100 facts about Saudi Arabia

Personal observations of 4, 5 years on the east coast, in Khobar. The absolute accuracy of the facts does not pretend.

100 facts about Saudi Arabia

1. Saudi Arabia occupies about 70% of the area of ​​the Arabian Peninsula.

2. In 1932, when the SA formed by the merger of the two principalities, it was one of the poorest countries in the world.

3. Earlier in the territory of Saudi Arabia has been a lot of small principalities. Many present-day Saudi names are directly related to the principality. Many of these families are the richest in the kingdom, after the Saudis, of course.

4. Name one of these family knows almost everyone.

5. In 1938, the first oil find, and now CA - first in the world for the extraction of oil and one of the richest countries.

6. The power is inherited, only members of the family of Al-Saud.

7. The country lives under the strict laws of Sharia (Islamic law), banned all public entertainment (cinemas, theaters, and so on. D.).

8. However, there is relief (I think due to the events in the Middle East) - This year the king allowed women to vote in local elections to municipalities.

9. A couple of years ago, we wanted to hold a festival in Jeddah, but it was canceled before opening under some plausible pretext.

10. The woman - a man without a license. He has no right to work (although in recent years began to appear the woman at the reception in hospitals), are not allowed to drive a car, can not appear in public one (the only male representatives of the family, even if a man is 6 years old).

11. Women are trying to defend the right to driving a car, and periodically organize protests, ride through the streets behind the wheel. They are caught, make a suggestion and released on bail for her husband. One recently sentenced to flogging.

12. Executions have, but less than in the past.

13. for drugs - the death penalty. For alcohol - flogging, imprisonment and deportation. 14. This does not prevent the Indians and Filipinos brew moonshine, which is called "Sadik". Terrible thing to 60 degrees.

15. You can buy more fine drinks, whiskey, for example, but the bottle will cost about 300 dollars. Smuggling.

16. A significant part of the CA - the desert. In the south of the desert known as the Rub al-Khali, the Empty Quarter. There, the sand changes color throughout the day depending on the temperature in the morning from a red to light yellow in the afternoon.

17. During the day in June and July in the desert temperature easily reaches 60 degrees and above.

18. On the east coast periodically humidity rises to 100%. At a temperature of 40-45 degrees.

19. On the west coast high humidity is almost always present. But they do not have sandstorms, both in the east.

20. Along the west coast there are mountains of Hijaz and Asir. The highest point - 3353 m.

21. Capital - Riyadh, by a huge area of ​​the city, high-rise very little. The average height of the building - floors five.

22. Machinery mainly American. Until the late 80's Japanese cars almost was not until one person (I do not remember his name) did not bring a few dozen exclusive Japanese models and gave them to all the princes and nobles. Now, the Japanese auto approximately half. Europe too, but not enough.

23. Despite the fact that revenues allow to buy a decent car, many ride avtohlama 70-80 years. One of the most popular cars - Chevrolet Caprice Classic late 80s.

24. They go like anyhow - the average speed around the city of 80-100 km / h, outside the city officially 120, but in fact who as you can, but not less than 120.

25. Often the picture when a Saudi driving a car, and on his hands a small child.

26. And they like to push the seat as far back, back recline, bend the left leg under itself or to rest on the left in the instrument panel and steer so sitting sideways and holding the wheel with one hand. Machinery something almost all with automatic transmission. 27. Petrol is cheaper than water. bottled water 0 6 l is 1 rial, 1 liter of gasoline - 0 6 rial. Something like this.

28. Food divided into family section and a section for singles. Singles to family is not allowed.

29. In general, depending on the security obstinacy, the lone Arab (or arabchat group) may not be allowed in the mall. There are shopping centers only for family.

30. Stray animals there. Well, almost none. Dogs saw a couple of times for almost 5 years, mostly cats, but very little.

31. Pet shops there, you can buy a cat. But the Arabs do not keep animals, can not be at home.

32. The images of humans and animals are prohibited by the Koran. People come out of the situation as they can, there is a monument in Jeddah do not understand why, but if you look closely, it looks like a camel.

33. Back in Jeddah just dofiga any unexplained monumental compositions - teapot monuments, mites, construction trowel, still something, I do not remember.

