with discrimination and it must be clear on whether the focus is racism/discrimination among Saudi to Saudi or Saudi to third-country-national (TCN) or from the perspective of a TCN towards a Saudi.

Saudi to Saudi: One will hear a lot of disparaging remarks about the Beduin or “Bedu.” The Beduins are viewed mostly as the ethnic tribal groups of the Kingdom. Jokes and comments will be made in regards to Beduin among Saudis similar to the kind of comments one hears in the states about “Rednecks.” The Beduins are generalized as uneducated, uncouth, sometimes dangerous and lack sophistication. Many Saudis from Naj’d or Hijjaz may speak of someone in an offhand manner by simply stating “oh, they are bedu’s….” Also on the topic of what could fall into the racism category among Saudis is ones lineage such as how many generations has their family/tribe been in the Kingdom. Or if a family has “mixed” blood such as someone or a few someones may have married a non-Saudi. Even if a Saudi has married someone from within the GCC there could still be comments made “oh, they are not true Saudis, her grandmother was Egyptian.” Does this fall under racism?

Saudi to TCN: In this capacity one would certainly see what could be best categorized as discrimination in my view more so than racism. After all, if in Saudi Arabia and not a Saudi, then the TCN is a guest and it is the Saudis who rule. Depending on a TCN’s nationality and position in the Kingdom, there could be what one would view as a caste system in place. For example, the Kingdom has a campaign going on right now reminding its citizens that housemaids are people too and should be treated with respect and kindness. Obviously if there were not problems such a campaign would not exist. And it is also a fact that the pay of foreign workers in the Kingdom will vary depending on the nationality of the worker even though an American or New Zealander or Filipino or Saudi would hold the exact same position, their pay varies contingent on nationality.

TCN to Saudi: In my experience I do not believe I have seen racism from a TCN towards a Saudi but I have observed discrimination. Some TCN’s come to Saudi Arabia for the opportunities they can receive but in actuality are not happy where they are. They would rather be anywhere else but the Kingdom and as a result, it is usually among this group you would hear consistent “Saudi bashing.”

There are differing levels of racism/discrimination in mixed marriages between Saudis and non-Saudis. I’ve become unaffected anymore when someone may ask me “how could you marry a Saudi?” And even my husband has been asked by other Saudis “How can an American marry a Saudi after 9/11?” When two individuals from diverse cultures and customs merge their lives together there is always going to be a barrage of various questions ranging from the absurd to the very logical and practical.

I’m not sure if I really answered the question posed by a reader to satisfaction. I hope so!

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44 Responses

  1. Thank you Carol for posting. I have observed for myself and heard other’s accounts of racism and discrimination in the Gulf region in general. I wondered (as you have lived in Saudi Arabia for many years) what opinion you have on this matter. You did answer my question mostly and provided even further information I was not aware of; that being of prejudice and racism between Saudis themselves (tribal superiority).

    I was mainly referring to (some) Saudis thinking that non-Saudis are not “as good” as they are; meaning they (Saudis) are superior humans to non-Saudis. I understand this to be racism. I was asking as I have only ever spent a short time in Saudi Arabia so am not able to know the true lay of things. What about discrimination/racism from Saudis to other Arabs such as Egyptians, Algerians, Syrians, Lebanese, etc? e.g. I have heard one man (not Saudi) say that after an Egyptian enters his shop he gets his worker to wash the floor ! ( WTH ?!)

    I understand this (discrimination/racism) is most likely not the opinion of all/most Saudis. I have heard comments from some Saudis (via translation) regarding TCNs (Third Country Nationals) – such as they are somehow lesser and inferior as human beings- I think the word “kelb” was used also. This was shocking to me because as a Muslim. My first time coming to KSA I thought this is where Islam would be practiced in its purest form! After consideration I came to realize that (of course) Saudis are people like any other and therefore are not perfect Muslims.

    I just had the feeling (and it may be my mistake) that while foreigners are welcome to come and visit Saudi Arabia to perform their religious obligations, they are not welcome to stay for good and/or become citizens. I suppose it is difficult for me to understand coming from a country where it is possible to become an equal citizen after a time – as long as you follow the requisites. Contrast this with Saudi Arabia where unless you are a female marrying a male Saudi national, it seems citizenship is not a possibility, no matter how long one has lived there. Coupled with difficulties of marriage of Saudis with non-Saudis, an image comes to my mind of Saudi Arabia trying to maintain a kind of “racial purity”; which in itself is funny to me because before the discovery of oil, I thought there was much intermarriage between Saudis and non-Saudis due to the numbers of traders and pilgrims.

