The Changing Views of Saudi Youths


I was recently engaged in a dialogue with a Saudi man.  When he was growing up in the Kingdom during the early 1970’s it was not at all unusual for the male youth to have full or part-time jobs which would be performed after school and during holidays.  This not only provided them with additional financial resources but prepared them for the time when they would be fully responsible for themselves and/or a family.  A young man would gain additional independence, responsibility and maturity.  One Saudi told me how he would do extra work during Hajj which allowed him to save funds to purchase his own car.


Nowadays, since the oil boom, it seems that there is less of an emphasis placed on the young Saudi male to go out and get such life experience prior to graduating from University.  In most cases, the Saudi male (and female) will receive a monthly stipend from the Government while attending University.  Usually the minimal payment received is 800 SAR which is equivalent to about US$260 per month.  In US terms that may not sound like a lot but it can go a long way for a student here in the Kingdom.  Additionally the Saudi family will likely support their children until (and sometimes beyond) marriage.  This may likely include providing a male with a car as well as having other needs and luxuries attended to.

  The generosity of the Saudi parent is lovely to see but the question should also be raised in what is then the youth’s ability to be fiscally responsible, independent and mature?  By being a generous parent is this placing the child at a disadvantage towards acquiring practical life experience?


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