Saudi Arabia: A Saudi National Wishes to Speak Out to the World

 

American Bedu received this email from a Saudi who asked that this message be shared on the blog.  I think it is important for views and perspectives to be exchanged so we can continue to learn from one another, especially when cultures and religion may be very different.  I think one of the most important points made in this email is the statement that ‘Saudis are not Islam.’

I thank the Saudi individual for taking the time to write this message.

 

 

Hello,

Saudi Arabia is not another plant, it’s just like any other country. You’ll meet bad and good people, and as is always the case goods out wight the bads.
If you want to have a good relationship with Saudis, please understand the following things.
1- Religion, Islam, is a red line for the majority of them. They’re willing to discuss many matters with you regarding their religion, but once they feel you are insulting it, they’ll get defensive. So, it’s O.K to ask why do you do this or that? but they will not accept saying or implying that this wrong( you could say I disagree). Also, you may have some people who will attack your belief to defend theirs, but again those are rare.
2-Saudis are generous in general. They are raised to be like this as many other Arabs( Being generous is encouraged in the Arabic culture pre-Islam, and Islam has enforced this concept). So, please, when you see us act like this, don’t think that we are fools or that we have more money than we need.
3-The majority of Saudi men respects women, and the majority of women doesn’t feel oppressed by men. Of course, there are some cases. When men and women in Saudi Arabia discuss the right of women, the majority of them are just trying to have the maximum freedom that the religion has given them. What I am saying is that the standard and the idea of women right is totally different than that of western civilization. As a result, you may use the same term in English ” women rights’, but the meaning and ramifications are  totally different. I again emphasis that Saudi usually judge these matters by their understanding of religion, which could vary from a person to another.
4- Most Saudis extremely love their parents. The mother is usually more loved than the father.
5-Saudi men are Not used to interact with strange women, and of course they get tired when they see a non-modest woman as all men do. The fact that sexes are separated may create this issue, which BTW is widely accepted by both sexes but the argument often come to the extent by which this should be applied.
6-Don’t mix things together. Saudis are not Islam.
7-It’s common for Saudi students to cheat in test as a mean of helping their friends, even though it’s forbidden by religion and Arabic culture.
8-The education system is noticeably weak.
9-When a Saudi invite you to Islam, that’s mean s/he really like and wish you all good. Because they truly believe in their religion and that it’s the only right path to haven, they’ll invite you to it ( don’t get confused when you see them ignore some aspects of it, because this is another story)
I find myself forced to say that there are goods and bads, and it’s your call to know with whom you should interact.
Finally, if you are willing to respect their red lines and socialize with them, you’ll find many loyal friends.
I forget to tell you that it’s 5:30 a.m and I haven’t slept yet, just in case you wonder why we come to school lazy and late :D.
I hope you all enjoy being in Saudi Arabia or teaching Saudis abroad.

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17 Responses

  1. Why do Saudis praise religion (the unknown) for doing the normal things and blame it for failing to admit their colossal failures, especially in the areas of human development, scientific advancement, religious tolerance, freedom of choice, individual liberty to choose the lifestyle a person sees fit, change of one’s belief without flogging and beheading, free expression and of most basic life necessaries such as women’s right to drive or marry whom ever they want?

    Good try, but where is the beef?

  2. Thanks for the tips!

  3. Ahhhhhhha i just read this with my Saudi and we both had a good laugh. He spoke like a true Saudi and told it how it is :)

  4. Quote: Once they feel you are insulting it (Islam), they’ll get defensive…

    If they only got defensive, it would be a problem. Try ‘aggressive’ or ‘violent’, maybe. You can’t just say Saudis or Arabs or Muslims are not Islam, as if Islam has no responsibility for the hate and discrimination practiced by Saudis or Arabs or Muslims. I will not let you off so easily. It seems that Saudis have no problem insulting other religions…

    Saudi individual, you might be a nice, proper person, but I have grave doubts about anyone that will defend Islam without reservations as to the hate and violence in the Quran, or the evil deeds that your prophet did to innocent people. Did you read that last sentence carefully? Are you aware of these things, or are you another Muslims that cant face simple facts about his/her religion? Plase don’t give me the old ‘you are ignorant’ or ‘out of context’ excuses. It has been a long hard 2 weeks caring for the dead and dying, and I am out of patience.
    .
    Anyway, you take care. Getting up early is good for you.