    Discrimination is on both sides of the fence; you mentioned the “Saudi bashing”. I feel that if one doesn’t like the country they are guests in, then they are free to leave. I encounter this here in my country; people love to become citizens, take the government handouts and then turn around and “Aussie-bash”. No country is perfect and one (foreign workers/ visitors etc) must accept the good (e.g. good pay) with the bad if they want to stay. But racism, discrimination and prejudice is something I find difficult to tolerate – I certainly do not like to see it here in my country. I believe this country (Australia) is for everyone who wishes to come so long as they abide by its laws – I love the excitement of different cultures and customs.

    This might sound strange but as much as I don’t like it, I even try to be tolerant and understanding with people who practice racism, discrimination and/or prejudice because (as it was once pointed out to me) I would only become like them if I weren’t tolerant of them. Does that sound strange? So, while I don’t agree with that ideology, I feel I have to be tolerant of others’ views (they are entitled to their opinions) even if those views are, well, intolerant.

    Carol, as an American married to a Saudi, do you encounter discrimination from any family or acquaintances? How did your in-laws react to your marriage? Have you encountered any Saudi women being a little jealous that you took one of “their men” from them (as I heard there is a high rate of unmarried Saudi women)?

    Sorry; this must come off as awfully negative of me to even ask this however I ask out of curiosity and not to “Saudi bash” as I am kind of “in love” with Saudi Arabia, lol.

    Ma’a salaama

  2. Aliyah thanks so much for sharing your perspective. You raise so many points…where to start!?

    Saudi Arabia is no different from other countries whien generally speaking about racism or discrimination. It is true that there are times when one will observe a “We versus They” mentality with “we” being Saudis and “they” anyone else.

    Unlike many other countries in the world, Saudi Arabia does not open its doors to immigration. In fact, I also wrote on post on this very subject of how some expats may spend 25 plus years in the Kingdom, made it their home yet when their job is finished or they have no choice to retire, in the majority of cases they also have no choice but to leave the Kingdom. Yes; marriage is the most common way for a non-Saudi to obtain citizenship and even so there are a number of prerequisites that must be met. It will not just happen.

    For example, any Saudi male who chooses to marry a non-Saudi must obtain approval from the Government. That being said, approval is not required per se to marry but it is definitely required in order for the non-Saudi spouse to live in the Kingdom. And in spite of what I just said, there remain certain job categories or employers with whom marriage to a non-Saudi is prohibited but again…being Saudi, there will be exceptions to these rules.

    Have I encountered discrimination? Yes; at times both my spouse and I have encountered discrimination from other Saudis, Americans and TCN’s. Sure; my in-laws were surprised when they first learned that a non-Saudi was coming in to the family but overall my experiences with family acceptance has been positive. Much depends on the families and circumstances.

    Oh yes….there can be jealousy or rather, insecurity, among some Saudi women. This is due not only to the high percentage of unmarried Saudi women but even among married women. Remember, in Islam a man can have up to 4 wives and to some Saudi women, a man taking a non-Saudi wife can be viewed as a threat to them and their own situation.

  3. Thanks for elaborating, Carol. I feel a bit sad for expats (from wherever) who have lived decades in the Kingdom and then must leave. How must their children, who perhaps have been born and know no other way of life, feel? It’s a bit sad for them, but I guess that the rules and they come there knowing that.

    I’m *trying* (to find the time) to read an autobiography I borrowed from the library, “My Desert Kingdom” by Australian Jill Koolmees [Bantam]. Her husband is a teacher at KFUPM (I thought I recall you staying there waiting to move into your house?) and she tells of her life in Saudi. She discusses many topics of interest: “the veil” and her changing opinions of it; treatment of foreign workers; not being able to drive; wasta; ‘moonshine’ and the expat compounds – more American than America; boredom – too many morning tea parties and shopping trips by communal bus ; and desert trips etc.

    I’m loving your blog entries. You write so well :)

    Ma’a salaama!

  4. Hi Aliyah. I actually wrote an earlier posting in regards to the expats for whom the Kingdom truly became and is home. (I really must learn how to link these kind of references to make it easier for you) You’re right, they know the rules but it does not necessarily make it any easier.