34. In the past and in the photographs on advertising in public places people's faces were erased. Now I like have decided that photography - light painting, light given Allah, then Photo - business charity.

35. To photograph people is not recommended, especially for women and police officers without their consent.

36. There can not be anything to photograph - around wherever you spit or government building, or a security checkpoint, or a compound for foreigners.

37. I tried to take a picture of a fire truck in Jeddah - right out of the ground there was a police car and almost took away the camera. Each otmazatsya.

38. Three key Arab word - inshallah, Bukra and maalesh. Inshallah - such as "God forbid," to all the will of Allah, Bukra - tomorrow maalesh - well, to hell with him.

39. Accordingly, inshallah added wherever there is a mention of any plans. Bukra inshallah can mean "maybe tomorrow" and "never." Generally Bukra - the time between now and never. 40. Most Arabs do not know how to swim.

41. In spite of the proximity of the Gulf, boats and yachts virtually none. There are few personal watercraft. Windsurfers have seen once.

42. Favorite entertainment - stop by the car on sand dune up the hill. The height of the dunes - 30-40 meters, angle of ascent is quite steep. Some try to do it on the passenger car.

43. Trees there is almost no desert. Arabs like to go into the desert picnics, tents, barbecue and so on. N.

44. There are unwritten laws of the desert - if you see a car on the roadside in the middle of nowhere - stop, I may need your help.

45. Saudi Arabia is very crap country. Tons of garbage along the roads, on the beaches. Flying bags, plastic bottles.

46. ​​In a normal shoe problem, t. To. Arabs are mainly sandals and slippers.

47. In general, they are not very accustomed to European clothes. Short pants forever. Some absolutely ugly shoes.

48. A blend of traditional Arabian attire (like Toba called) and shoes with socks almost to the shin - is all hell.

49. Internet seriously moderated websites with the slightest hint of pornography are closed, as well as many proxy.

50. Train is virtually absent, despite the rather large area. There is a branch of the Dammam-Riyadh. Built branch Mecca-Medina. In 2008, the contract to build the w / d of North-South won the JSC "Russian Railways", but then canceled the tender.

51. Entry to Mecca and Medina, the non-Muslims is prohibited. But we accidentally hit the Mecca last year.

52. In Saudi Arabia, the family cult. children often live with their parents, the eldest son contains elderly parents. Respect for elders is instilled from childhood.

53. Going welcomes standing, Jr. - Senior.

54. At the meeting, the Saudis kiss on the cheek three times (or two at a time), but not all, only close relatives, old friends. 55. Here a very specific business etiquette. Late is the norm, before embarking on a business conversation, drink tea, coffee, talk about life.

56. Saudi Arabic language does not exist. There are dialects Hijazi (west coast), Najd (center) and Sharqi (East Coast), which differ from each other. Plus Brings coloring visiting Arabs - Egyptians, Palestinians, Syrians, Jordanians.

57. They say that Eve, the one lived in Jeddah, and the place of her burial worshiped before. But then the Wahhabis destroyed the place of burial and cemetery. He remains of the cemetery only the arch at the entrance.

58. Any other open religion other than Islam is prohibited. Accordingly, on the eve of any non-Islamic religious holidays of Christmas type Sharia police activity "Mutawa" is activated.

59. If there is a cross, it is best to wear it under clothing.

60. Christmas trees for sale no, no, even artificial.

61. But the Christmas decorations are sold in small souvenir shops. Paradox. Sam bought several Christmas is clearly in form of balls made of papier-mache camel to them.

62 Russian nesting dolls are also sold, but they are subject to the national modding. Female MATRUSCHKA abaya painted black (such mantles) and niqab (handkerchiefs) for respectively male and Guthrie To.

63. The hoop on the head man on top of the shawl called Malaga. Now it is made from horseradish understand that, and earlier was made of horsehair and served for hobbled cattle (mainly 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 quite welcome, but the house is very seldom invited. Basically, communication takes place in a small alcove, adjoined to the house. Be sure to treat Arab coffee and dates.

66. Arabic coffee - is another story. Firstly, it is a drink of yellow-brown color. Second, it's full of additives - cardamom, cloves, cinnamon, anise sometimes. Third, served in microscopic pialki. Fourthly, it is very tonic drink, do not drink a lot. So be sure to bring a glass of cold water. 67. The Arabs are very fond of the language scratching. On the phone hanging permanently.