    J

  5. I won’t be having practicing Saudi muslim friends it appears as I don’t agree nor do I care for many of the tips.

    However it is good to know that this is a typical Saudi muslim who believes in discrimination, gender apartheid, deception, lying, cheating, being less then educated, who doesn’t practice the all elusive can’t pin down Islam or aspects of being a muslim when it suits them and typical Saudi style laziness.

  6. I used to have a saudi “friend” long long time ago. He shared a tip with me about saudi culture.

    He said that what saudis tell a westerner in their interactions is different like night and day to what saudis say to each other on exactly the same topic/subject. He said it is built into their cultural DNA.

    He pointed out Arafat and others who say one thing to westerners in english and completely the opposite to their arab audience in arabic.
    He said that they don’t consider it lying but a tactic to further their cause in debates or dialogues. He also said that it is sanctioned by their religion. He mentioned an arabic term for this but now I forget what it was.

    FWIW….

  7. “He said that they don’t consider it lying but a tactic to further their cause in debates or dialogues.”

    I wonder if it’s a result of taqiyya being OK among some Muslims. The cultural result could be they don’t mind saying different things depending on the audiences. Actually I’d say a lot of us are like that especially those who run for political office.

  8. “When a Saudi invite you to Islam …”

    I would hope educated Saudis would understand that it is impolite to press there religion on others.

  9. I have many Saudi friends and they are the most generous and hospitable people I know (outside of Sudan). I have been asked if I’m Muslim but nobody has asked me to my face to convert.

  10. Salaam alaikhoum. It is good that this saudi has made the effort to contact “the outside world”. Maybe he/she can get together a few friends to set up a normal citizens foreign contact group, and advertise its presence on the web to initiate contacts with muslims elsewhere in the world. As an aside to this, as you may be aware the Queen of England held a gathering of elected monarchs from elsewhere to mark her silver jubilee recently; and one of those attending was the Crown Prince of Bahrein. Given the recent happennings in that country obviously this drew protesters. When there are problems in countries the British Foreign Office issues warnings to be careful/not to travel to those countries. Do the Saudi authorities do something similar, and alternatively encourage its citizens to travel to countries where there are no problems and/or countries where islamic practice/culture is fully accepted? Do they have a “league table” of acceptable countries?Maasalaama, Amelia

  11. “Saudi Arabia is not another plant, it’s just like any other country.” REALLY??

    HOW MANY GOVERNMENTS FORCE HALF OF THEIR CITIZENS TO LOOK LIKE GARBAGE BAGS AS THE LINK BELOW DEPICTS?

    https://mail.google.com/mail/u/0/?shva=1#inbox/1378cda86a293291

  12. Ali, that link is a gmail inbox link. But I know what you mean, I saw a photo online of a modern colorful mall, with men women and children, the men and children looked normal, colors everywhere, but the women were like black holes, they were less than shadows, it looked as if they were holes of nothingness. It’s sick.

  13. @ Aafke-Art, Thanks. Gmail or not, it depicts reality in Saudi Arabia.

    Saudi women and their female children should stay away from garbage alleys before they get unwanted rides to dumpsters.

  14. Ali, the link sends me to my own inbox, so I didn’t see a picture or something, so if you have a picture I would like to see it, I have been working on an idea, of painting this, a mall, lots of colors and lights, real people, men and children, and black holes where the women are or should have been. So I would like to see more pictures.

  15. Ali:

    I am having the same problem that Aafke is having. Would like to see the pictures. I always find it strange to look at kids and men wearing normal attire then you see the women in black external sex organ (awrah) death sacks.

  16. I sent the picture and link to the blog’s moderator to post it if she could.

  17. @Amelia, most countries, including Saudi Arabia, do send warnings to their citizens to not travel to places where there may be unrest.

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