    I will have to look for the book. And no, I did not stay at KFUPM which is King Fahd University of Petroleum & Minerals and located in the Eastern Province. This is an outstanding university and an excellent template for the Kingdom to showcase on the success of an academic institution. No; we stayed temporary at Imam University until our villa was ready.

    Thanks for your kind words and I’m happy you enjoy the entries.

    Best Regards,
    Carol

  5. Assalaamu alaykum!

    Oops, my bad. I thought you stayed there while your villa was being prepared.

    Yes, I read that blog entry you mean (on expats who lived many, many years in KSA).

    It is an interesting book with much information. Definitely a “must read” for any wife going to Saudi Arabia. She is not a Muslim and I find some of her comments, particularly about “The Veil”, got up my nose a bit – oppression and all that. You can tell she just wanted out towards the end.

    Thank you so much for your time, Carol, much appreciated!

    Ma’a salaama,

    Aliyah

  6. Sadly it seems that the majority who do write about experiences in the Kingdom do lean towards more of a negative approach. Yet is is also very natural for one to miss their homeland and traditions, particularly when they know their stay in the Kingdom is for a limited duration…just my two cetns worth!

  7. ARABISM = RACISM! http://therealityshow.blogtownhall.com/2008/09/28/arabism_=_racism!.thtml

    ‘Arabism Equals Racism’, in an elaborated article, Gerald A. Honigman writes on the “acceptance of anyone else’s political rights in a multi-ethnic region that most Arabs see exclusively as “purely Arab patrimony.” That’s the Arab-Israel conflict in a nutshell; but it is also the core of the Arab-Berber, Arab-Kurd, Arab-Black African, Arab-Copt, Arab-Assyrian, Arab-non-Arab Lebanese conflicts, as well, among others. The Arabs’ Anfal Campaign against the Kurds and their actions in Darfur and the rest of the southern Sudan are just a few of many examples of Arab genocidal actions against all who might disagree.”

  8. I am a man of South Asian ancestry, and I have seen and heard of much racism in Saudia Arabia. The local Arabs in the Gulf are notorius for their racism against Indians, Pakistanis, Bengalis, Philipinos, and other Asians and foreigners.
    Arabs, in general, are no good cockroaches who view all non-Arabs as inferior. They have no respect for foreigners, unless of course their skin is white. I personally can’t stand the bastards.

  9. Syed Saboor,

    Welcome to the blog and thank you for your comments. I am sorry if you have had a poor experience but I can assure that not all Arabs are “no good cockroaches.” There are indeed some real gems who are very caring and compassionate out there.

