The following post is based on a discussion with a Saudi man who had been living outside of the Kingdom for an extended period of time. He kindly agreed to answer a few questions and share his observations on changes in the Kingdom.
How long have you been back in the Kingdom?
What were the first changes you noticed on your return to the Kingdom?
The impact of the collapse of the Saudi stock market in 2006
Are these positive or negative changes?
The collapse itself of course is a negative thing, and you understand why this is significant to the society when you know the character of the stock market is some thing new to the Saudi people. It is there for a long time but not as long as it has been in the Western countries and there was not as many people investing in them, and many people thought during that stock market boom 2004- 2006 that it’s another way that the government is sharing with them. The wealth of Oil. It sounded naive but that is what many people thought.
What is the most significant change you now see in the Kingdom as compared to when you had lived in the Kingdom previously?
Of course any one can distinguish the differences in the Saudi media, they write now more openly to degree
As one who has lived outside of the Kingdom for an extended period did you find it easy to return and adjust back to the traditional Saudi culture?
Yes I do adjust easy, to me it’s not a big problem if you ignore the way people drive in this country
What did you find you missed most about Saudi Arabia when you were living outside?
Of course the family and the hospitality of the Saudi people .
And of course, what did you miss the least when you were living outside?
Wishing that the Saudi people are more organized. Unfortunately most of the Saudis once they are out of their home they become very much disorganized and pushing too hard to be the first in anything. Let me give you an example, you visit a Saudi in his home; He and his children and family will be the nicest people, but when you see him in the street without him seeing you his behavior will be totally different from driving to standing in line and the pushy way that everyone wants to be the first to be served and it doesn’t matter when he or she arrived .
What kind of adjustments, if any, have you had to make on returning to the Kingdom?
Just remember it’s my home .
What surprised you most about the Kingdom on your return and why?
The large number of youth and the new generations totally different way of thinking
Did you feel any kind of culture shock on returning to the Kingdom after having lived outside for a number of years?
No. I was born here so it’s my home
Do you feel like you returned to the Kingdom as the same person you were before you left?
Besides the growing number in my age I came back to the kingdom hoping it would be more open to the world