68. There is a list of professions approved by the Ministry of Labor, which received only the Saudis. For example, the HR department or relations with government authorities.

69. In general, the government strictly regulates the employment question. The international company has to recruit a certain percentage of Saudis, not less than 10% of the total number (could be wrong). This is called Saudization.

70. Sometimes it is easier and more effective to negotiate with the employee so that he received the minimum salary for his position and not come to work at all. The sheep are safe and wolves are fed.

71. Reckoning different from the Gregorian calendar. Now in 1432 Hijri.

72. New Year in our understanding of the Saudis did not say. Last month of the year - Hijjah, the last month of pilgrimage to Mecca. On day 10 begins the holiday of Eid al-Adha, Eid go big, and continues until sunset 13 days Hijjah month.

73. Birthday is not too say. In general, many Bedouins date of birth, put the noodle, the number 1 about a month of birth. Or the last. If we get lucky.

74. pray 6 times during the day. At prayer time everything closes. In the neighboring states have such a bay. In the Emirates, and Bahrain all works even during prayer.

75. Islamic law prohibits usury, so you can take out a loan just under 2% (operating expenses of banks) in the bank. However, interest on your deposit too meager.

76. The sales tax and VAT no.

77. Foreign banks here have 50% of the capital on a par with Saudi founders, respectively, the names of banks are not recognized world (such as Citi Bank), and local (Samba Bank - Saudi-American Bank, for example).

78. Among the Saudi youth is full of hipsters - dzhinsiki slinky unimaginable hairstyles, glasses on half face. It looks ridiculous. Girls are in Abay, face too often closed. Only his eyes are burning from under the niqab. 79. In addition to the mass of the Islamic radio station, there are two or three that broadcast rock, pop and classical music. One on Bahrain, two belong to Saudi Aramco. Sometimes caught Russian Radio from Dubai and the Qatar French.

80. TV full order, a satellite dish in every home.

81. The traditional Saudi food has to look for purely Arab neighborhoods. It replaced the Lebanese, Jordanian, Syrian, Philippine, Malaysian and Chinese cuisine.

82. Japanese unpopular. Sushechnyh in Khobar until 2 or 3, 4-I did not open for a year.

83. Networking restaurants dzhankfuda over dofiga. McDonald's next door to Burger King, Dunkin 'Donuts 10 meters from Krispy Creme.

84. In this regard, a lot of fat. The Saudis also are very cool sport.

85. My favorite game - football.

86. The Saudi team is called in the people of Al-Sackur (Falcons) or Al-Akhdar (green). At the world championships, the Saudis are the so-so, but the Asian Championship three times were the champions.

87. There are quite a lot of football clubs. Best - Ittihad Jeddah.

88. I was even afraid to imagine what will happen if the Saudis will drop to play against Israel in the draw for the World Cup.

89. The Jews do not like. For Palestine as well.

90. Bratushka-Palestinian permanent help with money. Last assistance was in September this year. $ 200 million, for a moment.

91. Russian are good. Always ask about Putin.

92. There are several purely Saudi Arabian gestures that do not describe, because there is also a mimicry plays a role.

93. The right hand of the net, the left - dirty. Used in podmyvanii forgive. So eat right. They greet each other right. If something gives, we must take the right.

94. Thieves cut before hand. Right. Here zapadlo something to eat zapomoennoy hand. While it may now cut. 95. The executions were carried out at mosques, but not all, only a few cities.

96. In Saudi Arabia, a wrong can not enter the mosque. In Bahrain - please.

97. Public transportation is practically not. There are some suspicious intercity buses. And since everything is moving either by car, or by taxi. Indians and Pakistanis from the poor ride bicycles or at least go on foot. But in the summer it kapets full.

98. Over the weekend, the Saudis have come with their families for a walk on the promenade, steles on the lawns and picnic rugs.

99. By the way, the day off - Friday. And Monday begins on Saturday, as the Strugatsky. Thursday, usually working before lunch.

100. Saudi Arabia can not come just to get a visa, should be invited by the local office. International tourism does not exist here.