  10. I found it funny that I stumbled upon your blog, and read your article, which I have many things to comment about… but firstly, I was actually searching for the opposite relationship: whether Saudi’s are discriminated against, and if that leads to a sort of general mass-discrimination by your so-called TMC denizens.
    Now, let me add my two cents to the argument…
    First of all, on the matter of ‘tribal superiority’ discrimination; the issue depends on who’s perspective and which area in the peninsula you’re talking about. In general, we can group Saudis into two broad factions, what I would call: tolerants and tribalists. Now, let’s not take these literally, as there are too many notable exceptions that contradict the naming of both camps, but let’s just roll with this terminology for now. So, if you asked me on the nature of these two groups, I would say the following: with regard to spatial geography, one would note that the ‘tolerants’ would be found more to the West of the country, or more specifically in Jeddah, where the annual Haj pilgrimage has led to a sort of exodus of Muslims from all over the world, and this has served to, regardless of an extremely strict immigration policy, bring and mix a whole variety of Muslims, at first, together sort of masking and mixing the true ethnicity of these Saudi citizens. All these pilgrims who have overstayed, found work, prospered, and are now bringing Saudi children into the world are contributing a bit of their own ethnicity (and with it cultural values) to the mix. The dialect of these Jeddawi’s is even different than the rest of the country, borrowing heavily from the Egyptian dialect, and merging it with others to come up with a dialect that is quite different, than, say, what would be heard in the central areas and the Eastern province. So, we can say, that the likelihood of Jeddah being a melting-pot of cultures is what drives their inhabitants in being more open and tolerant than the other areas in the Kingdom. Even so, that non-Saudi Christian Arabs find it more appealing than other parts of the country, with the glaring exception of the oil-men rich Eastern province, to settle and work in. So, these Saudis, the tolerants, also inherited the social superiority complex of their northerly cousins (Egypt and Lebanon) with regard to their so-called superiority to the “Bedouin”. What they mean here, is that Bedouin is archaic, uncivilized, and all the other descriptions mentioned above… while they view themselves as liberated and, to a certain extent, tolerant. However, this is Saudi Arabia. Jeddah is periphery to the center of power, Riyadh. And in Riyadh, there’s an entirely different story; the ‘traditionalists’ find themselves more superior to their mixed-blood citizen-brethren. Why is that? Simply because tribalism (when allied with a moving ideological interpretation) is what unified the various warring parts of, what is now Saudi Arabia, nearly one hundred years ago? And, to a certain extent, the tribes still matter till this day. Al-Saud come from, what was historically known as, the most powerful tribe of all Arabia: the Bani ‘Anz. These tribes stretch all across the peninsula, with constituent members, all identifying themselves to a certain lineage, from Iraq all the way down to Yemen. In fact, Islam is against tribalism, and there have been some huge historical philosophical debates and arguments in the Muslim Ulema (high academic society) against adherence to tribal lineages. However, that is another subject altogether. Naturally, in modern Saudi Arabia, tribes allied, historically, or even inter-married with the House of Saud, are counted among the most superior. For example, the Al-Sudairi’s are virtually princes on their own. And the lower one move’s down this historical tribal connections, the less superior they are. However, I wouldn’t say that Saudis from higher social standing families (or tribes) view themselves as being superior to those below them. But rather, they recognize their ability to trace their identity back to these lineages, regardless of political social standing, as the unifying factor that they see themselves superior to the new blood of citizens claiming to be Saudi’s, but in fact coming from less-pure and sometimes completely un-tribal Arab, blood. It’s adherence to a long standing historical identity that separates the “traditionalists” from the “tolerants”, whilst the tolerants aren’t able to know for sure their historical identity (in fact, some Saudis may be Turks, an intolerable idea not less than 200 years ago). Some families and tribes are able to trace their lineage back to the times of the Prophet Mohammed, as a testament to their nobility. And some are even proud of their Bedouin heritage; was it not King Abdulaziz who united the provinces by securing the alliances of the various warring tribes through agreements on tribal self-governance? The Ghumid (Al Ghamdi) and Banu Qahtan (Al Qahtani) are prime examples of this type of agreement, as modern-day constituent members of tribes, in agreement with the state, of these two large families make up the bulk of the police and military forces of the nation. So, we can see that there is a considerable amount of discrimination among Saudis; the traditionalists and the tolerants. Though, I would personally say, if I had to point out the more superior group, I would definitely say that the traditionalist are vastly superior, since they hold all the power, and without them exercising their sovereign control over the country; the latter group would of perhaps never existed. Though, it’s keen to say now, that in the eyes of the international community all Saudis are the same, under one nation, regardless of ancestral heritage. As a side note, there is one huge glaring observation that has been annoying me this entire time, and that there are some among these ‘tribes’ who are characterized, and by this I mean the ancestors make it a point to pass on these individual personality traits and characteristics to their sons, by tolerance and liberalism. In effect, tribalism not only allows for the continuance of a tribal dynasty, but also helps instill these traits, good or bad (which is why a school of Islamic theology, not Wahhabism, tried to battle tribalism), into the next generation of tribe members. So, it’s not wise to say that there is a clash, or a huge difference, between these two social orders that we’ve defined above; the traditionalists (tribalists) and the tolerants. I hope this makes the inter-tribal rivalry clearer.
    Now, I did want to mention more relevant cases of discrimination, but I found myself typing tirelessly well into the night; though my mind is racing, my fingers are waning; so I will briefly try to mention the most obvious cases of racism and discrimination in Saudi Arabia.
    There was slavery up until its abolishment in the late 1950s, but not of the sort that is well known in the United States, rather a more liberal, educational based slavery…. Think of it as forced boarding school, and forced labor market entry. There was no social or physical oppression.
    Expatriate racism? Very true. There is a shameful amount of cases of pure racism against blue-collar South East Asian workers, and to this I can only say… easy money has led to the destruction of social character building.. and the merits of hard work are not recognized… thus the impending racism is looked upon as something normal. I want to say much more about this, that the intelligentsia are working to stop these human rights abuses…. All that can be done at the moment is to express my most sincere apologies; some things in society are simply unacceptable.

  11. Ibn Rushd, first of all a warm welcome. You raise very interesting points for all of us to ponder and for further discussion. I like the way you have tied in the components of tribe, ethnicity, location and religion into what can lead to discriminations and intolerance. Very good points.

  12. Arabs throughout history have had a habit of destroying other peoples’ cultures. Actually, many people who call themselves Arabs are not really Arab at all. Huge populations were Arabized throughout the centuries. Arabism is racism.

  13. you have cleared almost all doubts

    thx for info

  14. You’re welcome Srinivas.

  15. Hello,
    I completely agree that there is a lot of racism and discrimination that exists in the Kingdom. and I have an experience that happened less than an hour back that has made me lose respect for the young people living here.
    I was at the Panda store getting some provisional items. As usual, the queue for payment was quite long. Once we reached the counter, my father decided to use his credit card to pay. However, there was some problem, so he decided to pay in cash instead. He took the card from the counter, and this astonishingly annoyed the man taking the payment, so much so that he started getting physical and even kicked my father.
    I am so mad at that man and screamed at his face, telling him to apologize to my father, for he had absolutely no right to fume up. Obviously, I got no response, being the youngest one. But I swear to God, I will never be able to look at such wretched people the same way as I used to ever again.

  16. @FJS – what a truly bizarre experience and encounter! I’ve been in Riyadh many times when the ATM network or credit card network has been down and malfunctioning where one has to pay cash even if having planned using a card. Why on earth would someone try to get physical over such an issue?!

  17. from my point of view as a forig foreigner living in saudi for 25 years there is a systematic discrimination to foreigners in the public and media cantrold by the saudis talking about foreingers from third world
    in thing goes bad in saudi arabia (drugs-econumy-crimes) are due to forigners but you will never hear or see some one tlaking about saudis miss doings
    and you will never here about saudi abuses to forign labour
    you will work to death and you will be traeted like its a charty thing that we(saudis) let you work in our contry
    im from sudan and once my frind he is also black skined were sting with friends and a man walked in and said (waht is that black nigger doing here)
    this country has no respect to any one what so ever unless you are a westren

  18. I dont want to say saudi arabia is worst country in discrimination issue, but I agree with some of readers who say only westerners are treated with respect in saudi arabia. Iranian pilgrims , specially women are huminilated or even beaten.overaly Iranian people are seen as inferior humans.sad situation.

  19. Abuse, expoitation and mistreatment of the Third World people in Saudi Arabia is legendary. And it is not discrimination, it is racism, because Saudis treat the White foreigners very well.

    About the Indians, what is even more deplorable is that even Indian Muslims are not treated as Muslims by the Arabs, let alone Indian Hindus.

    From whatever cases I have come across, this seems to be widely prevalent in Saudi Arabia, barring a few exceptions and I find such behaviour highly uncivilised.

    But then, there are many racist countries in this world as you said.

  20. Actually Saudis are in fact racist (not all of them, but most of them). There were many incidents were I was stopped by were I was stopped by police and they would look at me with a twist ugly look on their face and say “F’ain Iqama?” (where’s you I.D). And would ask If I was Sudanese, Nigerian, Somali or what ever. As soon as they see American, their face changes and they say some crap like “welcome!!”. I asked one, If I were a Somali…..What would you have done? He looked stupid and said nothing. In another incident, my Qur’an teacher who was A Saudi who origin is Pakistani, was with drawing some money from the bank. Upon seeing this, one Saudi said aloud: “How did HE get so much money, he’s nothing but a F@#king Pakistani”. Yeah, they are racist, and not fit to be the holders of this holy land.

  21. Saudi Arabia & the arab world in general is one of the most inherently racist societies in the world. Racism is an ‘acceptable’ way of life in KSA.

    Its funny how Arab countries gang up on Israel in international anti racism conferences. Fix your own backyard first before blaming the yahood for all your problems.

    BTW- I am a Muslim

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  23. Aalia, thank you for sharing, it is always so interesting to hear the situation from a Saudi person who knows what they are talking about.
    I am sorry you have to deal with al these issues.

    I like your blog too.

  24. i have an odd question, but would like to know where did the bukhari people come from, and do the native saudis marry them. i see them as a cross from chinese/russian. and i have seen a lot in taif in the past, years ago, and now more in jeddah. funny that subject came up, as i was thinking about that lately…i hope someone responds. thanks

  25. @Gia,

    According to my own knowledge, the Bukhari people originated from Uzbekistan which would give them the appearance of mixed Chinese and Russian. In regards to whether native Saudis marry them and why there is now an increase of Bukhari people in Taif or Jeddah, I don’t know. Maybe someone else can explain.

  26. Thanks, Aalia.

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  29. Dudes, I was born in Saudi Arabia . I had my schooling , colledge and higher studies in Saudi Arabia. My dad came to Saudi Arabia 35 years back. He was working with Saudi Goverment for more than 25 years. All of a sudden after 25 years of service Saudi Govt decided to discharge all expatriates from Govt jobs. Now he is working in another company. Anyway my point is as I was born in that country and I spent almost all of my life here , I am still considered as an foriegn.
    I remember I applied to many jobs and the answer was , Sorry this job is only for Saudis .
    This is the equity of a muslim nation to other nationalities. There are many examples etc , the medical treatment is prohibited for non saudis in govt hospitals, i remember when once I went to a govt hospital when my mom was having some serious problem and we were having no money to goto a private hospital, the hospital administration told us on face, sorry we can’t do anything because you are a non-saudi.
    This is the reality of the richest country in the whole world…
    Regards..

  30. i lived in saudi for 5 years, now we are not in saudi anymore. This saudi is the worst part of earth believe me ! the saudis were uneducated people, we were the people who teached them , made them strong and these bandits are now showing descrimination . Read the history and try to understand the word ” Saudi ” and learn how this name was born .
    Thx

  31. Saud Atif,

    Thanks for coming forward with your comment. Yes; there are individuals such as yourself who have had to experience the isolation that you describe so well in a country you know better than no other. I am curious, when you mention your education, due to not having Saudi citizenship were you not limited though as to which educational institutions you could attend as well?

    Reham and all,

    It is difficult for a non-Saudi to comprehend and adapt to life and living in what in essence remains a tribal society.

  32. I myself was born in Saudia and still consider myself jeddawi. Most of my relatives hold Saudi nationality but few don’t and I’m one of them. My relatives adopted Saudi culture and they have been there since the time of late King Faisal. There are many foreign residents out there who have also been there for a long long time. Some stayed in their cultural bubble and can’t communicate in Arabic while others wouldn’t look foreigner at all. I myself love that place. However, since my childhood I have seen and experienced extreme cases of racism at many times. But I ignored them all for the love of that land. Let me be clear; many Saudis are very kind if you’ve adopted their culture. But I found limited opportunities and left that place to Europe for further education and business establishment. What I have experienced here among non-Muslims is much better than so called Muslim countries. Even the land of my forefathers (Pakistan) didn’t offer me the rights that I’m entitled to. Regardless of your nationality; in western countries you would get same medical treatment, same education, same human rights, same respect, same job and business opportunities. During my childhood I read the farewell khutba of our prophet that an Arab has no superiority over non-Arab and vice versa and I used to be confused about it. I don’t think those words of our beloved prophet mean anything based on what I have seen. Now I’m not saying that these western countries are lands of angels; many cases of racism out here too including discrimination. But they are non-Muslims and I expect that from them. However, I do not expect that from Muslims. I discriminate too; when I meet a Muslim regardless of his colour and nationality I feel warm and always happy to go an extra mile to help the brother out at any point. No I’m not an angel but I’m blind to colours and races. I just feel superior being a Muslim and leave a better example to non-Muslims. We are peaceful people (or we are supposed to be).
    Last week my father told me that his Iqama (visa) will not be renewed once he reaches the age of 60 according to the new rule in Saudia. And there is my mother crying who doesn’t know the world outside of Saudia. To me it was like Muslims hurting Muslims. Also made me think, why Allah has given this opportunity to Al-Saud to look after this holy country. I do not see justice here. It’s been nearly 9 years and still that place depresses me apart from the two holy cities. Few years ago I also read that non-Arabs are not allowed to be buried in jannat-al- Mala or jannat-al-Baqi unless of course they’re Saudi. I don’t get it.
    Very soon inshaAllah that money will run out and my beloved Saudia will go back to the times of late King Faisal when your nationality didn’t matter but your religion did. Till then I shall leave peacefully along with non-Muslims. Islam is there but the Muslims are here. And the literal meaning of a Muslim is from whom others are safe. Allah yehdi jame3na.

  33. Thanks Sulaiman, that wàs interesting, I am going to get the book!

  34. .” But they are non-Muslims and I expect that from them. However, I do not expect that from Muslims”.

    Uhmmmm…..so your saying you expect non-Muslims to have a lower standard of morals that leads to racism simply because they are non-Muslim…and that you expect Muslims to have a higher standard of morals that leads to non racism simply because they ARE Muslim?

    As far as I know they are all humanbeings…and religion is generally the excuse to be racist…not the reason not to be.

    Huge generalization there…

  35. Why not expect discrimination from Muslims? They discriminate all the time. They discriminate against non-Muslims. How are Christians treated in Saudi? Jews?

  36. “Why not expect discrimination from Muslims? They discriminate all the time. They discriminate against non-Muslims. How are Christians treated in Saudi? Jews?”

    Actually, the Non-Muslims are treated much better here than the Muslims in many cases. =/

  37. This is so sad and so true. What can we do to change this??? I guess talking about this is a first step towards rectifying something that is wrong.

  38. Does not need to explain or comment long the whole world knows that Saudi Arabia first country racist and people spiteful foreigners in their own land because I’m you born in Saudi Arabia and I have experiences with the Saudis if I lived there more than 40 years does not differentiate between you and someone entered Saudi Arabia in a week because the saudis are psychically one of the sickest people in the globe I lived there more than 25 years old and I have information about racial people can not trust them because they deceive and hate from their hearts they are afraid to steal their money the attention of these people is money and women, eating and expensive cars nothing else

  39. I’ve been living in saudi for the past 21 years of my life , i come from a palestinan home. im jordanian by passport but ethnicly im palestinan. i have travelled to more than 4 countrys, all non arab countrys excluding jordan. living in saudi arabia for all of my life, one would think that i would be treated as an equal and be treated as a human being, but unfortunately saudis have a ‘im superior to all non-saudis complex’. now im not saying that all of saudis are this way, but alot of saudis i’ve met and befriended are. i honestly think that alot of saudis are raised to think that they are better than people who are different from them.
    again, im not saying that all saudis are like this but alot of saudis are.

    i hope saudis are not offended by this comment, but i think saudis know its kind of true too.

  40. I came here after reading an article about the inhuman treatment meted out south asians by saudi arabia, in this era and this world – it seems unbelievable that a country could be that inhuman so systematically.

    It is another to believe superior and it is another mete out inhuman treatment to the servant maids. Exploiting the poor people who leave their country, only to be made slaves in 21st century, I cant ever give any respect to this country evr. or any one else who endorses turning a blind eye to this huge problem as if it is just a small headache.

  41. The problem with Saudi Arabia is that they claim to practice Islam according to the Qura’n and authentic hadit. When in reality, the are practicing Saudi Islam and ignoring what was taught by our prophet.
    May Allah guide them away fr9m their ignorance.

  42. Saudi Arabia is a racist country and its people are the most racist people on the earth and ofcourse those who are white will state here that saudis are people,,discrimination is everywhere and …I am from south asia and I can say I never ever seen so much racism and injustice in saudi. I have seen people being beaten up just because they set next to an saudi in a public place. I have seen people from asia who were not allowed to enter a mall, I have seen the saudi police treating asians worse than their camels, I have seen arabs that have spotted on face of an asian taxi driver just because the driver complained that he didn’t paid the full amount. I have heard that a pakistani guy was almost beaten to death by arabs just because he called himself proud saudi because he was born there. I have seen people who has been stopped for hours just for fun and the list goes on.
    I am very grateful that there is a country like Isreal on this world much makes arabs to feel misrable because each time they beat a poor asian they know inside that they are piece of shit because they despite spending billions of dollars on weapan are not able to help their brothers and sisters

  43. I am assuming the author is white, as Saudis generally worship white people and show them a false persona of tolerance. One only has to google kafeel system and domestic worker to understand their true nature. Saudi black people are referred to as abd or slave in casual conversation. The Shiite are slandered daily. Asians are spit upon and North African women’s honor is besmudged with dirty names such as whore. This is everyday conversation. Sexism, ageism, rasiscm are issues in job applications. There is no equal pay for equal work, etc etc…. Need I go on?

    Stop being so naive and do your research before posting blatant untruths and misleading people!

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